Year 2019 | Volume 01 of 04
The Homestead
The Blairstown Museum's Quarterly Newsletter
In the hallway of our new office space is a lovely, distressed, gold-tone frame that holds a photo of "Jack from 1908". The boy, seen here wearing a cap and holding a sack, is standing in front of The Sweet House, located at 8 Carhart Street. Behind him are horses with carriages tied to posts that once lined the sidewalk. The background shows the Old Mill, which still stands. It is a delightful photo and we hope you will enjoy viewing it when you visit our new office - more information on that can be found below.
A New Year Brings New Announcements
Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019!

Dear Friend:

Happy New Year and thank you for your incredible support in 2018!

As we enter our third year, the Blairstown Museum continues to be proud of our commitment to be an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We value the trust you have in us and remain responsible for how your monetary donations are spent. As a result, we are entering 2019 with several exciting announcements.

The Belle, our fourteen passenger trolley, costs us $1,935.00 every month. This monthly payment does not include insurance coverage, fuel and maintenance, or driver costs. Thanks to Souvenir Shop purchases, memberships, and in-person donations, we have successfully paid our first year and are entering 2019 with only four-years remaining on our five-year loan!

The Sweet House, a lovely historic property located at 8 Carhart Street in Blairstown, was originally constructed in the 1800s to serve as a parsonage for the Methodist Episcopal Church. The church once stood on present day Old Academy Drive overlooking Main Street. Today, The Sweet House is privately owned by Panberry Properties, and acts as a split residential and commercial dwelling. Panberry Properties, which in the interest of full disclosure is owned by my husband and I, graciously provides the museum with office space at no charge. That means all of your donation dollars go directly to acquiring, preserving, showcasing, and celebrating Blairstown's history. The funds used for the establishment of our new Museum Artifact & Preservation Site (MAPS) were allocated from our 2017 #GivingTuesday  fundraiser.

The Carriage House, another lovely historic property located at 27 Main Street in Blairstown, was originally constructed in the 1800s to serve as John Bunnell's carriage house. Mr. Bunnell, one of three Blair Academy founders, used this property to construct and store carriage wheels. Today, The Carriage House is privately managed by Panberry Properties, and they are providing the first floor commercial space to the museum at no charge. This new space will house our extensive Friday the 13th exhibit and expanded Souvenir Shop, this will enable our original museum space to focus on other Blairstown history. The funds used for the establishment of this new exhibition space will be allocated from our 2018 #GivingTuesday fundraiser , which raised nearly $5,000 in contributions. A tentative opening date has been scheduled for May 1, 2019.

Over the past two years, we have welcomed tens of thousands of visitors - some of them traveled from as far away as Germany, Russia and even Australia just to visit us. It has been an amazing experience, and we owe it all to you, our faithful and loyal supporters. We thank you greatly.

With wishes for happiness, health, and prosperity in the new year,
Jeanette Iurato
President, Board of Trustees
The Blairstown Museum
Special 2019 Membership Offer
John I Blair Commemorative Medal
On Saturday, June 9, 2018 the Blairstown Museum held an unveiling ceremony for our John Insley Blair / Blair Academy 170th Anniversary Commemorative Medal.

The medals were produced by Daniel Carr and the Moonlight Mint. Daniel is a highly sought after artist and has designed several State quarters for the U.S. Government. The obverse of the medal depicts a timeline of Blairstown's railroad history, while the reverse celebrates Blair Academy, an institution that Mr. Blair helped to establish.


$49.95 Membership
($30.00 tax deductible donation)
Receive one FREE Brass or Copper medal, of your choosing.

$99.95 Membership
($50.00 tax deductible donation)
Receive one FREE .999 fine Silver, edge-marked medal.

