Rochester, Minnesota (U.S.A.)

2017-04-24 14:12:33 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Rochester is a city in the U.S. State of Minnesota and is the county seat of Olmsted County. Located on the Zumbro River's south fork, the city has a population of 106,769 according to the 2010 United States Census. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the 2015 population was 112,225. It is Minnesota's third-largest city and the largest city located outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2015, the Rochester metropolitan area has a population of 213,873. It is the home of Mayo Clinic and one of IBM's largest facilities.

History

Rochester was founded in 1854, and platted in 1855. Rochester developed as a stagecoach stop between Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Dubuque, Iowa. 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.

On August 21, 1883, the Great Tornado demolished much of Rochester, leaving 37 dead and about 200 injured. As there was no medical facility at the time, 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. 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 Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, George H. W. Bush, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, have visited Rochester as patients of the Mayo Clinic. Rochester has also been hit by two F4 tornadoes since 1950 (the first on May 10, 1953 and the other on September 16, 1962.) Rochester celebrated its sesquicentennial in 2004.

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. The city is located 85 miles (137 km) southeast of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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. Silver Lake was once used as a cooling pond when the coal-burning power plant was operated by Rochester Public Utilities, at the lake. When operational, the RPU coal plant's heated water output prevented the lake from generally freezing over during the winter months; attracting large numbers of migrating giant Canada geese.

Rochester has many parks; the largest being 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.

Economy

Mayo Clinic forms the core of Rochester's economy. It employs 64,000 people in the city and every year draws over 2 million visitors to the city. The clinic's many facilities, along with hotels, restaurants and retail stores, comprise nearly all of the city's downtown. Excluding the state government, Mayo Clinic is the largest employer in Minnesota. 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, been home to the first Blue Gene prototype, and contributed the servers for Roadrunner. 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.

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.

Government

The city includes parts of Minnesota state legislative districts 25 and 26. In the Minnesota House of Representatives, District 25A is represented by Duane Quam (R), District 25B is represented by Kim Norton (DFL), District 26A is represented by Tina Liebling (DFL), and District 26B is represented by Nels Pierson (R). In the Minnesota Senate, Rochester is represented by Dave Senjem and Carla Nelson, both Republicans. Rochester is located in Minnesota's 1st congressional district, represented by Mankato educator Tim Walz, a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL).

The city has an early defibrillation program; all marked city police cars carry defibrillators.

Arts and culture

A number of Rochester buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the historic Chateau Theatre, which in 2015 was bought by the city for preservation, 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.

In the summer, every Thursday the city puts on "Thursdays on First" where local restaurants and artists can set up booths all along First Avenue downtown Rochester. There are a few stages where bands perform and provide entertainment. There are also a number of street musicians sitting on walls or standing on the sidewalks.

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, 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.

Parks and recreation

Rochester's park system is large, with more than 100 sites covering 5 square miles (13 km2). The city maintains 85 miles (137 km) of paved trails. The south terminus of the Douglas State Trail is built on an abandoned railroad grade.

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