Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

President, Rockford Area Historical Society

Terry Konkle Photo by Cliff Hill

I hope readers had a chance to watch Dathan Ritzenhein compete in his third Olympic games on Saturday, August 4, 2012. Dathan, who set many distance records when competing for Rockford High School (RHS), placed 13th in the 10,000-meter run. I know that many saw him run track and cross country at RHS and his role in our high school athletic history is a positive one. To see him represent our country and our town in Olympic competition once again certainly was a proud experience. Congratulations to Dathan for all of his accomplishments.

Several people have contacted me with an answer to last week’s “Nugget of Rockford History” question concerning what Rockford varsity football coach held the position the longest. So far, all of the answers have been incorrect. How about another week to give it a try? Contact me at (616) 866-0530.

Work has started on renovating the courthouse building. All of the ceilings in the two main rooms and front hallway have been removed. Some of the insulation above the ceilings has become loose and will have to be replaced or fixed. Discussion on the type of new ceiling is now going on. Some electrical work will be part of the ceiling renovation. The Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) is learning about meeting “codes” and that has been somewhat of an education.

A favorable bid on replacing the heating and cooling system has been accepted by RAHS and the city. Work should begin soon on getting that done. New windows will be added also and will help with the utility bills. RAHS and city are working closely on the project. As other things occur, I will inform readers of our progress.

Fundraising is still a major priority, and our auction on September 29 will be very important. Auction chairman, Al Pratt, and his group have met several times and things are coming along. We are receiving donations but need everyone to consider what they might be able to do to help us. Call us if you have items or want to help in some way: (616) 485-4144 or (616) 866-0530. Also, if readers know of any business or individual that might make a donation or perhaps contribute a gift certificate, let us know and we will contact them.

Finally, keep looking in The Rockford Squire for a picture of one of our auction items. The newspaper has generously agreed to put in a new item each week. Their support of our project has been so important and appreciated. If anyone has any questions or comments, please call me at (616) 866-0530.

Auction item of the week

This week’s Rockford Area Museum’s auction item is an original watercolor by local artist Lila Harmon. Entitled “Rainbows at the Dam,” it depicts color-enhanced images of the metal fish sculptures at the Rockford Dam. It is matted, framed and signed by the artist—a true one-of-a-kind piece that is sure to be a prized possession of the winning bidder. More information is available online at

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