Why is Rochester Such a Good Early Settlement?
That’s a question that showed up in the stats of this website, referring to the phrases people enter into search engines which bring them to the site.
That was the question word for word. I don’t know who entered it, but it got me asking the same question. Why is Rochester such a Good Early Settlement?
I agree that there’s something special about Rochester Township. And it’s not just because I lived there, because I’ve lived a lot of places and don’t feel the same way about all those places. And it’s not because all my ancestors came from Rochester, because only the Fenners were original Rochester settlers.
I think Rochester is special because:
a) the people who settled there are resilient. It was tough land .. clay, poor drainage, barely a trail through the bush when my Great Great Grandfather arrived somewhere around 1850. But they perservered and made good farmland out of it.
b) French and English worked side by side. There was a bit of the Two Solitudes phenomena happening because they went to different schools and churches, but mostly there was harmony.
c) the train — the first train came through Rochester in 1854. That was up in Belle River. So they weren’t as landlocked in Rochester as the counties further south in the county. And then, in 1872, the train line going through Woodslee, Ruscomb and Comber came through, making it even easier to get to the city. This contributed to the economic growth of the township.
d) People in Rochester were supportive of each other. Maybe they were in most pioneer communities. I have nothing to compare it to. All I know is the place where I grew up was a place where people worked together. I think I may be a bit of a romantic idealist here, but I think I’ll stay with that belief. Decent people, hardworking people. Who are just about all related to each other, if not by blood, then by marriage.
Those are my thoughts on the subject. Good question. Any thoughts, person who asked Google what’s great about Rochester?