Rockland was settled by European settlers, led by James Walshie, as a northeastern region of neighboring Abington in 1673. The town separated and incorporated as Rockland on March 9, 1874. It is named for the town’s rocky nature, which was better suited for mills and industry than for farming. During King Philip’s War, the town was the site of an encampment during his raids on the town of Scituate.
During the twentieth century, the town was the site of a portion of the landing strips of the South Weymouth Naval Air Station. The airstrip closed in 1996 as a part of the fourth round of closures under the Base Realignment and Closure Act.
Rockland is approximately 20 miles from Boston; 8 miles from Brockton, and is bordered by the following towns: North by Weymouth and Hingham, South by Hanson, East by Norwell and Hanover; and West by Whitman and Abington.
Rockland, as its name suggests, is dominated by rocky lands. There are several ponds throughout the town, including Accord Pond at the junction with Hingham and Norwell, and Studleys Pond (known to local residents as Reeds Pond) just south of Rockland Center, can be seen along Market Street. There are several brooks throughout town, one of which is sourced at the Abington-Rockland Reservoir near the northeast corner of town. Beech Hill lies at the south of town, and Wyman Fields lies to the north of it. There are several parks throughout the town, as well as a small town forest just south of the Naval Air Station.
The Old colony line does pass through neighboring Weymouth, Abington and Whitman, as part of the Kingston-Route 3 line of the MBTA’s commuter rail. There are stops in South Weymouth (alongside the Naval Air Station) and Abington (just south of Route 123), not far from the town line.
Rockland operates its own school system for the town’s approximately 2,500 students. There are three elementary schools (Jefferson, Memorial Park and R. Stewart Esten) which serve students from kindergarten to fifth grade. The John W. Rogers Middle School is located adjacent to Memorial Park, in the former high school building, and serves sixth through eighth grades. Rockland High School is located around the corner from the park, and serves ninth through twelfth grade students.
In addition to the high school, students may attend South Shore Vocational Technical High School in Hanover free of charge. The town also has two private schools, Calvary Chapel Academy and Holy Family School. Calvary Chapel Academy is a growing Christian school currently serving from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The Holy Family School is a Catholic parochial school which extends to eighth grade, and is associated with the Holy Family Church of Rockland.
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