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Founded in 1824, Rochester is the seat of Olmsted County, and the third largest city in Minnesota, behind Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Rochester is situated south of the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest, and along the South Fork of the Zumbro River.

The main routes through the city are US Routes 14, 52, and 63, and Minnesota State Highway 30. Interstate 90 runs just southeast of Rochester. Marion is about ten miles southeast, Byron ten mile west, and Salem Corners ten miles east-southeast.

The community was formed as a stop along the Dubuque Trail, a stagecoach line between Saint Paul and Dubuque, Iowa. Travelers would stop at Rochester to camp and to water their animals from the river.

In 1852, George Head made a claim to the land that is now part of the city's central business district, building a cabin that became known as Head's Tavern. When a community grew up around his cabin, Head named it for his hometown of Rochester, New York.

In 1855, Olmsted County was created by the legislature of Minnesota Territory and named Rochester the county seat. Rochester was incorporated as a city in 1858.

Dr. William Worrall Mayo emigrated to the United States from England in 1845 and settled in Rochester, where he became an examining surgeon of Union draftees during the Civil War. Dr. Mayo stayed on to become the County Doctor.

In 1864, the Winona & St. Peter Railroad came through, building a stop in Rochester. The W&SP Railroad was later sold to the Chicago & Northwestern Transportation Company, and Rochester soon became a regional urban center.

In cooperation with the Catholic Sisters of Saint Francis, Dr. Mayo and his sons, William and Charles, who were also doctors, formed Saint Mary's Hospital, which opened in 1889. As other doctors came to work with the Mayos, scientific laboratories were developed, and their efforts would later lead to the creation of the Mayo Clinic, which is still headquartered in Rochester.

In 1956, International Business Machines (IBM) chose Rochester as the site a new manufacturing, engineering, and educational facility, which later became IBM's largest building under one roof, employing around six thousand people by the late 1970s.

Today, the Mayo Clinic is the largest employer in Rochester, and serves as the core of the city's economy. In fact, excluding the state government, the Mayo Clinic is the largest employer in Minnesota. IBM continues to be a major factor in the city's economy as well, others including Olmsted Medical Center, and McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing and Charter Communications.

Rochester have a large park system, particularly Silver Lake and Soldiers Field in the central portion of the city. In addition, the city maintains eighty-five miles of paved trails, as well as Quarry Hill Nature Center, Oxbow Park, and Zollman Zoo, and four public golf courses.

The Post-Bulletin, a daily newspaper headquartered in Rochester, also publishes Rochester Magazine, a monthly periodical. Three television stations are based in Rochester.

Most Rochester PK-12th grade students are educated through Rochester Public Schools, while others are served by Rochester Lourdes High School, Schaeffer Academy, and Rochester Central Lutheran School, and some smaller private religious schools.

There are several choices in higher education, including Rochester Community and Technical College, the University of Minnesota Rochester, and branches of Cardinal Stritch University, the Minnesota School of Business, Augsburg University, the College of Saint Scholastica, Winona State University, and Saint Mary's University. The Mayo Clinic offers graduate medical education and research programs through its Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

The focus of this category is on the City of Rochester, Minnesota. City or county government sites whose offices are located in Rochester are appropriate for this category, or its subcategories, along with any schools, sports or recreation facilities, financial institutions, non-profit or civic organizations, businesses, or any other entities physically located in Rochester. Websites representing individuals who reside in Rochester may also be submitted to this category.


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