Rehoboth takes its name from the biblical place (meaning "room enough", from Genesis 26:22). It was incorporated in 1643 making it one of the earliest Massachusetts town to be incorporated. The Rehoboth Carpenter Family is among the founding families. When it first became part of Plymouth colony, it included all of Seekonk, Massachusetts and East Providence, Rhode Island, and parts of the nearby communities of Attleboro, North Attleborough, Swansea and Somerset in Massachusetts, and Barrington, Bristol, Warren, Pawtucket, Cumberland, and Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
Among the earliest purchasers of the land that is now Rehoboth and nearby communities was the Peck family, who came from nearby Hingham initially. Joseph Peck, the brother of Rev. Robert Peck, the disaffected Puritan who had fled his Hingham, England, church after the crackdown by Archbishop Laud, had purchased sizeable tracts of lands from the Native Americans. (Peck died in Rehoboth in 1697.) These tracts of land Peck willed to his son Samuel. The family continued to live in the area through the twentieth century. Today's Pecks Corner in Rehoboth is named for this early Puritan family.
Through the years, due to cedings of land and incorporations of the neighboring communities, Rehoboth has taken its present shape. The town was and still is a site of crossroads which help to serve Taunton, Providence, Fall River and points to the north.
It is the site of Anawan Rock, where Captain Benjamin Church surrounded and captured Anawan, a Wampanoag sachem and advisor to King Philip, and his men, effectively ending the campaigns in Southeastern Massachusetts of King Philip's War. The Wampanoags had taken this position above Squannakonk Swamp to hide from the colonists. (Although a desolate place at the time, the rock itself is not far off modern-day Route 44.)
Rehoboth also has a claim to one of the birthplaces of public education in North America. Upon incorporation, the Newman Church in modern-day East Providence elected to support a teacher for the congregation's children. Because of the lack of separation between church and state at the time, Rehoboth claims one of the earliest known education systems in America. One of the town's landmarks is also education related; the Hornbine School located in the southeast corner of town was built in 1845 as one of the town's nine one-room schoolhouses.
Today Rehoboth is mostly a suburban community, with small historic sites dotting the landscape. Although the population is increasing rapidly, Rehoboth is still considered a rural community.
Rehoboth shares its entire western border with Seekonk. It is also bordered by Attleboro and Norton to the north, Taunton and Dighton to the east, and Swansea to the south and southeast. Rehoboth's localities are: Four Corners, Hornbine, Kingmans Corner, North Rehoboth, Pecks Corner, Perrys Corner, Perryville, Rehoboth Village and South Rehoboth. The town is located 11 miles east of Providence, Rhode Island and 50 miles southeast of Boston.
Rehoboth is a part of the Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA), which provides bus service to towns in central Bristol and Plymouth Counties. The nearest rail service is in Attleboro, where there are two stops on the MBTA's Providence line. The nearest local airport is in Taunton; the nearest national airport is T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island, less than 20 miles away; and the nearest international airport is Logan International Airport in Boston, 53 miles away.
There were 3,523 households out of which 37.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.8% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.5% were non-families. 14.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the town the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 28.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $65,373, and the median income for a family was $71,992. Males had a median income of $45,557 versus $32,445 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,467. About 2.1% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.7% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.
The town is governed by an open town meeting run by a board of selectmen. The current board of selectmen consists of 3 members. Currently, the three selectmen of Rehoboth are Christopher P. Morra, Sr., Frederick Vadnais, and Kenneth Foley. The town has a central police and fire station, as well as branch fire stations in North and South Rehoboth. The Blanding Library is located in the Goff Memorial Hall, also near the center of town.
As a result of having a vocational-technical wing at the high school, Rehoboth has no direct affiliations with any regional vocational schools; the closest are in Taunton and Fall River. Students can, however, attend Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton. The town is also home to one private school, the Cedar Brook Seventh-day Adventist School, which is a K-8 school.
The athletics teams of Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School (the "Falcons") participate in the South Coast Conference ("SCC") of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association ("MIAA"). Sports include cross-country, soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball, basketball, golf, field hockey, indoor track, outdoor track, and tennis.