Rockford Museum

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 […]

Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

June 28, 2012 // 0 Comments

Second-graders visit Rockford by TERRY KONKLE President, Rockford Area Historical Society This week, Kathy Christensen, who is an officer (recording secretary) in our society and a long-time volunteer helper with the second-grade museum tours, has written the following information on this yearly event. My thanks go to her for her positive efforts. Usually in May, when the snow has gone and weather warms, second-graders from Rockford Public Schools have a chance to visit our town as part of their curriculum to learn about Rockford’s local government and history. Students from all eight of the district’s elementary schools participate along with their teachers and the many helpful chaperones that accompany them. Each class takes turns visiting the Little Red School House and the Pioneer Cemetery located by North Rockford Middle School. They also come downtown to tour the Rockford City Offices, the Rockford Fire Department and the Rockford Historical Museum. In most cases the students and adults walk from place to place and usually have lunch from one of our local eating establishments. At the museum, we cover early life in Laphamville, now Rockford, and the ongoing development of our area. Our primary volunteer speaker is Linda Critchell, a retired Rockford elementary school teacher. Linda speaks with the students about the logging industry, a major industry in Michigan, and how the trees were cut, floated down the river and processed at the mill. She discusses the building and running of Smith Lapham’s saw mill here on the Rogue River, and the part it played in the fundamental beginnings of Rockford. Using artifacts from the museum, she covers the many aspects of early life at home without indoor plumbing and electricity and how people coped with the inconvenience. With pictures on the wall, she makes sure they see Smith Lapham and tells them about a train wreck in Rockford when the White Pine Trail was, in fact, a railroad track for the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. All of the items we have in the museum are donated by Rockford residents. So, with the help of loyal museum volunteers, the students have a chance to see and ask questions about early attire worn by women and children, the school and sports memorabilia from our schools, an antiquated […]

Rockford Area Historical Society announces fall auction fundraiser

June 14, 2012 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Area Historical Society has successfully taken the first step toward its goal of moving the current Rockford Museum to its new site in the courthouse building that was vacated by the 63rd District Court in November 2009. Funds donated and pledged by area businesses and residents now total over $200,000, enabling the Society and the City of Rockford to enter into a lease agreement for the building. Over $100,000 is still needed to finish paying for renovations to the building and the creation of the exhibits that are planned for the new museum. In its new location the new museum will serve the community by offering expanded hours, more parking, better accessibility, and exciting interactive exhibits that will appeal to visitors of all ages. Additional fundraising activity will include an auction that will include online, silent and live auction events. The auction is being planned for late August or early September. The exact date will be set as soon as it can be determined when renovations will be completed to the point that the old courthouse will be ready for “visitors” This will be an exciting event. Current plans are to combine the online auction that will run for a period of time, a silent auction with items available for viewing for several days prior to a Saturday finale, and a live auction on that Saturday afternoon. The museum auction committee needs your help. Auction items ranging from vintage furniture, household goods, cars, boats, and power lawn equipment, to electronics, appliances, airfare, and vacation rentals such as condos and cottages, are being sought. Look around—if you don’t need it, maybe we do! Businesses are encouraged to also consider donating office equipment, services, or gift cards and certificates. Flyers with all the details will be available from area merchants soon, or you can call (616) 485-4144 any time to make donation arrangements or to get additional information. Historical Society members and volunteers are also now giving area residents an opportunity to have a little fun while making a small cash donation in a very unusual manner. This is a true win-win situation with a little mystery through the use of “scratch-off cards.” Anyone wanting to make a small donation can scratch off a spot […]