Terry Konkle

Rockford Area Historical Society News and Updates

June 25, 2015 // 0 Comments

by Terry Konkle – President Let’s start with a “Nugget of Rockford History” four part question. Each part consists of two things and readers are asked to decide which of the two occurred first in Rockford history. So, number your paper from one to four and put down the letter (either A or B) of the earliest thing. Contact me by e-mail at tnjkonkle@hotmail.com or by phone 616-866-0530 with your answers. ____ A. Corner Bar Building, B. Hessler Building ____ A. Sigsbee Street, B. Fremont Street ____ A. Rockford Register, B. Star Theater ____ A. Ten Mile Bridge, B. Parkside School This Saturday, June 27, 2015, the “Golden R” will meet at Rockford High School for their annual reunion. The members of the Rockford High School class of 1965 will be featured as they have now been out of school for fifty years. The reunions have been a positive part of Rockford history since 1987 when the first gathering was held at the former high school on North Main Street. The idea for the reunion came from well known Rockford graduate and coach Lyle Bennett, and the Rockford Area Historical Society helped sponsor the initial meeting. This year the group will celebrate their twenty ninth gathering. My curiosity caused me to wonder about what happened in 1965 involving the seniors of fifty years ago. Using the 1965 yearbook, “Rams Tale” for help, I found out that the seniors put on a play entitled “The Night of January 16TH”. It was directed by Mrs. Carlene Stamp, who today is a loyal volunteer at the Rockford Area Museum. The Rockford Band performed a post-game show at a University of Michigan football game. Teachers Clint Lindhout and Dave Thompson were the class advisors while Steve Ohnsman-President, Dan Jenkins-Vice president, Maxine Dunn-Secretary and Phil Smith-Treasurer were the elected officers of the class. The valedictorian was Laura Wells. Salutatorians were Carole Clark and Barb Smith. The top ten scholars that year were all girls with Faye Dow, Linda Buth, Sue Lawson, Sharyl Waldron, Maxine Dunn, Gail Paepke and Sue Platt joining with Laura Wells, Carole Clark and Barb Smith to form the group. Erkki Wirta, Tore Lind, Tade Risius and Ursel Maas were exchange students. Neil Huizenga was the high school principal and […]

Rockford Area Historical Society News and Updates

May 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

Terry Konkle – President Let’s begin this column by answering a question that was asked recently by a friend. We were talking about Rockford history and the friend asked:   Is Homer Burch’s book “From Sawmill To City” still available to the public? The book, which I am sure many readers already know, covers Rockford area history up to the year 1967. Over the years it has been reprinted and sold by the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS). Recently it was reprinted again and copies may be purchased at the Rockford Area Museum (RAM). When our new museum was being designed, a lot of thought went into not only what would be featured in our displays but also into the reading content that would accompany the exhibits. Fortunately, the research area of our museum contained information that could be used. Along with that, Homer’s book and his weekly newspaper columns contained a lot of our area history. Research is made easier when someone has already written about some of what is being sought. Bobbi Schirado’s book on Rockford was also a valuable work with its many photos and written content. Her book is also for sale at the RAM. “From Sawmill to City” contains the answer to this week’s new “Nugget of Rockford History”. According to Homer Burch, Rockford created its first public park in 1907 and dedicated the “Old Soldiers Monument” at the location. It was called “Rockford Village Park”. The new question is: “What building is located today on that piece of property?” Contact me by e-mail at tnjkonkle@hotmail.com or by phone at 616-866-0530 with your answers. The last “Nugget” consisted of a six part matching quiz. Readers were given six dates and had to find the event that occurred on that date and use the letter of the event as an answer. Here are the correct responses: (1). A – 1965 is the class to be honored at this year’s Golden “R”, (2). E -1954 – The Rockford Lions Club was formed, (3). F – 1970 – Squire Street Square was started, (4). – C – 1947 – Lewis Street football field gets lights, (5). – B – 2002 – New ambulance facility is built on Shaner, (6) – D – 1937 – […]


