A common feature of eukaryotic centromeres is the presence of large tracts of tandemly arranged repeats, known as satellite DNA. However, these centromeric repeats appear to experience rapid evolution under forces such as molecular drive and centromere drive, seemingly without consequence to the integrity of the centromere. Moreover, blocks of heterochromatin within the karyotype, including the centromere, are hotspots for chromosome rearrangements that may drive speciation events by contributing to reproductive isolation. However, the relationship between the evolution of heterochromatic sequences and the karyotypic dynamics of these regions remains largely unknown. Here, we show that a single conserved satellite DNA sequence in the order Rodentia of the genus Peromyscus localizes to recurrent sites of chromosome rearrangements and heterochromatic amplifications. Peromyscine species display several unique features of chromosome evolution compared to other Rodentia, including stable maintenance of a strict chromosome number of 48 among all known species in the absence of any detectable interchromosomal rearrangements. Rather, the diverse karyotypes of Peromyscine species are due to intrachromosomal variation in blocks of repeated DNA content. Despite wide variation in the copy number and location of repeat blocks among different species, we find that a single satellite monomer maintains a conserved sequence and homogenized tandem repeat structure, defying predictions of molecular drive. The conservation of this satellite monomer results in common, abundant, and large blocks of chromatin that are homologous among chromosomes within one species and among diverged species. Thus, such a conserved repeat may have facilitated the retention of polymorphic chromosome variants within individuals and intrachromosomal rearrangements between species-both factors that have previously been hypothesized to contribute towards the extremely wide range of ecological adaptations that this genus exhibits.