Rochester was founded in 1679 on the lands called "Sippican" by the local Wampanoags, along the coast of Buzzards Bay (Sippican was the name of the local tribe).
It originally included the lands of Mattapoisett, Marion and parts of Wareham (which was lost when Wareham was founded in 1739).
The Town was officially incorporated on June 4, 1686 as Rochester, and was renamed for Rochester, England, from which early settlers to the Town came.
The Town originally thrived with the early shipbuilding and whaling trade in Mattapoisett Harbor.
However, in 1852 and 1857 the Towns of Marion and Mattapoisett, respectively, were separated and incorporated as separate Towns, thus land-locking Rochester.
Since that time, the Town has become mostly rural-residential, with some farms located in Town.
Rochester is a "Right-to-Farm" community.