Rochester (rŏchˈĕstər, –ĭstər) [key]. 1 City (1990 pop. 70,745), seat of Olmsted co., SE Minn.; inc. 1858. It is a farm trade center, and its industries include printing and publishing, food processing, machinery, fabricated metal products, computers and electronic equipment, and construction materials. The city is famous as the home of the Mayo Clinic, the hospital complex that Charles Horace Mayo and William James Mayo developed from the clinic founded (1889) by their father, Dr. W. W. Mayo. A state mental hospital and a Bible college are also there. Rochester has a symphony orchestra; a municipal band; and museums of art, medical science, history, and antique vehicles.
2 City (1990 pop. 26,630), Strafford co., SE N.H., on the Cocheco River, near the Maine line; settled 1728, inc. as a city 1891. Manufactures include electronic equipment, apparel, metal products, and consumer goods. An annual agricultural fair has been held there since 1875. In Rochester are an art gallery and an antique aircraft museum. The Lake Winnipesaukee recreation area is nearby.
3 Industrial city (1990 pop. 231,636), seat of Monroe co., W N.Y., a port of entry on the Genesee River and Lake Ontario, in a rich fruit and truck farm region; inc. 1817. It is a leading center in the production of photographic, photocopying, optical, and dental equipment; process control and recording instruments; and thermometers. Several major manufacturers of these products have head offices there. Rochester also ranks high in the manufacture of electronics, machinery, transportation equipment, and metal and plastic products. The city's core businesses declined in the 1990s, but growth in computer and technology companies provided new jobs.
The city is the seat of the Univ. of Rochester, Nazareth College of Rochester, the Rochester Institute of Technology (est. 1829), St. John Fisher College, and a theological seminary. The city's cultural features include the Rochester Philharmonic and the Eastman School of Music ensembles, the Rochester Museum of Art and Sciences (with a planetarium), the Memorial Art Gallery, the historical society, a zoo, and the Rundell Memorial Building, which houses the public library and an art gallery. Numerous parks and nurseries have earned Rochester the name Flower City.
Permanent settlement by Col. Nathaniel Rochester and others began in 1812. The Erie Canal gave impetus to Rochester's growth; flour milling became the first important industry. Rochester was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Prominent residents have been Susan B. Anthony, who is buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery; Frederick Douglass; and George Eastman.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.