When the Iurato family moved to Blairstown in 2013, they were surprised to find that the township did not have a museum honoring its founders. New residents did not have a central place where they could learn about the people and businesses that shaped the town’s past, how to be good stewards of Blairstown’s Historic District, and the rural beauty left in their care.
Originally, the family’s intention for the property at 26 Main Street was to rent the first floor space to a business that would complement the Historic District ‘s businesses, add to the tourism appeal, and increase the overall foot traffic of the area. They were overwhelmed by the amount of people that enthusiastically suggested they establish a museum.
Following eighteen-months of renovations, artifact collecting, historic research, and networking with local historians, the Blairstown Museum opened to rave reviews. Nearly 600-people attended the Grand Opening on October 1, 2016. Today, people from all over the region incorporate the museum into their Northwest New Jersey travels.
A Word From Our Curator
As the Blairstown Museum’s Curator, I can honestly say the Blairstown Museum is so much more than just a space filled with display cabinets. Within our small footprint history comes alive in the eyes of children who see artifacts from a bygone era; neighbors meet to share their stories and rekindle their connections; newcomers and visitors learn about our history and those before us; local artists and businesses incorporate their items and crafts into our souvenir shop; Friday the 13th fans are respected; and love abounds through our many community-driven programs and events.
Blairstown’s history finally has a home… where everyone is welcome.
Historian and Museum Curator
Mission & Overview
The Blairstown Museum’s mission is to acquire and collect; research and document; protect and preserve; and exhibit and promote the unique history and heritage of the Township of Blairstown for the benefit of residents and visitors. Founded by the Iurato family and managed by a group of dedicated individuals, the Museum is housed in a 19th century building, known as the last remaining structure of “Roy’s Row”.
As the only independent public museum in the Township of Blairstown, the Blairstown Museum is an IRS Certified 501(c)(3), all-volunteer, non-profit charitable organization tasked with the responsibility of caring for thousands of items which illustrate the history of the township and its inhabitants, including former resident and founder John Insley Blair. In an effort to help foster heritage tourism throughout the region, our collections are used to interpret the area’s history through permanent and changing exhibits and to educate the public about our history through programs, resource materials, and events.
Blairstown Museum staff members are charged with providing professional care to the collection, employing standards established by the American Alliance of Museums for the storage, care and exhibit of artifacts in its custody. Historic exhibits are on display on a rotating basis throughout the year. We are committed to expanding the digital display of our collection, in a manner that makes it available as a teaching tool for students, teachers, and historians.
In fulfillment of our mission, we have adopted the following Vision Statement: “The Blairstown Museum will be a vibrant social, cultural and economic centerpiece of the town and will be regarded as an entertaining and worthwhile tourist destination. The Museum will be a resource for residents, visitors, historians, and educators. The Museum will preserve and catalog important objects and documents and will use those items to provide educational and cultural programs for the public.”
We are guided by a set of values, known as our “Core of Eight”:
- Always maintain an ethical compass in the heart of corporate culture at the museum.
- Create and maintain a professional museum that is free and accessible to the public.
- Provide access to our collections, exhibits, and oral histories through innovative outreach, distance learning, new media, and creative museum experiences.
- Interact and educate residents and businesses to expand their understanding of the greater Blairstown area.
- Inspire visitors, young and old, to explore and embrace the lessons of our local history.
- Become a place for people to understand and feel Blairstown’s strengths and values.
- Foster critical thinking, visual literacy, dialogue, and empathy to enrich the human experience and to strengthen citizenship.
- Serve as a catalyst for cultural tourism to strengthen the economic and community development of Blairstown, Warren County and the State of New Jersey.