Blairstown, New Jersey

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Blairstown, New Jersey
Township
Township of Blairstown
Blair Lake Spillway
Blair Lake Spillway
Map of Blairstown Township in Warren County. Inset: Location of Warren County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Blairstown Township in Warren County. Inset: Location of Warren County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Blairstown, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Blairstown, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°58′49″N 74°59′49″W / 40.980156°N 74.996849°W / 40.980156; -74.996849Coordinates: 40°58′49″N 74°59′49″W / 40.980156°N 74.996849°W / 40.980156; -74.996849[1][2]
Country  United States of America
State  New Jersey
County Warren
Incorporated April 14, 1845
Government[5]
 • Type Township
 • Mayor Richard Mach (term ends December 31, 2013)[3]
 • Clerk Phyllis E. Pizzaia[4]
Area[2]
 • Total 31.704 sq mi (82.112 km2)
 • Land 30.817 sq mi (79.816 km2)
 • Water 0.887 sq mi (2.297 km2)  2.80%
Area rank 80th of 566 in state
2nd of 22 in county[2]
Elevation[6] 364 ft (111 m)
Population (2010 Census)[7][8][9]
 • Total 5,967
 • Estimate (2013[10]) 5,871
 • Rank 346th of 566 in state
7th of 22 in county[11]
 • Density 193.6/sq mi (74.7/km2)
 • Density rank 508th of 566 in state
15th of 22 in county[11]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP code 07825[12][13]
Area code(s) 908[14]
FIPS code 3404106160[15][2][16]
GNIS feature ID 0882317[17][2]
Website www.blairstown.org

Blairstown is a township in Warren County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 5,967[7][8][9] reflecting an increase of 220 (+3.8%) from the 5,747 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 416 (+7.8%) from the 5,331 counted in the 1990 Census.[18]

Blairstown was incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 14, 1845, from portions of Knowlton Township, based on the results of a referendum held that day.[19]

Blairstown CDP (with a 2010 Census population of 515[20]) is a census-designated place (CDP) and unincorporated area located within the township.[21][22][23]

Geography[edit]

Blairstown Township is located at 40°58′49″N 74°59′49″W / 40.980156°N 74.996849°W / 40.980156; -74.996849 (40.980156,-74.996849). According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 31.704 square miles (82.112 km2), of which, 30.817 square miles (79.816 km2) of it was land and 0.887 square miles (2.297 km2) of it (2.80%) was water.[2][1] The township is located in the Kittatinny Valley which is a section of the Great Appalachian Valley that stretches for 700 miles (1,100 km) from Canada to Alabama.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,405
1860 1,542 9.8%
1870 1,379 −10.6%
1880 1,458 5.7%
1890 1,662 14.0%
1900 1,576 −5.2%
1910 1,718 9.0%
1920 1,361 −20.8%
1930 1,416 4.0%
1940 1,449 2.3%
1950 1,571 8.4%
1960 1,797 14.4%
1970 2,189 21.8%
1980 4,360 99.2%
1990 5,331 22.3%
2000 5,747 7.8%
2010 5,967 3.8%
Est. 2013 5,871 [10] −1.6%
Population sources: 1850-1920[24]
1850-1870[25] 1850[26] 1870[27]
1880-1890[28] 1890-1910[29]
1910-1930[30] 1930-1990[31]
2000[32][33] 2010[7][8][9]

The Township's economic data (as is all of Warren County) is calculated by the United States Census Bureau as part of the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton metropolitan area which includes Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties, PA and Warren County, NJ.

