Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

President, Rockford Area Historical Society

Terry Konkle Photo by Cliff Hill

The Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) is about to start our new year of meetings and programs. During the months of July and August, we do not have regular meetings, but we do begin our monthly board meetings on the last Wednesday of August. Our officers for the year are elected at our meeting in June and met on August 29, 2012 for the first time. So that readers can learn a bit more about our group, this column and others from time to time will present information about the RAHS.

The following are the officers and others who make up our board of directors: president Terry Konkle, vice president Jack Bolt, recording secretary Kathy Christensen, corresponding secretary Carla Blandford, treasurer Dianne Skiver; trustees Bob Boyer, Joan Bunn, Victor Matthews, Shirley Norman and Bob Winegar; museum director Pat Frye, museum curator Kathy Cornwell, museum archivist Janet Matthews, and program director Janette Konkle.

The board normally meets the last Wednesday of each month at 12 p.m. at the museum. All society members are welcome to attend board meetings.

Our regular meetings, with programs, start in September and continue monthly through June. These meetings are on the first Thursday of the month at the Rockford Community Cabin. The meeting time and the program content are published in a brochure and are included in The Rockford Squire in the weeks before. Brochures are available at the museum or by calling (616) 866-0530. All meetings are open to the public. You do not need to be a member to attend. Our first regular meeting for this year is September 6 at 7 p.m. It will be an opportunity for the community to learn the latest information about our new museum project.

As readers can imagine, our meeting on August 29 was a very important one because of all the things that happened over the summer. Much time was spent bringing everyone up to date on the many committee meetings and activities that have occurred. Our auction/scarecrow weekend plans were covered along with an update on fundraising. The new museum restoration was discussed. We talked about funding the museum after it is opened. Additional items on our agenda included a program update, the society newsletter, auction storage, museum signs, a nonprofit mailing permit, a treasurer’s report, a part-time museum director and a new museum lease update.

We are a busy group with a lot going on right now. Progress is being made, but we especially need reader help with our upcoming auction. Auction donations are welcome. Call (616) 866-0530 or (616) 485-4144 to offer items or help. We appreciate the positive reactions that we have received and hope many of you will come to our informational meeting September 6.

Autographed bats among auction items

Among the amazing items that are being auctioned in the fundraising efforts for the new Rockford Area Museum are two very valuable items among a host of sports memorabilia. The two auction items of the week are two autographed bats from Baseball Hall of Fame members Bob Feller, famous Cleveland Indians pitcher, and one from baseball immortal Luke Appling, who played for the Chicago White Sox. Both bats are black and autographed in silver marker. They are featured in the online portion of the auction, which has already begun. Bidding is taking place now at—click “enter auction.”

The exciting silent and live auctions will take place Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29 as part of Museum Weekend in downtown Rockford.

The Rockford Area Museum is looking for local band to play Saturday, September 29

This will be a volunteer performance to benefit the new Rockford Area Museum.  Participating groups will get some great publicity and exposure at what promises to be a very well attended event.

We hope to have entertainment from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  The music could be split between two or three groups or provided by one, with a couple of short breaks.

We would like to finalize these plans as soon as possible. All interested groups are asked to call Al Pratt at (616) 485-4144.

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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.