Rochester is a city in Olmsted County, Minnesota. The city was estimated to have population of 94,950 as of April 1, 2005, making it Minnesota's third-largest city and the largest outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is perhaps best known as the home of the Mayo Clinic. The city is also home to one of IBM's largest facilities. The city has long been a fixture on Money magazine's "Best Places to Live" index, and is ranked number 67 on the 2006 list.
The area was once occupied by nomadic Sioux, Ojibwa and Winnebago tribes of Native Americans. In 1851, the Sioux ceded the land to Minnesota Territory in the treaties of Traverse des Sioux and Mendota. In 1853, the treaties were concluded, opening the land for settlement. Rochester was founded by George Head in 1854, his claim part of what is now the city's business district. Originally from Rochester, New York, Head had settled in Waukesha, Wisconsin before moving west to Minnesota. He named the village on the South Fork of the Zumbro River after his New York hometown, and built a log cabin his family operated as Head's Tavern. By 1856, the population had grown to 50; and by 1858, it was 1,500. The Territorial Legislature created Olmstead County on February 20, 1855, with Rochester named county seat in 1857. In addition to farming, 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.
On August 21, 1883, the Great Tornado demolished much of Rochester, leaving thirty-seven dead and several thousand wounded. There was no medical facility at the time, so Dr. Mayo and his two sons worked together to care for the wounded. $60,000 in donations were collected and the Sisters of St. Francis, assisted by Dr. 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 George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and King Hussein of Jordan, have visited Rochester as patients of the Mayo Clinic.
Rochester was estimated to have a population of 94,950 as of April 1, 2005. The 2000 census² counted 85,806 people, 34,116 households, and 21,493 families in the city. The population density was 836.4/km² (2,166.3/mi²). There were 35,346 housing units at an average density of 344.5/km² (892.4/mi²).
10.26% African American
1.93% Hispanic of the population.
1.74% from two or more races.
1.13% from other races
0.29% Native American
0.03% Pacific Islander
Of the 34,116 households, 32.6% had children under the age of 18, 51.8% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.06.
Population is spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $49,090, and the median income for a family was $60,754. Males had a median income of $40,380 versus $30,136 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,811. About 4.7% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.8% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.
The primary industries in Rochester are medical services, computer design and programming, light manufacturing (mostly computers and electronics), and substantial hotel and restaurant trades serving visitors from around the world.
The largest enclosed shopping space in Rochester is Apache Mall.
The tallest building is the Oakwood Broadway Plaza.
The U.S. Federal Medical Center, Rochester, a health care facility for federal prisoners, is on the campus of the former state hospital at the edge of the city.
The city is home to University Center Rochester (UCR), a grouping of Rochester Community and Technical College, Winona State University's Rochester Center, and the University of Minnesota's Rochester campus and Cardinal Stritch University also has a branch in Rochester. Crossroads College, a four-year nondenominational Christian college, also is located in the city. The Minnesota School of Business opened a new campus in Rochester in 2006.
Graduate education is available through The Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, the research and education component of Mayo Clinic. The College of Medicine is comprised of Mayo Medical School, Mayo Graduate School, Mayo School of Continuing Medical Education, Mayo School of Health Sciences, and the Mayo Clinic Residency and Fellowship programs.
There are seven high schools in Rochester:
Rochester Civic Music, presented by the City of Rochester, features free live music in their “Down By the Riverside” outdoor summer concert series. Artists have included Joan Baez, Three Dog Night, Peter Fischer, The Marshall Tucker Band, and local acts. Concerts are held Sunday evenings at Mayo Park behind Mayo Civic Center along the Zumbro River. RiversideLive! and Cabaret Riverside are also presented by the City as a ticketed indoor concert series held from September to May. Additional publicly funded music entertainment includes the annual Youth Concert featuring the Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestra and Honors Choir of Southeastern Minnesota.
Each August, the Olmsted County Fair features a variety of musical entertainment, and the 1st Avenue Street Market & Concert Series highlights local musicians throughout the summer season. Among other seasonal entertainment options, four gardens in the Hawthorn Hills Neighborhood host the Rochester Orchestra and Chorale’s Annual Musical Garden Tour presented by the Eden Garden Club, featuring local music ensembles.
A variety of Rochester nightspots, restaurants and other venues provide free music and entertainment. Dunn Bros Coffee, the Redwood Room historic lounge, Shar’s Country Palace & Bar, CJ’s Midtown Lounge, and Whistle Binkies Old World Pub regularly feature musicians and DJs with no cover charge. The Plummer Building in downtown Rochester, Michelson Franchising, Leo’s Pizza Palace, the Calvary Episcopal Church, the Chateau Theatre, the Rochester Public Library, and the VFW hall are also venues for free concerts, including bands, carillon bells, movies, magicians, and other performances.