Dear Crabby, What is the Longest Running Business in Rochester or Rochester Hills?

Dear Crabby, What is the Longest Running Business in the Rochester or Rochester Hills?

Sincerely, Kathleen Novetsky


Dear Kathleen,

A better question for our historical writer, Deborah J. Larsen … but I’ll have a go at. You’re really asking two questions in one, and you also don’t say “still operating,” but I’ll assume that’s what you mean. For Rochester Hills, it could be a tie with many businesses. When Rochester Hills became a city, any existing businesses in Avon Township that are still operating today would be all tied … and that’s several. However, I get the feeling you’re looking back at Avon Township/Rochester Hills as all the same thing.

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Dear Crabby Gives Advice

I believe the correct answer is Yates Cider Mill. While ownership has changed, it’s still operating as a mill, which is what it started as in 1863, as a gristmill, and converted to a cider mill in 1876. And it’s still water-powered! It’s the right time of year as well to ask this question because Yates is open right now for the fall cider mill experience. You can find out more about our area mills by reading Water-Powered Mills of the Rochester Area.

In downtown Rochester, you’ll find the Rochester Elevator and Potere-Modetz Funeral Home as the two oldest Businesses in Rochester. Both got started in 1880, I’m not sure if anyone figured out which one was first, maybe a reader will chime in with the answer, but for now I’ll claim both as Rochester’s oldest businesses. The funeral home may one day have that title if the Elevator closes. While the Elevator is still open, it was supposed to be turned into condos, but that hasn’t happened yet. If it does, then the funeral home will be clearly the longest running business in Rochester.

So there you have it,

Dear Crabby


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