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Season 4 - Rochester Retold:
200 Years of Hidden Histories

Rochester, New York is situated in Monroe County which is celebrating its bicentennial. In honor of this, season four is dedicated to investigating the odd stories that have taken place here. Listen along to discover the tales of milk regulation, prohibition, prisoner of war camps, lady in white, abandoned subway and the mysterious case of a mirage. 


Episode 1: Why Milk?


Episode 2: Bottles and Bootleggers


Episode 3: In the Shadows of Cobb's Hill


Episode 4: Lady in White

Episode 1: Why Milk?

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Episode 5: Rochester's Not-So-Abandoned Subway


Episode 6: The Vision in the Sky

Why did we start drinking milk? The dairy industry created a prominent supply and demand for milk in our society, but it wasn’t always this way. Before modern milk health regulations, milk was not a common drink, and it was often rampant with disease and caused frequent health issues and infant deaths. The city of Rochester wasn’t immune to the diseases dirty milk caused. Health officials here in Monroe County played an important role in the efforts to industrialize milk. However, their intentions might not have been for the greater good of public health.

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Episode 2: Bottles and Bootleggers

Bottles and Bootleggers follows the exciting journey of smuggler Ben Kerr as he traverses the icy waters of lake Ontario during prohibition. He lands in Rochester, New York fueling Rochester’s alcohol craving. We investigate the ways alcohol is smuggled, how it's hidden and the ways it affects people. So, how far were Rochesterians willing to go to keep alcohol flowing, and how much violence and crime were they willing to tolerate?

We’d like to thank Morris Pierce for his interview. We’d also like to thank Daniel Mruzek, Kevin Vencatasamy, and Philip Cavallo for agreeing to be voice actors. And lastly, we’d like to thank Professors Thomas Fleischman and Stephen Roessner, our coordinating producer Celia Konowe, and the rest of our classmates in HIST227 Fall 2021 for always being there to give us advice and encouragement throughout the making of this podcast.

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Episode 3: In the Shadows of Cobb's Hill

A local Rochester park with an unconventional history. What happened on these grounds between 1943 and 1945? Join us as we attempt to uncover the mysterious relationship between Rochesterians and these unlikely residents in Cobb's Hill Park during World War II.



Episode 4: Lady in White

Ghost story or infamous legend, what’s the difference? If you’re from the greater Rochester area, there’s a good chance you have heard one of the many tales regarding the lady in white apparition that haunts Durand Eastman Park. Why do these stories persist through time? What do morphologies of urban legends suggest about the societies that engrain them? Find out how this seemingly innocent local fable intertwines with darker hidden histories and more within The Lady in White, an episode produced, researched, and engineered by Jacob Hall, Wesley Mawn, and Divya Duraisamy.


Episode 5: Rochester's Not-So-Abandoned Subway

Underneath the busy streets of Rochester sits the abandoned subway, a local hub for creativity and self expression; a space where concrete walls come to life in visceral color and motion. But where did it all begin? Join Hear UR in exploring the rich history of Rochester’s street art.

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Episode 6: The Vision in the Sky

On a clear day in April, onlookers standing in Mt. Hope Cemetery were met with an astounding sight: Canada. This was the Rochester Mirage of 1871. Normally 400 feet below the horizon, the shore on the other side of Lake Ontario loomed closer than ever, with the lake itself seeming to have engulfed the northernmost half of our city. Or so the story goes. But what actually happened? And what can the Mirage tell us about the Rochester of that time, and about history as a whole?

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