Fairgrounds Park was formed on land purchased around 1858 and was used for a variety of activities including a place to host the annual fair.
During the summer of 1896, the Fairgrounds Park made the newspapers for something other than agriculture

Traveling the backroads in any state is one of my favorite past times and the last trip was no different. I had a long weekend so my partner and I threw a couple of things in a bag and ran out the door. It has long been a dream of mine to travel the entire …

There is a unique house located at 1401 Clifton Avenue in Rockford.  Built in 1866, it was the home of one of Rockford’s industrial pioneers, William Worth Burson.  It is said that he designed several of his inventions in this house,  automated knitting machine that he and John Nelson partnered to create.

Haskell Park has been a part of Rockford almost from the beginning.  It was originally platted as the West Side Public Square in the 1830s.  The land was given to the city by Dr. George Haskell and his brother-in-law, John Edwards.  George Haskell and his family settled in Rockford in 1838.

Sometimes history appears in the strangest places.  Most people know that Sinnissippi Golf Course is a historic place.  It is the Rockford Park District’s oldest golf course.

Rockford has reported ghost stories for many years now including a news article that was featured in the Rockford Morning Star June 30, 1935 edition.  This particular report originated from rumors of a “ghost” on the courthouse lawn.

Many people in Rockford wondered if John Germano had some premonition on the night of April 17, 1938.  John Germano, a Winnebago County Special Deputy Sheriff, was scheduled to be on a desk that evening.  John learned that Deputy Sheriff Clarence Wollan was assigned to issue an arrest warrant for Albert Laws for disorderly conduct.

This story has been around for years, some people say it started circulating in the 1980s while others put the origin even further back.  Over the years the story changed until there were several different versions.

The Camp Sumter Military Prison at Andersonville, Georgia was of one of the biggest Confederate prisoners of war camps during the Civil War.  It operated for 14 months and 45,000 Union prisoners passed through the gates even though the camp was designed for 10,000 men.

Sam Rotolo probably never knew what hit him. Sam was standing on the road with a flash light to warn people about an accident just as he had countless times before.  Sam worked as a Deputy Sheriff for two years and was assigned to the traffic division. The newspapers are filled with the cases he investigated from 1935 and 1936.



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