Rochester Hills

Rochester Hills Logo

Rochester Hills Logo

History of Rochester Hills

Rochester hills is located near the cities of Rochester, Auburn Hills, Pontiac and Troy. Early settlers of Rochester Hills, MI came from regions such as New York, New England and portions of Southern Canada. The first settler to arrive in Rochester Hills was Joshua Graham in 1817. Early development was successful due to usage of Native American Trails to travel, as well as the need for workers in order to finish the Erie cannel project that was designed to finish in modern day Rochester Hills. Rochester hills was originally apart of Avon Township (1835-1869), village of Rochester (1869-1967), city of Rochester (1967-1984) and finally became the city of Rochester Hills on November 20,1984.

Early Settlement:

Early settlers came to the Rochester Hill region to clear land for farming and would use the local water sources to become an early industrial center. Using the nearby water sources of the Clinton River, Stoney Creek, and Paint Creek early settlers were able to construct water mills that helped the production of the region as well as the population by providing more work and more regions to settle.

The American Civil War and on:

During the later half of the 19th century Avon Township dealt with a few significant events in its history. From 1861 to 1865 the American Civil War for things. Brave men of Avon Township accepted “Lincoln’s call for arms” and joined the Union Army, like many of their fellow Michiganians. Production was now being shifted from building luxury items to items needed for the war effort such as ammunition, uniforms, weapons and increasing the food stores of the Army to feed the troops. After the war, when everyday life was reestablished as if the war never existed, the village of Rochester was formed in 1869 and was named Rochester in honor of Rochester, New York were many settlers originated from.

Another major event to hit the village of Rochester area is the Blizzard of 1886, the biggest snowstorm to hit Michigan. The snowstorm came unexpectedly and caused quite a few problems. Railroads were blocked with the large amount of snow that had fallen. At the end of the day of April 6, 1886 there was 24.5 inches of snow on the ground. Areas of the Rochester hills region were completely cut off due to the excess amount of snow. With all the snow that had fallen and the high winds and low temperatures associated with blizzards there were no fatalities recorded and within a few days the region returned to its normal climate for that time of year.

The Great Depression:

With many years passing a significant event that affected not just Avon Township and the Rochester hills area was the Great Depression. During the Great depression many local businesses shut down due to the harsh economy and the lack of revenue. A major blow to the local economy was when the Detroit United Railway was shut down. Many men relied on this company in order to support their families. With FDRs tactics to beat back the great depression many men joined the Civilian Considerations Corp, which would give many a last minute lifeline and would help make beneficial and lasting improvements to numerous regions. The CCC is credited on planting a great many number of trees in both public and private parks throughout our nation. When the war finally made its way to the United States men were sent to fight for our nation and the women took over day-to-day operations in order to keep the town running. With Avon Township focusing on the war effort, jobs quickly returned and commerce resumed as it did before the Great Depression.

Rochester Hills is born:

In the following years Avon Township faced many changes. In 1966 the city of Rochester was from from Avon Township. Shortly after its forming Rochester effectively annexed approximately 2.2 square miles from Avon Township. With many to reclaim its land it had lost as well as receive the same recognition of city status like Rochester to be on equal footing. In May 1984 a city charter was approved and on November 20, 1984 Avon Township became the city of Rochester hills.