Thursday, September 1, 2016

This Month in Rochester History

It's been half a century since touch-tone telephone service was inaugurated in the Rochester area.  In September 1966, Michigan Bell officials announced that a new facility on Tienken Road would take over the telephone circuits for Rochester and the old building at the corner of Third & Walnut streets would be vacated.  All 5,800 telephone customers in greater Rochester would be assigned the '651' prefix, and touch-tone calling would be available for the first time in the area.

The company announced that it would no longer offer 4-party lines, but 2-party service would still be available on a limited basis.


  1. My parents, who moved to the Rochester area in 1962, had a 652 prefix.

  2. I remember the changeover. The prefix "6-5" actually was for "OLive", when local exchanges were words on the phone dial. In Rochester prior to 1966, the phone numbers started with 6-5-2 or OLive 2-xxxx.

    The touchtone phones were a big thing too. I remember when our neighbor got one. Everyone went over to their house to see the modern marvel.

  3. I remember an assembly at the high school to learn to use them