Rockford, Illinois

Rockford, IL often known as "The Forest City" is a beautiful city of gardens, a county of four rivers and a rewarding home of everlasting Midwestern values. This city is regarded as the county seat in Winnebago County and is surrounded by numerous attractive villages and towns, each possessing its own appeal and character. This welcoming place is habitually dotted with greenery all around and is blessed by rivers because it is situated on both the banks of the picturesque Rock River.

According to 2010 U.S Census, the total population of the Rockford city is 152,871 and is the third most populated city in the state of Illinois after Chicago and Aurora. Residents of Rockford city enjoy its beauty for all four seasons. The warmest month is in July and the coolest month in the city is January. Summers are typically warm with temperatures in the 80s and winters bring a good amount of snow in the 20s and 30s.

If one is seeking a weekend gateway, a business meeting place or a tour destination, getting to Rockford is very easy as it is interconnected by highway to major cities in Illinois. Today, the city is also known as the "City of Gardens" as it has 7000 acres of glorious tree lined streets, superb parkland, an exceptional riverside trail and numerous wonderful public gardens.

Welcome to the city of Rockford, where you will be able to make just about anything happen. There are intriquing options in entertainment, education, affordable living and many other benefits the city offers its residents. It is also an area of history and culture.

Rockford History

The city of Rockford was initially settled by Germanicus Kent, Lewis Lemon and Thatcher Blake who arrived from Galena in 1834-1835. Initially the community was identified as Midway, but later was referred to as Rockford due to the ford that excellently bridged across the beautiful Rock River. The city had its first post office in 1837. In 1839 the community was recognized as a village and was later incorporated as a city in 1852.

Although Rockford was often referred to as a sleepy county village for almost ten years, the city rapidly expanded in industry and size and became the county seat of Winnebago. The Rockford Water Power Company was structured in 1851 and the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad reached the Rockford city in 1852. These two events propelled the city to become a significant and emerging industrial center and was famous for production of the John H. Manny reaper in addition to other agricultural machinery.

In 1876, a small set of men led by John Erlander, an immigrant of Sweden organized the Rockford Union Furniture Company in 1876. Later, the company was methodically structured with craftsmen and laborers holding significant power and reflected a distinctive business approach. By the 1880s, the furniture industry flourished and by the 20th century, the Rockford city became the second largest manufacturing center in furniture in the country.

The economic factors during the 20th century led Rockford to diversify the city's industrial base. The oldest dealership, Harley Davidson was founded in 1910 by Joe Kegel and is still operated today. In the 1960s, the agricultural implement industry declined during the First World War and later the furniture industry was also rigorously damaged by the Second World War and the Great Depression.

During the 1940s, the Rockford Peaches which was referred as the team in All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was regarded as the world's first only-female baseball team. They played at Beyer Stadium, razed in the 1990s, and won the league championship for many years. Several impressive movie palaces were built in 1920s and 1930s which flourished Rockford's economy. The Coronado Theatre was an expansive theater and was listed in the "National Register of Historic Places" in 1979 along with "Rockford's Wonder Theater".

During the 20th century, Rockford's industry was revolving around heavy machinery, machine tools, aerospace, automotive, cabinet hardware products, fastener and packaging devices. The city produced important inventions such as the Nelson knitting machine, electric brake, airbrush, electric garage door opener, electronic dartboard and dollar bill changer. Soon after this, there was an expansion in the manufacturing segment that improved the city's economic factors.

About Rockford, Illinois

Life in Rockford centers in and around the beautiful Rock River. Although it divides the east from the west side, it brings all of its residents together for major events such as the Fourth of July Festival, Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition, "On the Waterfront", Ski Broncs Water Ski Shows, Rockford Art Guild's Artists' Fair, Rockford Art Museum Greenwich Village Art Fair and many more.

It is very rich in cultural resources and hence offers over 530 arts and cultural attractions including history and science museums, art galleries, dance programs, an arboretum, kid's theater and museums, a symphony and more. Rockford Art Museum is regarded as Illinois' 2nd largest art museum. In addition, the city of Rockford has a fine list of metro-quality museums. The Burpee Museum of Natural History celebrates an annual festival of dinosaurs known as "PaleoFest" which has created a stir amongst many paleontologists by unearthing one of the new member of the tyrannus family, famously known as "Jane".

With more than 10,000 plus acres of forest and park reserves, Rockford City also hosts plenty of outdoor fun. You can enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, boating, rollerbladeing, sailing, picnicing, fishing, bird-watching, camping, horse riding and even golfing. Magic Waters Water park provides all such activities and you can even watch the outstanding water ski team known as the "Ski Broncs" plying into the Rock River during the summer.

Because golf is a passion of many residents, this city offers many affordable and excellent golf courses. The Aldeen Golf Club and Practice center is awarded a 4-1/2 star rating by Golf Digest and is one of the most famous golfing destinations in Illinois. Anderson Japanese Gardens and Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden are the city's famous gardens for its rare and unusual shrubs and trees. Besides this, the city also hosts an array of flower shows, garden tours, gardening workshops and garden concerts all over the year.

The Rockford region has over 30 antique shops, a dozen weekend shows, two famous antique malls and flea markets. CherryVale Mall is the most bustling mall located on East State Street which offers off-price outlets, "Big Box" stores and a huge number of discount chains.

Housing is varied and bountiful in Rockford. This city offers affordable housing and provides an inexpensive urban alternative to its residents. The Public School District of Rockford city offers innovative programs and state-of-the-art facilities in the city to emphasize education. The city hosts more than 45 institutions, educating more than 28,000 students by offering an extensive variety of technical training opportunities and higher learning.

About Winnebago County, Illinois

Winnebago County is located in Illinois and Rockford is regarded as its county seat. It was founded in 1834. The term 'Winnebago" initially came from a name "exonym" that is specified to the people by neighboring Algonquian speaking tribes such as the Sauk, Fox and Ojibway. Later, the English and French colonists' attempted to translate the Algonquian words which include Wiinibiigoo, Ouinepegi, Winipeg, Ouinipegouek and Wuinebagoes.

The county was formed out of the LaSalle and Jo Daviess counties. During its first year of existence, the county spread across most of Illinois. However, during 1837, the county was reduced to its present borders with the creation of Boone and Stephenson counties. It was named for the Winnebago Tribe of the American Indians. The Ho-Chunk, known as "Winnebago" are a tribe of Native Americans who were natives of Illinois and Wisconsin. These Ho-Chunk tribes were federally recognized as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin.

According to the US Census, the county is home to 295,266 residents. Because this county borders the Wisconsin State, it is referred as the stateline. It is comprised of 14 districts. The total area of the county is 519.27 square miles (1,344.9 km2), out of which 5.54 square miles (14.3 km2) is water and 513.74 square miles (1,330.6 km2) is land.

Some of the beautiful lakes in the county include Little Lake Butte des Morts, Buttes des Morts, Rush, Poygan, Winneconne and Lake Winnebago, the largest lake in Wisconsin. It is a home to some of the outstanding academic centers such as UW-Fox Valley, the Fox Valley Technical College and University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The County comprises of innumerable boat landings, waterways and parks which offer a great family vacation. The county has a wealth of streams, lakes, rivers, quiet woods and winding trails that offer numerous recreational opportunities year-round. Some of the trails include WIOUWASH trail which is 21.8 miles long and Mascoutin Valley State Trail which is 5.3 miles long. In addition, it is a home to Experimental Aircraft Association where they host their convention annually. This event draws visitors not only from the nation but from all over the world.