UPCOMING EVENTS

Black Rock Harbor Light – It’s Past, Present and Future- September 12th
Black Rock Yacht Club

7:00 PM

An Official Black Rock Harborfest Event

This talk will examine the history of Black Rock Harbor Light (also known as Fayerweather Lighthouse) including a look at the evolution of its lighting system, its importance to the commercial development of Black Rock Harbor and the life and work of legendary lighthouse keeper Kate Moore. Additionally, attendees will learn of preservation efforts undertaken by the Black Rock Community Council including the installation of a solar powered lighting system and the recent restoration project which was spearheaded by the city of Bridgeport. Fascinating pictures will also be included detailing this initiative.

This talk will be presented by Bruce Williams, Local Historian and Co-Author of Bridgeport on the Sound and Phil Blagys, Chair of the Black Rock Community Council History Program

Black Rock Coastal Bike Tour – September 14th

Sorry. No more sign ups as our tour is full.

10:00 AM

An Official Black Rock Harborfest Even

Our tour will make stops at Brewster’s Cove, Black Rock Harbor, St. Mary’s by the Sea and Ash Creek and examine the many fascinating aspects of the history of this coastline, a history that has defined the development of Black Rock. Topics will include a look at Black Rock’s original settlers, its role in  the American Revolution and the War of 1812, the development of a commercial center during the 17th and 18th centuries, Fayerweather Lighthouse and legendary keeper Kate Moore, the role played by Ash Creek  in Black Rock’s history and much more. The tour will return to the Cove by noon at which point the Dundon House will be open for tours and further exploration of the history of our harbor.

Participants will assemble at Captain’s Cove at the end of the boardwalk closest to Yacht St. no later than 9:45. This tour will be limited to 25 riders based upon “first come, first served” with a sign up for participation to be made available on this page on August 1st.  Riders are strongly encouraged to wear helmets. Questions can be directed  to history@blackrockcc.org and please put Bike Tour in the subject field

The tour guide for this event will be Phil Blagys, Chair of the Black Rock Community Council History Program.

BR 375 Harborfest – September 14th  

The Port 5 Naval Veterans and the S.S. Norden Club as well as Captain’s Cove will be open to the public for an afternoon and evening of music and fun. Black Rock Yacht Club and Fayerweather Yacht Club will be open for members only, their guests and those with yacht club reciprocity.

At 3 pm, we invite kids young and old to join us in celebrating Black Rock’s historic waterfront with a neighborhood parade.  Starting at the Black Rock Community Council Building on Arthur Street, the parade route will hug the shoreline abutting Long Island Sound and Ash Creek, ending at Port 5 in time to kick off the afternoon’s Harborfest activities. This event is open to all kids, and those young at heart, that wish to decorate their bike or golf cart to reflect Black Rock’s 375-year history and celebrate the spirit of our vibrant neighborhood and community. Click here for more information.

In the late afternoon, the boat parade takes center stage as it heads from Captain’s Cove along the entire length of the harbor ending just past Black Rock Yacht Club.  A spectacular fireworks display will cap off the evening.

Schedule of Events (Check Back for Updates)

10am Black Rock Coastal Bike Tour
(see above)
3pmWaterfront Street Parade
6pm Boat Parade (begins at Captain’s Cove and proceeds to the mouth of the harbor)
7:30pmFireworks display over the harbor

Captain’s Cove

4pm-8pm Moto – a Southern California Reggae Band
9pm-1am Petty Crowes- a Tom Petty/Black Crowes Tribute Band

Port 5 naval veterans

1-6pm Food & Drink Specials
1-3pm Port 5 Museum Tours
4pm Five Below Zero Blues Band

Norden Club

NoonClub Opens
4pmBurgers and Dogs for Sale
6:30pmFive Knives Band

Lighthouse Presentation- September 25th
Fairfield Museum and History Center

12:30 PM

New England Lighthouse Historian and Author Jeremy D’Entremont

This event is being co-sponsored by BR 375 and the Fairfield Museum and History Center and is being held as part of the museum’s lunchtime “History Bites” program.

Jeremy D’Entremont is the historian and president of the American Lighthouse Foundation, the founder and chairman of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is also the host of the podcast “Light Hearted” for the U.S. Lighthouse Society and has appeared on numerous national TV and radio programs discussing lighthouse history. His presentations always highlight the rich human history of lighthouses, focusing on the fascinating lives of lighthouse keepers and their families. 

Jeremy’s talk will feature highlights from the history of these lighthouses in the Bridgeport area: Black Rock Harbor (Fayerweather Island) Light, Penfield Reef Light, Tongue Point Light, and the now lost Bridgeport Harbor Light. All of these light stations have interesting personalities attached to them, and Jeremy will tell their stories with the help of old and new photos from various archives and his personal collection. 

