A Belvidere 4th of July, 1865

July 4, 1865 was the scene of a triumphant celebration in Belvidere. The Civil War had just ended in April, with victory for the North; Belvidere, like many other cities, was full of jubilant patriotism and pride for its soldiers. The festivities that day were ones to remember. According to the newspaper, between 5,000 and 6,000 people were present for the day’s activities, so many that most had to sit on the ground (and even up in trees!) during the main program. The celebration started with a parade, which featured a wagon of young ladies...

read more

A Commodore in Rockford

Did you know that Rockford had a Commodore in the US Navy? Edward Eells Potter was born May 9, 1833 in Medina, NY to Eleazur Hubble Potter and his wife, Sarah Adeline Eells. They also had a daughter, Adeline Sarah Potter, born in New York. The family came to Rockford in 1837. In 1846, Edward was appointed to Annapolis, and joined the US Navy on Feb. 5, 1850. He was made a lieutenant in 1858, a lieutenant commander in 1862, and a commander in 1869. At the start of the Civil War, Potter was on the steam frigate Niagara with Schley. Potter...

read more