New signs to teach significance of Rochester’s city seal

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published May 27, 2015


ROCHESTER — When the city of Rochester redesigned its city seal a couple of years ago, Rochester City Councilman Rob Ray said there was much interest from the community in learning about the significance of the design.

Residents’ questions about the seal inspired him to spearhead a new project, organized by the Rochester Historical Commission, to place historical signs describing each of the four emblems in the city crest throughout Rochester.

“We are coming up on the bicentennial, the 200-year anniversary of the city, so I thought maybe it was a chance to — from the Historical Commission — explain the significance of the seal,” Ray said. “Instead of just having one sign, (I thought), what if we were to highlight each aspect of the seal, and then we could put them around the city to accentuate the real meaning of each one — use it as a tool to encourage people to explore the city, and also use it as a reference point.”

Each of the four signs features the city seal — with one of its four emblems highlighted based on its location — an explanation of the historical significance of that portion of the seal, and a simple map of the downtown area, including the location of the other three signs.

“These will be placed in four areas in the community, in areas that are appropriate and coordinate with the symbol,” City Manager Jaymes Vettraino said.

The castle emblem — which signifies Rochester, England, the city’s mother city — will be located by City Hall.

The oak leaf — which signifies the land of many oaks, Oakland County — will be placed near a big oak tree on Ludlow, near Rochester Municipal Park.

The sign explaining the hammer and anvil — which signifies industry — will be placed near the Rochester Mills Beer Co.

The torch — which signifies education — will be placed by the Rochester Community Schools Administration Building.

Vettraino said the sign project, which will cost $4,500 and be paid for by the Historical Commission, should be complete by the end of June.