Rockford History

Rockford Historical Society News and Updates

February 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Terry Konkle – President   Two weeks ago the “Nugget of Rockford History” portion of the column consisted of ten statements that were either true or false. Three readers, Carole Holden Christensen, Jan Konkle and Dave Hutchings, contacted me with their answers and comments. Here are the correct answers: (1) False – the last train was well before 2000 (anyone know the date), (2) False – Rockford has won less than sixty state athletic championships, (3) True – the Rockford Chamber of Commerce is located in the north part of the old courthouse building, (4) False – Valley View School is inside the city, (5) True – Jim Haskins was the first principal in our current high school, (6) False – the mayor is a voting city council member, (7) False – the Star Theater was torn down, (8) False – The Rockford Area Historical Society was founded in 1967, (9) True The museum is closed on Mondays and (10) False – The Rockford School Board has less than ten elected members (seven).   It has been suggested that readers might enjoy a multiple choice “Nugget” quiz, so this week five questions will be used with each having four answers given. Number your paper from one to five and write down the letter of the statement that is correct. There is only one right response.   Of the following Rockford area buildings, which is the oldest? North Rockford Middle School Krause Memorial Library Rockford Municipal Building (City Hall) Rockford Welcome Center In Rockford’s oldest known photo taken in 1865, which Rockford Church is pictured? First Baptist Church St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Methodist Episcopal Church Religio-Philosophical Church How many hours a week is the Rockford Area Museum normally open? Ten hours plus by appointment Forty eight hours Twenty two hours Fourteen hours (two each day) Which Rockford business is not located on Main Street? Creative Concepts Rogue River Tavern The Corner Bar Rockford Flower Shop Which person from the following was a Rockford mayor? Bob Boyer Pete Kruer Otto Krause Mary Eadie   Please contact me by e-mail at or by phone at 616-866-0530 with your answers.   Finally, readers might not know that the Rockford Area Museum has several file drawers in the research […]

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 […]