BR 375 Dinner Dance – September 28th
Captain’s Cove Restaurant

7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

The Black Rock community will come together for a fun-filled evening of food, drink and dancing to celebrate this historic milestone.

Click here for details and to purchase tickets https://blackrock375.org/br-375-dinner-dance-at-captains-cove-restaurant/

History of Ash Creek Presentation – October 16, 2019
Fayerweather Yacht Club

6:30 – 7:00 pm    Wine/cheese and crackers Reception
7:00 – 8:30 pm    Presentation

Sponsored by the Ash Creek Conservation Association

This presentation will provide an overview of key events in the history of Ash Creek over the past 375 years.  Learn about the industry along its banks, including Henry Jackson’s Tidewater Mill at the mouth of the Ash Creek tidal estuary in 1650, then known as Uncoway River, Peter Penfield’s mill a century later, as well as the impact of large manufacturing concerns in the 20th century.

Discover changing views of Ash Creek’s value and usefulness over time by residents from plans to dam the mouth to create an inland lake in the 1950’s “A Rich Man’s Paradise” to citizen movements to restore and protect the estuary starting in 1967.  Aerial photographs and maps from historical research will show the changes over time from hurricanes, filling in of wetlands, shifts in town boundaries, roads, bridges, dredging, and much more.  The history behind one of Black Rock’s treasures may surprise you.


PAST EVENTS

History of Ash Creek Presentation – April 9th
Fayerweather Yacht Club

6:30 PM – 7:00 pm    Wine/cheese and crackers Reception
7:00 PM – 8:30 pm    Presentation

Sponsored by the Ash Creek Conservation Association

This presentation will provide an overview of key events in the history of Ash Creek over the past 375 years.  Learn about the industry along its banks, including Henry Jackson’s Tidewater Mill at the mouth of the Ash Creek tidal estuary in 1650, then known as Uncoway River, Peter Penfield’s mill a century later, as well as the impact of large manufacturing concerns in the 20th century.

Discover changing views of Ash Creek’s value and usefulness over time by residents from plans to dam the mouth to create an inland lake in the 1950’s “A Rich Man’s Paradise” to citizen movements to restore and protect the estuary starting in 1967.  Aerial photographs and maps from historical research will show the changes over time from hurricanes, filling in of wetlands, shifts in town boundaries, roads, bridges, dredging, and much more.  The history behind one of Black Rock’s treasures may surprise you.

Black Rock Exhibit Opening – May 23rd
Fairfield Museum and History Center

This three-month exhibit will focus on Black Rock’s history, first as a colonial farming and trading community, and then as a center of commerce, with shipbuilding and provisioning both major industries. Here’s your chance to learn about some legendary Black Rock figures, such as Caleb Brewster, Goody Knapp and Kate Moore. The exhibit runs through August 4th.

Click here for more information on the Exhibit from the Fairfield Museum.

Spring Essay Contest for Middle School Students

Students from Black Rock School, Saint Ann Academy and Geraldine Claytor Magnet Academy will have the chance to compete in an essay contest. Winners will receive a cash prize and be invited to participate in the Black Rock Day Parade.

Tavern Night – June 6th
Walrus and Carpenter

7:00 pm

Join your neighbors at one of several tavern nights to be held at area hot spots along Fairfield Avenue. Aspetuck Brew Lab has crafted a special ‘Black Rock 375’ ale to be available during these events to help us celebrate!

Black Rock Art Celebration and Reception – June 7th
Harborview Market

8:00 PM

Sponsored by the Black Rock Art Guild and Harborview Market

A month-long celebration of artwork depicting life in Black Rock will kick off with this special reception at Harborview Market. Light refreshments will be served.

BRAG artwork will continue to be on display on the Gallery Wall at Harborview Market through June.  Hours for viewing are M-F 6:00-5:00, Sat 6:00-4:00 and Sun 6:00-2:00.

Adding to our BR 375 year activities, BRAG artists will also be displaying some creative works at the Burroughs Community Center at 2470 Fairfield Ave.  Hours for viewing this exhibit are M-F  8:00-6:00. Call the Center at 203-334-0293 for additional viewing availability.

Black Rock Day – June 9th

A special 375th anniversary edition of the famed Black Rock Day Parade, complete with marching bands and visits from some historical Black Rock figures. And don’t miss your chance to participate in the 5K road race or the bed race—both cherished Black Rock Day traditions!

Black Rock in the American Revolution – June 19th Fairfield Museum and History Center

12:30 PM

This presentation will explore the pivotal role played by Black Rock in the American Revolution. Local hero Caleb Brewster was a major player in the Culper Spy Ring, which provided General Washington with critically important information.  Samuel Smedley, whose heroic actions helped advance the patriot cause, was one of the privateers sailing out of Black Rock Harbor. Learn about whaleboat warfare, the kidnapping of Fairfield’s General Gold Selleck Silliman and the courageous actions of those defending the fort at Black Rock as they responded to the British attack in 1779.

