(submitted by and photos by Gerald & Tammy Westmoreland)
Settled about 1846 and located twelve miles north of Kosciusko, the place was first kmown as Rochester. This location became the site of a large mill enterprise, started by T.S. Rosamond, who bought a small water mill about two miles from this location in 1847. In this same year he formed a company composed of his brother, Sam Rosamond, as well as W.B. Thompson, and Charles Clark. The project consisted of a lumber mill, flour mill, grist mill, carding mill, and a bed factory.
After the establishment of the mills which employed a large number of workers, Rochester grew rapidly and soon became an industrial center and trading point. A general store and hotel opened as the Greensborough Road, much traveled at that time, passed near the mills.
During these days of prosperity, the Rochester Academy was opened sometime before 1858 and was considered a fine school for its time. Aside from the students of the local population, boarding pupils were taken in by private families.
The failure of the mills was brought about by the Civil War. During the war business fell off and labor was hard to get after the war. In 1864, Asa Weatherly, who had come for the purpose of helping run the mills, purchased the interests of the stockholders. He paid down about half the value in Confederate bills which were soon without value, and got the remainder on terms. He did a small business until 1872 when he sold out to Ed Hammond of Kosciusko. Hammond also failed to make the business profitable and in 1880 dismantled the mills, selling the parts to differenct people.
The second period of prosperity, which occurred in the late 1880s and 1890s. and continued until about 1910, saw sawmills and gins enliven the community providing new buildings and caring for large cotton crops. Two brothers H.M. and J.R. Guess bought cotton, a blacksmith and shoe shop were in operation and a post office called Zebulon was established. There was also a molasses mill, and Robert Rouse operated a chair Factory.
Soon after the fouding of Rochester, the Macedonia Baptist Church was organized a mile north of town. Eventually the town of Rochester took on the name of Macedonia.
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