Where Does Davenport Sea Glass Come From?

Davenport sea glass is some of the most beautiful sea glass in the world. One look and you know it’s something special. It’s so different than other pieces commonly found on other beaches. Many of the pieces are multi-colored, and it’s not unusual to find colors which are rarely found at other beaches. If you’ve ever seen a piece of Davenport sea glass, one of the first questions that usually comes to mind is, “Where did it come from?” The pieces are so unusual compared to most other sea glass that many people wonder why it’s so unique.

The answer is that it comes from the famous Lundberg art glass studio located up the river, which empties onto Davenport beach. Remnants of the colorful art glass the studio produced made its way into the ocean, and it’s these remnants tumbled into sea glass over the years that can be found in Davenport today. The question then becomes, how did the glass get from the Lundberg Studio into the ocean?

The common story told of how all the glass ended up in the sea goes as follows: Lundberg Studio used to store all their remnant art glass (all the excess and mistake glass that didn’t make it into their finished products) in the back of the studio by the river. Several decades ago, here was a large flood along the river. The river rose and ended up sweeping all the remnant glass into the ocean. That glass spent years tumbling in the ocean, and the glass found today at Davenport Beach is from that flood.

While there may be some truth to the flood story, it’s highly unlikely it’s the only way Lundberg Studio glass ended up in the ocean. While not politically correct today, a far more likely explanation is that the studio simply dumped much of their remnant art glass directly into the river back in the early years of its existence. While this isn’t possible today with all the environmental protections that exist, it was an all too common occurrence for coastal communities to dump all their trash into the ocean. For example, the famous Glass Beach in Fort Bragg exists today because it was once an old dump. The fact is that many of the best beaches to hunt for sea glass are former dumping grounds.

The fact that Davenport sea glass doesn’t come from a former dump, but from an art glass studio, explains why it’s so unique and colorful. It’s also the reason many multi-colored pieces are found there (one of the few beaches in the world where this is true), and why colors such as reds, pinks, purples, yellows, UVs and oranges (rare colors at most beaches) can be found from time to time. Because the Lundberg Studios produced such amazing and colorful glasswork, even their remnants that ended up in the sea are amazing as well. Any person who collects sea glass should have at least one Davenport piece in their collection.