Images of America Rockford

Some Rockford history didn’t make the grade

September 24, 2009 // 0 Comments

Author discusses images left out of Images of America Rockford Bobbi Schirado had difficult decisions to make when she was choosing images for the recently published historic book featuring Rockford’s past. The native Rockfordite gathered her images of Rockford from museums, libraries, the public and old family albums for the book, Images of America Rockford. With hundreds and hundreds of pictures of varying quality, she needed to narrow down her choices to enough pictures to fill the 120-page book that now may be purchased from the Rockford Historical Museum and other locations in the area. Schirado told her story and presented the book at the September meeting of the Rockford Historical Society on Thursday, September 3. She said she chose Rockford for the history book in part because of the historical society and museum. “You have already done a lot of the work,” she said. Schirado said she is a firm believer that you don’t know where you are going until you know where you’ve been. She believes in the value of history and what we can learn about our own town’s roots through the images and stories of the past. “When I was growing up, you knew the history of your town because people remembered it,” Schirado said of her reason for publishing the book. “Now lots of people come from elsewhere and don’t know the history.” She said that while she was signing books at the recent first Rotary Reading Rocks in Rockford festival, a family came up to her, excited about the book. “They said this history was so cool. It turns out they are the family that just bought Clarence Blakeslee’s house,” Shirado stated. When researching for the book, Schirado had help from many individuals. “I didn’t know how much I didn’t know,” she said to the group. Her research helped her learn plenty about Rockford’s past, but also left unanswered questions. The cover image of the book is a good example. “I really liked this picture of a band. There has always been music in Rockford,” she said. Picturing a band with the name on a drum: Decker’s Rockford Band, the cover art raises the unanswered question of who the Decker was that sponsored the musicians. “We found a family […]