Michigan: The Story of Rochester's Noon Whistle

  • Source: Rochester Media
  • Published: 11/03/2020 12:00 AM

Nobody who lives or works in the vicinity of downtown Rochester needs a watch to know when it’s lunchtime. Six days a week, at high noon, the blast of the fire department’s siren marks the midday hour. However, the daily sounding of the noon whistle has nothing to do with signaling a meal break and everything to do with a devastating fire that nearly destroyed an iconic Main Street business. Back in 1926, Rochester boasted a brand-new, state-of-the-art Ford dealership. Partners C. Lawrence “Larry” Jerome and Oliver N. Phillips had opened their modern showroom and service garage at 215 South Main in February of that year with a well-attended community dance party. The Phillips & Jerome building was part of a wave of new investment that was exciting Rochester at the time. The state had announced in 1925 that it was planning to build an 810-foot-long, concrete highway bridge to connect South Hill with the foot of Main Street, and business was booming in anticipation of the coming construction.


We welcome comments from registered users. Comments are solely the responsibility of those who post them; their viewpoints are not endorsed by the Daily Dispatch and DailyDispatch.com. (read more)
ship name
no comments have been added

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Daily Dispatch emails for free

click to subscribe