The Greater Rochester Area is one of America’s top-rated places to live, work and play. Nestled between Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes wine region in Upstate New York, Rochester is a well-kept secret. We have the arts, culture, sports and nightlife of a much larger city, but the easiness of a small town. The Finger Lakes region is world-renowned for its production of award-winning wines. This natural wonderland offers one of the most visually stunning and peaceful places to live or own vacation property.
Rochester is the third largest urban area in New York State, and, in 1990 we were one of ten communities in the nation to receive the All-American-City award as a great place to live. From amusement parks to sports – there’s a little bit of everything for all!
Over its 200 year history, Rochester has learned two great lessons of success; innovation and adaptability. The city has had the chance to test these lessons many times over the years.
When the first white settler built a sawmill on the Genesee Falls in 1789, he discovered the first reason to build a community here. The Genesee Falls provided ample power to run sawmills, flour mills, trip hammer mills, and any other kind of industrial activity needing a means to run machinery.
In the early and middle 1800’s Rochester became the greatest flour producer in the world. Wheat grew abundantly in the fertile Genesee Valley. In 1835, there were 21 flour mills with 96 run of stones in Rochester. These mills were largely automated. The Erie Canal provided inexpensive transportation to markets in the East and in Europe. Therefore, Rochester became America’s first boomtown.
But of course times change. Settlement moved westward and wheat production with. Electric power replaced water power. And railroads moved flour as inexpensively as canal boats.
Rochester started to practice the principles of innovation and adaptability. In the 1840’s the nursing industry began to flourish in Rochester. Rich glacial soil and the climate-mollifying influence of Lake Ontario made plant cultivation ideal. James Vick had an extensive operation where the mansions of East Avenue now stand. The Browncroft area also was important nursery land. But it was the partnership of George Ellwanger and Patrick Barry that created Rochester’s revised appellation: The Flower City.
Their 650-acre nursery in the Mount Hope Avenue area became the world’s largest. The nursery once filled an order form the Japanese government for 2,000 trees in 200 different varieties and the order was packed and shipped with hardly a dent in their vast nursery stock.
The pattern had been established. Innovation and adaptability. Rochester proceeded to excel in other industrial areas as well.