The Borough of Rockaway is located in the heart of Morris County, roughly five miles from Morristown and 27 miles from New York City. Originally referred to as Rockaway Village, the Borough of Rockaway was first settled around 1730. It very quickly became a regional center for manufacturing and trade, economically tied to the mills and forges in Mt. Hope, White Meadow, Beaver Brook, Hibernia, Mt. Pleasant and Dover. Rockaway Borough also had its own saw mill, grist mill, and forge that were built on the Rockaway River. During the Revolutionary Period, Rockaway was a center for revolutionary activity spurred by the British Mercantile Acts, which impacted local commerce and industries. The Morris Canal ran right through the center of Rockaway, contributing to its steady growth throughout the 19th Century. Rockaway was officially incorporated as a Borough in 1894, separating from Rockaway Township.
The development pattern of Rockaway was established by the late 1800s, as shaped by its industrial base, a busy main street, and the associated housing typical of an industrial community. Today, many commercial and industrial employment centers are around US Route 46, all while maintaining a historic downtown and beautiful suburban neighborhoods. Open space, recreation and community facilities are located throughout the Borough, which is bounded by Rockaway Township to the north, west, and southwest and Denville to the east and southeast.