Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

President, Rockford Area Historical Society

Terry Konkle Photo by Cliff Hill

On September 6, the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) had their first regular meeting of the new season with a program featuring the new museum project update. Many questions were answered and those present were informed about the areas of fundraising, renovation and museum funding in the future. The upcoming online, silent and live auctions were covered along with the plans for the scarecrow weekends. Several suggestions for the auction were considered and sign-up sheets for auction workers were passed around. Workers are needed for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29. Although many indicated that they could help, we still could use more volunteers. If you could give us some of your time either or both of those days, contact us at (616) 866-0530 or (616) 485-4144.

Our program director, Jan Konkle, has set the schedule for our remaining nine meetings. A program brochure is available at the museum and Rockford City Hall. They can also be requested at (616) 866-0530. Meeting dates and activities are made available each month in The Rockford Squire about two weeks before the meeting date.

To give readers an idea of what is planned, let me briefly summarize our meeting times and activity. Perhaps this column could be saved, so that the entire schedule is available. All meetings are at the community cabin as follows:

  • Oct. 4, 2012, at 7 p.m., “One Hundred Years of Rockford Football,” by Terry Konkle
  • Nov. 1, 2012, at 7 p.m., “Rockford’s Hidden Treasures—Hidden In Plain Sight,” by Jerry DeMaagd
  • Dec. 6, 2012, at 6:30 p.m., Christmas Potluck—Bring your own table service and a dish to pass.
  • Jan. 3, 2013, at 1 p.m., “Different Routes to Geneology,” by Janette Konkle
  • Feb. 7, 2013, at 1 p.m., “History of the Masons,” by John Wallstadt from the Masonic Museum
  • March 7, 2013, at 7 p.m., “Lost On the Lady Elgin,” by Valerie van Heest
  • April 4, 2013, at 7 p.m., “Chief Wabasis and the White Swan Community,” by Linda Critchell
  • May 2, 2013, at 7 p.m., “History of Herman’s Boy,” by Floyd Havemeier
  • June 6, 2013, at 6:30 p.m., Annual Potluck Picnic and Election of Officers

Next week, I will catch up on the “Rockford Nuggets of History” question, so readers still have time to answer the last question.

Finally, we are still accepting auction donation items for about another 10 days (September 19) for most to be in our hands. This positive event is shaping up to be a great time, so keep the dates open for bidding and let us know at (616) 866-0530 or (616) 485-4144 if you have something to donate.

Auction item of the week

This item is being auctioned online. To view the online auction, visit

Come bid on this one-of-a-kind marble Civil War chess board with case. This is a custom-made work by Patton Monument Co., Comstock Park. The board design includes images of Confederate and Union officers, soldiers, flags, and weapons etched into heavy black marble.

The case has a drawer that holds the traditional glass chess pieces. This is truly a collector’s item.

Be sure to attend the fundraising weekend of September 28, 29 and 30 at the former 63rd Courthouse at City Hall parking lot in downtown Rockford.

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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.