The black rock that gave this area its name was located in the Niagara River at the bend of the present day Niagara Street, near School Street, north of where the Peace Bridge is now situated. Comprised of Onondaga limestone, the rock ledge jutted approximately 200 feet into the river and rose about five feet above the water's surface, forming a natural breakwater that protected landing boats from the current, and eventually a location for an oar-powered ferry to Fort Erie, Ontario. The protected area created north of the Black Rock was an ideal location for Fort Tompkins, the largest American shore fortification in or near Buffalo during the War of 1812. Called Kis-tan-gol by the Senecas, three buildings stood on the Black Rock. Indicated by numbers 5, 6, and 7 on the map, they were (5) a log house, (6) Clark's Grocery and Boarding House, and (7) a store that was kept as a tavern until the Burning of Buffalo in 1813. Most of the rock was destroyed in 1825 with the construction of the Erie Canal. The importance of the Black Rock was such that the Black Rock Canal bears its name as does the original Black Rock Lock, constructed in 1833 and located where Lake Erie drains into the Niagara River. While the original Black Rock was located south of here, the Black Rock village that took its name extended to the north towards Black Rock
Canal Park. Black Rock Village was annexed by the City of Buffalo in 1853, but the Black Rock neighborhood continues to be a vital city neighborhood. Photo credits: "All images courtesy of Buffalo History Museum, used by permission." Background image: Old Black Rock Lock: circa 1870-1879. Black Rock Map. Distant view of Black Rock. Menn at Black Rock Harbor: circa 1900-1909. Black Rock Harbor: circa 1890-1899; this is south of the original "Black Rock" location.