Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Hardwick Day Attracted Hundreds to the Vass Farmstead Despite Cool Weather on October 8

The historic Vass Farmstead, on Stillwater Road at White Lake. Photo by Joe Phalon, 10/2023.

The historic Vass Farmstead, on Stillwater Road at White Lake, was open for tours of the house and barn as well as the surrounding outdoor area on Hardwick Day, October 8.

The house was built in 1812 and remained in the Vass family until 1922. The house and property changed hands several times, eventually falling into disrepair and vandalism.

In 1997, the Ridge and Valley Conservancy, Warren County Board of Commissioners, and several foundations got together to purchase the property, and in 1999 the Vass Farmstead was entered into the National Register of Historic Places and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.

In addition to the tours, visitors on Hardwick Day were offered presentations by local wildlife groups of reptiles and birds of prey native to the area. Fire departments from Blairstown and Stillwater offered programs, as did the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

A birds of prey demonstration at Hardwick Day. Photo by Joe Phalon, 10/2023.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.