Rochester is a city in
County in the U.S. state of
Michigan on the
northern outskirts of metro Detroit.
population was 10,467 at the 2000 census
. The 2008 census
estimate places the population at 11,002. The City of Rochester
is bordered on the north, south, and west by the City of Rochester
Rochester has great natural beauty due to the three waterways that
surround the city, abundant green space of three parks, and two
winding nature trails. Residents can enjoy fishing in the Clinton
River or biking along the Paint Creek Trail.
"Rochester", or the "Rochester Area", are often used to describe
Rochester, Oakland Township, and Rochester Hills.
The Western Knitting Mills, built in
1896, was owned by the Chapman brothers.
First settlement in Oakland County,
settled in 1817
The first settlers in what would become Rochester, the Graham
family, built a log cabin in 1817. The cabin was located where the
"Quik-Pik & Penn Station" store is at the intersection of Main
and Second Street.
One of the founding families, the VanHoosen family, are the most
famous settlers of Rochester, MI. Their house, located in VanHoosen
park, is still standing today. Many tourists come to take a tour
inside the house and around to their barn.
was named for Rochester,
By 1895, Rochester's population was 900.
The city became an industrial center with abundant waterpower from
the Clinton River
and Paint Creek
. Rochester was served
by two railroads as well as the Detroit United Railway, a passenger
trolley to Royal Oak and Detroit.
Chapman Mill Pond, east of downtown, disappeared into the Paint
Creek when the dam broke during the flood of 1946. The reclaimed
land is the site of the current post office, library, and Olde
Michigan was declared the 26th state in 1837, and the Village of
Rochester was formed on April 12, 1869, within the boundaries of
Avon Township. The Village of Rochester became a city in 1966,
breaking away from Avon Township. Avon Township became the City of
Rochester Hills in 1984.Source: Rochester-Avon Historical Society.
Rochester: Preserving History, a Pictorial Journey.
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the city has a total area of 3.9 mi²
Water Tower, City of Rochester,
As of the census
of 2000, there were 10,467
people, 4,667 households, and 2,636 families residing in the city.
The population density
2,710.6 per square mile (1,047.0/km²). There were 5,056 housing
units at an average density of 1,309.3/sq mi (505.7/km²). The
racial makeup of the city was 92.39% White
, 2.24% African American
, 0.01% Pacific Islander
, 0.24% from
, and 1.19%
from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 1.68% of the
There were 4,667 households out of which 27.6% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples
living together, 6.3% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 43.5% were non-families.
36.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.6% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age
of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 37.2% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to
64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was
36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.2 males. For every
100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $65,179, and the
median income for a family was $92,078. Males had a median income
of $62,486 versus $37,107 for females. The per capita income
for the city was
$36,989. About 0.6% of families and 2.7% of the population were
below the poverty line
, including 1.0%
of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.
The City of Rochester is governed by a seven-member city council
and its mayor. City policy is then administered by a full-time city
manager. The government provides full city services, including
police, fire and water/sewer services, although newer developments
in the eastern part of the city utilize the Detroit city water
Stoney Creek High School, Rochester,
Michigan, established in 2001.
is the public school district encompassing
Rochester and surrounding areas. As of 2007, a total of 14,500 students
receive instruction in the district, which has four high schools:
School, Rochester Adams High School, Stoney Creek
High School and A.C.E.
University, a public university with more than 18,000
students, officially maintains a hometown relationship with the
city of Rochester (as well as a Rochester mailing address) despite
being located in neighboring Auburn Hills and Rochester
University and city officials signed a
partnership agreement in 2003 to formally recognize the
relationship between Rochester and OU.
Arts and recreation
The 8.5 mile Paint Creek Trail
connects the cities of Rochester and Lake Orion, Michigan.
- Paint Creek and Clinton River Trails - City is at the
cross section of two major "Rails-to-Trails" projects: the Paint
Creek Trail and Clinton River trail. These trails are used for
recreational activities, like biking and walking. They connect to
several major parks, including Bloomer Park, Rochester Municipal
Park, Stoney Creek Metropark and the Dinosaur Hill Nature
- Paint Creek Center for the Arts - The Paint Creek
Center for the Arts is a community non-profit art center providing
studio art classes for children and adults, and a year-round
exhibition of fine art.
- Rochester Avon Recreation Authority - The Rochester
Avon Recreation Authority (RARA) has been a recreation provider to
Rochester and Rochester Hills since 1946. It provides recreation
programs from 12 months to adults in a variety of areas, such as
dance, sports classes, sport leagues, pre-school classes, special
events, fitness, skiing, etc.
