Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

President, Rockford Area Historical Society

Terry Konkle Photo by Cliff Hill

Additional information has come in on the Saint Bernard, Thor. In case readers were wondering, he was named after the Norse god of thunder. I have also learned that Thor sometimes sat in the middle of the intersection of Courtland and Main streets and chewed on the bone given to him by Harold Stelma. Cars would carefully drive around him.

Another Thor story concerned his stealing a dress off a clothesline at the Elkins’ home on South Monroe Street. I called Norrine Elkins and she confirmed that the dog did take the dress. “He took it home with him, and I went to get it. It was lying in his yard on South Fremont Street. I got it back and had it dry cleaned and it was fine,” she said. She recounted the incident with a lot of laughter. I think many people enjoyed Thor.

It is time for another “Nugget of Rockford History.” Before asking the question, however, I need to inform readers that this coming 2012 Rockford High School football season will be number 100 in our athletic history. During those years we have had 27 varsity football coaches. In order from the first to the most recent they are: Fayette Dockeray, J.A. Morrison, H.D. McNaughton, Cyrus Kuyers, Bill Lindsey, C.M. Tenny, C.W. Loveland, C.W. Brown, C.F. Nichols, James Idema, Charles Harris, Henry Lemoin, Jess Hodgson, Lyle Bennett, Charles Leadbetter, Pete Brose, Ken VanHoesen, Dale Beery, Bob Stoppert, Gerald Fox, Clint Brown, Vern Norris, Don Verduin,  John Schrolec, Jack Miller, Harvey DeGood and Ralph Munger.

Now for the question! Which of the above coaches was our varsity football mentor for the most years? Please contact me with your answers at (616) 866-0530.

On behalf of the Rockford Area Historical Society, I want to thank all of you who took the time to register and then vote for us in the Erhardt Construction Company contest. We did not finish in the top five, but all five finalists were very deserving. Voting is now going on to select the top spot, and if you are registered, I encourage you to go to the contest site and vote for one of the five finalists. The society also thanks The Rockford Squire and Cliff and Nancy Hill for their support with a wonderful column. We did not win but we did get some exposure, which is good.

Finally, please continue to give some positive thought to how you can take part in our auction effort. We are about two months from the major event (September 28 silent auction opens, and September 29 silent and live auction), which will take place at our new museum. We will also have an online auction starting soon with details coming your way. We need items for all auctions, and we can use help with the project. Contact us at (616) 485-4144 or (616) 866-0530. Also, if possible, plan ahead to attend and enthusiastically bid at our live and silent auctions. There will be something for everyone!

Auction item of the week

This week’s Rockford Area Museum’s auction item of the week is a unique sofa table manufactured by Woodland Creek Furniture & Gallery of Traverse City and Kalkaska, Mich., who makes custom, one-of-a-kind furniture items of the highest quality.

The base of this table is made from birch roots and the top is stained pine. The center medallion is the butt of an elk horn. This is a traditional Adirondack style console table. The value is $2,395.

Donations of auction items are coming in steadily, but we need to continue to ask for the help of the community to build the list so we will have a truly exciting auction as part of “Museum Weekend” September 28-30. Signs and flyers with donation forms are being distributed throughout the area. Check local retailers for them. Additional information is also available on the auction website at Your help will be appreciated.

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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.