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Rochelle

Trip Planner USA  /  Illinois  /  Rochelle
(4.6/5 based on 160+ reviews for 3 attractions)
Things to do: parks, adventure
Rochelle is a city in Ogle County and Lee County, Illinois, United States. The population was 9,574 at the 2010 census, up from 9,424 at the 2000 census. Rochelle is approximately 80mi west of Chicago and 25mi south of Rockford.HistoryOriginally named Hickory Grove, the town sits at the intersection of two rail lines. Having a number of granaries holding corn, wheat and other crops for shipping eastward, the town was an important rail link for farmers. During the Civil War, an arsonist burned some of the granaries. He was arrested but vigilantes stormed the local jail and hung him from a tree. The town then was called Hang Town by locals and travelers. Later in the local pharmacy, some of the city fathers were discussing the problem of lack of people coming to reside in the town. It was agreed a new name was necessary. One of the men reached up on a shelf and picked up a bottle of Rochelle Salts, saying Rochelle would be a good name for the town. After World War II, Rochelle grew, becoming a center for Swift Meat Packing and Del Monte canned vegetables such as asparagus, corn, green beans, and peas. Now the town hosts Nippon Sharyo, a Japanese maker of railroad passenger cars for commuter lines and regional corridor routes operated by Amtrak, as well as a meat packing plant owned by Hormel Foods.On April 9, 2015, parts of the city suffered damage after a large wedge EF4 tornado struck the town.
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