Congratulations to Rochester,
You’re the WCSX City of the Week
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 and Penn Station stores today exist at the intersection of Main and Second Street. The city was named for Rochester, New York (many settlers came from New York).
Past industries formerly located in Rochester included a refinery for sugar beets, a paper products company, and the Western Knitting Mills factory, which was later adapted and utilized during World War II for incendiary production.
Rochester and Rochester Hills weren’t always BFFs. The village of Rochester became a city in 1967, breaking away from Avon Township. Avon Township became the City of Rochester Hills in 1984, following a long court battle, where the city of Rochester annexed 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) of Avon Township’s land. It more than doubled the city of Rochester’s size.
Matilda Dodge Wilson, the widow of John F. Dodge, co-founder of Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company and her second husband, Alfred Wilson built Meadow Brook Hall. It took three years (1926-1929) and cost nearly four million dollars… in today’s market that’s the equivalent to 56 million. Matilda and Alfred are also the founders of Oakland University where the house resides on campus.
This fortune not only built one of America’s finest residences and country estates, it also supported numerous Detroit charities and organizations, and made possible the founding of Oakland University.
Famous Rochester babies:
- Robert Simpson Woodward, physicist and mathematician, was born in Rochester. He was a professor at Columbia, president of the American Mathematical Society and dean of Carnegie Institute in Washington.
- Dita Von Teese, burlesque artist, model and actress was born Heather Sweet in Rochester, Michigan.
- Roxy Petrucci, drummer of the 80’s all-female rock/metal band, Vixen was born in Rochester.
- Jason Varitek, catcher for Boston Red Sox, team captain and 2-time World Series champion, was born in Rochester