$199.95 Membership
($110.00 tax deductible donation)
Receive one FREE Trio Set, comprised of one Brass, Copper and Silver medal.
In this photo, John Dean carefully assembles the specialized medals in their acrylic displays.
On June 4th the museum gifted a specialized set of medals to the Township of Blairstown.
On June 7th the museum gifted a specialized set of medals to Blair Academy.
Coffee and History Make The Perfect Blend
Coffee with The Curator
Throughout 2019, the public will have the opportunity to join our Curator for coffee and discussion relating to the Blairstown Museum's latest exhibitions, as well as share their memories of growing up in and visiting the greater Blairstown area. Tea will also be available, upon request. 

These gatherings are free and open to the public. Complimentary snacks and refreshments will also be provided by area establishments.


Spring 2019 Re-Opening Date
A Brief Winter's Nap
We are letting our small, historic space breath for a little while. On December 23, 2018, the Blairstown Museum closed for the Winter Season. We will re-open on April 5, 2019. 

During this time, volunteers will continue to preserve artifacts and plan events. They will also be available by appointment, depending on weather and events. To discuss donations, research, or other matters, please email us directly at blairstownmuseum@gmail.com .

You may also stay connected from the warmth and comfort of your home by following us on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter .
Hometown Curator Named Hometown Hero
Hometown Hero Awards Ceremony
Blairstown Museum Curator Jeanette Iurato was the only Warren County resident in attendance to be named a Hometown Hero by Congressman Josh Gottheimer. The Congressman hosted his third Hometown Hero Awards on Friday, December 14, 2018 at the Trustees Pavilion at Ramapo College. The event honored North Jersey residents who have made outstanding contributions to their communities.

Jeanette was honored for turning the Blairstown Museum into the centerpiece of the Historic District and a tourist destination, which welcomes thousands of visitors annually, many of them visiting from around the globe. The museum is not only a testament to Blairstown’s rich history, but to Jeanette’s tireless work to preserve what makes this region of New Jersey so special. Jeanette is especially supportive of residents and businesses throughout the township and was particularly helpful to those affected by the fires in Blairstown earlier this year. 

She is considered the most qualified, passionate, and staunch advocate for Blairstown’s Historic District since John Insley Blair walked Main Street himself. Mr. Gottheimer also helped cut through the red tape with the IRS, enabling the museum to receive its 501(C)(3) non-profit designation. He followed up the good news with a visit to the museum and even purchased a Friday the 13th pillow, which adorns a couch in his Washington D.C. congressional office — the landmark 1980 horror movie was filmed in Blairstown.

Congratulations and thank you Jeanette for all of your efforts to preserve, honor, and celebrate the unique history and heritage of the Township of Blairstown for the benefit of residents and visitors.
A Tribute To Actor & Stuntman Steve Dash
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of actor and stuntman  Steve Dash . As the first adult Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th franchise, Steve often referred to himself as "the real Jason". Anyone who spent more than one minute with him knew the pride he had in portraying that role.

We'll never forget the first time we spoke with Steve. We contacted him about appearing at the Blairstown Museum and within one hour he called us. Caught off guard, our Curator asked, "who is this" and he replied "what do you mean who is this, it's Steve Dash, the real *expletive* Jason". She withheld her laughter, because it was clear that he was serious. Slow to engage the convention circuit, Steve eventually embraced his role and impact on the franchise. He took his meet and greets very seriously. 

At the museum, we would often refer to Steve as the "diva of the Jasons", but the reality was that he was a tough, no-nonsense guy who negotiated his own contracts, worked on his own terms and loved the adulation that came with being the first real Jason. His appearance at the Blairstown Museum in July 2018 will forever be memorable.

During the contract negotiations, we voiced concern that the $150 ticket price was steep, and he said "just tell them this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I could be dead next year, you know". He laughed. We laughed. It seemed like such an unreal occurrence, and yet here we all are mourning the man who was part of the Golden Age of slasher films. As the first adult Jason Voorhees, Steve Dash helped usher in a new acceptable form of psychological horror; and neither the franchise nor the genre will ever be the same because of his contributions. 

