Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

history2Terry Konkle – President

I am sure many readers have memories of moving their possessions from one location to another. Lots of things happen and the emotions involved with the moving process can be quite interesting. This has been the case with moving everything from our old museum location to our new museum home. Let’s start with the means that we have used.

To save money it was decided that we would move whatever we could using a “moving crew” made up of members (mostly over seventy years of age). We would use pickup trucks to carry the items and would use boxes to pack the smaller artifacts. Anything too heavy to lift or move would have to be done with other help or by hiring it out. We also found that some things could be transported the two blocks by using red dolly carts. To date, five heavy objects have made the trip up Bridge Street and down Main to Maple. I need to add that our two museum consultants, who are younger gentlemen, and some high school student volunteers have helped us several times.

As with most moves, we are sometimes surprised with what we are finding. For instance, we found a sleigh in the basement and so far, we do not know where it came from (can any readers help). We also opened a storage closet and found it full from floor to ceiling with many things. One box in the closet held the air motor to our player piano. What a find! It will save our restorer lots of work. We located trunks filled with clothes, military items and Boy Scout memorabilia. They were basically hidden in the old museum but can now be used.

Sometimes, we wondered at the reason why some things were saved. Unsold quilt raffle tickets from the 1990’s were in one box while another held signage for museum events that happened years ago. Other things of this nature turned up quite often and made their way to the dumpster. Decisions have had to be made on what to do with broken and duplicate things. Some things were sold at the sidewalk sale and others, like yearbooks, have been purchased by people who learned of them in our newspaper write up.

Many times two questions kept popping up. “What are we moving this for? and “Why are we keeping this?” A museum move is different from just a regular move because the things being moved belong to the museum and not to the movers. Believe me, our “moving crew” would have preferred to get rid of a lot of things which we kept. I should add that we still haven’t made final decisions in some cases.

The museum has lots of books which were stored in a bookcase in the living room display in the old museum. We have moved them and have sorted them into categories. We have a storage bin full of only old schoolbooks. Another bin holds only Bibles, encyclopedias and dictionaries. Medical books and books with a Rockford connection take up two boxes, and we still have three other boxes of assorted books. Decisions need to be made in this area!

Several readers have called with items that they wish to donate for our major fundraising auction on September 28. We still need your help with this, so please call me at 866-0530 to discuss donations or to ask questions or make comments. Please consider keeping the date open to come and see and hopefully bid on the auction offerings.

Readers can also contact us to see when the museum can be visited. We are there a lot and many people have gone through the nearly completed section (phase one). Many positive comments have been received and our area can be proud of what has been accomplished. Lots of things will be happening this month, and I will help to keep all of you posted as we work toward completion of this positive project.




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