In 1844 Rockaway Township was formed. In addition to including the area that is now Rockaway Township, it also included what is today Rockaway Borough (incorporated in 1894) and Denville (incorporated in 1913).
In 1715, the Dutch settlers came to the lower or eastern part of the Township. It was these Dutch settlers who gave Rockaway its name. Rockaway is based on the Indian word, “Rechouwakie,” meaning, “the place of sands.” Also, in 1715, the earliest land grants in the area were recorded between William Penn and the Delaware Tribe of Indians, which were known as the Lenni Lenapes or “original people.” In 1750, the Lenni Lenapes disappeared from Morris County, but left many well-defined trails and paths, which led from one lake to another.
Rockaway was the first district in America to actively work and mine iron ore. The contribution of the iron industry assisted in the cause for independence from England prior to the American Revolution.