at a glance...
Area: 19 Square Miles
Distance from Boston: 32 miles
Government: Selectman, open town meeting
Public Transportation: MBTA commuter rail
Recreation: State Forest, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Nearest Hospital: Newburyport
Schools: Pine Grove Elementary, Triton Regional Junior and
Senior High (Byfield),
Whittier Vocational (Haverhill)
Churches: First Congregational, First Baptist, and St. Mary's
is situated in Essex County, 32 miles north of Boston. The
town is ideally located for easy access and travel to major
New England cities, Atlantic and inland recreation areas such
as the White Mountains of New Hampshire and beach areas of
the north shore, historic sites, and centers of business and
The Town of
Rowley was founded in 1639 by the Reverend Ezekiel Rogers
and a band of 20 families from Rowley, Yorkshire, England.
The group sailed on the ship "John of London" bringing
with them the first printing press to be used in America,
the famous "Daye Press" which was to be set up in
Cambridge. The land area of Rowley originally included what
is now Boxford, Bradford, Georgetown, Groveland and part of
Middleton. The town has a varied terrain, and is situated
between two rivers, the Muddy Creek on the north and the Rowley
River to the south. With a section of Plum Island bordering
the Atlantic, the main land mass fronts Plum Island Sound
with and extensive salt marsh area that eventually gives way
to rolling uplands. Heavily forested, there are several working
farms with numerous single-family house lots and a few apartments
and condominium complexes. Bradstreet Farm, owned by the Jewett
family since the 1600's is occupied by the same family.
Rowley is home to the nation's oldest stone arch bridge and
the "Turning Place" (now the Rowley Common) where
in 1775 a battalion of Benedict Arnold's musket men camped
enroute to Quebec. The Revolutionary War cannon, "Old
Nancy", is one of the town's most prized possessions.
The cannon was taken by Rowley soldiers from the British ship
"Nancy", which was captured off Gloucester.
In 1643, the first fulling (wool)
mill in the colonies was established in Rowley, which was
later proved to be a contributing factor to the War of Independence
as the mill was perceived as a threat to England's dominance
in supplying wool to the colonies.
Today, Rowley is in a transition
from its historical farming roots to that of a residential
community. The town maintains its historical charm, however,
and may be the quintessential New England hometown with its
350th anniversary commemorative bandstand sited on the town
common green, numerous stately, colonial era homes lining
Main Street, and several tall white steeple churches standing
more information on Ipswich.