Rochester, a city, port of entry, and the capital of Monroe co., New York, on the Genesee river, 7 m. from its mouth in Lake Ontario and 229 m. by railroad W. N. W. of Albany; pop. in 1815, 331; in 1820, 1,502; in 1830, 9,207; in 1840, 20,191; in 1850, 36,403; in 1860, 48,204; in 1870, 62,386; in 1875, 81,-813. Of the gain in population during the last five years, 8,136 were brought in with annexed territory. The extreme length and breadth are each 4 1/2 m.; area, 17 1/2 sq. m. The city is divided into about equal portions by the Genesee river, which has a rapid descent soon after it enters the city, a perpendicular fall of 96 ft. near the centre, and two others of 25 ft. and 84 ft. near the northern limit. The site of the city is nearly level, and below the great fall the river flows through a deep narrow gorge. The streets are nearly all laid out at right angles, and are from 66 to 100 ft. wide; many of them are well paved with stone, and most of them are bordered with shade trees. The city has a thorough system of sewerage, and is lighted with gas. There are six public squares, of from four to eight acres each. Nearly all the dwellings are built separate from each other and surrounded by a little cultivated or ornamented ground.
The New York Central railroad passes through the city, with two branches to the east (Syracuse and Auburn) and two to the west (Buffalo and Niagara Falls), and has also a branch to Charlotte, at the mouth of the river. The Genesee Valley railroad (a branch of the Erie) enters the city from the south, and the Rochester and State Line railway, now (1875) completed from Rochester to Le Roy, will ultimately connect the city direct with the bituminous coal region of Pennsylvania. The Erie canal also passes through from east to west, crossing the river on a fine aqueduct of ten arches, 848 ft. long, with a channel 45 ft. wide, which cost $600,-000. The Genesee Valley canal here unites with the Erie. The river is crossed by five highway and two railroad bridges. Mount Hope cemetery, on a group of rounded hills in the southern part of the city, contains 188 acres, and is one of the most beautiful in the country. The new city hall is of gray limestone, with interior walls of brick, fire-proof throughout; it is 138 ft. long, 80 ft. wide, and four stories high, with a tower 175 ft. high, and cost $335,000. The court house is of brick, with limestone trimmings, three stories high.
The new free academy is 136 ft. long, 80 ft. wide, and four stories high, built of brick, with sandstone trimmings, and cost $125,000. Water for extinguishing fires is pumped from the river by machinery on the Holly system. Works designed to bring pure water from Hemlock lake, 28 m. S. by E. of the city, will probably be completed about the close of 1875. The cost for both systems has been $3,200,000. A street railroad runs through the principal avenues. There are 59 religious societies, all but two of which have edifices of their own, viz.: 5 Baptist, 1 Christadel-phian, 1 Congregational, 7 Episcopal, 5 German Evangelical, 2 Friends', 2 Jewish, 2 Lutheran, 9 Methodist, 10 Presbyterian, 1 Reformed church in America, 11 Roman Catholic, 1 Second Advent, 1 Unitarian, and 1 Uni-versalist. The finest church edifice is St. Patrick's cathedral (built in 1864-9), which is in Gothic style, of red sandstone trimmed with gray limestone, 170 ft. long, 112 ft. wide in the transept, and 76 ft. high; it cost $150,-000. The city hospital, sustained by the contributions of Protestants, has property to the value of $105,000, including a fine building; it can accommodate 120 patients, and has an average of 60. St. Mary's hospital (Roman Catholic) has property valued at $200,000, including a large building of gray sandstone; it accommodates 300 patients, and has an average of 200. Other charitable institutions are: a Catholic orphan asylum, with property valued at $30,000; Protestant orphan asylum, $157,-000; industrial school, $34,000; home for the friendless, $50,000; church home (Episcopal), $40,000; and house for idle and truant children, $40,000. The county jail, the county penitentiary, a state arsenal, and the western house of refuge are all within the city limits.
The last named, opened in 1849, has real estate to the value of $500,000, including a farm of 42 acres. It was opened in 1850, and on Dec. 31, 1874, had 386 inmates, all boys; at that date it had received in all 4,083 boys, and had cost the state $986,492. A department for girls has recently been authorized, and will be constructed at once. There are 20 public schools (including the free academy), employing 183 teachers and having in 1875 11,275 pupils, and two public libraries, containing 20,000 and 7,000 volumes respectively. The university of Rochester was established in 1850 by the Baptists, and in 1875 had nine professors, 160 students, and about 600 graduates. It discarded the dormitory system from the beginning, and claims no control over the students out of recitation hours. Several denominations are represented in the faculty and board of trustees. It has both a classical and a scientific course. It is situated in the eastern part of the city, where it has 23 1/2 acres of ground, beautifully laid out, and occupies a massive building of dark red sandstone (completed in 1861), which is 150 ft. long, 80 ft. in extreme width, and three stories high.
The library contains 11,500 volumes; and the geological cabinets, collected by Prof. Henry A. Ward, are said to be the finest in the country. For the library and cabinets a fire-proof building, 140 by 80 ft. and two stories high, is now (1875) nearly completed; its cost will be about $100,000, and on its completion the library is to be free to the public for consultation. The university holds property to the amount of $377,000, and has productive funds aggregating about $200,000. The Rochester theological seminary, founded in 1850 by the Baptists, in 1875 had 7 professors, 80 students, and upward of 300 graduates. Its library numbers more than 10,000 volumes, including 4,000 which constituted the library of Neander, the German church historian. The seminary occupies a fine building, erected in 1869 at a cost of $42,000, which is four stories high and is of brick trimmed with limestone. Another building has recently been added for lecture rooms and a gymnasium. It has property worth $100,000, and productive funds to the amount of $260,000. - The city is divided into 16 wards, and is governed by a mayor and a common council consisting of two aldermen from each ward. The board of education consists of one commissioner from each ward, chosen by the people for three years.
There are a paid fire department, a fire telegraph, and a police force of 80 men. The assessed valuation of property in 1875 was $61,351,700 ($905,000 of this being personal), which is about three fourths of the true value. The rate of general city tax on assessed valuation is 1.33 per cent. The city debt in March, 1875, was nearly $5,000,-000, and the city owns property, exclusive of water works, valued at $2,000,000. The exports at the port of Genesee during the year ending June 30, 1875, were valued at $784,-979; the imports at $331,609; entrances, 714; clearances, 705. The manufactures of Rochester are extensive and varied, including nearly all that are mentioned in the article on Monroe county. The largest industries are those of clothing, boots and shoes, beer, flour, agricultural implements, furniture, cooperage, steam engines and boilers, locomotive building and repairing, edge tools, garden and flower seeds, and trees. The regular publications include 4 daily newspapers (1 German), 1 tri-week-ly, 2 semi-weekly, 7 weekly (2 German), and 3 monthly periodicals.
There are five banks of discount and circulation, with an aggregate capital of $850,000, four savings banks, and a trust company. - The first permanent settlement on the site of Rochester was made in 1810. In 1812 a village was laid out by Nathaniel Rochester and two associates from Maryland. It was incorporated as a village in 1817, and as a city in 1834. It owes its rapid growth to the immense water power furnished by the river, the facilities for transportation, and the remarkable fertility of the surrounding country, which is now largely occupied by nurseries, some of them being among the most extensive in the world. In March, 1865, owing to encroachments upon the bed of the river, a sudden freshet overflowed the banks, and for three days almost the entire business portion of the city was from three to six feet under water. Several large buildings were undermined and destroyed; the total damage was estimated at $250,000.
View in West Main Street, Rochester.
Rochester, a city of Kent, England, on the right bank of the Medway, near Chatham, 12 m. from the Nore, and 28 m. S. E. of London; pop. in 1871, 18,352. On an abrupt eminence are the ruins of Rochester castle, and along the shores of the river are works connecting with the Chatham fortifications. The city has no manufactures of consequence, but considerable trade, and it is a port of entry. Many of the inhabitants find employment in the adjoining naval establishments, and there is some ship building. Among the public institutions are a cathedral grammar school, founded by Henry VIII. in 1542, and the "Poor Traveller's House," founded by Richard Watts in the reign of Elizabeth. The cathedral, originally a priory founded about 604, rebuilt about 1076, and recently restored, is principally Norman and early English in style. St. Nicholas church dates from 1420, and was partially rebuilt in 1624. Among the interesting ruins is Bishop Gundulph's keep.