Census 2010[edit]

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 5,967 people, 2,124 households, and 1,703 families residing in the township. The population density was 193.6 per square mile (74.7 /km2). There were 2,272 housing units at an average density of 73.7 per square mile (28.5 /km2). The racial makeup of the township was 96.03% (5,730) White, 1.12% (67) Black or African American, 0.12% (7) Native American, 1.14% (68) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 0.45% (27) from other races, and 1.14% (68) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 3.79% (226) of the population.[7]

There were 2,124 households, of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.8% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.8% were non-families. 15.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.11.[7]

In the township, 23.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 20.1% from 25 to 44, 33.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.3 years. For every 100 females there were 99.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.[7]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $82,952 (with a margin of error of +/- $10,269) and the median family income was $92,063 (+/- $14,594). Males had a median income of $73,818 (+/- $7,161) versus $54,959 (+/- $13,254) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $38,393 (+/- $7,342). About 4.1% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.1% of those under age 18 and 1.4% of those age 65 or over.[34]

Census 2000[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[15] there were 5,747 people, 2,040 households, and 1,638 families residing in the township. The population density was 185.3 people per square mile (71.5/km²). There were 2,136 housing units at an average density of 68.9 per square mile (26.6/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 98.17% White, 0.26% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.28% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.98% of the population.[32][33]

There were 2,040 households out of which 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.6% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.7% were non-families. 15.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.14.[32][33]

In the township the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 29.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.2 males.[32][33]

The median income for a household in the township was $64,809, and the median income for a family was $71,214. Males had a median income of $51,931 versus $33,646 for females. The per capita income for the township was $27,775. About 3.0% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.4% of those under age 18 and 3.4% of those age 65 or over.[32][33]

Government[edit]

Local government[edit]

Blairstown has a traditional Township form of government, with a five-member committee. Committee members serve three-year terms on a staggered basis and are elected at-large on a partisan basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At a reorganization meeting held each year during the first week of January, the Committee members select one of their members to serve as Mayor and another to serve as Deputy Mayor.[5][35]

As of 2013, the Blairstown Township Committee consists of Mayor Richard Mach (R, term ends December 31, 2013), Deputy Mayor Frank W. Anderson (R, 2015), Paul Avery (R, 2015), Stephen J. Lance (R, 2014) and Herman P. Shoemaker (R, 2014).[36][37][38][39][40]

Former Mayors[edit]

  • 2013 - Richard Mach (R)
  • 2012 - Frank Anderson (R)
  • 2011 - Richard Mach (R)
  • 2010 - Richard Mach (R)
  • 2009 - Richard Mach (R)
  • 2008 - Stephen Lance (R)
  • 2007 - Stephen Lance (R)
  • 2006 - Stephen Lance (R)
  • 2005 - Alfred Handy (R)
  • 2004 - George Joest (R)
  • 2003 - William Horsey (R)
  • 2002 - George Joest (R)
  • 2001 - William Seal (R)
  • 2000 - Jane Santini (D)
  • 1999 - Joseph DiGrazia (R)
  • 1998 - Anita Ardia (I)
  • 1997 - Franklin D Shotwell (R)
  • 1996 - Franklin D Shotwell (R)
  • 1995 - Charles Eble (R)
  • 1994 - Walter Orcutt (R)
  • 1993 - Walter Orcutt (R)
  • 1992 - Walter Orcutt (R)
  • 1991 - Walter Orcutt (R)
  • 1990 - Walter Orcutt (R)
  • 1989 - Frank Kelly (D)
      - Howard Mott Sr.

Former committee members[edit]

75-79 Howard Mott Sr.

  • 2013-15 - Paul Avery (R)
  • 2012-14 - Herman Shoemaker (R)
  • 2007-12 - William Seal (R)
  • 2006-11 - Sal Lascari (R)
  • 2006-14 - Stephen Lance (R)
  • 2005-15 - Frank Anderson (R)
  • 2005-13 - Richard Mach (R)
  • 2004-06 - Gary Stevens (R)
  • 2003-05 - Alfred Handy (R)
  • 2003-05 - Raymond Davis (R)
  • 2002-04 - William Horsey (R)
  • 2001-05 - George Joest (R)
  • 2001-03 - JoAnne VanValkenburg (I)
  • 1998-01 - William Seal (R)
  • 1997-02 - Jane Santini (D)
  • 1997-02 - Anita Ardia (I)
  • 1995-97 - Fred Cook (D)
  • 1995-97 - Charles Eble (R)
  • 1992-94 - Robert Rokosz (R)
  • 1990-92 - Anthony Hipple (R)
  • 1989-94 - Walter Orcutt (R)
  • 1988-93 - Robert McElroy (D)
  • 1984-86 - George Wilhelm (R)
  • 1981-87 - Carl Race (R)
  • 1979-87 - Sal Simonetti (R)
  • 1978-83 - Elwyn Barker (R)
  • 1968-89 - Frank Kelly (D)

