International Sea Glass Museum – Fort Bragg, California - Atlas Obscura

International Sea Glass Museum

Celebrating the transformation of trash into objects of beauty. 

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What appears to be a kitschy sea glass gift shop from the entryway is actually home to the International Sea Glass Museum founded in 2009 by retired sea captain Cass Forrington. 

Fort Bragg began dumping the town’s waste in the ocean after the 1906 earthquake, and it washes up today as tiny pieces of sea glass. Thanks to the previous generation’s proclivity for throwing their garbage in the ocean, Fort Bragg is home to beaches with the highest concentration of sea glass in the world.

The three-room museum holds thousands of rare and unusual sea glass pieces in every color, shape, and size. A display organized by color explains the origin of each sea glass color (rare red pieces are usually tail lights from underwater cars, lavender is white glass clarified with magnesium and oxidized by the sun). Some colors fluoresce under a black light display.

 Capt. Cass has also collected barely recognizable bottle stoppers, marbles, and terracottas. 

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