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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
As of 2013[update], 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).
Warren County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders whose three members are elected at-large on a staggered basis with one seat coming up for election each year. At an annual organization held in the beginning of January, the board selects one of its members to serve sa Freeholder Director and other as Deputy Director. As of 2013[update], Warren County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Jason Sarnoski (R, Lopatcong Township, 2013) Freeholder Deputy Director Edward J. Smith (R, Asbury / Franklin Township, 2015) and Freeholder Richard D. Gardner (R, Asbury / Franklin Township, 2014). 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 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). 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). 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).
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).
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. Students from Hardwick Township, a non-operating school district, also attend Blairstown Elementary School.
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).
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.
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 long Paulinskill Valley Trail.
Now painted a bright blue, historic Roy's Hall is a highlight of Blairstown's Main Street.
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.
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.
^via Associated Press. "Booker is officially a U.S. senator after being sworn in", NJ.com, October 31, 2013. Accessed October 31, 2013. "Former Newark Mayor Cory Booker was sworn in as a Democratic senator from New Jersey today, taking the oath of office, exchanging hugs with Vice President Joe Biden and acknowledging the applause of friends and family members seated in the visitor's gallery that rings the chamber.... Booker, 44, was elected to fill out the term of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died earlier this year."
^Miller, Jennifer Jean. "George Graham Chosen as Freeholder at Sussex County Republican Convention", TheAlternativePress.com, April 13, 2013. Accessed April 25, 2013. "Graham will fill the freeholder seat that New Jersey Assemblyman Parker Space left to take his new position. Space recently took the seat, which formerly belonged to Gary Chiusano, who in turn, was appointed to the spot of Sussex County Surrogate, following the retirement of Surrogate Nancy Fitzgibbons."
^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."
^Overview, Ridge and Valley Charter School. Accessed September 19, 2012. "The school opened September 8, 2004 with approximately 90 students in K-8th ages. Enrollment is open to any child in New Jersey, with preference for students from the districts of Blairstown, Frelinghuysen, Hardwick, Knowlton and North Warren Regional."
^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."
^Bischoff, Dan. "Jersey ceramics, from six different angles", 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."
^Blairstown, Past and Present, Township of Blairstown. Accessed July 13, 2007. "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."