Flooding in February 1922

Severe weather in Rockford this time of year is nothing unusual. A flood on Feb 22, 1922 along the banks of Keith Creek claimed the life of a five year old boy who was caught up in its raging waters. Heavy rains and a high temperature of 61 degrees flooded an area a mile square (in southeast Rockford near 7th Avenue) as waters rose and carried large cakes of ice downstream. Several streetcars ceased operation and storm sewers were quickly overwhelmed. Streets and sidewalks were overcome with mud and debris and sections of pavement were ripped...

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A 1953 Valentines Party

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we offer you this glimpse of Valentine’s Day 1953. The photos, of Betty Peters’ 4th grade class at Henrietta School in Rockford, is part of Midway Village Museum’s photo collection and captures the students ready for their class Valentine’s Day party. Most students have homemade Valentines and boxes on their desks. Henrietta School was built in 1952 at 200 N. Johnston Ave. In more recent years the building was used for Head Start programming. Since 2012, the building, which...

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“We Saved Baseball” — Betty Yahr and the Rockford Peaches

With baseball season coming to an end, we are reminded of one of Rockford’s greatest legacies: the Rockford Peaches. The Peaches were one of fifteen teams in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League that existed from 1943-1954. The Peaches won three league championships and were portrayed in the 1992 film A League of Their Own. Though the team was based in Rockford, members of the team were selected by talent scouts throughout the United States who would choose the best women baseball players for the league. One of those chosen...

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120 Years of the Guilford Hope Grange

As Rockford’s history museum, it is important to Midway Village Museum that we document the lives and experiences of the many Rockford residents who made their living by farming. Farming was long a critical part of Rockford’s economic health. Consequently, the museum has collected cultivators, corn planters, and scythes. We continue to seek photos and documents related to local farms and in the past several years two barns have been added to the Village. Among the recent exciting additions to the Museum’s archives is a series of minute books...

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Rockford’s Greek Immigrants

Since declaring independence from Turkey in 1829, most Greeks survived by farming. In 1890, France decided to stop importing currants, one of Greece’s largest exports. Thus, the country was plunged into economic turmoil. This led to an immigration wave of Greeks into the United States, many of them settling in Rockford. Many families had to change their longer Greek names to ones that Americans could easily pronounce: Soteropoulous became Sotos; Pontosopoulous became Pontos; and Carafotias become Cary. The first Greek immigrant who arrived in...

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