Rockford Area Historical Society News and Updates for 6/21/2018

By Terry Konkle – President

Every year the second grade classes in the Rockford area visit the Rockford Area Museum (RAM) as part of a tour of not only the museum but also of Rockford City Hall and Rockford Little Red Schoolhouse. Volunteers from the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) present the educational programs at the RAM and at the schoolhouse.

Kathy Christensen has been the RAHS person in charge of scheduling the tours. She has taken on the job for several years and works with many volunteer helpers. Nine schools, Belmont, Meadowridge, Roguewood, Cannonsburg, Valley View, Crestwood, Lakes, Parkside and Assumption, took part this spring on eleven different days. This made a total of twenty four classes. Kathy reported that 557 students and 294 adults (teachers/chaperones) visited the RAM. That is a total of 851 people. Looking back on totals from other years the 851 is pretty normal. I found totals of 871 and 826 (8 schools) in our records.

This year’s volunteers were Carlene Stamp, Carla Blandford, Kirsten Farmer, Madge Bolt, Linda Critchell, Alice Wesche, Terry Clement and Kathy Christensen. All of them have worked on the visits before and deserve thanks for their positive efforts on behalf of our community.

On Saturday June 30, 2018 the “Golden R” will meet at Rockford Senior High School. Social time begins at 10:30 A.M. with lunch at 12:00 for this Rockford tradition. This year the Rockford High School class of 1968 will be honored having reached their fiftieth anniversary.  I pulled out a folder on the 1968 school year and here are some facts that I found:

1. Rockford High School had 31 teachers, 1 librarian and 3 counselors.

2. The high school principal was Neil Huizenga

3. Rockford’s largest elementary school was Belmont with 441 students.

4. Lakes School had 419 and Parkside 409.

5. Rockford teacher salaries ranged from $6,400 to $10,600.

6. John Sjogren gave the invocation at the Winter All Sports Banquet.

7. Boy’s Basketball, Wrestling, Girl’s Gymnastics, Boy’s gymnastics, Boy’s Swimming and Girl’s cheerleading were the winter sports honored at the event.

8. Rockford was in the Tri-River Conference with Comstock Park, Coopersville, Greenville, Sparta, Belding, Lowell and Cedar Springs.

9. T.V. 13 honored several “Player of the week athletes” including Joe Longcore in basketball.

10. On January 7, 1968 an Open House” was held at the high school celebrating the completion of a major expansion. The additions more than doubled the area of the school.

I have attended several “Golden R” events as a teacher and always enjoy seeing those that attend and especially talking with former students.

Finally, I would remind readers to contact me with questions, ideas, comments, concerns and corrections. I can be reached by phone (616-866-0530) or by email (tnjkonkle@hotmail.com). Have a great, positive week!