Located on the Zumbro River, Rochester, Minnesota
is often called the ‘Best Little City in America' by various consumer publications. Rochester
has a unique transportation system that includes both skyways and pedestrian subways that are totally enclosed and climate controlled - so that you can get around the city without ever having to go outside! Rochester also has a vibrant downtown area that features dining, shopping, events and culture that has something for everyone. Those moving to Rochester
will find a city that is friendly and hospitable.
The median household income for Rochester is higher than the state average. The cost of living in Rochester is higher than the national average. Unemployment in Rochester is low, currently 5.5 percent. The primary employer in Rochester is the Mayo Clinic. Support facilities also are major employers, as well as the industries that are needed to accommodate the more than two million visitors that come to Rochester each year. IBM's Rochester Campus is another major employer. There is a good agricultural industry in Rochester, and Seneca Foods runs a processing plant there.
Previously home to many Indian tribes, the first settlers in the area arrived around 1854. George Head and his family built a home along the Zumbro River, and rapids in the area reminded him of his former home in Rochester New York so he named the settlement after his home town. The area grew quickly because it was located along a well-traveled stagecoach route. The railroad arrived in 1864 and now, farmers could transport their goods to larger cities. The town continued to grow. After the Civil War, Dr. William Worrall Mayo arrived with his family to settle down after being a medical examiner during the war. He had two sons with him who would also become doctors. In 1882 a killer tornado hit the town. Dr. Mayo, his sons and Mother Alfred Moes (along with the Sisters of St. Francis) began the task of caring for the tornado victims. It was Mother Moes idea to begin a hospital in the town. In 1901, Dr. Henry Plummer joined the practice. Soon the word was spreading about the wonderful medical care available in Rochester. When IBM arrived in 1956, the city grew even faster.
Rochester is home to several interesting museums. They have a symphony orchestra and a chorale. There are many wonderful art galleries downtown. There is a RochesterFest in June and the county fair is in July. Also in June is a pow wow. There is wonderful dining, theater and many activities to attend.