Rockland, Massachusetts

Rockland, Massachusetts

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Rockland, Massachusetts
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Massachusetts
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Plymouth
established_title = Settled
established_date = 1673
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date2 = 1874
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
government_type = Open town meeting
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 26.2
area_total_sq_mi = 10.1
area_land_km2 = 26.0
area_land_sq_mi = 10.0
area_water_km2 = 0.2
area_water_sq_mi = 0.1
population_as_of = 2000
settlement_type = Town
population_total = 17670
population_density_km2 = 680.7
population_density_sq_mi = 1763.1
elevation_m = 43
elevation_ft = 140
timezone = Eastern
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = Eastern
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 42 |latm = 07 |lats = 50 |latNS = N
longd = 70 |longm = 55 |longs = 00 |longEW = W
website =
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 02370
area_code = 339 / 781
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 25-57775
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0618351
footnotes =

Rockland is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The 2000 census records its population at 17,670. As of December 31, 2007, there are 11,186 registered voters in the community. []


Rockland was settled by European settlers, led by Timothy Hatherly, 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. [ [ Rockland Historical Commission - Chronology] ] 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.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 10.1 square miles (26.2 km²), of which, 10.0 square miles (26.0 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.79%) is water. Rockland ranks 307th out of 351 communities in the Commonwealth. Rockland is bordered by Weymouth to the northwest, Hingham to the northeast, Norwell to the northeast, Hanover to the east, Hanson to the south, Whitman to the southwest, and Abington to the west. Rockland is eight miles northeast of Brockton, and twenty-two miles south of Boston.

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 just south of Rockland Center. 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.

A short stretch (2/3 of a mile long) of Massachusetts Route 3 crosses the northeast corner of town, granting access to Route 228, which terminates just south of the highway. Route 123 and Route 139 pass from west to east just south of the center of town, running coextensively for roughly 2/3 of a mile.

A spur of the Old Colony Line formerly ran through the town; that line is now abandoned. The Old colony line does, however, 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. There is no commercial air service in town; the nearest national and international air service can be reached at Logan International Airport in Boston.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 17,670 people, 6,539 households, and 4,583 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,763.1 people per square mile (680.9/km²). There were 6,649 housing units at an average density of 663.4/sq mi (256.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 90.81% White, 5.71% African American, 0.15% Native American, 1.08% Asian, 0.79% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.02% of the population.

There were 6,539 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.7% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.9% were non-families. 24.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the town the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $50,613, and the median income for a family was $60,088. Males had a median income of $41,361 versus $31,907 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,068. About 6.1% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.

Statistically, Rockland is the 103rd most populaced community in the Commonwealth, just below the state average. Rockland is the 62nd most densely populated community in the Commonwealth, and the fourth most densely populated in Plymouth County.


On the national level, Rockland is a part of Massachusetts's 10th congressional district, and has been represented since 1997 by Bill Delahunt. The state's senior (Class I) member of the United States Senate, re-elected in 2006, is Ted Kennedy. The junior (Class II) Senator, up for re-election in 2008, is John Kerry.

On the state level, Rockland is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the Fifth Plymouth district, which includes the towns of Hanover and Norwell. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Norfolk and Plymouth District, which includes Abington, Holbrook, Quincy, and part of Braintree. [ [ Index of Legislative Representation by City and Town, from] ] The town is patrolled by the First (Norwell) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police. [ [ Station D-1, SP Norwell] ]

Rockland is governed by the open town meeting form of government, and is led by an executive secretary and a board of selectmen. The town has its own police and fire department; the police department is located near the eastern junction of Routes 123 and 139 and the fire department is located along Union Street, the town's main street. The fire department also has its own ambulance service, which brings emergency cases to South Shore Hospital in Weymouth or Brockton Hospital in Brockton. The town's post office is located off of that street, around the corner from the fire station. The Rockland Memorial Library is located on Union Street, and is a member of the Old Colony Library Network (OCLN) and the Southeastern Massachusetts Library System (SEMLS).

The current Board of Selectmen is as follows:

* James Simpson 2010 [Chairman]
* Lawrence J. Chaffee 2009 [Vice-Chairman]
* Michael E. Zupkofska 2010
* Michael Johnson 2011
* Deborah O'Brien 2011


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 eight grades. Rockland High School is located around the corner from the park, and serves ninth through twelfth grade students. Rockland High's athletics teams are known as the Bulldogs, and their colors are navy blue and white. They compete in the Patriot League, and their rivals are Duxbury, Abington and Hingham.

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 ninth grade, currently expanding towards a full grade range. The Holy Family Church is a Catholic parochial school which extends to eighth grade, and is associated with the Holy Family Church of Rockland. There are also other private schools in the nearby towns.

Notable residents

*NASA astronaut Brian Duffy Rockland High School Class of 1971
* Actor Jonathan Togo from the series Rockland High School Class of 1995
* Crime novelist George V. Higgins Rockland High School Class of 1957
* Science Fiction and Fantasy author Lou Antonelli Rockland High School Class of 1975
* Professional Skateboarder PJ Ladd is originally from Rockland but now lives in Los Angeles, California
* Professional hockey player Josh Hennessy


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