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Rochester, Minnesota

 

Rochester is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Olmsted County. Located on both banks of the Zumbro River, the city has a population of 106,769 according to the 2010 United States Census.[8] The U.S. Census Bureau estimated 2012 population is 108,992.[9] It is Minnesota’s third-largest city and the largest city located outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area.[10] As of 2012, the Rochester metropolitan area has a population of 209,607.[3]

History

Old City Hall

The territorial legislature created Olmsted County on February 20, 1855, with Rochester named county seat in 1857. Rochester developed as a stagecoach stop between Saint PaulMinnesota, andDubuqueIowa. When the railroad arrived in the 1860s, it brought new residents and business opportunities. In 1863, Dr. William W. Mayo arrived as the examining surgeon for draftees in the Civil War. The community was named after Rochester, New York.[11]

On August 21, 1883, the Great Tornado demolished much of Rochester, leaving 37 dead and about 200 injured. There was no medical facility at the time, so Mayo and his two sons worked together to care for the wounded. Donations of $60,000 were collected and the Sisters of St. Francis, assisted by Mayo, opened a new facility named St. Marys Hospital in 1889.[12] The Mayo practice grew and is today among the largest and most well-respected medical facilities in the world. Many famous people from around the world, including former Presidents George H.W. BushGerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, have visited Rochester as patients of the Mayo Clinic.

Geography

Rochester lies alongside the South Fork of the Zumbro River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 54.75 square miles (141.80 km2), of which 54.59 square miles (141.39 km2) of it is land and 0.16 square miles (0.41 km2) is water.[2]

Rochester is in Olmsted County, one of only four counties in Minnesota without a natural lake. Artificial lakes exist in the area, including Silver Lake, a dammed portion of the South Fork Zumbro River just below the convergence with Silver Creek near the city center. The lake is used as acooling pond by the coal-burning power plant operated by Rochester Public Utilities at Silver Lake. The heated water from the plant generally prevents the lake from freezing over during the winter. The open water attracts large numbers of migrating Giant Canada Geese. Rochester has many parks such as Silver Lake and Soldiers Field

A major flood in 1978 led the city to embark on an expensive flood-control project that involved altering many nearby rivers and streams. Downtown Rochester seen from Quarry Hill Park.

Climate

Rochester features a humid continental climate, with very warm summers and very cold winters. The city features four distinct seasons. Rochester sees on average 30 inches (760 mm) of rainfall and 48 inches (120 cm) of snowfall per year. Significant snow accumulation is common during the winter months. Spring and fall are transitional seasons, with a general warming trend during the spring and a general cooling trend during the fall. However, it is not uncommon to see some snowfall during the early months of spring and the later months of fall.

[hide]Climate data for Rochester, Minnesota
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 58
(14)
63
(17)
82
(28)
92
(33)
106
(41)
105
(41)
108
(42)
100
(38)
100
(38)
93
(34)
77
(25)
78
(26)
108
(42)
Average high °F (°C) 21
(−6)
26
(−3)
38
(3)
55
(13)
68
(20)
78
(26)
82
(28)
79
(26)
70
(21)
59
(15)
40
(4)
26
(−3)
53.5
(12)
Average low °F (°C) 3
(−16)
8
(−13)
20
(−7)
34
(1)
46
(8)
56
(13)
60
(16)
58
(14)
48
(9)
38
(3)
24
(−4)
10
(−12)
33.8
(1)
Record low °F (°C) −42
(−41)
−35
(−37)
−31
(−35)
5
(−15)
20
(−7)
31
(−1)
40
(4)
32
(0)
22
(−6)
−6
(−21)
−24
(−31)
−39
(−39)
−42
(−41)
Rainfall inches (mm) 0.78
(19.8)
0.81
(20.6)
1.8
(46)
2.8
(71)
3.4
(86)
4.1
(104)
4.2
(107)
3.9
(99)
3.1
(79)
2.0
(51)
1.7
(43)
1.0
(25)
29.4
(747)
Snowfall inches (cm) 10.1
(25.7)
7.9
(20.1)
9.6
(24.4)
4.0
(10.2)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.7
(1.8)
5.8
(14.7)
10.7
(27.2)
48.8
(124)
Source: weatherbase.com[13]

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 1,424
1870 3,953 177.6%
1880 5,103 29.1%
1890 5,321 4.3%
1900 6,843 28.6%
1910 7,844 14.6%
1920 13,722 74.9%
1930 20,621 50.3%
1940 28,312 37.3%
1950 29,885 5.6%
1960 40,663 36.1%
1970 53,766 32.2%
1980 57,890 7.7%
1990 70,745 22.2%
2000 85,806 21.3%
2010 106,769 24.4%
Est. 2011 107,890 1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
2011 estimate

As of the 2005–2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 95,179 people, 39,203 households, and 23,831 families in the city. There were 42,049 housing units. There were 39,203 households out of which 49.8% were married couples. About 31.6% had children under the age of 18. About 2.5% were made up of a male householder with no wife present and about 8.5% were made up of a female householder with no husband present. In addition, 39.2% of all households were non-family households and 32.6% of households were made up of householders living alone. And 8.7% of households were made up of someone living alone who was 65 years of age and over. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.04.[14]

