Portage Wisconsin

Rochester Washington Info Site!

rochester washington greetings sign


Farmers MarketRochester Grand Mound Farmers Market

Free Concerts in the Rochester Washington area 2010rochester concerts

Rochester/Grand Mound Farmers Market opens Saturday, June 19, 2010, 9am-1pm.

clydesdalesThe Budweiser Clydesdales visit the Great Wolf Lodge.

great wolf resortGreat Wolf Resort Picture Update & Grand Opening

GRAND MOUND, Wash. (April 25, 2008) -- The indoor waterpark craze has officially found its way to the West Coast, with tonight’s grand opening of Great Wolf Lodge® in Grand Mound, Wash. a spectacle worthy of the growing reputation of Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.®, the destination hotel’s parent company........


Rochester Washington

Rochester Washington is a community in southern Thurston County. It is located twenty miles southwest of Olympia, and was platted and named Rochester in 1890 by Gaily Fleming of Centralia Washington. Her home town was Rochester, Indiana. Serving as a railroad junction and trade center, Rochester, in its early history had a hotel, three sawmills and a large store. John L. Nye reestablished the city name Rochester in 1904 to honor his home town of Rochester, England.

Rochester has an estimated population of around 12,000 in 2011. The surrounding area, better known as Rochester/Grand Mound, includes the unincorporated community of Grand Mound. Both cities share the same zip code.

Shopping in or near Rochester Washington:

Banks in or near Rochester Washington:

Hospitals/Medical Centers Near Rochester:

Amtrak Station Near Rochester:
12 Miles: Centralia (210 Railroad Ave.). Services: Ticket Office, Fully Wheelchair Accessible, Enclosed Waiting Area, Public Restrooms, Public Payphones, Free Short-Term Parking, Free Long-Term Parking, Taxi Stand, Public Transit Connection.


Mima Mounds

This part of Thurston County and the areas to the northwest and northeast have the distinction of having unusual land formations called the Mima Mounds. The Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve is a 445 acre area near Little Rock Washington with an interpretive trail open to the public and suitable for the disabled. These Mima Mounds are small hills from 15 to 30 feet across and up to 8 feet tall which number in the thousands across an area from just south of the Black Hills out to Tenino. Many theories exist as to what caused these mounds. The most widely accepted explanation is that when the glaciers melted, they left deposits of soil and rock. Related to this is the possibility that vibrations from seismic activity caused these deposits to become more defined in mounds. Gophers have been credited with pushing up mounds of dirt as they tunneled and it's also been suggested that Paul Bunyan made them while he was digging out Puget Sound to transport logs to the mills.

If the glacier theory is correct then the largest mound, or Grand Mound, located near the intersection of James Road SW and Old Highway 9 SW, could be a glacial drumlin.

Grand Mound Washington

Grand Mound, the community, is located to the south and east of Rochester at the junction of U.S. Highway 12 and Interstate 5. Leonard Durgin, member of the Territorial Legislature, was the first owner of the "grand mound", a 125 foot hillhock, and built a home upon it. He suggested using the mound as the site of the Territorial Capitol. He suggested the name Grand Mound in 1853. Grand Mound operated a post office from 1854-1855.

Also included in the Rochester/Grand Mound area is the land that Samuel and Ann Maria James of Cornwall England established as the community of Jamestown, two miles west of "the Grand Mound" along the now named James Road SW in Rochester. For a time it had its own schoolhouse. Samuel James staked his claim in 1852.

Independence Washington

One more community making up the now Rochester/Grand Mound area is Independence. It is located three miles to the south of the city center on the Thurston County-Grays Harbor boundaries. Ebenezer B. Couch was the postmaster in 1878 when the name was chosen. The post office operated from 1878 to 1890. Many organic farms now operate in this area.

Fort Henness

During the unrest of the 1855-1856 Indian War, many forts were built in the Puget Sound area. Fort Henness was located on the Mound Prairie in the Rochester Grand Mound area, across from the Grand Mound Cemetery and south of Scatter Creek. It was built with a large stockade with two blockhouses and enclosed several cabins, barracks and a school. Thirty local families used it for safety and the Washington Militia used it periodically. Fort Henness was named for Benjamin and Lucretia Henness.

Captain Henness served in the Washington Territorial Volunteers during the Indian War.

Here is a photo of the site as it looks today. None of Fort Henness remains. On the site are three informational markers.
Fort Henness

This next photo shows the sign with the layout of Fort Henness and the names of the residents displayed.

Fort Henness names

For those of you unable to view the photo, the names listed on the sign are as follows: J. Axtell, C. Baker, E. Baker, J. Biles. C. Byles, D. Byles, J. Borst, L. Case, L. Durgin, D. Frost, J. Goodell, C. Hagen, H. Hale, B. Henness, S. James, J. Laws, J. Smith, A. Hill, W. Mills, W. Mize, A.Tilly, S. Kirtley, J.Roundtree, A. Sargent, J. Lum, R. Waddell, H. Hall, J. Remley, W. King, C. Saylor, J. Canby, A. Yantis, J. Croll, S. Hodgen, A. McCormack, S. Coulter, W. Goodell, and W. Metcalf.

The next photo shows the Fort Henness Memorial
Fort Henness Memorial

The monument reads as follows:


This last picture shows a close-up of the monument erected by the Masons of Washington and Alaska under the auspices of Olympia Lodge No. 1, Steilacoom Lodge No. 2, and Washington Lodge No. 4 on May 3, 1941.

fort henness mounument erected by Masons