JAN RUTLAND, FOUNDER OF MUSEUM

LEIGH HORNBECK STAFF WRITER
Section: Capital Region,  Page: D3

Date: Friday, November 5, 2010

BALLSTON SPA -- Jan Rutland, the executive director of the National Bottle Museum in Ballston Spa, died last week. She was 74.


Rutland founded the storefront museum on Milton Avenue in 1978 and worked to draw attention to the history of bottle-making. She knew the story of the local bottle industry and how important it was to the mineral water industry that drew fame to Ballston Spa and Saratoga Springs.


In August, 2009, Rutland told reporter Bethany Bump that the museum's mission was often misunderstood.


''People think we are only here to feature bottles. But we're actually a history museum," she said.


Rutland put together exhibits by borrowing bottles and tools from more than 30 bottle-collecting clubs across the country.


The museum owned a glass furnace, but Rutland was forced to shut it down in 2007 because of the high energy costs to keep it running.


Rutland's passing may endanger the future of the museum. Staff announced hours will be trimmed immediately to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday though Friday.


Rutland is survived by her husband of 56 years, Lawrence Rutland Jr., four children, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


At her request, a memorial "butt-kicking" celebration of her life will be held Nov. 13 at a time and location to be announced.