Blenko Glass Water Bottle, St. Albans, West Virginia Depot

  • Model: CU-23-549


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Custom Saint Albans West Virginia Blenko Glass Water Bottle

We are happy to unveil a commemorative piece of West Virginia-made glassware to commemorate the City of St. Albans’ deep history with the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway.  Created in partnership with the Blenko Glass Company of Milton, West Virginia, the custom design features an architectural diagram of the C&O Railway’s famous wooden depot in St. Albans etched on the famous “384 water bottle” in Ruby red.  The rarely-seen diagram of the structure comes from the C&O Historical Society’s vast archives of C&O Railway company documents and diagrams.

In 2022, following a unanimous city council vote, the C&O Historical Society signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of St. Albans to showcase and develop the one-of-a-kind railway depot into a museum and tourist destination.  Setup and construction is underway by C&OHS volunteers who will convert three rooms in the depot to a 1940s-appropriate waiting room, a room with interpretive panels on local history, and an O-scale layout representing St. Albans and South Charleston.

Blenko has manufactured 151 pieces, one for every year since the City of St. Albans’ incorporation in 1872.  Each water bottle is numbered (1 of 151, 2 of 151, et cetera) and dated 2023, further distinguishing this limited run of hand-blown glass.  During development with Blenko, the Ruby red color was chosen to symbolize one of St. Albans High School’s colors and the mascot, the Red Dragons.

The wooden railway depot, completed by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway in 1907, is a one-of-a-kind structure that served the region for decades throughout the 20th century.  Replacing older structures that served passengers and offered freight service, it is preserved today by the City of St. Albans.

Beneath the archival drawing of the depot is an etching that reads, “Saint Albans, West Virginia” in a historically-accurate typeface that was used by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway in their last decades of passenger service, which served the wooden depot in western Kanawha County until 1968.  On the opposite side of the water bottle from the station drawing is an etched C&O Railway insignia that can still be seen on multiple railway underpasses along MacCorkle Avenue in Kanawha City.

Our goal was to infuse as many local and historical connections into the water bottle’s design as possible.  Thanks to the material from our archive and the talent of Blenko’s employees, we were able to weave multiple layers of significance into their famous 384 water bottle.  The finished product is a tasteful tribute to the City of St. Albans and the C&O Railway’s history there.

Blenko’s unique ability to combine their vast manufacturing experience with modern, digital-age techniques has made it possible to create these history-themed pieces with tremendous quality and accuracy.

When creating historical items for sale in support of our organization, which derives its revenue only from membership dues, retail sales, and donations from the public, we have made an effort to use American-based manufacturers wherever possible. 


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