Incorporated in 1872, the Village of Rockton has grown from a small settlement established in 1835 to today's thriving village boasting history with a future. One of Rockton's greatest attractions is historic buildings of many architectural styles of the 19th century. Rockton is home to the largest concentration of Greek revival style buildings in the upper mid-west. Many are constructed of native limestone or bricks from local quarries. Use Clio "Tours" tab to enjoy one of many walking tours of historic Rockton.
The first known white settler in the area was Vermont native Stephen Mack Jr., who came from Detroit as an agent of the American Fur Company. After a short stay near Grand Detour he arrived here around 1835 with his Native American wife, Hononegah. A brief stay at Bird’s Grove, now Hononegah Forest Preserve, was followed by a move to a bluff on the south side of the river near the confluence of the Rock and the Pecatonica where he hoped to build a permanent settlement. The area was first known as Pecatonica and later called Macktown. The large frame home he built there in 1839 for his family still stands along with the limestone trading post built by Mr. William Whitman, both a part of the Macktown Living History Education Center. Early maps showing the locations of various mills for grinding grain, sawing lumber, making paper and so on, as well as an 1860s era Webber Angle Sieve separator manufactured at a mill on the race in Rockton, are on display at the local historical society museum.