The Rochester Report

Month: December 2014

An Old Friend, an Antique Mall, and a Vintage Chess Set


It was a cold day.  A really cold day.  But the moment we stepped into The Old River Valley Antique Mall we were greeted with a warm smile and some good old midwestern small talk.

As I mentioned, I plan to visit all of the antique shops that Rochester, Minnesota has to offer this year.  But I know I’ll be back to The Old River Valley Antique Mall many, many times.

The thing about antique shopping in your home town is that you find things that mean something to you.  Things that bring back memories so vividly.  Like when I saw the old Wong’s Cafe order tickets and I could taste the egg drop soup again.  And I could see my Grandpa sitting across from me.

You see, it’s not just antiquing.  It’s diving into your past, in the best way possible.

Here’s My Beef With The Gingerbread House Bakery


It’s one of the oldest bakeries in Rochester. Four generations of deliciousness to be exact.

The Gingerbread House Bakery has a wide variety of homemade pastries, breads, and desserts.  While you attempt to narrow your selection to just one sweet treat, you can enjoy the collection of relics they have decorated the shop with.  But one thing you cannot get at The Gingerbread House Bakery… A seat.

The size of the shop makes it nearly impossible to seat anyone but I think I’d take a stool or wooden crate just to enjoy a sugary confection and cup of caffeine in that quaint little spot.  Either way you slice it, it’s one bakery stop you must make. You’ll only be sorry you can’t stay longer.

Find them at: 1104 N Broadway Rochester, MN 55901 | 507-288-2621

The Best of Rochester’s Antique Shops


Whether you’re looking for refurbished furniture, vintage jewelry, or artifacts from Rochester’s rich and intriging past, you’ll find it at one of Rochester, Minnesota’s many antique shops.

These three are at the top of my list to visit.

1.  John Kruesel’s General Merchandise on Historic 3rd Street

  • American Antiques
  • Estate & Fine Jewelry
  • Historic Documents
  • Open Tuesday-Friday from 10am-5:30pm & Saturdays 1pm-5pm
  • 22 3rd Street SW
    Rochester MN 55902
  • (507) 289-8049

2.  Old River Valley Antique Mall

  • Over 20 antique dealers
  • 3,500 square feet
  • New Arrivals Daily
  • Open Monday-Saturday from 9:30am-5:30pm & Sundays 12-5:30pm
  • 3727 Commercial Drive SW
    Rochester MN 55902
  • (507) 208-4505

3.  Old Rooster Antiques

  • Open since 1986
  • 10 antique dealers
  • Open Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm & Weekends from 10am-5pm
  • 106 N Broadway
    Rochester MN 55906
  • (507) 287-6228

Did Rochester Run Santa Out of Town?


Sometimes Mall Santas get a bad rap.  But it’s safe to say we are very fond of our Santa in Rochester, Minnesota.  Rochester residents have enjoyed photos with Santa at Apache Mall for many years.  The same Santa.  Every year.  Works 80+ hours per week during the holiday season.  But our very own Santa, (aka Jerry Julian) is getting tired.    And he’s hoping to cut back on his hours.

It’s been reported that Apache Mall is considering replacing him.  And Rochester Residents are not happy.   A Facebook Page has been created to help “Save Santa at Apache Mall”.

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 9.09.18 AM

If you’d like to see our beloved Santa (Jerry Julian) back for more next year, you’re going to have to head on over to the Facebook Page and voice your concerns.

The Storm That Changed Rochester Minnesota Forever


Before Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minnesota was known as the southeastern Minnesota wheat market hub.  The same year Minnesota became a state (1858), Rochester was incorporated as a town.  August 21, 1883 will forever be the day that changed Rochester Minnesota forever and it’s the reason for our visual and economic landscape today.  On that day in 1883, a tornado hit Rochester suddenly and left a 25 mile stretch of destruction.

1883 Tornado Rochester Minnesota

One man was picked up by the storm and set down alive in a cemetery, where all of the headstones had been blown over.

The town did not have a hospital but was home to a few doctors you may recognize, including William Worrall (W.W.) Mayo and his sons William and Charles.

The next morning, the town decided to centralize medical care and create an emergency hospital.

And as they say… the rest is history.

Original Article: MNopdedia