Rowley is located in Essex County and was founded in 1639 by Reverend Ezekiel Rogers and 20 families. They sailed on the ship "John of London" bringing the first printing press to America known as the "Daye Press" which was then delivered and set up in Cambridge.
Rowley is situated between the Muddy River and the Rowley River which is heavily forested. There are several working farms but the Brad Street Farm owned by the Jewett family since the 1600's is the nation's oldest working farm to be continuously owned and occupied by the same family.
Rowley is home of America's oldest stone arch bridge and the "Turning Place" (currently known as Rowley Common). Benedict Arnold's musket men camped here on their journey to Quebec in 1775. The Revolutionary War cannon "Old Nancy" is one of the town's most prized possessions. The Rowley soldiers from the British ship "Nancy" took the cannon and were later captured off the coast of Gloucester.
The first wool mill was founded in Rowley in 1643which would later be seen as a contributing factor to the War of Independence. The mill was also portrayed as a threat to England's dominance in supplying wool to the colonies. Other major industries of Rowley were the Foster Shoe Company that began in 1850.
From its historical farming roots to present day Rowley is a peaceful residential community. The town has and will continue to preserve the historical colonial homes lining Main Street as well as several white steeple churches close by.