Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Heart of the Hills

Have you ever wondered how the "heart of the hills" motto came to be? If you've been around Rochester for more than a decade, you may recall the red heart that always appeared on the nameplate of the late Rochester Clarion, along with the newspaper's motto, "your hometown newspaper in the Heart of the Hills."

That slogan came about in the autumn of 1940, when the Kiwanis Club was planning to erect gateway welcome signs at the outskirts of the village (these signs still stand on Rochester Road and Walton Boulevard). The Kiwanis Club and village of Rochester sponsored a contest, promoted by the Clarion, for the best slogan to describe the community on the new signs. The winner was 12-year-old Russell Clanahan, whose suggestion "The Heart of the Hills" won him the first prize of $10. The Clarion also took up the slogan and added it to the front page of the newspaper.

Almost seventy years later, the Rochester Clarion is no more, but Russell Clanahan's ten-dollar idea lives on in some of our business and organization names. We have the Heart of the Hills Swim Club, Heart of the Hills Church, Heart of the Hills Barber Shop and even the Heart of the Hills Players.

It was a great idea in 1940, and it's still a great idea today. Here's to the Heart of the Hills!

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