It is hard to image now, but the quaint rural community of Blairstown, NJ, was once a bustling hub of railroad travel. Initiated by John I. Blair, one of the wealthiest people in the US at the time, the Blairstown Railroad opened in 1877. The single-track line ran only a short distance, approximately 12 miles to the town of Delaware, NJ, where it connected to the Lackawanna Railroad. Although the line was short, it proved rather vital for connection to Pennsylvania via a crossing over the Delaware River. Speculation remains that the shrewd Blair wanted to beat the competition of other wealthy tycoons such as Vanderbuilt and Thomson, by building his track in the area first and connecting it to the larger, established lines east and west. Employing a similar strategy elsewhere, John Blair would, at one time, own more railroad mileage than any other American.
To commemorate the town’s link to its railroad past, an old red caboose houses the Blairstown Historical Preservation Committee and Museum, displaying many objects related to the glory days of train travel.