Home Cities Why This One Minnesota City Is Unusually Beloved By Its Residents

Why This One Minnesota City Is Unusually Beloved By Its Residents

Why This One Minnesota City Is Unusually Beloved By Its Residents

One of the most beloved cities in the entire midwest, Rochester, MN was first established in 1855 as a stagecoach stop where horses could be watered and visitors could rest on the long ride between Saint Paul and Dubuque.

But it wasn’t until the railroad arrived almost a decade later that new businesses took hold and new residents arrived, including Dr. William W. Mayo (this name is important…keep reading) in 1863.

Twenty years later, in August of 1883, The Great Tornado, an F5 event that was part of a destructive outbreak, left behind a city in ruins.

At the time, Rochester did not have a hospital, so it was up to Dr. Mayo and his two sons to care for the injured as best as they could.

The family planted the seeds for what was, unbeknownst to them, the beginnings of one of the world’s most renowned medical establishments, the Mayo Clinic.

The Mayo Clinic has been a central part of Rochester’s status as a center for health care, economy, and high quality of living. However, there is so much more to behold in this gem of an American city than just a stature as an epicenter for historic health care.

Transforming an American City: The 20 Year Plan

rochester minnesota photo
Photo by Dougtone

The Minnesota state government, in a historical partnership with the Mayo Clinic and several other private partners, has designed a plan to invest more than $6.5 billion over the course of the next 20 years in an attempt to transform Rochester into what should become a front-line global biotech hub.

To accomplish this, this partnership has designed what will be known as the Destination Medical Center, a facility that is projected to create between 25,000 and 45,000 jobs over the span of 2 decades, an effort that seeks to increase the quality of life of Rochester’s residents and a much welcome boost to tax revenue, turning it into one of the large players in the global medical market.

The Mayo Clinic: Saving Lives since 1889

Dr. William W. Mayo, the founder of the Mayo Clinic, first arrived in Rochester in 1863 as an examining surgeon during the Civil War, but it was not until the Great Tornado of 1883 that the city’s lack of a hospital became readily apparent.

Approached by the Sisters of Saint Francis, who had acted as nurses during the aftermath of the disaster, Dr. Mayo agreed to create what would be known at the time as Saint Mary’s Hospital and which would later take on the name of its founder, opening its doors for the first time in 1889.

Today, the Mayo Clinic is a global leader in patient care, research and education, and has incorporated modern day technology into its standards of care, as evidenced by the adoption of more than 15,000 mobile devices dedicated to patient care and its subsequent creation of a mobile app.

As part of its innovative strategy, the Mayo Clinic has recently launched its Well Living Lab, a research facility that allows for the study or the interrelation between indoor spaces and human health in real-life environments.


Dyan Zammataro Travel expert, writer for America Unraveled.


  1. Rochester is a pleasant, but by no means exciting, city. City leaders recognize the fact that its median age is well above similar cities of its size, and although the city attracts younger people, it has great difficulty retaining them. Take medical professionals, for example: lots of younger people train in Rochester, or begin their careers there, but once established, then often flee for larger cities such as Minneapolis, 90 minutes away.

  2. We love this city! We’re a fairly young family with young kids and Rochester is such a pleasant, easy, reliable place to live, work, play, homeschool, and worship. We can’t imagine living anywhere else.

  3. Global visitors to large cities often miss that which is unique to the local culture. Rochester has not yet lost its connection with agriculture, the mainstay of its local culture; but Rochester also provides many amenities of a metropolis without losing touch with its heart and soul.


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