Rockford Area Historical Society News and Updates for 8-23-18

Terry Konkle – President

The last “Nugget” of Rockford History question asked which side of the Bridge Street Bridge was the one entered by the truck when the bridge collapsed. The truck was going east on the bridge, so it approached from the west side. Jack Bolt, Jerry DeMaagd and Lee Paull all knew the answer. Jerry also mentioned that when he was younger, he had a babysitter (Flossie Kerr) who lived right there. Dave Hutchings said that he did not know the answer, but recalled that his father was traveling in his car behind the truck and later was subpoenaed into court about whether the truck actually drove on the bridge correctly or perhaps missed the entrance causing the collapse. His father said that he could not see past the truck to know whether it did or not. I thank all of the above people for taking an active interest in Rockford history.

Here is a new “Nugget” to consider. The Rockford High School class of 1973 was number 89 in our history. They held a reunion last Saturday, and I was asked how they could be number  89 when our first graduating class was in 1881. All right readers, tell me how that happened. Contact me by email (tnjkonkle@hotmail.com) or phone at 616-866-0530 with your explanations.

Last week I wrote a bit about Rockford’s famous poet, Julia Moore and included a poem about her childhood days. This week a poem about Rockford will be used.

EARLY DAYS OF ROCKFORD

(song:  Lucy Long)

My friends, I pray you listen,

I’ll sing a little song,

It’s about the village of Rockford,

And it will not take me long;

And how it was first settled

By enterprising men,

And all the news about it,

I’ll tell you if I can.

Situated in the Wilderness,

With forests all around,

Thirteen miles from Grand Rapids,

Is this flourishing  little town.

On the banks of Rogue River,

Where runs the water still,

And in the early settled days

It was called Laphamville.

It was settled by Smith Lapham,

In eighteen and forty-three,

And then came the Hunter brothers

To  keep  his company.

Smith Lapham and Hunter brothers

Built each a shingle mill,

On the banks of Rogue River

Are the same old buildings  still.

In the early days of Rockford

They had to run a stage,

For they had no other conveyance

To get from place to place.

But now they go by railway

For the cars run night and day,

And the early days of Rockford

Have nearly passed away.

Next week a poem entitled “On the Banks of the Rogue” will be used. Readers with questions, comments, suggestions, opinions and corrections are encouraged to contact me. Have a great, positive week!