In 1996, Desmond goes to find Charles Widmore. Charles is at an auction. The auctioneer says, "The Black Rock set sail from Portsmith, England March 22, 1845 on a trading mission when she was tragically lost at sea. The only known artifact of this journey is the journal of the ship's first mate, discovered among the artifacts of pirates seven years later. The contents of this journal have never been made public nor are known to anyone outside the family of the seller, Tovard Hanso. We open the bidding on lot 2342 at 150,000 pounds." Charles continues to bid until he wins the journal for 380,000 pounds (Ep: 4x5, The Constant).
We later learn that the Black Rock was carrying slaves, including Richard Alpert, from the Canary Islands in 1867 when it crashed on the island. Magnus Hanso, the captain, was killed during the crash and the officers and slaves not killed during the crash were then killed by the smoke monster, except for Richard Alpert (Ep: 6x9, Ab Aeterno).
The Losties often go to the Black Rock to get dynamite until Hurley blows it up (Ep: 6x12, Everybody Loves Hugo) to keep Richard from blowing up the Ajira plane.