Blairstown, New Jersey
Blairstown, New Jersey
|Township of Blairstown|
Blair Lake Spillway
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
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||April 14, 1845|
|Named for||John Insley Blair|
|• Body||Township Committee|
|• Mayor||Stephen J. Lance (R, term ends December 31, 2018)|
|• Municipal clerk||Linda Leidner|
|• 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
|Elevation||364 ft (111 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||346th of 566 in state|
7th of 22 in county
|• Density||193.6/sq mi (74.7/km2)|
|• Density rank||508th of 566 in state|
15th of 22 in county
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern (EDT))|
|GNIS feature ID||0882317|
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 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.
The area had been known as Smith's Mill and was later called Butts Bridge (variously spelled as "Butt's Bridge" and "Butts' Bridge"), named for a family that owned the eponymous crossing of the Paulins Kill.
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. The township was named for John Insley Blair.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Demographics
- 3 Government
- 4 Education
- 5 Transportation
- 6 Landmarks
- 7 Popular culture
- 8 Notable people
- 9 References
- 10 External links
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 31.704 square miles (82.112 km2), including 30.817 square miles (79.816 km2) of land and 0.887 square miles (2.297 km2) of water (2.80%). 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.
Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Blair Lake, Cedar Lake, Cooks Pond, Jacksonburg, Kalaroma, Lake Susquehanna, Mount Vernon, Paulina, Vail and Walnut Valley.
|Population sources: 1850-1920|
1850-1870 1850 1870
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.
As of 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. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.79% (226) of the population.
There were 2,124 households out 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.
In the township, the population was spread out with 23.9% 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 ages 18 and older there were 96.8 males.
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.
As of the 2000 United States Census 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.
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.
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.
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.
Blairstown has a traditional Township form of government. The five-member Township Committee is elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle. 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.
As of 2017[update], the Blairstown Township Committee consists of Mayor Stephen J Lance (R, term on committee ends December 31, 2020; term as mayor ends 2018), Deputy Mayor Giovanna "JoAnne" VanValkenburg (R, term on committee ends December 31, 2019 and as deputy mayor ends 2018), Paul Avery (R, 2018), Cynthia Dalton (R, 2018), and Debra Waldron (R, 2020).
Federal, state and county representation
Blairstown Township is located in the 5th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 24th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Blairstown Township had been in the 23rd state legislative district.
For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Fifth Congressional District is represented by Josh Gottheimer (D, Wyckoff). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), 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 Parker Space (R, Wantage Township) and Harold J. Wirths (R, Hardyston Township). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
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[update], 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). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Patricia J. Kolb (Blairstown Township), Sheriff David Gallant (Blairstown Township) and Surrogate Kevin O'Neill (Hackettstown). The County Administrator, Steve Marvin, is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operation of the county and its departments.
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. 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).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 1,654 votes (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). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 1,986 votes (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). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 2,141 votes (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).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 74.0% of the vote (1,335 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 23.7% (427 votes), and other candidates with 2.3% (42 votes), among the 1,850 ballots cast by the township's 4,338 registered voters (46 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 42.6%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 1,252 votes (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).
The Blairstown Township School District serves public school students in kindergarten through sixth grade at the Blairstown Elementary School. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's one school had an enrollment of 599 students and 48.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.40:1. Students from Hardwick Township, a non-operating school district, also attend Blairstown Elementary School.
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. As of the 2015-16 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 890 students and 80.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.0:1.
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. 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), 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).
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the township had a total of 85.92 miles (138.27 km) of roadways, of which 61.05 miles (98.25 km) were 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.
Interstate 80 (the Bergen-Passaic Expressway) passes through briefly in the southern part without any interchanges, and is accessible via Route 94 and CR 521 in neighboring Knowlton and Hope townships, respectively. Route 94 passes runs east-west through the center of the township while County Route 521 passes through in the eastern section.
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.
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 (42 km) long Paulinskill Valley Trail.
- 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.
- The Blairstown Museum is a private, non-profit corporation organized under New Jersey law managed by a Board of Directors and housed in a 19th-century building, known as the last remaining structure of "Roy's Row". The Museum is the only general history and cultural museum for the Township of Blairstown. It cares for over 2,000 items that illustrate the history of the township and its inhabitants, including former resident and namesake John Insley Blair.
- Scenes from the horror film Friday the 13th were filmed on Blairstown's Main Street, and at the Blairstown Diner on Route 94; the Boy Scout camp No-Be-Bo-Sco in adjacent Hardwick Township was the site for Camp Crystal Lake.
- The body of Princess Doe was discovered at the Cedar Ridge Cemetery in Blairstown on July 15, 1982. She became the first unidentified body entered into the FBI's NCIC computer system.
- Scenes from the horror film Plasterhead were filmed at the Blairstown Diner on Route 94.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Blairstown include:
- Cathy Bao Bean (born 1942), lives in neighboring Frelinghuysen Township, author of The Chopsticks-Fork Principle: A Memoir and Manual.
- Bennett Bean, studio potter, lives in neighboring Frelinghuysen Township.
- Anthony D'Amato, songwriter and singer.
- David T. Little, composer.
