Have you ever visited someplace and wondered, “If only these buildings could speak, what stories would they tell?” The Rockford History Walks tour gives you the histories behind some of these buildings. Through a series of plaques installed at each downtown location, along with this online tour guide, visitors can meet entrepreneurs, social reformers, a president, pioneers, immigrants, an architect, veterans, religious leaders, and an educator – all tied to the rich history of Rockford, Illinois.
So often a community’s residents do not know about their own history. In an everyday world we often focus only on our problems. It is important to understand that, in Rockford, people have made great accomplishments, often against all odds. These histories should provide inspiration to everyone that it is possible, through commitment and persistence, to grow and improve our own lives and the lives of those around us.
This history tour was created through a special project, “Making Downtown History Come Alive!” funded by the Jon Lundin Historic Preservation Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. Downtown Rockford is the oldest, most historical part of the city. This tour relates just some of the history that has taken place.