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The Rochester-Avon Historical Society (RAHS) was founded to help preserve, collect and interpret the history of the greater Rochester area for present and future generations. We believe that: by educating our citizens about their heritage, we celebrate our democratic way of life and instill an appreciation of our history; by perpetuating our past through the preservation of historic resources, we maintain a rich diversity in our community life; by respecting and restoring architectural integrity of structures and by conserving neighborhood environments, we preserve the unique character and document the historical evolution of the place in which we live.
The Rochester-Avon Historical Society was founded in 1969, building on the interest in local history generated by the centennial commemorating the 100th anniversary of Rochester's incorporation as a village. We currently have more than 165 members and welcome new members.
Each March, we host our annual Appraisal Day - our version of "Antiques Roadshow." We have restored a historic surrey for use in local events, such as the Rochester Christmas parade, and we present monthly evening programs at the Rochester Hills Public Library and noontime Brown Bag Lunch meetings at Rochester Community House (free and open to the public).
RAHS offers Historic Downtown Walking Tours monthly from May through October, and Mount Avon Cemetery Tours featuring re-enactors in period clothing (Sept.). We maintain the World War II Honor Roll next to Rochester Municipal Building and take part in Greater Rochester Heritage Days (Memorial Day weekend).
In addition, our member newsletter, the Rochester Era, has won a state history award. We have an active oral history project, and we operate an area-wide historic resource, Oakland Regional Historic Sites website, which has won state awards. We also publish a calendar with historical photos and books of local history by area authors.
- Brian Dunphy
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