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Black House Museum

  • Based on a design by Asher Benjamin, the Black House took three years to build from 1824-1827.  The estate was originally 350 acres and John Black could see all the way to the river from the front porch; watching his lumber loaded on his schooners at Black Point.

  • John, Mary and four of their eight children moved into the house on November 7, 1827.

  • Seth Tisdale, a local master carpenter, was responsible for the framing and ornamental woodwork in the house.

  • In 1929, in accordance with George Nixon Black Jr.’s will, the house became a museum open seasonally for tours and the grounds opened as a public park. The last live-in caretakers provided those tours and cared for the grounds until the late 1960s. 


  • Originally used as a work area for the servants, including a kitchen, dry storage, and wood shed. It is not known if this structure was built at the same time as the house as it is not mentioned specifically until an 1842 insurance document.

  • The second story was added to the Ell in 1910 when the first residential caretaker family moved to care for the property under the management then of George Nixon Black, Jr. who only visited in the summer. Still without plumbing or electricity and with two young children, this was preferable to being in the attic of the house museum.

  • The one-story section at the end, which is now used for storage, was the wood shed for all the firewood required to keep seven fireplaces in the house going year-round.

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