Rochester's Rich Past
Rochester is new or old, depending on how you look at it, but whether you see its history as long and illustrious, or recent and rapid, you've got to be impressed with what we have been, are now, and are primed to be!
As late as 1800, Rochester was truly a western wilderness to Europeans, while it was an important hub for the Iroquois nation. Once the many mills got established and kicking on the high falls of the Genesee River in the early 19th century, and once the Erie Canal was completed (1825) to foster commerce between the interior and the east, development leapt exponentially, and Rochester became a bona fide boomtown, the "Young Lion of the West." As industry grew, so did agriculture and horticulture, making Rochester both the "Flour City" and "Flower City." The 20th century saw the birth and remarkable rise of companies such as the Eastman Kodak Company and Bausch & Lomb, and the equally remarkable proliferation of world-class architectural, educational, and cultural development. And throughout its rise, Rochester was proudly a hub of progressive as well as technological innovation and history, ranging from the presence and work of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony to its importance as a point on the Underground Railroad. Douglass published his North Star abolition newspaper from a church in Corn Hill; and Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting in 1872 not far from the Madison Street house she lived in for over 40 years. Their graves in historic Mt. Hope Cemetery draw thousands every year.
Like almost all American cities, Rochester suffered from the divestment in urban America that occurred for a half-century starting around 1950. And although much was lost during that time, much of the physical and human assets of the city survived and/or persisted. The last two decades have seen a truly auspicious revitalization and revival in interest in, and progress of, the City of Rochester. While it has its many real challenges, it is a place of present assets galore, and terrific potential. For less than $200,000 and in many places less than half that much, you can own a fabulous home in a great neighborhood, accessible to all the aforementioned history, and to the many economic, cultural, educational, and recreational options and opportunities. And you won't sit in traffic trying to access them!
There are many resources available to you to explore and discover Rochester's illustrious and fascinating history. Try checking out the fabulous Rochester Images database and the local history resources of the Central Library. The Landmark Society also holds an extensive collection of materials, including its own historical publications.