- Robert A. Belet (1914-1942), United States Marine Corps master technical sergeant who was awarded the Silver Star for his actions in the Guadalcanal Campaign.
- DeWitt Clinton Blair (1833–1915), son of John Insley Blair.
- John Insley Blair, (1802–1899), entrepreneur, railroad magnate, and Blairstown's most famous citizen. Gravel Hill was renamed Blairstown after Blair in 1839.
- John A. Haggerty (1841-1910), Wisconsin legislator and businessman, was born in Blairstown.
- Nancy Overton (1926-2009), singer best known for her work with The Chordettes.
- Lou Reed (1942–2013), musician, singer, songwriter and record producer, lived in neighboring Hardwick Township.
- Isaac Wildrick (1803–1892), represented New Jersey's 3rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1849 to 1853.
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- Novak, Stephen J. "Hardwick Township School District among 13 'nonoperating' districts eliminated Wednesday" Archived 2011-07-13 at the Wayback Machine, The Express-Times, July 2, 2009. Accessed March 15, 2011. "The Hardwick district had a board of education and a part-time board secretary. But without a school of its own, it paid tuition to send its students to Blairstown Township. They'll continue to go there next school year, when the neighboring district takes control through a state order."
- North Warren Regional High School 2013 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed July 19, 2016. "The North Warren Regional School District is home to just under 1000 students from the communities of Blairstown, Frelinghuysen, Hardwick, and Knowlton. The district stretches almost 97 square miles from the Sussex County border to the Delaware River and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area."
- Home Page, North Warren Regional School District. Accessed June 1, 2013. "North Warren Regional is a public secondary school district, serving students in grades 7-12 in the townships of Blairstown, Frelinghuysen, Hardwick, and Knowlton. The district covers 96.8 square miles bordering the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in scenic Warren County."
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- Gallucci, Jaclyn. "Identifying Princess Doe: 30 Years After She Was Slain, New Technology May ID Her and The Killer", Long Island Press, August 2, 2012. Accessed August 26, 2013. "This headless mannequin dressed in red standing erect among the headstones is an eerie sight from the busy state road that borders the Cedar Ridge Cemetery in this small township of nearly 6,000. Here, in Blairstown, everyone seems to know each other—police, business owners, neighbors—everyone except for the teenage girl found barefoot, partially clothed and beaten beyond recognition the morning of July 15, 1982."
- "Plasterhead". 2 October 2007 – via www.imdb.com.
- Staff. "News beat", Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, September 11, 2004. Accessed June 5, 2011. "Bean of Blairstown N.J. is a writer-educator and author of The Chopsticks-Fork Principle: A Memoir and Manual."
- Bischoff, Dan. "Jersey ceramics, from six different angles" Archived 2008-04-10 at the Wayback Machine, The Star-Ledger, April 9, 2008. Accessed May 5, 2008. "The headliner, as he is almost wherever he shows, is Bennett Bean, here displaying seven pit-fired and gilded ceramic compositions that exude the cool, Modernist, syncopated painted patterning for which he is so well known. Bean, of Blairstown, is no doubt the best-known artist in 'Uncommon Clay,' but his aesthetic does not dominate the show."
- La Gorce, Tammy. "Aspiring Singer Finds Mentors Behind Ivy League Walls", The New York Times, January 21, 2011. Accessed October 21, 2014. "Starting in 2009, Mr. D'Amato, then a Princeton junior, met with Professor Muldoon every few weeks to pore over drafts of Mr. D'Amato's songs, which he started writing as a high school student at Blair Academy in Blairstown. "
- Reich, Ronni. "David T. Little", The Star-Ledger, July 9, 2009. Accessed October 21, 2014. "At age 8, Little was fascinated by history. When the Colonial Musketeers drumrolled through New Jersey, he was entranced by their uniforms, replicas of those worn by the Continental Marines of the Revolutionary War. His parents had just separated, and he and his mother, Joanne, left rural Blairstown for 'parade marathons' around the state to raise their spirits, so that Little wound up seeing the Hackettstown-based fife-and-drum corps at least three times in one weekend."
- Robert A. Belet Archived 2014-07-24 at the Wayback Machine, Military Times Hall of Valor. Accessed November 13, 2013.
- Blairstown, Past and Present, Township of Blairstown, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 25, 2008. Accessed March 23, 2017. "The name of the village was officially changed to Blairstown by a vote of the citizens at a public meeting held Jan. 24, 1939. John I. Blair was only 36 years of age at the time."
- 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1901,' Biographical Sketch of J. A. Haggerty, pg. 744
- Levin, Jay. "Chordette's Nancy Overton Dead at 83", copy of article from The Record (Bergen County), April 7, 2009. Accessed November 13, 2013. "The family moved to Englewood from New York City in 1966 at the urging of a friend, Dizzy Gillespie.... Mrs. Overton moved to Blairstown in 1982, 10 years after her husband died."
- via Associated Press. "Lou Reed, iconic punk poet, dies at 71", The Express-Times, October 27, 2013. Accessed January 1, 2018. "Reed lived in Blairstown Township in Warren County from the early 1980s until sometime in the 1990s, although not much is known about his time there because he liked his privacy, according to The Express-Times archives."
- Isaac Wildrick, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed September 1, 2007.