387 Forest Ave, Cohasset, MA 02025, USA
Owned By: Town of Cohasset
Cohasset beach, open to the public, with 150 feet of rocky coastline. Also known as Rocky Beach.
The beach is named for the Black Rocks, two small islands that lie about 0.25 mile offshore. The larger of the two rocks is home to a small, seasonally occupied cottage.
In the early 20th century, a summer resort known as the Black Rock House operated on a rocky bluff overlooking the beach. According to Oliver H. Howe’s “Two Old Time inns,” (Cohasset Cottager, 1930) Nathaniel Nichols built the original Black Rock House in 1757 as a single-family home. Later it became an inn catering to duck hunters, with such innkeepers as a Mr. Hayden, Moses Sargent, and Sarah R. Smith.
According to “Black Rock House: ‘A summer playground for the elite’ in Cohasset” by Jessica Trufant (Patriot Ledger; July 2022), the inn was expanded, and began to flourish after the 1840 establishment of a stagecoach line, which helped attract visitors from the city. By 1903, the building had grown large enough to upset the neighbors. They purchased the original structure, moved some of it to Atlantic Avenue in Hull, and demolished the rest.
Sarah Smith built a new Black Rock House just west of Forest Avenue in 1909, and operated it until her death in 1914. With 60 guest rooms, plus towers, turrets, and balconies, it was known for its elegance, and drew visitors from as far away as Europe and Asia. Families would return year after year, boarding for weeks at a time. The final owner, Albert Golden, purchased the inn in 1926. By the 1950’s, only the hotel bar attracted business. The building was demolished in 1968.
This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe.
Habitats and Wildlife
Black Rock Beach is located on the Atlantic coastline, overlooking Massachusetts Bay.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: There are 8 public parking spaces on Wadleigh Park Road, off Forest Ave. near the grassy triangle.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Massachusetts Bay (Atlantic Ocean)