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Although unincorporated, Rockland, Michigan is the primary community in Rockland Township, Ontonagon County, in the western Upper Peninsula.

In Michigan, unincorporated communities do not have established boundaries. However, Rockland became a census-designated place (CDP) for the purpose of the 2020 census, at which time it had a population of 173. The CDP is solely for the census, and has no legal status.

Rockland is served by US Highway 45 (Rockland Road), which intersects Cemetery Road (Townsend Street) and Victoria Dam Road (Elm Street) within the CDP.

Rockland is within the Ottawa National Forest, and the Ontonagon River is west and south of the community.

Cities and villages within fifty miles of Rockland include Ontonagon, Baraga, South Range, L'Anse, Houghton, and Hancock, while the unincorporated communities of Victoria, Mass City, and Greenland are within ten miles.

Like most communities in this part of the Upper Peninsula, Rockland was once a mining town. Settled in the 1840s to house workers in the old Minnesota Mine and the National Mine after copper was discovered, and large mines were dug. The Minnesota Mine, southeast of Rockland, was opened in 1847, and was one of the first extremely productive UP mines, producing more than four million pounds of copper annually.

The Rockland Post Office was opened on January 6, 1853, with James B. Townsend as postmaster. Closed on September 20, 1860, the National Post Office was changed to Rockland on December 7, 1863.

Another community that later became part of Ontonagon was organized by the Minnesota Mining Company, and platted as Rosendale. However, when a post office was established on May 7, 1857, it was named Minesota Mine, a spelling error that was never corrected. William Peck was the first postmaster. On March 16, 1861, the post office was renamed National, for the National Mining Company, which had acquired the land from the Minnesota Mining Company in 1860, after lengthy litigation. At that time, Benjamin T. Rogers was named postmaster. When the town was consolidated with Rockland on December 7, 1863, the post office was renamed Rockland, as the former Rockland post office had been closed in 1860.

Williamsburg and Webster, both smaller nearby communities, were consolidated with Rockland in 1864, when Rockland was incorporated as a village. Williamsburg was platted by William Shepard and William Davey in 1858, the same year that James M. Cooper platted Webster.

Rockland was laid out in 1862, and incorporated as a village in 1864.

The first store was built by Mr. Webster for B.T. Rogers, who operated the store for several years. The Minnesota Mining Company had a large store, but it was located outside the village, near a school and church that the company had built.

At one time, Rockland had an Odd Fellows Hall and a Masonic Lodge.

On July 4, 1892, much of the town was destroyed by fire after a young child lit a firecracker in the dining room of her parent's house, lighting it on fire. The fire spread, in part because most of the townspeople were a mile and a half west of town dedicating a new cemetery.

In the late 1850s, while the Minnesota Mine was flourishing, the community had a population of about six thousand, and had one of the first telephone systems in Michigan.

Unfortunately, by the early 1890s. the mines began to close, and the community's population declined, prompting the village to become unincorporated.

Today, the community is very small, and almost entirely residential, although it does support a few businesses. These, and any other entities within the community are the focus of this category.



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