September 20, 2012 // 0 Comments

By TERRY KONKLE President, Rockford Area Historical Society Lots of questions have been asked by people interested in our upcoming fundraising auction. Most of this column will give answers to a lot of the inquiries, but if readers need clarification or more information, please call 1-616-866-0530. Let’s start by explaining that the auction will be in three parts. Presently over eighty individual entrees are posted for the on-line auction and can be seen at orbitbidcharity.com or at www.1800lastbid.com. These can be viewed and maximum bids can be placed now. All information about the on-line rules is on the site. On Thursday, September 27, 2012, individual bidding starts at 8:00 A.M. and ends at 6:00 P.M. The on-line part concludes on September 27, so that will be a busy bidding day. The second part of the fundraiser concerns a silent auction. It will take place inside the new museum (old 63rd district courthouse building) starting Friday, September 28 from 5:00-8:00 P.M. and continuing on Saturday, September 29 from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. All silent auction items will close at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday. Over 150 items are available for silent bidding. The third portion of the project is a live auction, which will occur at 2:30 P.M. on Saturday, September 29. It will be held in the south end of the parking lot behind the new museum on the corner of Maple and Main Streets. Look for the tent where about fifty items will be auctioned live to the highest bidder. All bidders in the silent and live auctions have to register in order to bid. This will not take much time, but participants might want to arrive early to get a bidder number. Music will be part of the day before the live auction Saturday. Here are answers to other questions: Do you still need volunteer help? Yes, please call 866-0530 if available. Do you still want auction donations? Our cut off date was September 19, however if you have an item you think we should have, give us a call. Is there a list of silent or live auction items available? We will have a listing of most items in next week’s Rockford Squire. Look for our full page advertisement. A listing is […]

Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

September 13, 2012 // 0 Comments

by TERRY KONKLE President, Rockford Area Historical Society On September 6, the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) had their first regular meeting of the new season with a program featuring the new museum project update. Many questions were answered and those present were informed about the areas of fundraising, renovation and museum funding in the future. The upcoming online, silent and live auctions were covered along with the plans for the scarecrow weekends. Several suggestions for the auction were considered and sign-up sheets for auction workers were passed around. Workers are needed for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29. Although many indicated that they could help, we still could use more volunteers. If you could give us some of your time either or both of those days, contact us at (616) 866-0530 or (616) 485-4144. Our program director, Jan Konkle, has set the schedule for our remaining nine meetings. A program brochure is available at the museum and Rockford City Hall. They can also be requested at (616) 866-0530. Meeting dates and activities are made available each month in The Rockford Squire about two weeks before the meeting date. To give readers an idea of what is planned, let me briefly summarize our meeting times and activity. Perhaps this column could be saved, so that the entire schedule is available. All meetings are at the community cabin as follows: Oct. 4, 2012, at 7 p.m., “One Hundred Years of Rockford Football,” by Terry Konkle Nov. 1, 2012, at 7 p.m., “Rockford’s Hidden Treasures—Hidden In Plain Sight,” by Jerry DeMaagd Dec. 6, 2012, at 6:30 p.m., Christmas Potluck—Bring your own table service and a dish to pass. Jan. 3, 2013, at 1 p.m., “Different Routes to Geneology,” by Janette Konkle Feb. 7, 2013, at 1 p.m., “History of the Masons,” by John Wallstadt from the Masonic Museum March 7, 2013, at 7 p.m., “Lost On the Lady Elgin,” by Valerie van Heest April 4, 2013, at 7 p.m., “Chief Wabasis and the White Swan Community,” by Linda Critchell May 2, 2013, at 7 p.m., “History of Herman’s Boy,” by Floyd Havemeier June 6, 2013, at 6:30 p.m., Annual Potluck Picnic and Election of Officers Next week, I will catch up on the “Rockford Nuggets of History” question, […]

Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

September 6, 2012 // 0 Comments

by TERRY KONKLE President, Rockford Area Historical Society The Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) is about to start our new year of meetings and programs. During the months of July and August, we do not have regular meetings, but we do begin our monthly board meetings on the last Wednesday of August. Our officers for the year are elected at our meeting in June and met on August 29, 2012 for the first time. So that readers can learn a bit more about our group, this column and others from time to time will present information about the RAHS. The following are the officers and others who make up our board of directors: president Terry Konkle, vice president Jack Bolt, recording secretary Kathy Christensen, corresponding secretary Carla Blandford, treasurer Dianne Skiver; trustees Bob Boyer, Joan Bunn, Victor Matthews, Shirley Norman and Bob Winegar; museum director Pat Frye, museum curator Kathy Cornwell, museum archivist Janet Matthews, and program director Janette Konkle. The board normally meets the last Wednesday of each month at 12 p.m. at the museum. All society members are welcome to attend board meetings. Our regular meetings, with programs, start in September and continue monthly through June. These meetings are on the first Thursday of the month at the Rockford Community Cabin. The meeting time and the program content are published in a brochure and are included in The Rockford Squire in the weeks before. Brochures are available at the museum or by calling (616) 866-0530. All meetings are open to the public. You do not need to be a member to attend. Our first regular meeting for this year is September 6 at 7 p.m. It will be an opportunity for the community to learn the latest information about our new museum project. As readers can imagine, our meeting on August 29 was a very important one because of all the things that happened over the summer. Much time was spent bringing everyone up to date on the many committee meetings and activities that have occurred. Our auction/scarecrow weekend plans were covered along with an update on fundraising. The new museum restoration was discussed. We talked about funding the museum after it is opened. Additional items on our agenda included a program update, […]

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