Rochester, NH began in 1722 with a grant of land from the governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Samuel Shute. It was named for the governor's friend, the 1st Earl of Rochester. For several years after the land grant, conflict between the native tribes of the area and colonists prevented much settlement. When hostilities eased, the European settlers began to arriving in a steady flow.
Rochester was enormously appealing to settlers in the mid-1700s, just as it appeals to modern-day settlers.
Three rivers, the Cocheco, Isinglass, and Salmon Falls, ensured that the inhabitants not only had abundant water for cooking and drinking, but they could also transport goods, like the plentiful Norway spruce that were used for construction and shipbuilding. The virgin forest was full of game, and the rivers brimmed with fish. After the conclusion of the American Revolution in the late 1700s, Rochester's future was limitless.
Mighty rivers powered the Industrial Revolution in New England throughout the 1800s, and Rochester NH was no exception. Shoe factories, textile manufacturing, lumber and other types of mills, cabinet and furniture makers all plied their trades in Rochester. By 1893, the town was large enough to incorporate as a city.
Rochester is still known for its diverse industries and businesses, many of which are found in the downtown area.
In the decade between 2010 and 2020, the city of Rochester was one of the fastest growing cities in the state of New Hampshire. In the 2020 census, there were just over 32,500 residents. The city of Dover next door adds another 32,000 people to this exciting region. Some of the citizens of Rochester collaborated recently to create a 'Main Street' community, where volunteers and business owners dedicate themselves to enhancing downtown Rochester through events and beautification projects. It looks great!
Educationally, the city provides several elementary schools (including a magnet school), Rochester Middle School and Rochester High School. These are rounded out by the Bud Carlson Academy, an alternative high school, and the Creteau Regional Technology Center, where students master the skills of the future. Local higher education offerings include Great Bay Community College's Rochester Campus and the University of New Hampshire in nearby Durham.
Rochester is not a city focused solely on business, however.
The performing arts, and other cultural and recreational opportunities abound. The historic Rochester Opera House regularly holds live performances including music, dance, theater. It also offers the Rochester Performance & Arts Center for up-and-coming performing artists.
The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts provides public art exhibits throughout the city. In addition, craft galleries, antiques and collectible shops are offered. Musical entertainment is featured at several venues and offers outdoor concerts in the summer.
The Granite State Fair in Rochester is the state’s longest-running agricultural fair, attracting thousands of visitors to the city each September since 1874. Other amenities include recreational facilities including Roger Allen Athletic Park hosting youth baseball, an 18-hole golf course with driving range, cross-country skiing and more. Skyhaven Airport in Rochester offers services to private pilots and certified flight training. The Rochester Ice Arena is home to area hockey teams, and provides a venue for figure and recreational skaters as well.
Browse Rochester NH homes for sale to see some of the best values in the region. Far enough from the ocean to escape the sometimes exorbitant pricing of other communities, Rochester is still an easy drive to beautiful beaches and so much more!