Rogue River

Young men take on trash in Rogue

June 2, 2011 // 0 Comments

Erik Smoes, a junior at Rockford High School, and Beau Port, a seventh-grade student at North Rockford Middle School, put their passion for the Rogue River to work. Both are avid fishermen who also believe strongly in recycling. They really enjoy fishing in the Rogue and want to keep it clean. The two saw a need for a Rogue River cleanup north of the dam. They took time out from fishing to clean up trash and recyclable junk from the banks of the river. They concentrated on cleaning the section from roughly 11 Mile Road to the dam.

Local group to clean litter from Rogue

April 14, 2011 // 0 Comments

Local citizens are banding together to tackle litter in the Rogue River. The Rogue River Project, founded by Andrew Kersting, and Trout Unlimited, through the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project, are working together to conduct a stream cleanup along the Rogue River on April 23, 2011. Garbage along stream banks is not only unsightly, but it also can be harmful to wildlife. Many plants and animals depend on access to the water for survival. Waste can prevent animals from reaching what they need. Sometimes animals can confuse garbage for food or a suitable home. Waste enters a stream in a number of ways. Storm drains collect storm water from our neighborhoods, parking lots and other public areas, and this water is not treated before it reaches our local waterways. This means that garbage that ends up in a storm drain is washed directly to our streams and rivers. Litter from recreational use and sometimes intentional dumping also pollutes our water resources. You can help by volunteering a few hours of your time to collect garbage along three miles of the Rogue River below the Rockford dam on April 23 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Please meet at Richardson Sowerby Park in Rockford. Morning refreshments and a pizza lunch will be available for volunteers. You will also be entered into a drawing to win free tickets to Celebration Cinema or the Coopersville and Marne Railway Company. Please wear closed-toe shoes and bring gloves if you have them. For more information visit If you are interested in attending, please contact Nichol De Mol at (231) 557-6362 or e-mail Special thanks to the following businesses for supporting this event: AAA Canoe Rental, BC Pizza, Celebration Cinema, Coopersville and Marne Railway, D&W, and The Corner Bar. Trout Unlimited is the nation’s largest coldwater conservation organization, with 140,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.  

Illicit romance and its bad results

March 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

The history of the Village of Childsdale, continued by BETH ALTENA Henry B. Childs ran his paper mill with great success for a time. The well-known resident of the county had a penchant for purchasing property and soon owned most if not all of Childsdale, historic accounts tell. Fire destroyed the first mill on July 28, 1868. It was rebuilt and in 1889 Henry deeded half the mill to his youngest son, Horace. Horace had a vision for the plant and introduced new machinery when he became partner. On August 22, 1898 the mill was again destroyed by fire and rebuilt. Old newspaper accounts describe activity of the mill. “May to September the hillside north of the mill is covered with large squares of paperboard with boys running, turning them and loading them back into the plant. If you happen along when a storm is approaching you will see the greatest activity among field hands. The boards are gathered up and carried under shelter. As soon as the sun has had time to dry the grass the boards are carried out and spread in the sun once more.” Part of the success of the company over the years was the result of innovation. The original mill made paper which was shipped to Chicago’s slaughter houses and used to wrap meat. The paper was hauled to Grand Rapids by oxen and shipped from there by train to Chicago. In 1867 the railroad from Grand Rapids to Rockford was built. Later paper prices fell and the mill began to make paperboard, mostly for folding packaging. A claim to fame was the invention of a superior form of cardboard used for egg cartons. The mill workers used a process of combining a layer of straw paper with wood pulp and sulphite. It was far superior to the process of making crates other mills used. When the cartons were ready to hold the eggs, a 200-pound man could not crush them. Another secret to success may have been the way the Childs family paid their employees. They didn’t. Employees could live in the two-dozen homes of the Childsdale village and shop at the company store. For pay they were given scripts with which they could pay rent or purchase […]

Annual Ice Festival to be held downtown Rockford January 8

December 30, 2010 // 0 Comments

What happens when chainsaw-wielding craftsmen meet giant blocks of ice? Simply magic. And you can get in on the action, Saturday, Jan. 8, from noon to 4 p.m. downtown Rockford. The 2010 festival drew over 6,000 guests, and event planners are working hard to make the second annual bigger, better and packed with free family fun. The festival is being sponsored by area businesses in partnership with the City of Rockford. Grand Rapids-based Ice Sculptures LTD will be providing the ice-carving talent. Festival activities will include: a giant show-stopping sculpture sponsored by the City and placed in front of the Welcome Center on Squires Street Square; carving demonstrations on the deck of Reds on the River and in front of the Corner Bar; nine holes of miniature golf with each ice hole sponsored by an area business, expanded from three holes last year—and the Food Network will be at the festival filming! New this year: a scavenger hunt throughout downtown encourages participants to find all the ice sculptures and a win prizes. Other new activities this year include: voting for best sculpture and golf hole in the heated pavilion; a best photo contest with uploads to Facebook; an ice sports wall for interactive games; and free hot cocoa in the Pavilion, provided by the Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA. Music and entertainment at the dam will be provided by the Rockford Area Arts Council. Area businesses will be offering festival fun and shopping and dining deals. And there will be contests and enter-to-win prizes for Guess the Melt Date and number of objects hidden in ice sculptures. What better way to enjoy the Michigan winter than to meander along the Rogue River in downtown Rockford and check out the ice-carving demonstrations, try your hand at a little miniature golf, and let your imagination run wild? Plus, the sculptures will remain on exhibit until Mother Nature does away with them—and if you can predict the date, you may just win some fabulous prizes! For additional information on the Ice Festival, check out The Ice Festival is free, compliments of many sponsors, including: • Show Stopper Sculptures—Welcome Center: @The City of Rockford (, Promenade: Trendwell Energy ( • Four-hour carving demonstration (12-4 p.m./Reds deck): Reds on […]

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