by TERRY KONKLE
President, Rockford Area Historical Society
A major goal of the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) is to preserve the history of our Rockford area and to make it available to people of all ages. One very important way of presenting our history is by collecting all kinds of material and then displaying or making it available in our museum. For years, RAHS has been active in supporting the museum through the volunteer efforts of many. The group has also raised funds to deal with most museum expenses. As readers know, we are now nearing the conclusion of a project like nothing we have ever done before. We are moving our museum to the 63rd district courthouse building because of the tremendous support of so many individuals, organizations and businesses.
This support has come in many forms. Financial donations and pledges were and still are the backbone of our success. Since we still need more money to do our exhibits, those who have not contributed can still do so by contacting me for the needed materials at (616) 866-0530.
Another form of support is the tremendous time commitments given by interested people. The hours put in by RAHS members and so many others has been unbelievable. Caring people have contacted us to offer their help. Currently, our fundraising auction needs your support. If you have an item or items to donate or want to help with auction efforts, contact us at (616) 485-4144.
We have also received verbal praise for our project. Many have realized that our present museum has problems and that there are many benefits to moving. Although some people, at first, expressed doubts that our group could get it done, there was no big plan to stop our endeavor. We received positive support which is always good.
Many have expressed their ideas and given their opinions. Many questions have been asked and answered. Here are a few examples: “You need to be open regular hours!” someone said. We know that it will be open at least 22 hours a week. “Can I research my Rockford ancestors at the museum?” an out-of-town donor asked. You can, and there is a good chance we have information on your ancestor. “Will Wolverine World Wide have a display at the new museum?” They will, and are working with us to come up with display material. “What will happen to the old museum?” The city owns the building and will decide its future use.
Finally, because I did a lousy job of stating last week’s “Nuggets of Rockford History” question, I want to rephrase it and let readers have another week to answer it. The question now is: “What was the only year that Rockford’s varsity football team won every game (no tie games)?” I have had some answers including a couple of correct ones, but still want to hear from you at (616) 866-0530.
Auction item of the week
This week’s featured item is a donation from Great Northern Trading Company. It is a brand-new “Whitetail Deer Lamp.” It has a hand-cast mica shade, which pairs perfectly with the Deer Sculpture Lamp to provide any room with the direct lighting needed for reading or other family activities. The genuine copper shade enhances the look and appearance of the Sculptured Table Lamp. The Deer Lamp w/Shade comes with one 13-watt CFL bulb which equals a 60-watt incandescent bulb. A rocker switch is on the cord for easy on/off convenience. It measures 21″ tall (with shade) x 14″ wide. The retail value is $240. It can also be seen online in the “Wildlife Themed Lamp” section at www.countrylivinghomedecor.com/.
The Rockford Area Historical Society still needs auction items and volunteers. Call (616) 866-0530 or (616) 485-4144 for information about how you can help.