Created by an Act of the State Legislature on March 15, 1738 separating it from Hunterdon County, the county derived its name from Colonel Lewis Morris, then Governor of the Province of NJ. The county is known as the "Military Capital of the Revolution", and each of its 39 municipalities played some part in the war effort and contains something of historical importance to this day. Preserving this proud heritage falls to the Morris County Heritage Commission, Historical Society and numerous other groups.
Driving through Rockaway you sense history, but now only hints of the heritage remain. Early in the 1900s there were two railroads, trolley line, iron foundry, bicycle factory, and the Morris Canal.
When Rockaway incorporated, separate from the township in 1894, the history of mills, forges, and general merchandise was long established.
By the 1830s the population of the village had grown to four hundred residents. The Rockaways growth boomed with the construction of the Morris Canal which ran trough the center of the community. The Canal brought coal from Pennsylvania to feed the forges of the Rockaways and Morris County, iron and local produce were then transported to Newark and New York City.