Rockland is an industrial and residential community in Plymouth County on the South Shore. Though manufacturing played a large part in the town's development through most of its history, the Rockland of today still retains a significant amount of undeveloped woodland, giving the community a rural quality in certain sections. Pockets of... Show all »
Rockland is an industrial and residential community in Plymouth County on the South Shore. Though manufacturing played a large part in the town's development through most of its history, the Rockland of today still retains a significant amount of undeveloped woodland, giving the community a rural quality in certain sections. Pockets of the town are decidedly suburban with attractive homes set apart in subdivisions of tree-lined cul-de-sac streets.
In 1645, Timothy Hatherly set off from Plymouth Colony to settle the area which would become Rockland. The first settlers were enticed by the rich forests of pine and oak and the first mill was opened by the Thaxter family in 1703. King Philips War temporarily halted further development of the town and afterward, in the 1730's, Rockland thrived as an agricultural community augmented by the timber industry that supplied oak to colonial shipbuilding operations in other communities.
Later, in the 1800's, Rockland became a center for shoe production and by 1832 there were six factories Rockland. Soon production in Rockland surpassed all other shoe manufacturing in the county combined. Rockland businesses made a fortune supplying the Union army with boots. The extension of trolley and train lines after the Civil War, linked Rockland with the surrounding towns of Abington, Hanover and Brockton.
Now a major center of local economy, Rockland incorporated as a town in 1874. Shoe production suffered during the 1930's in Rockland and all over the region, but growth returned with commercial and residential development spurred by the construction of Route 123 through town.
Today, this well established community just 20 miles southeast of Boston is an attractive bedroom community with its own healthy supply of commercial activity. 16,000 residents live spread out over 10 square miles of town and can take advantage of a well-regarded school district and other municipal services. There are three public elementary schools, a middle school and a high school that serve the students of Rockland.
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