The community of Black River was first surveyed in 1874 for settlement by refugees from the American Revolutionary War. Currently, it has a year-round population of about 250 which more than doubles during the summer. Residents are a friendly mix of farming families who have been here for many generations and new arrivals. Black River is home to many food producers (maple syrup, honey, eggs, pastured pork, goat and lamb, and a wide variety of organic vegetables), various accommodation providers (bed and breakfasts, and cottage rentals), artists, artisans, antiques and crafts shops, and Black River Cheese.
Black River was a booming community that first peaked in the 1860s and 70s. It had wharves where schooners were built and where storehouses kept grain and fruit for shipment to Toronto, Kingston and Oswego, and stocked manufactured goods for local residents. Black River had a brickworks, blacksmith, sawmill, post office (the building still exists as the roadside store for Vicki’s Veggies), church (built in 1870, the Black River Wesleyan Methodist Church is now called the Black River Memorial Chapel), one-room schoolhouse (built in 1874 and still standing), and cheese factory (not Black River Cheese that was established in 1901, but an earlier one called Black River Bridge Cheese that began around 1870 and whose buildings still stand). The current Black River Bridge, built in 1967, replaced earlier bridges, including a wooden swing bridge that was constructed to allow schooners to make their way to and from Milford.
Remnants of the past include the 1870s dry stone fences along Morrison Point Road, many 19th-century farm houses, the remaining stone foundations of early barns and drive sheds, and many varieties of split rail fences.
Black River’s natural features include the 150-year-old maples along Morrison Point Road, the environmentally protected McMahon Bluff where Bald Eagles and Great Blue Herons nest, Grimmon Woods, Smith’s Bay, Prince Edward Bay, a great variety of birds, including many waterfowl and migrants, and various species of turtles.
The Rutherford-Stevens Lookout provides an ideal location from which to view the Black River community.
Events for 2019
May 18/19: Black River Spring Festival
… more events to follow.
Questions? Contact Conrad Biernacki and Brian Musselwhite, Black River Bed and Breakfast, 613 476 7346
“Black River Rising” article featured in County Magazine
A Watershed Moment for Black River
“A Closer Look at the Flourishing Black River Community” is the lead story in the summer issue of Watershed Magazine.
Watershed is free and can be picked up at locations throughout the County, including Black River Cheese. Online, you can read the article here (with fewer photos): https://watershedmagazine.com/index.php/beyond-the-garden-gate, or see the entire magazine: https://watershedmagazine.com/index.php/summer-2018-full-issue (flip to pages 26 to 29).
Black River Visitors Guide (printable version)