Beginning as the pioneering Young Lion of the West and then harvesting itself into first the Flour City then the Flower City, Rochester, New York is a place of variegated American history. Evidently, too, it is a land of multiple nicknames. The current one (Flower City) is a pleasant reminder that the city does, in fact, see a vibrant season of life in the spring and summer months — and hefty heaps of snow the rest of the year.
Regardless of its oft-frigid, oft-temperate climate, Rochester is able to boast being the burial place for two prominent civil rights leaders, an important distinction that does not go without celebration. Couple this with a hearty brewery and the headquarters one of the most revolutionary companies of the 20th century and you have a decent beginner’s take on Rochester. If you’re new in town or just visiting and looking for a Rochester What to Do-type guide, look no further. Here are three important historical things to see in Rochester.
The graves of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony
Frederick Douglass was a great African-American advocate who fought tirelessly for the abolition of slavery throughout the mid-1800s. Though he died in Washington, D.C., Douglass lived 25 years in Rochester, longer than he stayed anywhere else. Susan B. Anthony was also a great reformer, though her contributions were for the advancement of women’s equality along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other suffragists. Both Douglass and Anthony are buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in the city.
The Genesee Brewery
One of the most fun things to do in Rochester, NY is pay a visit to the local Genesee Brewery, which has operated from its High Falls location in downtown Rochester since 1878. On site, you can take a tour, try some samples or simply marvel at all the colorful memorabilia that now adorns the lobby of the bar/restaurant. Owning a number of smaller brands and serving locations throughout the United States, Mexico and overseas, the home of Genny, as it’s locally known, is one of the most unique things to see in Rochester, bar none.
Eastman Kodak Company
“Kodachrome / You give us those nice bright colors,” sang Paul Simon in 1973, distilling a century’s worth of innovation into a simple pop chorus. Entrepreneur George Eastman founded Kodak in the late 1800s, quickly transforming it into one of the most known brands in the world. Chances are you’ve even got an old (or new) one lying around somewhere. Check out the company’s corporate headquarters downtown or stop into the just-as-historical George Eastman House on East Avenue.
Rochester is the third-largest city in the State of New York, though it has some pretty big shoes to fill (New York City, anyone?) While you’re here, you could take a tour de cuisine and use the handful of Rochester restaurants coupons you have. But between meals, enjoy these fun, historical and informative things to see in Rochester.