Rockford, Illinois          

Online Resources for Students*

A site gathering of resources on Rockford.

Founders Memorial

 Bronze and steel sculpture of Thatcher Blake, Lewis Lemon and Germanicus Kent, founders of Rockford, by Gene Horvath (1927-1995). At corner of Green and Main.   (Pictures by Carol Fox)                                        


 Striking sculpture by Alexander Liberman (1912-1999) symbolizes the power and majesty of hard work. Located in Sinnissippi Park (Picture by Carol Fox)

History and People Online

Rockford Historical Marker

Rock River History

Early Settlers and Founders

Whitman's Trading Post (Rockton, IL)

bulletStephen Mack
bullet Macktown (Pecatonik)
bullet Macktown Shell Midden Excavation
bulletStephen Mack and the Black Hawk War
bulletGermanicus Kent
bullet Thatcher Blake
bulletLewis Lemon
bulletDaniel Haight
bullet Kentsville, Haightsvillle, Midway, Rock Ford
bullet Haight Village


Early picture circa 1865 on Kent Creek. Tinker Dam in foreground may have included the remnants of Kent's original millpond. (From: Lundin, Jon W. Rockford: An Illustrated History. Tarzana, CA: American Historical Press, 1996.)

Profiles and Histories
bullet A Brief History of Rockford
bulletRockford Chamber of Commerce
bullet Chronology of Rockford
bullet 1834-1900 Settlers Arrive
bullet Rockford College in History
bullet Rockford, IL from Wikipedia
bullet Eagle Eye on Rockford


History and People Online      


bullet Ethnic Heritage Museum


bullet The Illinois Country 1673-1787
bullet A Chronology of African American History in Rockford
bullet Life on Illinois' Last Frontier
bullet Illinois Swedes
bullet History of Swedish Immigration to Rockford
bullet The Rock River and the First Swedes in Rockford
bullet Rockford's Ethnic clubs: They survived for nearly a century
bullet The Irish Come to Rockford
bullet The Waking Giant: Hispanics are organizing politically...


Winnebago County

bullet Winnebago County,Illinois
bullet Winnebago County Genealogy Site


bullet Jane Addams
bullet Jane Addams
bullet Julia Lathrop
bullet Daniel Hale Williams


bullet P. A. Peterson: Immigrant Industrialist
bullet Lincoln and the McCormick-Manny Case

Rockford "The Forest City"

Rockford given nickname in 1853 by a New York newspaper.

bullet Snow sculpting Arrives in Illinois!


Places to Visit 
bullet Greater Rockford Inventory of Public Sculpture
bulletDiscovery Center
bulletBurpee Museum of Natural History
bulletKlehm Arboretum
bullet Rockford Art Museum
bulletTinker Swiss Cottage Museum
bullet Sinnissippi Greenhouse and Gardens
bulletRockford Park District
bullet Midway Village and Museum Center Midway was an early name for the community of Rockford.
bullet Rock Cut State Park Rock-blasting operations conducted by railroad crews in 1859 gave Rock Cut State Park its name.
bullet Graham-Ginestra House (1857)
bullet Severson Dells


Some Noted Rockford Products

Rockford Sock Monkeys were a favorite folk toy made throughout twentieth century.  They were made from socks manufactured in Rockford by the Nelson Knitting Mills.  The Nelson Knitting Mills was sold in 1992 to Fox River Mills. They continue to make the famous "red heel"  socks.

Others include:

". . . Nelson knitting machine, air brush, electric brake, electric garage door opener, dollar bill changer, and electronic dart board." --John L. Molyneaux, Local History Department, Rockford Public Library, 1997

Nylint Toy Trucks

Nylint Corporation made die-cast steel toy trucks in Rockford from 1946 to 2001-2?.  The corporation was then sold and the toys are manufactured "offshore."

Neoclassic architecture, Old Post Office  

(Picture by Carol Fox)           


Rockford City Hall      

City of Rockford

bulletApril 19, 1852 --- First election of city officials. First mayor of Rockford is Willard Wheeler.
bulletSome Mayors of Rockford, 1925-2002 (incomplete listing)
bullet J. H. Hallstrom 1925
bullet C. Henry Bloom 1935
bullet C. Henry Bloom 1942-45
bullet Milton Lundstrom 1954
bulletJohn McNamara
bullet Bob McGaw 1981-1989
bullet Charles Box 1989-2001
bullet Doug Scott 2001- 2005
bullet Larry Morrissey 2005-



*This site was prepared for students doing research on the history of Rockford and Winnebago County.   This is not a comprehensive encapsulation of Rockford history. The links represent what is available and of interest to students.

Updated 08/22/09    /    The QueSPER website is maintained by Carol J. Fox;   Teacher-Librarian   /   Visitor NumberHit Counter since 03/23/07  /    1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009   All rights reserved   /    Email:     /   Use and Connection Policies     Home