Rockford Area Historical Society News and Updates for 6/14/18

By Terry Konkle – President

Let’s start this week by covering the two photos used as part of the last “Nugget” of Rockford history question. The photo showing the “Wander Inn” asked readers to determine what is at that location today (2018). The Rockford Post Office is there now. I had always heard the building called the “Betts House” so “Wander Inn” was new to me. The photo was taken on Courtland Street looking east. Several other buildings that are shown still are around. The steeple in the background used to be on top of the Red Ribbon Hall which burned a few years back. Some will remember Swinehart’s Furniture Store occupying the site. The new building now is the “Cinco de Mayo” restaurant.

The second photo showing a Chevrolet Garage with several “Phillips 66” signs on gas pumps also has had a site change. Today “Chase Bank” is there with some readers recalling “Union Bank” which preceded it. The building in the background is where the C-Store is now. Over the two weeks or so that the photos were in the paper, I received replies from Jack Bolt, Dave Hutchings, Barry Bell, Bill Boyd, Lee Paull, Sharon Berry, Loren Lougheed, Terri Byrne, Carole Holden Christensen, Ken and Linda Ploeg and Jane Banker.  My thanks to all of them for participating. I also received some information concerning both photos and I will use it in a future column.

Here is a new “Nugget” to consider. With this column is a picture of a Rockford Street taken from the Clarence Blakeslee collection. It shows several houses which are no longer part of our landscape. I am asking readers to tell me what is there today. Actually more than one answer is correct. Contact me by e-mail ( or by phone at 616-866-0530.

At the year-end potluck meeting on Thursday, June 7, 2018 the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) elected officers for the 2018-19 year. The following will lead the group:  President – Terry Konkle, Vice President – Linda Critchell, Recording Secretary – Jennie Griffee, Corresponding Secretary – Carla Blandford, Treasurer – Dianne Skiver, Programs – Janette Konkle, Group coordinator and hostesses – Kathy Christensen and Trustees – Joan DeMaagd, Floyd Havemeier, Jon Stamp and Bob Winegar. These people all agreed to continue in the capacity they served in 2017-18, and the RAHS is very fortunate to have the same qualified volunteers.

Finally, as always, readers are encouraged to contact me with questions, comments, suggestions, concerns and corrections. Have a great, positive week!