Rockaway is a historic borough nestled in the heart of Morris County, New Jersey. This charming community strikes the perfect balance between small town feel and modern conveniences.
Rockaway has roughly 6,500 residents within its 2 square mile area based on recent census statistics. The population has held steady over the past decade as the borough maintains its appeal.
Rockaway is predominantly white, but has growing Hispanic, African American and Asian populations contributing diversity. About 35% of households include children under 18 years old.
Fast Facts – Rockaway, NJ
- Median age 39.5 years
- Male-female ratio 48% male, 52% female
- Most common languages English, Spanish, Gujarati spoken
- Most common religions Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism
- Unemployment rate 4.1%
- Poverty rate 7.2%
The Lenni Lenape were the original inhabitants of the area where Rockaway stands today. European settlers arrived in the early 18th century, establishing an iron mining community. Rockaway was officially incorporated as a borough in 1894.
Rockaway grew as railroads expanded access to New York City in the late 1800s. Local industry drove further expansion until the mid 20th century when suburbanization trends took hold. Historic buildings in downtown recall its past.
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Quality of Life
Rockaway offers a high quality of life with great schools, safe streets, and a vibrant downtown district. Families flock to the area for its affordability and wealth of amenities meeting daily needs.
Outdoor recreation abounds at places like Lewis Morris Park for fishing, trails and sports. Festivals like May Day draw the community together to celebrate Rockaway’s heritage.
Residents have convenient access to excellent healthcare services in Rockaway. Primary care doctors, specialists, therapy services and more are available within the borough. Nearby hospitals including Morristown Medical Center provide advanced specialty care.
Non-profit clinics assist those unable to afford care. Favorable access contributes to population health statistics on par with state and national figures. Preventive services help maintain wellness.
Rockaway citizens praise the borough’s low crime rates thanks to attentive policing and neighborhood watches. Violent crime is very rare. Property crimes occur occasionally but remain below state and national rates.
The volunteer fire department and EMT squads provide crucial emergency response aided by mutual aid agreements with neighboring towns. Modern equipment and rigorous training ensures these vital services are reliable.
Rockaway enjoys great transportation connectivity. Most residents commute via car thanks to direct access to major highways and ample parking. Public transit includes NJ Transit train and bus routes to New York City and beyond.
County roads facilitate local travel to neighborhood amenities. Aside from some school rush hour congestion, getting around Rockaway is generally smooth sailing.
Shopping and Dining
Rockaway’s downtown offers quaint shops, cafes and restaurants that draw visitors from across the region. Antique stores hold hidden treasures while eateries range from bakeries to gastropubs. Several strip malls provide additional national chains and convenience.
Farmers markets offer fresh-picked produce, handmade goods and prepared foods. With diverse options minutes away, Rockaway fulfills all shopping and dining needs for convenient local living.
Rockaway Borough Public Schools serve students in kindergarten through eighth grade across two campuses. Both schools produce academic results exceeding state averages. High schoolers attend Morris Knolls High School, which is consistently ranked a top performing school statewide.
Several private schools also operate in town. Over 95% of residents hold a high school diploma, and around half possess a bachelor’s degree or higher. The population is considered well-educated compared to national means.
Points of Interest
- First Presbyterian Church of Rockaway: This historic landmark opened in 1837 and remains an active parish today. Its tall white spire is the borough’s most iconic architectural feature.
- Museum of Early Trades & Crafts: Exhibits here demonstrate blacksmithing, quilting, woodworking and other traditional skills from America’s past. Hands-on activities engage visitors.
- Rockaway Townsquare: This large indoor shopping mall contains over 200 stores ranging from Macy’s to an IMAX theater for entertainment.
- Rockaway River Wildlife Management Area: Nature lovers come to hike trails and spot wildlife at this pristine 145 acre reserve.
- Wallisch Homestead: Tour this late-18th century farmhouse restored into a living history museum depicting Colonial era domestic life.
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