Presented by local historian and author Bruce Williams and Phil Blagys, Chair of the Black Rock Community Council History Program.

Black Rock Weekend, Unveiling of the Lambdin Mural – June 21st-23rd
Fairfield Museum and History Center

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Restoration of the Lambdin Mural

This historic mural, depicting the bustling Black Rock harbor as it appeared about 1825, was painted by Robert Lambdin in 1948 and hung in the Black Rock Bank & Trust building. Thanks to some generous donors, including Bank of America, it is currently being restored and will be unveiled at the Fairfield Museum and History Center on Friday, June 21st. The unveiling will kick off Black Rock Weekend at the museum, a family-focused weekend of fun.

Black Rock Day at the Fairfield Museum and History Center– June 22nd

Schedule

10 am-4 pm – Museum and Black Rock 375 Exhibit Open to All Black Rock Residents

Noon – Light Fare / BR 375 Ale, Soda / Music by WPKN / Kids Activities

1:00 pm – Winner of Essay Contest from Black Rock’s Three Schools Read their works

2:00 pm-3:00 pm – Presentation on Kate Moore by Anna Crowley Redding

Join award-winning journalist and author Anna Crowley Redding as we delve into the life of Kate Moore, our lighthouse hero. Using old maps, articles, and other key pieces of research, we’ll take a look at Kate’s life story and uncover new information about her amazing mission to save lives and keep the light burning. We’ll talk about what can be learned from Kate’s extraordinary efforts and how can those lessons help us navigate today’s troubled waters. Plus, Anna will give us a sneak peek into the children’s book she’s written about Kate.

BRAG Poets and Performing Artists- June 22nd
Black Rock Library

2:30 pm-5:00 pm

The Black Rock Art Guild will be reading at the Black Rock Library from 2:30-5:00. There will be a light repast available.

Walking Tour and Garden Party- July 6th
Black Rock Historic District and the Black Rock Library Garden

2:00 PM – 5:30 PM

This event is limited to the first 30 people who register! Click here to sign up.

A walking tour of historic Black Rock will be held on Saturday, July 6th beginning at 2:00 PM. Participants will meet at Ellsworth Field (corner of Brewster and Ellsworth) at 1:45 and the tour will begin promptly at 2:00.

Participants will learn of the importance of the harbor to Black Rock’s development beginning with the arrival of Puritans from  Concord and detailing the growth of a 17th and 18th century seaport village. Important figures from Black Rock’s long history will be presented as well as the places where they lived.

The tour will last approximately two hours including about 1.5 miles of walking and will end at the Black Rock Library Garden where light refreshments will be served.

The walking tour guide will be Phil Blagys, Chair of the BRCC History Program, and this event is being co-sponsored with the Black Rock Garden Club.

Goody Knapp Memorial – August 17th
Burroughs Community Center

11:00 AM

Goodwife Knapp was a local woman who was accused of practicing witchcraft, brought to trial, and executed in 1653. We will honor her memory with the dedication of a memorial plaque at the approximate site of her hanging.

A reception will immediately follow.

Porchfest – August 24th

Join your neighbors for the ultimate, family-friendly party-in-the-streets! The fourth annual Porchfest will bring together people with porches, people with bands, and people who just love to listen to great music. Dancing in the streets definitely encouraged!

The Black Rock (Congregational) Church – August 29th
Burroughs Community Center

7:00 PM

Join us for a fascinating look at the history of the Black Rock Congregational Church (now the Black Rock Church in Fairfield) that was part of our community from 1849 to 1968. Located on the corner of Ellsworth and Bartram, the church played a pivotal role in the development of Black Rock. Presenters include Stan Allaby, the last pastor to serve in Black Rock and current church congregants who were members of the church during the Black Rock years. This is a “must see” event especially for those who were involved in the church during this time!

The Charles Cooper Story – September 10th
Fayerweather Yacht Club

7:00 PM

An Official Black Rock Harborfest Event
Charles Cooper

Local resident Dean Van Nest, MBA will detail the story of Black Rock’s Charles Cooper. Built in the Hall Shipyards in 1856 and launched in Black Rock Harbor, the Cooper was a fine example of one of America’s wooden merchant sailing vessels. The Cooper was designed as a “packet ship” which were among the first vessels that ran on a set schedule carrying both cargo and passengers.

Unfortunately, in 1866, the Cooper met its fate rounding Cape Horn which were notoriously treacherous waters for these sailing ships. She was able to find her way to Stanley Harbor in the Falkland Islands which was to be her final resting place.

Our presenter recently visited the remains of the Cooper on the Falkland Islands and will present stunning pictures of this visit along with this amazing Black Rock story.  This is certain to be a great kick-off event for our Black Rock Harborfest Week.