Federal, state and county representation[edit]

Blairstown Township is located in the 5th Congressional District[41] and is part of New Jersey's 24th state legislative district.[8][42][43] Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Blairstown Township had been in the 23rd state legislative district.[44]

New Jersey's Fifth Congressional District is represented by Scott Garrett (R, Wantage Township).[45] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark; took office on October 31, 2013, after winning a special election to fill the seat of Frank Lautenberg)[46][47] and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus).[48][49]

For the 2014-2015 Session, the 24th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Steve Oroho (R, Franklin) and in the General Assembly by Alison Littell McHose (R, Franklin) and Parker Space (R, Wantage Township).[50][51] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[52] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[53]

Warren County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders whose three members are chosen at-large on a staggered basis in partisan elections with one seat coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects one of its members to serve as Freeholder Director and other as Deputy Director. As of 2014, Warren County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Edward J. Smith (R, Asbury / Franklin Township, 2015), Freeholder Deputy Director Richard D. Gardner (R, Asbury / Franklin Township, 2014) and Freeholder Jason Sarnoski (R, Lopatcong Township, 2016).[54] Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Patricia J. Kolb (Blairstown Township),[55] Sheriff David Gallant (Blairstown Township) and Surrogate Kevin O'Neill (Hackettstown).[56][57] The County Administrator, Steve Marvin, is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operation of the county and its departments.[58]

Politics[edit]

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 4,294 registered voters in Blairstown Township, of which 707 (16.5% vs. 21.5% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,882 (43.8% vs. 35.3%) were registered as Republicans and 1,702 (39.6% vs. 43.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 3 voters registered to other parties.[59] Among the township's 2010 Census population, 72.0% (vs. 62.3% in Warren County) were registered to vote, including 94.6% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 81.5% countywide).[59][60]

In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 1,654 votes here (63.2% vs. 56.0% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 910 votes (34.8% vs. 40.8%) and other candidates with 28 votes (1.1% vs. 1.7%), among the 2,616 ballots cast by the township's 4,326 registered voters, for a turnout of 60.5% (vs. 66.7% in Warren County).[61][62] In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 1,986 votes here (60.7% vs. 55.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 1,192 votes (36.4% vs. 41.4%) and other candidates with 39 votes (1.2% vs. 1.6%), among the 3,271 ballots cast by the township's 4,332 registered voters, for a turnout of 75.5% (vs. 73.4% in Warren County).[63] In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 2,141 votes here (65.8% vs. 61.0% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 1,068 votes (32.8% vs. 37.2%) and other candidates with 33 votes (1.0% vs. 1.3%), among the 3,256 ballots cast by the township's 4,021 registered voters, for a turnout of 81.0% (vs. 76.3% in the whole county).[64]

In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 1,252 votes here (63.5% vs. 61.3% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 489 votes (24.8% vs. 25.7%), Independent Chris Daggett with 180 votes (9.1% vs. 9.8%) and other candidates with 24 votes (1.2% vs. 1.5%), among the 1,971 ballots cast by the township's 4,236 registered voters, yielding a 46.5% turnout (vs. 49.6% in the county).[65]

Education[edit]

Blair Walk, built as part of Blair Academy, crosses over the 17-foot-high (5.2 m) dam just off Main Street in Blairstown, perhaps Blairstown's most recognizable point of interest.

