Rockford Area Historical Society News and Updates for 1-4-2018

By Terry Konkle – President

The new Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) membership year begins on January 1, 2018 and runs through December 31, 2018. That means members need to renew their memberships. Of course that does not include those who have chosen to become lifetime members of the group. We do have many in the lifetime area, but would welcome more. Our lifetime fee is $150.00 for up to two family members living at the same address and includes member benefits at over 900 museums across North America. This lifetime member fee has been the same for several years and is one of the lower for a group like ours.

Readers should know that a single one year membership is $10.00 and a family one year fee is $20.00. All members receive the society’s quarterly newsletter “Power House Post” and have voting rights at society functions that require a membership vote (election of officers). Our membership form also has areas where donations and pledges can be given. About one quarter of our annual budget comes from memberships and donations. I encourage readers to consider joining the group or perhaps making a donation to the cause. We continue to use most of our funds to cover Rockford Area Museum (RAM) expenses. I have often been asked why we do not charge a museum admission fee and the answer is that we want everyone to visit the RAM and not to stay away because of the cost. We have one of the best smaller museums around with access to it six days of the week on a regular basis. We do accept visitor donations at the museum, but they certainly are not required.

New Rockford City Manager, Thad Beard, will be the first speaker of the New Year. He will discuss the “State of the City of Rockford” at our meeting on Thursday, January 4, 2018. We meet at 1:00 P.M. at the Community Cabin. Remember that all are welcome to our meetings. There is no admission charge and membership is not needed to attend.

The last “Nugget of Rockford History” question received two responses. Dave Baker and Carole Holden Christensen both knew that Homer Burch’s book “From Sawmill To City” cost $2.00 and was dedicated “To the youth of today and the youth of tomorrow”. Homer also includes a poem entitled “Life” at the start of the book in which he says life is a story in three volumes, the past, the present and the yet to be (future). He writes that the past is finished, the present we are writing every day and the future is locked from our sight. For the new “Nugget” question, tell me who keeps the key to unlock the future. Contact me by email at or by phone at 616-866-0530 with your answers.

Many know that I walk our dog, Toughy, several times a day around the streets of Rockford. Often we pass the windows of the day care area on the south end of the Rockford School Administration building. Sometimes a wave or a greeting is exchanged. Well, on Thursday, December 21, 2017 a very positive event happened. A group of around fifteen of the children came to the front of our house and sang “Christmas Carols” to my wife and I and the dog. This action is part of what makes Rockford a special place. My thanks to them for thinking of us.

Finally, please contact me with your questions, suggestions, comments, criticism and especially corrections. Have a great week!