Rockford Area Historical Society News and Updates for 10-18-18

By Terry Konkle – President

Eleven readers, Dale Hecksel, Al West, Terri Byrne, Dave Hutchings, Bill Boyd, Lee Paull, Ivan Judson, Sharon Berry, Carole Holden Christensen, Pat Nester and Andrew Shear,  contacted me with correct answers to the last “Nugget” question. I used a photo from Clarence Blakeslee’s collection which showed several men working. I asked what the men were working on and if the house in the middle/right in the picture was still there. The Rockford Dam was receiving the work and the house is still there today (October 2018).

Ivan Judson, whose family owned the house at one time (I have often heard the home called the “Judson House”), called mentioning that the building was discussed in a column by former museum director Susie Fair. I am going to check it out when time permits. Pat Nestor lived on the second floor and played in the “widow’s walk”. Andrew Shear  e-mailed that the Zimmerman family presently owns the house and that it was built in 1863. He also mentioned the other house shown in the picture and identified it as where he currently lives. He added that it was built in 1923 by the Dennis family and that he has lived there since 1985. Terri Byrne thought that the men were working on the spillway and remembered that the gates were not motorized and that her father often was asked to help open or close them. I want to thank everyone for taking the time to respond. The new “Nugget” will be based on an event from last week.

On Wednesday, October 10, 2018 the twenty ninth annual Rockford High School Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet was held at Boulder Creek Golf Club. Ben Bennett, Erin (Keenan) Kruisenga, Becky Manson, Laurie Terranova and Jim Warner became the newest of the 132 total  inductees  during  an enjoyable evening. Tim Erickson, Ken Raymond, Don Rinehart and myself  served as presenters at this positive Rockford tradition.

In honor of the event, I will ask readers to tackle the following five question true/false  quiz. So, number from 1-5 and and decide whether the given statement is correct or not as it applies to the Hall of Fame. Contact me by e-mail or by phone at 616-866-0530.


1. In order to be selected, a nominee must be a resident of Rockford.

2. A person can be selected in the category of community member.

3. There have been two times in H.O.F. history where no selections were made.

4. To be chosen as a coach, one must mentor an M.H.S.A.A. sponsored sport.

5. The Hall of Fame Showcase is located at Rockford High School.

The columns featuring “The Pines” have produced several comments and some memories. A future column will use some of what readers remember, so feel free to let me know your experiences with the resort.

Rockford history is made every day and often changes are a part of it. I mention this because two veteran members of the Rockford City Council, Mayor Steve Jazwieck and former Mayor Jerry Coon are not running for reelection.  I  watched  them by attending  almost all council meetings from 2011 to November of 2016 and then working with them since being elected myself along with Cheryl Scales and Melissa Young in November of 2016. The two men continually looked at what was best for our city and represented it well. They dealt with some tough times, but with the help of new council members, have put our town back on a positive path. We need to thank both of them. Personally, I thank them for their guidance and help.

Absentee ballots are starting to arrive in conjunction with our November 6, 2018 election, and our town history will be affected  by two new council members. It is important that everyone exercise their right to vote, and that the track records and qualifications of all five candidates are considered.

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