Located at a junction of the Northern Pacific and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific railroads. It functioned as a trading center for the surrounding district and had several small churches and a modern high school.
Rochester was founded in 1852. Its first mercantile store was built in 1889 and still stands today across from the Rochester Community Center on US 12 heading towards Oakville. Until the second half of the 20th century Rochester was known as the largest producer of strawberries. It is now a small rural community whose population commutes to Olympia or Chehalis for work.