About Rockland, Maine
Rockland Maine is a vibrant City located in the heart of Midcoast Maine, on the Penobscot Bay, and is the year round home to 7,219 residents. Rockland is renowned for its importance to Maine’s lobster fishing industry and its working waterfront both of which are supported by an expansive and picturesque multi-use harbor. The prominence of visual arts based businesses, institutions (such as the Farnsworth Art Museum and Center for Maine Contemporary Art) and practitioners has contributed to Rockland’s reputation as a unique, creative community and the premier destination for experiencing visual arts in Maine.
Rockland has an incredibly rich history that underlies its contemporary appeal. Take a short tour of Rockland’s history to better understand the hardworking men, women and transformative evolution’s that have made Rockland the unique and diverse city it is today.
Foodies Take Note
Rockland has a diverse local economy that contributes to the City’s distinctive character and its appeal to visitors and residents. Central to this is the City’s thriving historic downtown that has an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and art galleries.
Rockland is on the forefront of the local food movement and boasts a number of highly acclaimed farm to table restaurants and eateries.
A dish from the award winning Primo restaurant.
The Visual Arts
The City’s reputation as a visual arts destination has attracted and nurtured the establishment of a number of creative industries. From visual artists and furniture makers to graphic designers and industrial designers, Rockland has a flourishing creative and tech community that enriches the City’s economy.
The new Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA).
A Way Of Life
In the past few years Rockland has increasingly been recognized as one of the best places to live and visit in the State of Maine.
In 2017 alone Rockland was acknowledged by the Smithsonian as one of the best small towns in the Country and ranked by Downeast Magazine as the best place to live in Maine.
View the Rockland photo gallery.
One of the most important elements of Rockland’s economic success is our diverse and strong manufacturing sector. Rockland has the largest concentration of manufacturers in Maine. The City’s manufacturers are varied from boat builders such as Backcove Yachts and Yachting Solutions to process manufacturers like Fisher, FMC and Lonza and precision manufacturing.
Thriving Tech Sector
Rockland is experiencing growth in the technology and creative industries sectors through the recent introduction of entrepreneurs and small businesses who call Rockland home. The most prominent example of this is Steel House, a co-working space and educational facility that predominantly houses technology and design focused businesses.
The City of Rockland’s residents have recognized the importance and potential of attracting technology and design based businesses and have committed to investing $400,000 over the next year in increasing the availability of fiber to the premise high speed broadband.
Rockland is renowned for its traditional working waterfront and expansive harbor that extends 5 ½ miles from the Breakwater Lighthouse to the North to the South End Shipyard and Snow Marine Park to the South. The harbor has facilities that cater to commercial fishermen, marinas and boatyards, marine based industries and recreational boaters and cruise ships.
Rockland continues to play a key regional role in the commercial fishery, landing 35 million pounds of seafood in 2016 and is home to the largest fishing company in the world’s headquarters.
There are a large number of waterfront parks and public amenities such as a boardwalk and harbor trail that provide waterfront access for residents and visitors. The mix of uses found on Rockland’s harbor and waterfront is both an economic engine for the City and a feature of the City that shapes Rockland’s culture, lifestyle and entices visitors.
US Coast Guard City
In 2008 Rockland became a designated U.S. Coast Guard City.
The U. S. Coast Guard has a long and rich heritage of service in the Penobscot Bay area. Earlier in this century, several lighthouses and lifeboat stations served local mariners. The Coast Guard Station Pier, formerly known as the Coast Guard Moorings, is located on two parcels of land at the end of Tillson Avenue in downtown Rockland. Prior to World War II the Coast Guard used the pier facility to moor vessels that worked in the area.
The pier was acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War II as a base for its coastal patrol boats and turned over to the Coast Guard in January 1944. After the war the Coast Guard established a Group Command in Rockland to oversee operations. The Coast Guard purchased the 106 year old “Bird Block” building, extensively renovated it, and it became the home of the station offices, unaccompanied personnel housing, galley and exchange in 1982. Coast Guard Moorings has been used by many Coast Guard Cutters over the years and now serves the Abbie Burgess, Thunder Bay, Tackle and Station small boats.
The USCGC Abbie Burgess