The City or Rochester Hills, Michigan is a website, which serves the purpose of recreating the history of Rochester Hills, Michigan for Dr. Rosetrenter’s Michigan History Class (HIST 320). The goal of the project is to effectively illustrate the history of Rochester Hills, Michigan, as well as present additional information about the neighboring city of Rochester, and Village of Stoney Creek, with the help of the Leadr Lab at Michigan State University.
Rochester Hills, Michigan is a city of about 70 thousand people located in northeastern Metro Detroit. On March 17th, 1817, a pioneer family from New York, the Graham family, began the first white settlement in Oakland County, although the town was originally called Avon Township, not Rochester Hills. Avon Township was officially established in 1835, two years before the statehood of Michigan. Several years after the Graham family arrived in Michigan, in 1823, Lemuel Taylor and family traveled to Avon Township and settled a village to the northeast, naming it Stoney Creek. To reach the Avon Township area both the Grahams and the Taylors had to hike north from Detroit through dense forests, rivers, and thick swamplands. Once Avon Township was settled early life was sustained in large part by the three water bodies that flowed through the area, the Paint Creek, Clinton River, and Stoney Creek.
In 1869, Rochester was declared an independent village within Avon Township, but still remained part of it paying taxes to both cities. Avon Township became Rochester Hills in 1984 when voters decided to officially change the name.
Today Rochester, and Rochester Hills are thriving communities, containing almost 84 thousand residents between them. The area contains three high schools, Rochester, Rochester Adams, and Stoney Creek. The Rochester Community Schools district serves Rochester and Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, as well as parts of Orion Township.