A-Z Challenge: R for Rochester
I am back again for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge so have made the commitment to blog every day in April except the Sundays. Some bloggers choose a theme, and others do random posts. For me, a theme works better, so them I’ve chosen for 2016 is Towns in Victoria. I will be choosing towns with a relevance to my family history, where possible.
R is for Rochester, a small country town in Victoria, between Bendigo and Echuca. The town began with traffic going from the goldrush of Central Victoria, through Rochester, to the port town of Echuca. The town was gazetted in 1855 and the post office opened in 1863, when there began to be increase of permanent residents.
Rochester is very important to my family history, as my great great grandfather moved there from Kyneton in about 1875,with his family of wife and six children. Three more children were born in Rochester. There are still many family members living there.
Many of the Waters family played in the Salvation Army Band, which I have been told was known at one point, as “the band of many Waters”.
Rochester today is still a rural city, being surrounded by agricultural industries such as dairy and sheep farming, tomato and grain growing.
A number of old, historic buildings are still standing in Rochester. However in January 2011, a record flood hit the down, with over 80% of homes flooded and the entire business district under water. Much of the population moved out of the town during the rebuilding process, but most have moved back now. Many of the old historic homes were badly damaged and though still standing, will never be fit for occupation again.
Rochester is famous as the birthplace of Australian endurance cyclist, Hubert Opperman in 1904. There is a statue of him in the town and also a cycling museum dedicated to him, which brings many tourists to the area.