President, Rockford Area Historical Society

Terry Konkle Photo by Cliff Hill

Let’s begin this week with an answer to a trivia question that I asked two weeks ago. The most recent Rockford High School sport to win a state championship was girls volleyball. The Rams squad won the state title on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011. This was the first time in our school history that girls volleyball accomplished the feat. I will ask another trivia question later in this column.

Last week I mentioned some changes that had occurred on the north side of East Bridge Street since the time I lived there with my family in the early 1960s. This week we move across the street to the south side and the Krause Memorial Library. Many people know of the building as it looks today, but in 1960 it was different. It was smaller, with the main entrance facing Bridge Street. The entrance is still there but not used because the expanded building has a new entrance location on an angle at the corner of Bridge and Monroe.

A postcard of the original library shows the building and surrounding area as I remember it in 1960, and I have been told that the location had not changed much since the library was built for the people of Rockford in 1936 by G. A. Krause in honor of his wife and daughter.

A closer look at the postcard shows a house in the left background. It is facing Bridge Street but is gone now. It was torn down along with the house east of it when the Rockford United Methodist Church expanded a few years ago.

How about the statue of the Union soldier? That monument was moved when the library expanded and now has a new home by the Community Cabin on Monroe Street next to Rum Creek. The tree to the right of the monument is gone.

This 1938 postcard depicts the original Krause Memorial Library.

About the time we moved here, Rockford Library hired a lady to serve as an assistant librarian. Later, she became the head librarian, and I can vividly recall seeing her walking to work early in the day and then back to her home on Dayton Street after her hours were over. She made the library a “great place,” where one felt welcome. For 20 years the library was “blessed” to have this woman in place to help everyone with their library needs. That leads me to a trivia question: Who was this caring lady who served so well at the library from 1960 to 1980? Contact me with your answers at (616) 866-0530!

Finally, please consider attending the “Ragweed Blues” performance this Sunday, April 29, 2012 at the Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs. The Rogue River Community Theatre group is putting on this special showing as a fundraiser for the new Rockford Area Museum. Showtime is 2:00 p.m., and tickets are available at Independent Bank or at the door. I also have tickets, and I can be reached at (616) 866-0530. You will not only see a fine production but also help a positive cause.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.