From a quiet street to a bustling town center, here are a few historic homes and landmarks on Rockland’s Market Street.
By John Galluzzo
Every town has its commercial centers and Rockland, like many of the surrounding towns, built its fortune in the shoe industry. The large workforces employed in the factories in the late 1800s created a need for local goods and services and it was on Market Street that those goods could be purchased. But what was there prior to the commercialization of the district? Here’s how old Market Street looked.
This grand old manse stood on the corner of Market and Arlington Streets. Note the beautiful American elms that stood right on the edge of the street and the 12-over-12-pane windows in the home’s attic, which indicates the house probably dates to the early 1800s. The spot is now occupied by a D’Angelo sub shop.
The home of Samuel Reed was once revered in town, for a few reasons. It was in this house that the community’s congregational church was created on August 27, 1813. Reed was an abolitionist, known for rescuing fellow antislavery advocate William Lloyd Garrison from an angry mob. The house was also reportedly a stop on the famed Underground Railroad. Today, a CVS pharmacy stands on this site.
Carpenter Gideon Studley started making wooden boxes at his mill in the 1840s on the banks of Studley’s Pond. When he died in 1883, his son (also named Gideon) carried on the family business. Between them, they are responsible for the naming of Gideon’s Island, which is situated within the pond that carries their surname.
There are few truly straight lines in nature; the eastern edge of Studley’s Pond is a reflection of that fact. French’s Stream wanders in from the west and pools in what is now the pond. Market Street, holds back the water now, releasing a trickle through to the east. The water was collected here to power a mill, making the pond a manmade creation.