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"The Land of Healthful Delight": Highlights from the Rod and Susan Wilson collection of Rochester History


Soon the farmland and beautiful scenery of the Avon Township area attracted developers catering to Detroiters who wanted to escape the crowded and polluted city.


From the Oakland County Board of County Road Commissioners to private developers, all praised the “quiet retreat far from the noise and heat of the city”, the pure air and water, and the proximity “to civilization and nature”.


Farms were progressively turned into subdivisions and the Rochester area experienced dramatic population growth.

One of several such ventures, the Nowels Lumber Yard in Rochester operated a successful lumber and coal business that took advantage of the “do it yourself” home ownership movement during the New Deal.


By the 1970s, Oakland University’s student newspaper saw Rochester as a “developing city with modern roadways, subdivisions, and shopping malls” that “still retains the quaint, small-town atmosphere of the early 1900s.”