Public school students in Kindergarten through sixth grade attend the Blairstown Elementary School, as part of the Blairstown Township School District. As of the 2010-11 school year, the district and its one school had an enrollment of 662 students and 44.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.74:1.[66] Students from Hardwick Township, a non-operating school district, also attend Blairstown Elementary School.[67]

Students in seventh through twelfth grades for public school attend the North Warren Regional High School in Blairstown, a public secondary high school, serving students from the townships of Blairstown, Frelinghuysen, Hardwick, and Knowlton.[37][68][69]

Ridge and Valley Charter School, a K-8 charter school founded in 2004 that is focused on Earth literacy and sustainable living, is located in neighboring Frelinghuysen Township. The school also serves (and grants admission priority to) students from Frelinghuysen, Hardwick and Knowlton Townships, who attend the school without cost to the parents.[70] Students from the township and from all of Warren County are also eligible to attend Warren County Technical School in Washington borough (for 9-12),[71] with special education services provided by local districts supplemented throughout the county by the Warren County Special Services School District in Oxford Township (for PreK-12).[72][73]

Students from across the world attend Blair Academy, a private boarding school for students in grades 9-12 established in 1848 by philanthropist John Insley Blair.[74]

Transportation[edit]

Roads and highways[edit]

The Township had a total of 85.92 miles (138.27 km) of roadways, of which 61.05 miles (98.25 km) are maintained by the municipality, 17.23 miles (27.73 km) by Warren County and 7.64 miles (12.30 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[75]

Interstate 80 and Route 94 pass through the township.

Airport[edit]

Blairstown Airport (1N7) is located southwest of the central business district. It is the home of Yards Creek Soaring, which offers glider rides where you can see Blairstown from the air.[76]

Railroads[edit]

The Lackawanna Cut-Off, a high-speed, double-track railway line that stretches for 28.45 miles (45.79 km) was constructed by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad between 1908 and 1911, opening for service on December 24, 1911. It ran west from Port Morris, New Jersey to Slateford, Pennsylvania and passed through Blairstown. The DL&W RR merged with the Erie Railroad on October 17, 1960, to form the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. Due to declining revenues, passenger service over the Lackawanna Cut-Off was discontinued on January 5, 1970, and freight service ceased in 1979, just three years after the E-L was absorbed into the Consolidated Railroad Company (Conrail). The tracks remained relatively dormant until 1984, when the property was sold to a developer and rails removed. The right of way is now the property of the State of New Jersey, and plans are underway for the restoration of rail service in the future. Blairstown's poured concrete passenger and freight stations still stand, although privately owned.

The former Blairstown New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad station site, as seen in October 2011, as a parking lot for Foot Bridge Park.

Blairstown was also served by a second railroad, the Blairstown Railway. The little short line, a personal project of the local industrial magnate John Insley Blair, was constructed in 1876 from Blairstown to Delaware, NJ, where it connected with the Old Main Line of the Lackawanna RR. The Blairstown Railway was absorbed by the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad in 1882 as it built west to the coal fields of Pennsylvania. The NYS&W also operated passenger service between Blairstown and New York (via Jersey City, NJ) until 1935. A third railroad, the Lehigh & New England Railroad, operated through Blairstown via trackage rights over the NYS&W between Swartswood Junction and Hainesburg Junction until October 31, 1961, when the L&NE was abandoned. With the loss of L&NE trackage rights revenues and little local business to sustain the line, the NYS&W also abandoned its line through Blairstown shortly thereafter, and the tracks were removed in 1962. The right of way today has been preserved by the State of New Jersey as the 26-mile long Paulinskill Valley Trail.

Landmarks[edit]

Now painted a bright blue, historic Roy's Hall is a highlight of Blairstown's Main Street.
  • Blairstown Historic District
  • Historic Blairstown Theater (also known as Roy's Hall) was built in 1913 as a silent movie house. The building was restored and painted blue in 2005 and is the centerpiece of Blairstown's vintage Main Street, surrounded by charming shops, galleries and restaurants. The HBT features a regular schedule of live music and theatrical performances, classic film and community events.[77]
  • Happiness is Camping, which was called Camp Gramercy before 1980, is a campground that provides free summer camp to children with cancer and their siblings. Located in Hardwick Township.

Popular culture[edit]

Notable people[edit]

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Blairstown include:

References[edit]

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  4. ^ Municipal Clerk's Office, Blairstown Township. Accessed June 1, 2013.
  5. ^ a b 2012 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, March 2013, p. 103.
  6. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Township of Blairstown, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed March 4, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d e f DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 for Blairstown township, Warren County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 19, 2012.
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