Black Rock was an important Connecticut harbor from the early 1700s through the Civil War. Endowed with a good, deep harbor, Black Rock grew with the West Indies and coasting trades in the mid-1700s. Durng the Revolutionary War, colonists made "whale boat" raids from Black Rock Harbor, sneaking across the Long Island Sound at night to spy on or make trouble for, the British.
By the War of 1812, the West Indies trade had declined but by then, Black Rock boasted several chandleries and a substantial shipyard and continued to be important to the coasting trade. After the end of the Civil War, however, Bridgeport dredged its harbor to allow its new manufacturing businesses access to the coastal trade and the railroad began to offer fast, inexpensive overland transportation. As the 19th century drew to a close, Black Rock was no longer a primary harbor and harbors themselves had lost commercial importance in the face of the growing popularity and efficiency of the railroads.
Although the coasting schooner in Black Rock is near the end of its working life and coasting trade is nearing its end, the fact remains that for more than two centuries, coasting was an important way of exchanging a wide variety of products as well as news, for our young, sprawling contintent. Today, Black Rock still shows signs of its history: the Osborn House, built in 1801, remains and a custom house built in 1772 forms part of the present Fayerweather Yacht Club. Black Rock has changed with the years but is still very much alive. - CB
Christopher Blossom - Black Rock
Product Code: BLOBL1
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