Monday, February 28, 2011

Bits About Rockford

Yep, it's been almost all month since our last post. Oops! Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to share some trivia about our new town/area.
 

Rockford skyline, bridge over Rock River
  Quick Facts
  • Rockford was first settled around 1835 and was named after the ford across the Rock River (who'd of thunk?).
  • The Rock River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, winds up into Wisconsin, and is about 285 miles long.
  • Rockford is the third most populated city in Illinois, behind Chicago (of course) and Aurora (which is part of the Chicago-Metro area anyway). Population is a little over 150,000.
  • Typical annual precipitation is 36.3 inches. The Rockford area is prone to violent thunderstorms from April to June (Yessssssss...I like thunderstorms. We did just move from an area that's perpetually in a drought!).
  • The oldest surviving Harley-Davidson dealership is in Rockford (built in 1910 and still run by the same family that started it).
  • There was a Navy frigate named USS Rockford.
  • The Rockford Peaches were based here.
 

Rockford Peaches
 
  • Rockford is nicknamed The Forest City because it used to be known for its elm trees. In the mid-1950s, Dutch elm disease pretty much wiped out the elm trees (plant disease shout-out!).
  • Rockford has the top Japanese garden in North America, Anderson Japanese Gardens.
  • Home of the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps.
  • There are also lots of parks and forest preserves in the area.
  • Celebs: Hometown of Cheap Trick, Aidan Quinn, Michelle Williams (of Destiny's Child), and others of lesser fame.
  • The sock monkey originated here and there is an annual sock monkey festival in Rockford.
 

Sock Monkey
So, that's some of the interesting information about Rockford. Maybe we'll be able to check out the gardens, parks, preserves, and historical sites when the weather warms up.

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