- Older Persons Commission - The Older Persons
Commission provides social and educational activities, nutritional
meals, senior resource services, as well as health and wellness
programs to community members 60+ years of age, in a new
state-of-the art facility built in 2002.
- Farmer's Market - The Farmer's Market takes place
every Saturday, May through October, in downtown. It features fresh
produce, flowers, handmade goods and other products from
- City Festivals - Several festivals take place in
downtown: Dancing in the Streets (August), Music in the Park
(Thursdays in summer), Arts and Apples Festival (Fall), and the
Heritage Festival (Memorial Day Weekend).
- Hometown Christmas Parade - The city has held the
annual "Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade" since 1951.
features over 100 units, and since 2003 has been broadcast on local
Detroit television station WXYZ-TV.
- Big, Bright Light Show - In 2006, the city had its
first "Big, Bright Light Show" for the Christmas season. The
downtown businesses were covered in 500,000 individual lights. A
panoramic view can be seen here: http://www.greatlakesap.com/recent/panos/rls.html.
- Avon Players Theatre - Avon Players is a nonprofit
community theater group located only two miles from the heart of
downtown Rochester. Avon Players performances included
award-winning dramas, British farces, Broadway musicals, and
Buildings of note
Rollin Sprague Building, built in
Established in 1817, Rochester was one of Oakland County’s first
settlements. Twenty two buildings on Main Street are more than 50
years old, and several are on the State Register of Historic
- Rollin Sprague Building - The oldest building in the
downtown is the Rollin Sprague building, built in 1849 of coursed
cobblestone. Since 1930 it houses "The Home Bakery".
- Opera House - The Opera House Building opened on
November 8, 1890 as the social and cultural center of town. It
featured movies, lectures, dances, commencements, etc, until 1933.
Refurbished in 1987, it houses Lytle Pharmacy today.
- Rochester Grain Elevator - Located at the corner of
University Drive and Water Street, is the Rochester Grain Elevator
(originally named Griggs Grain Elevator), a red barn built in 1880.
Until the 1970s, farmers brought their grain to the elevator to be
shipped to Detroit. After that time, its primary use has been as a
The Royal Park Hotel opened in
- Royal Park Hotel - In September 2004, the Royal Park
Hotel, a four-star, four-diamond luxury hotel, opened in downtown
Rochester. It cost $43 million to build. Several celebrities have
stayed there, including President George W. Bush while seeking
- Western Knitting Mills - The Western Knitting Mills, a
large brick building on Water Street, was built in 1896. At one
time, its output of 100,000 dozen pairs of gloves annually made it
one of the largest glove producers in the world. Today the mill is
fully restored, and home to The Rochester Mills brewery restaurant
and several businesses.
People of note
singer and entertainer graduated from Rochester Adams
High School in 1976. She was chosen for induction in the
Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for 2008. She also attended Holy Family
Regional School and West Middle School.
Vanderkaay, Olympic swimmer graduated from Rochester
Adams High School in 2002. He won a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the 4x200
free style relay. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Vanderkaay won
the bronze medal in the 200m freestyle and the gold medal in the
4x200m freestyle relay.
- Tommy Clufetos
drummer for Rob Zombie,Alice Cooper,Ted Nugent graduated from
Adams High School
- Roxy Petrucci, drummer of
all-female rock/metal band Vixen in the
- Paul Davis, professional
basketball player graduated from Rochester High School and earned
Mr. Basketball of
Michigan honors in 2002. He played for Michigan
State University and was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers in
- Robert Simpson Woodward,
physicist and mathematician was born in Rochester, Michigan in
1849. Among many achievements, he was a professor at Columbia University, president of the
Society, and Dean of Carnegie Institute in
- Dita Von Teese, burlesque artist,
model and actress.
- Jason Varitek, catcher for the
Boston Red Sox, was born in
Rochester, Michigan on April 11, 1972. In 2005 he was named the
captain of the Red Sox, the third player given the honor.
- Bob Keselowski, NASCAR Craftsman
Truck Series driver, and his sons Brad and Brian.
- Michael Suhy, Local wildlife
photographer, awarded by national geographic in 2006.
- Aileen Wuornos (born as Aileen
Pittman), infamous American serial killer, born in Rochester,
- Craig Owens, lead singer
of the band Chiodos and various other side projects lives in
, One of the best teenage magicians in the country in the
1960s. Graduated from RHS in 1968. Later an inventor with several
dozen patents in Power Electronics.
Rochester Hills Public Library,
downtown Rochester, Michigan.
Rotary Gateway Park in Rochester,