Rockland was settled in the mid 1800’s by immigrants of mainly German, Dutch, and Irish heritage—farming families looking for a better life. When the first settlers arrived, there were a few tribes of Native Americans living here. Some of them lived in traditional tepees; others lived in caves in the ledge. The settlers found forested lands to build homes and when the land was cleared, the land produced abundant crops to feed their families.
The first homes built in Rockland were small, log homes lit by candles or kerosene lamps. As the settlers prospered, small businesses started in the area including: a saw mill, a feed mill, cheese factories and a few taverns. In fact, there were three cheese factories, Scray’s Cheese, Eiler’s Cheese and Laach’s Cheese operating in the town at one time. Scray’s Cheese is still in operation and is located on Old Martin Road. Three taverns, Carter’s, Hibbard’s and Kelly’s all operated within the town at one time as well. Hibbard’s, now known as Just Stop In, located on Highway 57, is the only tavern still operating, and serves both food and beverages.
Rockland had 5 one-room schoolhouses, Schinke School, Lincoln School, Ravine School and Pershing School until the 1960’s when they were consolidated into the surrounding De Pere or Wrightstown school districts.
Rockland held its first annual town meeting in 1856. In the early days, only annual town meeting minutes were kept. The town hall has retained some of these old minutes in the existing town hall. Throughout the years, the town has operated government business out of three different town halls. The first town hall was located on Midway Road and was heated by a wood burning stove. The town later purchased the old Lincoln School located on Old Martin Road. The Board conducted business out of this location until 1999 when the existing town hall was built on Bob-Bea-Jan Road. The land for the present town hall was donated to the Town by Ron Micke.
Rockland is a town of about 22 square miles located in west central Brown County. It is bounded by the City of De Pere and the Town of Ledgeview on the north, the Town of Glenmore on the east, the Town of Wrightstown on the south, and the picturesque Fox River on the west.
A unique feature of Rockland is the Niagara Escarpment (“the ledge”) as pictured above, which runs through our town from north to south. This natural feature along with the river boundary creates beautiful home sites. Another feature of Rockland is the Fox River Trail which provides walking and biking activities.
In recent years the population of Rockland has grown steadily due to the beautiful building sites, accessibility to jobs, schools, recreation and shopping. Currently, about 1700 people call Rockland home.