Rowley is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts. It lies along the Atlantic Ocean north of Cape Ann, the mainland separated from the ocean by a small portion of Plum Island and Plum Island Sound. Rowley was originally settled in 1638 as a plantation by Reverend Ezekiel Rogers, who had arrived from England on the ship John of London with about twenty families. In 1639, the town was incorporated and included portions of present day Byfield, Georgetown and Haverhill. It was named after Rowley in England where Reverend Rogers served as pastor. Rowley has a total area of 20.6 square miles and its population was 5,500 at the 2000 census.
A fulling mill was constructed in 1643 and a grist mill in 1645 and the town became known for its hemp and flax cloth and cotton.
Rowley has convenient access to Routes I-95, 1, 1A and 133. It also has a station along the Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA commuter rail, providing service between Newburyport to the North Shore and Boston’s North Station.
Notable residents include Elizabeth Howe – born in Rowley and executed during the Salem Witch Trials; and Bruce Kimball – retired NFL football player for the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants.