by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Once in a while a newsworthy event happens in Rockford that isn’t a carbon copy of the exact same thing the year before. The following is our coverage of just such a story. The seeds (no pun intended) for this story were planted in May 1984 when the senior graduating class of Rockford High School (RHS) decided to bury a time capsule containing mementos of the times and of their high school years. This was a special class, because they were the 100th graduating class of the Rockford School System. Being special, they wanted to celebrate their centennial graduation in a special way. Unique for the times, it was decided to use a concrete burial vault for the time capsule and to paint the exterior in the Rockford school colors of orange and black. So it came to pass on a school day in early May 1984, just prior to graduation, that the 289 members of the senior class assembled as reported in the May 15 edition of The Rockford Squire newspaper, “to bury a friend of theirs last week. As a matter of fact, they buried lots of friends, ranging from an old beat-up pair of red high-topped tennis shoes (with an interesting past), to a class ring. The class stood around the huge cement box, filling it with newspapers, magazines, clothes, books, sports memorabilia and even an old horn from the band room. The seniors tried to capture a little bit of everything-of what their four years at RHS were all about, and what the year 1984 was like, from popular albums and music, to styles, and favorite hangouts.” Interestingly enough, no record was kept of the contents. The time capsule vault was buried on a grassy uphill slope behind the historic Little Red Schoolhouse directly in front of the, then, Rockford High School which is now North Rockford Middle School (NRMS). Completing the installation was a marble headstone burial marker that was inscribed as follows: “Centennial Class-1984-Time Capsule-Open 2009.” The initials “LMP” and “KLK” inscribed in the lower left- and right-hand corners, respectively, were those of Lori Pederson, class valedictorian and Kristin Koetje, class president. And there the capsule was to lie at rest for the […]
July 2 2009
The 25-year story of Honeycreek Inn and Cannonsburg “There were two wars going on. There was an oil embargo. We were in a recession. Our president had just resigned and a new one was coming on board,” said Don Kurylowicz of his first days in the Village of Cannonsburg. “So, things have changed a lot in 25 years, but things also haven’t changed a lot.” Kurylowicz is reflecting back on a 25-year journey he has taken with his community. Kurylowicz could be called the “King of Cannonsburg,” as he owns lots of it-every commercial property that faces the road. His properties include the Honeycreek Inn, the Cannonsburg Grist Mill, the gas station, and the Cannonsburg Market. He doesn’t see it that way. “I’m so blessed. I’m so grateful,” he insists. “You know the show Cheers, where everyone knows your name? Here, everyone knows your name, but they also look out for each other and take care of each other.” As an example, Kurylowicz pointed out a tragic death last year of a young waitress at the Honeycreek. Just 30 years old, she left behind her family, including young children. The community had a fundraiser for her and collected $38,000. When Kurylowicz began his long relationship with the people of Cannonsburg, things were different. Twenty five years ago there wasn’t a lot going on there. There was Townsend Park, a real gem of a recreation area. Besides that, there was a restaurant in a 125-year-old building in poor condition. The original town had burned in the big fire of April 10, 1889, “completely destroying the business district,” according to the Cannon Township Historical Society history book. Kurylowicz was a 30-year-old man with a desire to work for himself. With degrees in sociology, urban planning and architecture, Kurylowicz saw the state of the country and didn’t think architecture would be a profitable career for quite some time. He worked a few years in the mental health field and didn’t want to go back. Back then, no one used the term “flipping” houses, but he had done just that and had about $15,000 to his name-enough for the down payment on the Honeycreek building that was operating as a bar. “The only people who went there were bikers, […]
Rockford Rotarians had to raise a little extra cash this year to send a record number of Rockford High School students to a three-day Life Leadership conference at Kettunen Center in Tustin, Mich. According to Rotarian Rick Ehinger, “This is the most we’ve had going from our district in the entire 61 years of this program.” Nine students were accepted to attend the conference, which Ehinger described as “life changing.” “Rotary was founded with the idea of service, and Rockford Rotary serves our youth in many ways,” Ehinger said. In addition to the Life Leadership conference, Rockford has long offered tours of the Little Red Schoolhouse, which was restored and is maintained by Rotary. Rockford Rotary Club also funds a literacy program, which provides books to Rockford-area schools. Rotary has provided Rockford’s schools with plaques of Rotary’s four-way test: Is it the truth?-Is it fair to all concerned?-Will it build better friendships?-Is it beneficial to all concerned? Rotary also provides parenting books for women in high school who are pregnant while continuing their education. The Life Leadership conference was started in 1948 and is held once a year. Students enjoy lectures on leadership in small groups with a Rotarian facilitator. They stay at a dorm-type facility and also participate in other fun activities, such as swimming and evening campfires.
Saturday, July 4 Rockford Farm Market-8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October 31, in the South Squires Street parking lot, off Main St., downtown Rockford, featuring Michigan-grown produce, fresh baked goods, flowers and plants. 3rd Annual Children’s Bike Parade-2 p.m. along the White Pine Trail from South Squires Street parking lot to Squires Street Square and back (registration at 1:30 p.m. in the parking lot), sponsored by the HEART of Rockford Business Association. Also included is a Bubble Gum Contest at The Sweet Tooth on East Bridge St. Monday, July 6 Kid & Teen Crafts Sales-2 p.m. at Krause Memorial Library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. Kids and teens will show off their creativity and sell their handmade goods. For more information, visit www.kdl.org. Tuesday, July 7 Huntington Rogue River Blues Series-7 to 9 p.m. at the Garden Park Stage, along the White Pine Trail near the dam, every Tuesday through August 11. This week features Tomas Esparza Blues Experience. Mended Hearts Meeting-7 p.m. at Spectrum Health Fred & Lena Meijer Heart Center, 100 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, in Room 8815 on the eighth floor. Mended Hearts, a volunteer nonprofit support group affiliated with the American Heart Association, offers hope, information and encouragement to heart patients, families and caregivers through those who have experienced heart disease. For more information, contact Jim Oldfield at (616) 891-9395. Country Music-9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks. Thursday-Friday, July 9-10 WCSG’s Summer Lifesaver Drive-8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Michigan Community Blood Centers, 1036 Fuller NE, Grand Rapids. Everyone who attempts to donate can register to win one of six family fun packages from the West Michigan Whitecaps, Craig’s Cruisers and Celebration Cinema. Food provided for donors courtesy of Max & Erma’s. For more information, visit www.miblood.org or call 1-800-MIBLOOD. Saturday, July 11 Rockford Farm Market-8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October 31, in the South Squires Street parking lot, off Main St., downtown Rockford, featuring Michigan-grown produce, fresh baked goods, flowers and plants. Sunday, July 12 Breakfast-8 a.m. to noon at American Legion Post #102, 330 Rockford Park […]