The town of Rockland is located 20 miles south of Boston. Rockland was settled as a northeastern region of neighboring Abington in 1673. The town separated and incorporated as Rockland in 1874. It is named for the town’s rocky nature, which was better suited for mills and industry than for farming. Historically, Rockland is best known for its industrial history and was home to many shoe manufacturers. It is believed that Rockland shod approximately half the shoes for the Union Army during the Civil War. 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 but is now host to Union Point, a developing residential and commercial property. Today Rockland serves as headquarters for several major companies, but is primarily a suburb of Boston and the mills have been repurposed into venues for housing and local artists. The town has moved forward with efforts to revitalize Rockland Center. The stretch of Union Street is plentiful with mixed-use buildings that reflect the heritage of Rockland Center’s past vibrancy. A spur of the former Old Colony rail line runs through the town but the rails have been removed and is used for light recreation such as walking and biking. There are 3 elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. For transportation needs, the commuter rail to Boston is accessible through the neighboring towns of Weymouth, Abington and Whitman and highway access via Rt 3 to Boston or Cape Cod runs through the northeast corner of the town.
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