About Founders' Day

Agreeable to notice, publicly given, the citizens of Blairstown and vicinity convened in the Presbyterian church, in Blairstown, this day, for the purpose of selecting a site for an Academy, and appointing a committee whose business it shall be to superintend its erection. The meeting was called to order by John I. Blair, Esq., and organized by appointing John Messler, Chairman, and Isaiah W. Condict, Secretary. The hilltop west of the Methodist Church and south of the burying ground in Blairstown was selected for the site of the building, and was offered gratuitously for the purpose by the possessor John I. Blair, Esq.

from Blair Academy, A Sesquicentennial History by Arthur T. Hamlin




In 1848, wealthy merchant and railroad tycoon John Insley Blair proposed the founding of a small school to the Presbyterian Church and the town fathers of Blairstown. Mr. Blair, The Reverend John A. Reiley, minister of the First Presbyterian Church, and Mr. John Bunnell, a local carriage maker, met on April 6, 1848, and agreed on the site for the school. Mr. Blair gave a small building (known to us now as the Old Academy) to be called Blair Presbyterial Academy. The universal public education act was 10 years away, so Blair Academy assumed the task of educating the sons and daughters of local farmers and merchants, soon reaching beyond the surrounding community.

Today, Blair Academy is a dynamic, coeducational boarding school in northwest New Jersey  where 460 students pursue a superior college preparatory education amid a caring, vibrant community. The modern Blair experience centers on strong faculty-student relationships that lead to exceptional learning and empower students to become  persons of great accomplishment and character.