26 Main Street
Friday the 13th Museum
27 Main Street
Blairstown, NJ 07825
Open: Sunday-Thursday Closed/ Friday & Saturday 11:00am-5:00pm
Fee: Free but a donation is suggested
My review on TripAdvisor:
The Blairstown Museum is a facility housing the history of the town of Blairstown and the surrounding area. The interesting part of this museum is that it is not run by the town but by a local couple, Janette and Frank Iurato, who moved to the area in 2013 and took an interest in the history of the town. The museum was founded in 2015 and opened in 2016. The museum is actually two different museums.
The first one is the Blairstown Historical Museum that covers the history of the town. This museum concentrates on the history of the founding of the town and the residents in it. While I was visiting, there was an interesting exhibition on the Blair Family who had married into the Charles Scribner Publishing family and a little history behind the two families. There was another exhibition on John Insley Blair, one of the residents and a self-made businessman and entrepreneur, for whom the town and the private school are named after.
The Howell and Dutot exhibition
Another exhibition was on local resident, Robert Parsons Howell, who had moved to Havana, Cuba at the turn of the last century. The exhibition was on the development of the early railroads. There was an exhibition on the early resort history of the area by the Delaware Water Gap by Hotelier Antoine Dutot, who ran the Kittatinny Hotel resort in the late 1880’s. The last exhibition was on the history and creation of Victorian furniture. The exhibition discussed how it was created and how it developed.
The museum has changing exhibitions
The second museum is across the street at 27 Main Street and that museum is dedicated to the movie “Friday the 13th” that was shot in the town in 1979. This part of the museum is dedicated to the first film and subsequent films. The couple is collecting artifacts from the films (which there were not much since it was shot on location). On display are items signed by stars of the first film, Adrienne King and Ari Lehman, picture stills from the film and what I thought was interesting were the bar stools from the luncheonette from the second scene of the film and the original ‘Diner’ sign from the Blairstown Diner before the restaurant’s renovation.
“Friday the 13th” from 1980
What is also nice is that the Iurato’s have a small gift shop with items made by local artists that the have the iconic logo with the ‘Jason Mask’. This part of the museum opened on September 13th of 2019 and the ribbon cutting was done by various members of the cast and crew of the film.
The ‘Friday the 13th’ exhibition
Both of the museum’s are still collecting artifacts so support their collections but the Iurato family has done a nice job preserving the history of the town and dedicating a whole new branch of the museum to the “Friday the 13th” franchise.
The cast of the original 1980 film “Friday the 13th”
It is interesting as well to just walk around the town and recognize where the opening scenes of the film were shot. The museum is in the second scene of the film when ‘Annie’ does her walk around the town.
If you are a fan of the film, it is a fun place to stop by when visiting Blairstown, NJ.
The History of the Blairstown Museum:
(This information was taken from the museum’s website and I give them full credit for it)
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, networking with local historians and establishing a non-profit organization, the Blairstown Museum, located at 26 Main Street, opened to rave reviews. On October 1, 2016, nearly 600 people attended the Grand Opening Celebration. Since then, the Museum has offered hundreds of exhibitions, events, programs and tours and has received local, state and federal recognition.
Supported by “Friday the 13th” Franchise Fans, on September 13, 2019, the Museum opened a second location at 27 Main Street to house a year round Friday the 13th exhibition. The Grand Opening Ceremony was attended by Ari Lehman, Tom McLoughlin, Jason Brooks, Vincent DiSanti, Dave Brown and hundreds of fans.
The Museum’s Vision Statement:
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.”
The Blairstown Museum
The Museum’s Mission Statement:
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 house 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 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.
Disclaimer: This information on the Blairstown Museum was taken from their website and I give them full credit for the information.
The Introduction of the film from 1980 “Friday the 13th”: