Pioneer Family, On Van Hoosen Farm, Airs on DPTV December 6

Don't miss Pioneer Family - On Van Hoosen Farm, an original production of Detroit Public Television The film tells the story of four formidable and determined women who defied the prejudices of their time to leave a legacy not just in Southeast Michigan, but throughout the world. The film will air at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6, with a repeat on Wednesday, December 7, at 2:30 a.m. Run time is two hours. Full Length Movie Trailer for the Rochester Hills Museum On Van Hoosen Farm … [Read more...]

Heller’s Has Been Keeping Time for Over Half a Century

The Heller family has been keeping time for Rochester residents for well over half a century in the same Main Street location. In 1961, Ernest and Violet Heller bought an existing jewelry business at 409 S. Main in Rochester, and today their son, George, is the proprietor of Heller’s Jewelry. Ernest Heller was born in Vienna in 1921. When he was 16 years old, his father sent him to the United States to assist his uncle with a business in Detroit. When things didn’t work out as planned with … [Read more...]

Rochester Hills Hosts World Premiere

Van Hoosen Farm Set to Star For the first time in its history, the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm will star in its own new documentary titled On Van Hoosen Farm on Wednesday, November 16, at 7:00 p.m. On Van Hoosen Farm, an original production of Detroit PBS, explores how five generations of Taylors and Van Hoosens raised their families and worked the land. Residents and history lovers are invited to a special world premiere with guest speaker and Emmy Award-winning producer, … [Read more...]

Holland’s Has Been Beautifying Rochester Since 1929

It started out as a way to earn extra money during the Great Depression, and evolved into a family business and Main Street landmark that has passed through three generations. In 1929, William L. Holland Sr. felt the sting of the U.S. economic collapse when his job as a foreman at Hudson Motor Car Company in Detroit was reduced to part time status. To make up some of his lost income and support his family of six, Holland started a greenhouse business at his property on Norton Lawn in Avon … [Read more...]

Lytle Pharmacy is Rochester’s Oldest Drug Store

No living person in the Rochester area remembers when there wasn’t a pharmacy located in the Opera House block at the corner of Fourth & Main streets. Ever since the building first opened its doors in 1890, a pharmacy sign has been hanging in its front window. Robert A. Lytle is the current - and longest tenured - proprietor of the drug store business that was operated by John T. Norton when the Opera House block welcomed its first tenants 126 years ago. When Charles A. Burr built the … [Read more...]

Presidential Elections, Parties, and Popularity in the Early American Republic

Presidential Lecture Series Ideals and Political Realities Join Dr. David Greer from Rochester College on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. for his presentation that explores several features of American presidential elections under the country’s new Constitution in 1781, from the unanimous selection of George Washington in 1789 to the bitter contest between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams nearly forty years later. Our Founding fathers struggled with the notion of political … [Read more...]

Why the Rochester Elevator is NOT a Barn

Op-Ed: Why the Rochester Elevator is NOT a Barn During their August 8 meeting, members of the Rochester City Council discussed the pending development of the Rochester Elevator property. Council members were brought up to date on the negotiations and advised about the various options for preservation of the elevator structure. It is early days in the process, so no firm decisions have been made at this point. During public comment on this issue, Sue Douglas - formerly a member of both the … [Read more...]

Pixley’s Rochester Roots Run Deep

The Pixleys Come to Rochester In 1831, a farmer from New York State named Jonathan Pixley decided to move his family westward to Michigan. He settled near what we know today as the corner of Avon & John R roads, just 14 years after James Graham founded the first non-native settlement in Oakland County. Today, his descendants operate one of Rochester’s longest-lived family businesses. Vern Pixley feels privileged to run Pixley Funeral Home in association with his son, Andrew. Together, … [Read more...]

Dillman & Upton: A Centennial Business

Dillman & Upton, one of Rochester’s oldest businesses, is a company that was made in a marriage – sort of. The story starts in the late 1890s, when auctioneer Charles W. Upton came to Rochester just as the village was beginning to boom with the arrival of the interurban line. After spending a few years selling windmills and wire fencing to farmers, Upton started a coal and wood business in a former wagon shop on the corner of what is today West University Drive and Oak Street. Upton and … [Read more...]

Who Was Red Knapp?

Red Knapp is something of a household name in the Rochester area. After all, local residents have been enjoying hamburgers at Red Knapp’s Dairy Bar on Main Street for the past 66 years. But who exactly was the man whose name blazes in neon over the front door of Rochester’s iconic burger spot? Long-time restaurateur Lyle “Red” Knapp was born on a Sanilac County farm in 1910. He came to Rochester to find work in 1926 and landed a job pouring concrete for the foundations of Meadow Brook Hall, … [Read more...]