Our negotiations led to one of the most memorable events in the franchise's history. A small, intimate group of fans enjoyed " Dine and Dash "; a dinner and movie event hosted by the Blairstown Museum. At Steve's request, it was billed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. At the time, we didn't have any idea just how true those words would be. For attendees, it was an evening that they will never, ever forget.

During the Q&A session, we asked Steve, "knowing what you know now about the franchise, if you could go back in time, would you change anything about your portrayal of the first adult Jason Voorhees?" and without hesitation he answered, "not a goddamn thing".

For all of his brashness and New York City goombah flare, he possessed a real appreciation for franchise fans. In turn they loved him for being direct, outspoken, and real. So, that is how we will remember him, because he was real.. he was the real Jason and we 'll forever be grateful that he decided to visit our little museum and entertain our concept of Dine and Dash. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity .

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Daskawisz family and Friday the 13th franchise fans around the world.

Slash in peace, Steve. You will be missed. 

An Amazing Year In Review
In 2018, the Blairstown Museum reached its goal of developing, co-sponsoring and/or participating in over 100 exhibits, events, programs and workshops. Here is a brief look at some of our major highlights.
Love Thy Neighbor
These quarterly events encouraged the public to donate canned goods, clothing, and personal care products. The items were then personally gifted to local food pantry recipients.
Community Workshops
The museum partnered with local artists to provide the public with several dozen, well-priced workshops. Some of the workshops acted as fundraisers for other local non-profit groups.
Pop-Up Shops
Several dozen Independent Sales Representatives held various pop-up shops at the museum. They generously donated a percentage of their sales for the day to our organization.
Helen Hall Day
Our annual Helen Hall Day was a big hit. We partnered with A & J Messina Greenhouses to gift over 100 residents in the Historic District with their own spring plant, in honor of Historian Helen Hall.
BES Third Grade Presentation
On June 4th, we presented the entire third grade class of Blairstown Elementary School with an educational exhibit showcasing the typical 19th Century life of a child in Blairstown.
Fundraisers for Fire Victims
The year 2018 tragically included several fires throughout town. The museum coordinated concerts and collections to provide the families with funding and much needed items.
Friday the 13th - Not Once, But Three Times
We hosted three Friday the 13th exhibitions, which included three actors from the franchise. The beloved events yielded over 5,000 visitors and several thousand dollars in donations.
Historic Blairstown Day
On August 4th, we held our second annual Historic Blairstown Day. It was a beautifully nostalgic day complete with street vendors, an antique car show and live entertainment.
Belvidere Victorian Days
After being cancelled last year, Blairstown Museum board members sprung into action to help our friends in Belvidere relaunch their historic annual Victorian Days event. It was a huge hit!
Congressional Visitor
On October 11th, Congressman Josh Gottheimer visited the Blairstown Museum to congratulate us on our preservation efforts. He also purchased a Friday the 13th pillow for the couch in his office.
Dog Walk Of The Dead
On October 20th, the museum participated in the annual Dog Walk of the Dead. This beloved Halloween event raised several thousand dollars for OSCAR, an animal charity.
Wreaths Across The Hill
On December 8th, Troop 94549 assisted us with the laying of pine cone roses and wreaths at the old Blairstown (Gravel Hill) Cemetery that overlooks historic Main Street.
Preservation Partners
Preservation Partners
Across the country, local businesses and cultural institutions unite to create a dynamic, thriving community where residents can live, work, play, and learn in their own backyards. We believe that history and the arts are pillars of a vibrant community. Therefore, we strive to offer both residents and visitors unparalleled access to these cultural treasures. The support of our Preservation Partners is paramount to our efforts.

We strongly encourage you to support our Preservation Partners , as they have been very generous in their support of our organization.

Blairstown Museum
26 Main Street - PO Box 109 - Blairstown NJ 07825
Tel: 908-362-1371 Web: www.blairstownmuseum.com