In 1891 a small group of glass-making artisans purchased the then-defunct Fostoria Glass Company in Seneca County, Ohio. The new stock-holders took a West Virginia charter and a new name and became the Seneca Glass Company in Moundsville, West Virginia.
The decision to build the plant in Morgantown in 1896 coincided with and was an integral part of the rapid growth of the city after 1890, both when transportation via the river and the railroad became established, and when natural gas and oil resources were discovered nearby. In order to entice Seneca Glass Company to settle in Morgantown, an investment firm offered free land, cheap gas, and a subsidy. Seneca was only one of at least fourteen major glass companies that eventually became established in the Morgantown area.