Rockland Massachusetts, 1890
Rockland is a new and thriving town at the middle of the northern border of Plymouth County, on the Hanover Branch of the Old Colony Railroad, 19 miles from Boston. The station — Rockland — lies between the centre and Boxborough village, a little southwestward.
The post-offices are Rockland and Hatherly. The town is bounded on the north by Weymouth and Hingham; on the east by Norwell and Hanover; on the south by Hanson; on the west by Abington; while Whitman adjoins on the southwest. The assessed area is 5,719 acres. There are nearly 1,000 acres of woodland, containing oak, maple, birch and pine. The geological formation is sienite and carboniferous, with here and there a bed of blue slate, of iron ore, and of peat. The surface in the northern section is somewhat elevated, but not hilly. Beech Hill in the south, and Round Top on the south part of the east line , are the highest points. North of the first is the extensive Beech Hill Meadow, through which flows a tributary of North River, coming from a fine sheet of water lying southwest of the centre. The principal feeder of this pond is French's Stream, which, with two contiguous ponds, marks a considerable length of the western line.
Less than half the area is in farms, which number but 14; the aggregate value of their product in 1885 being $21,779. The 21 shoe factories in 1885 employed 1,136 persons, and made goods to the amount of $1,922,651. Other manufactures were machinery, tacks, paper boxes, leather, polishes and dressing, carriages, mittens and other clothing, lumber and wrought stone, food preparations, etc, The total value of goods made was $2,198,002. The First National Bank has a capital stock of $50,000; and the savings bank at the close of last year carried deposits to the amount of $574,518. The population was 4,785; of whom 1,265 were legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $2,449,481, with a tax-rate of $16 on $1,000. There were 1,208 taxed dwelling-houses.
The schools consist of the grades of primary, intermediate, grammar and high; and occupied, in 1885, 10 buildings valued at nearly $3,000. There is a public library of about 6,000 volumes. The papers of the place — the "Independent" and the "Standard "— are characteristic New England journals. The churches are one each of the Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists, Unitarians and Roman Catholics. There is also a considerable number of Spiritualists.
This town was formerly the northeast section of Abington, from which it was set off and incorporated, March 9, 1874. It was long noted as the "banner town" in the anti-slavery movement; and later has shown a marked devotion to woman suffrage and temperance.
pp. 566-567 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890