John Pritiskutch Reproductions

History of Berks County - Rockland Township

The following is reproduced from the 1876 Atlas of Berks County, Pennsylvania

Rockland comprises a limited territory, with a mean length of five miles, and breadth of four miles. The soil is gravelly, and not remarkably fertile; but an industrious population manages to secure from it an excellent livelihood. The township is not so well watered as several others in the county, yet it has a few very good mill-privileges which are improved; and there are within its limits an iron furnace and two forges. Iron ore is mined within the township, from which the material is obtained for running the furnace.

The early settlement of the township was coeval with that of the neighborhood. Nine-tenths of the original inhabitants were Germans, as the successive lists of the taxables abundantly indicate. The increase of the population has not been rapid, yet it has been steady, each successive census showing a greater number of people within its limits, than in the preceding decade. That of 1870 shows a population of 1,451 souls.

As the first settlers were principally Germans, so the religion of the people has been chiefly of the Lutheran and Reformed faiths. A church has usually been occupied by the two denominations in common. A steady adherance to the religion of their ancestors is one of the prominent characteristics of the sedate and industrious people.

There are two principal villages in the township, known as New Jerusalem and Stony Point,, but the population and business of neither are considerable.