As of the 2005–2007 American Community Survey, the median household income was $57,957 and the median family income was $74,467. The per capita income was $30,977. About 5.9% of families and 8.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.5% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those aged 65 or over.[15]

In terms of ancestry, the 2005–2007 American Community Survey found German Americans to be the largest single ethnic group in Rochester, making up 35.5% of the city’s population. Norwegian Americans made up 15.9%, while Irish Americans contributed to 11.6% of the city’s populace. English Americans made up 8.2% of the population and Swedish Americans were 5.0% of the city’s population.[14]

Downtown Rochester reflected in the Zumbro River

2010 census

As of the census[4] of 2010, there were 106,769 people, 43,025 households, and 26,853 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,955.8 inhabitants per square mile (755.1 /km2). There were 45,683 housing units at an average density of 836.8 per square mile (323.1 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.0% White, 6.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 6.8% Asian, 2.0% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.2% of the population.

There were 43,025 households of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.6% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the city was 35 years. 24.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.4% were from 25 to 44; 24.8% were from 45 to 64; and 12.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.

Economy

Corn water tower near the Seneca Foods plant

The Mayo Clinic forms the core of Rochester’s economy. It employs over 30,000 people in the city and every year draws over 2 million visitors to the city.[16] The clinic’s many facilities, along with hotels, restaurants and retail stores, comprise nearly all of the city’s downtown. Excluding the state government, the Mayo Clinic is the largest employer in Minnesota.[17] Other care providers, including the Rochester Federal Medical Center, are significant employers.

IBM‘s Rochester campus is one of the company’s most important manufacturing centers. It has produced the System i series,[18] been home to the firstBlue Gene prototype, and contributed the servers for Roadrunner.[19] Seven employees at the Rochester IBM campus created IBM Employees Credit Union, which is now Think Mutual Bank, a chain of banks in the Rochester and Twin Cities metropolitan areas.

As the University of Minnesota Rochester eventually grows to an anticipated ultimate enrollment of 5,000 students, jobs to support both the educational and infrastructural components of UMR as well as jobs to support a student lifestyle will increase accordingly.

The economy of Rochester is also influenced by the agricultural nature of the region. Seneca Foods has a processing plant in Rochester. There are multiple dairy producers such as Kemps that are active in the area. In addition, Kerry Flavours and Ingredients, a subsidiary of the global Irish company called Kerry Group, maintains a production plant in Rochester that specializes in fermented ingredients, found in breads, meats and other processed foods.

# Employer # of Employees
1 Mayo Clinic 36,505
2 IBM 2,201
3 Rochester Public Schools 2,200
4 Olmsted County 1,181
5 Olmsted Medical Center 1,138
6 Walmart and Sam’s Club 1,005
7 City of Rochester 947
8 HyVee 880
9 Crenlo 725
10 Sunstone Hotel Properties 650
11 Charter Communications 625

Arts and culture

Museums and other points of interest

A number of Rochester buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the former Chateau Theatre, which now houses a Barnes & Noble bookstore, and Avalon Music, formerly a hotel important in the local civil rights movement.

The Rochester Art Center is located downtown, just south of the Mayo Civic Center.

Performing Arts

Rochester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale

The oldest cultural arts institution in the community, Rochester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale was founded in 1919 as a professional performing arts organization called the Rochester Orchestra. Its earliest ensemble — the Lawler-Dodge Orchestra — was founded in 1912 as a volunteer orchestra motivated by their passion to play, driven by Daisy Plummer, wife of world famous Mayo Clinic physician, Dr. Henry Plummer and directed by Harold Cooke. In early years, the Orchestra appeared in the former Chateau Theatre where they performed background music for silent movies.

The RSOC has a rich heritage and legacy connected to Drs. William J. & Charles H. Mayo founders of the world famous Mayo Clinic. The Drs. Mayo recognized the need for quality of life amenities in order to attract the best and brightest physicians from around the world to come to Rochester to live and work. Among these important offerings is the need for vibrant cultural arts. To ensure the community had an orchestra with the highest artistic excellence, they invested $7,500 from their personal monies annually so to attract the best professional musicians and conductors from around the region and country, to perform. Each year they would challenge the community to match that investment dollar for dollar. That investment today is equal to $94,500.

In 1936, the City of Rochester started a music department and the orchestra was a part of Rochester Civic Music until 1995 when the orchestra and chorale separated to once again become an independent non-profit organization called the Rochester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale (RSOC). The RSOC received its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service in 1996.

Today, the RSOC remains an independent nonprofit corporation that does not receive local government general operating support. It is committed to serving the needs of the community and region through educational programs and high quality performances accessible to all and enriching quality of life. The RSO consists of 70 professional and semi-professional musicians, half coming from Rochester and the surround region, including Northern Iowa and Western Wisconsin. The remaining members come from the twin cities metro area. A volunteer chorale of 60 people performs with the RSO throughout the season. All are proud to serve the region’s demand for high-quality musical performance and advancing the art of music. The organization is fortunate to have some members who have been with it for over fifty years.[20]

 

Source: Wikipedia