Town grew from an early pioneering station

By Geoff Adams

The town of Rochester, on the banks of the Campaspe River, had its origins in the establishment of a pastoral run known as Restdown Station.

The homestead was founded on a run close to the river to the north of the current site of the town by Dr John Pearson Rowe, who is credited with establishing the town originally known as ‘Rowechester’ with a hotel in 1853.

The history of the agricultural town is being preserved by the Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society, which has four buildings in High St, Rochester, based around the former Commons School (1874).

The renovated school building holds records relating to the Rochester Cemetery; early births, deaths and marriages; newspapers from 1874; honour rolls from both world wars; and records from the closer settlement land schemes.

The museum is open on Wednesdays and Fridays between 9am and noon, or by appointment by phoning Lorraine Haines on 5484 2556.