Rochester Minnesota is home to the number one hospital in the world so it makes sense that the city is commonly referred to as the Med-City, but have you ever heard someone call it the Queen City? I was driving on North Broadway this afternoon when I noticed the sign above. I hadn’t noticed the sign before and I don’t think I’ve ever heard the term so I did some digging to figure out what a “Queen City” was and why Rochester was once described as one.

The Dictionary defines “Queen City” as the preeminent city of a region. That makes sense but there’s more to the story. I dug up an article from the Post Bulletin that was published thirty years ago in 1991 and explained how Rochester got the nickname.

According to the article, the term ``Queen City'' was introduced by a businessman named Delbert Darling in 1879 as a way to promote a business college he ran. His advertisements were apparently very successful and the name took off. The PB says several other businesses adopted the name during that time including Queen City Bottling, Queen City Creamery, Queen City Finance, Queen City Oil, and several others.

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At the height of the slogan’s popularity, there were dozens of businesses using the moniker. I searched Google this morning to see how many “Queen City” businesses are operating in Rochester and immediately found three. Queen City Construction, Queen City Real-Estate, and Queen City Juice. A lot has certainly changed since the 1800s but you don't have to go back that far to see our city transforming. Take a look at the images below to see some significant changes from recent years.

Wow! Check out how Rochester has changed throughout the years in these Google photos.

As we are soaring down Hwy 52, it is hard to imagine what life was like in our town before the Target store was built where it is today. Or the house that you live in now, at one point in town, that wasn't there. In fact, Rochester has grown so fast throughout the years, most of our houses weren't even around 50 years ago! Don't believe me? Look through these photos to get a glimpse of what Rochester was like years ago.