Rochester in Monroe County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Welcome to the High Falls
A New York State Heritage Area
The City of Rochester grew around the unique feature of four water falls and their potential to generate hydro-power.
The High Falls of the Genesee River, with a drop of 96 feet, was recognized as early as 1807 as having the potential to generate enough hydro-power to support a settlement of note.
The early settlement of Frankfort, now part of the city, was located on the west high bank of the Genesee River. This area became the engine that powered the industrial growth of the City of Rochester.
The ﬁrst mill built here in 1807 and powered by the High Falls was “ill constructed and had only one run-of-stone".
A run-of-stone is the term used to describe two millstones that are used to grind grain into flour. One millstone was placed on top of and in contact with a lower stone. One stone turned so that the grain was ground between the two stones.
Matthew and Francis Brown, two brothers from Rome, New York, realized that the area around the falls offered great industrial potential. In 1812, they purchased 200 acres on the high bank and the settlement of Frankfort was established.
The Brown Brothers constructed a water race 1,300 feet long and 30 feet wide in 1,500 days at the cost of $3,872.
This man-made canal allowed the water of the Genesee
In 1851, the ten ﬂour mills with ﬁfty run-of-stone located along Brown's Race were capable of producing 500,000 barrels of ﬂour annually. Along with the other mills at the other falls on the Genesee River, Rochester became the leader in the production of flour and was called The Flour City. Production on Brown‘s Race was not limited to ﬂour; the energy derived from waterpower also provided power to numerous factories producing edge tools, fire engines, shoes, distilleries, foundries and many other items. In 1879, the power capability of Brown's Rare was 3,670 horsepower. At the turn of the century, Rochester was still sending out over 500,000 barrels of flour annually. With the rise of steam engines and the advent of electricity, companies were able to move away from the High Falls area. Today, the race is still in use providing power to a hydro-electric plant, one of three operating in the City of Rochester and located on the flats below the high bank.
New York State Heritage Areas - a program of NYS Parks. City of Rochester, NY Brown's Race/High Falls Historic District
Location. 43° 9.659′ N, 77° 36.852′ W. Marker is in Rochester, New York, in Monroe County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Commercial Street and Brown's Race. Click for map. Marker is deep in the parking lot at the intersection of Commercial and Brown's Race. It is, however, one of several in the High Falls/Brown's Race neighborhood. Marker is in this post office area: Rochester NY 14614, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Morning of February 18, 1861 (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pont de Rennes Pedestrian Bridge (about 700 feet away); Genesee River Gorge: Centuries of Conflict in Pleasant Valley (about 700 feet away); Genesee River Gorge: 20,000 Years in the Making (about 700 feet away); On this site stood the Standard Brewing Company's main Brewery Building. (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Genesee Brew House Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Original Site of Frederick Douglass Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Post House (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Rochester.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Yugoboy of Rochester, New York. This page has been viewed 229 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Yugoboy of Rochester, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.