Rowley was founded in 1639 by Reverend Ezekiel Rogers and a band of twenty families from Rowley, Yorkshire England. The group sailed on the ship "John of London" transporting with them the first printing press to be used in America, the famous "Daye Press" which was later set up in Cambridge. The original land area of Rowley comprised... Show all »
Rowley was founded in 1639 by Reverend Ezekiel Rogers and a band of twenty families from Rowley, Yorkshire England. The group sailed on the ship "John of London" transporting with them the first printing press to be used in America, the famous "Daye Press" which was later set up in Cambridge. The original land area of Rowley comprised what is now Boxford, Bradford, Georgetown, Groveland, and a part of Middleton.
The town has a varied terrain, and is situated between two rivers, the Muddy Creek and the Rowley River. Part of Rowley faces Plum Island Sound with an extensive salt marsh area that eventually becomes rolling uplands. Other places in the town are heavily forested with sections cleared for working farms, numerous single-family subdivisions and a few apartments and condominium complexes.
Bradstreet Farm, owned by the Jewett family since the 1600s is the nation's second oldest working farm to be continuously owned and occupied by the same family. Rowley is home to the nations oldest stone arch bridge and the "Turning Place" which is now the Rowley Common. Here, in 1775, a battalion of Benedict Arnold's musket men camped on their way to Quebec. The Revolutionary War cannon, "Old Nancy", is one of the towns most prized possessions. Rowley soldiers captured it offshore of Gloucester from the British ship "Nancy".
In 1643, the first wool mill in the colonies was established in Rowley. The local production of wool proved a threat to England's dominance in supplying wool to the colonies and this was a contributing factor to the War of Independence. Rowley's only other major industry was the Foster Shoe Company that began operations in 1850.
Today, Rowley is shifting from its historical role as a rural farming community to that of a residential community. The town maintains its historical charm, particularly seen in the Town Common Green, numerous stately, colonial era homes lining Main Street, and several tall white steeple churches standing nearby. Rowley is conveniently located 28 miles north of Boston and is well-served by highways such as Interstate 95 and Routes 1, 1A and 133.
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Data last updated: Monday, May 25, 2015 at 2:05 PM