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...]

This Month in Rochester History

Courtesy of Remembering Rochester In June 1966, leaders of the Rochester community gathered to celebrate the cornerstone laying for the suburban unit of Crittenton Hospital on University Drive. The first full-service hospital to serve the area was welcomed and eagerly anticipated by citizens who were accustomed to traveling to Pontiac, Mount Clemens or Detroit for their acute health care needs. Thus, when Crittenton Hospital of Detroit announced plans to build a suburban unit, village and … [Read more...]

Brooklands School Will Be Demolished this Summer

Requiem for Brooklands School By Deborah J. Larsen Eighty-eight years after it welcomed its first students, the old Brooklands School on Auburn Road sits boarded up and quietly awaits a date with the wrecking ball. Rochester Community Schools officials have determined that the building has reached the end of its useful life and have slated it for demolition this summer. The school was born in controversy. In 1927, the voters of Avon Township School District #3 – a rural district serving … [Read more...]

Rochester-Avon Historical Society Hosts Downtown Rochester Walking Tours

Rochester-Avon Historical Society’s 2016 Downtown Rochester Walking Tour Schedule The weather is improving and that means it's time once again for the Rochester Avon Historical Society’s annual walking tours of historic downtown Rochester. These popular tours are free to RAHS members and just $5 per person under the age of 55 and $3 per seniors (55+) and students. Bring your friends for what is sure to be an eye-opening and exciting adventure in Downtown Rochester. Each tour meets on the … [Read more...]

How The Old Stone Store became The Home Bakery

The Old Stone Store: A Remnant of Rochester’s Pioneer Era By Deborah J. Larsen Few Rochester residents remember a time when the venerable stone store at the corner of Third and Main streets was not a bakery. History reveals, however, that the iconic building has served a wide variety of tenants in its 167 years. Rochester’s oldest commercial structure, known to us as the Home Bakery building, was called “The Old Stone Store” by generations of earlier residents. It was built in 1849 for … [Read more...]