Page 20 - Rockford Living Magazine 2017-18
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one of the  rst electric refrigerators, a priceless Michigan map from 1832 and a horse-drawn U.S. Mail wagon that was used to deliver mail in the early 1900s are some of the other notable artifacts.
The museum honors John Sjogren, Rockford’s Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from World War II with a statue and an exhibit with his actual medal and photograph receiving the award from President Truman.
RAM dedicates an area to Wolverine World Wide underscoring the com- pany’s importance in Rockford and the philanthropy of the Krauses, who opened their  rst Rockford factory in the early 1900s as the Hirth-Krause
Company. There’s a photo of a Wol- verine World Wide company picnic in the 1920s. The company commit- ted to stay in business during the hard times of the Great Depression so workers could keep their jobs.
The family friendly museum also includes a kid’s area. Young guests can earn a free ice cream cone by complet- ing the “Hunt for History” scavenger hunt style game.
The museum is open from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays, and Noon to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Free admission and free parking (donations are accepted).
Recommended reading: “From Sawmill to City,
The Long Years Passing;
A Story of Rockford Michigan” by Homer L. Burch. Available at Krause Memorial Library
New Edition Homes
After World War I, Wolverine World Wide saw a need for more housing for its workers in Rock- ford and worked with the local builders association to construct homes. A total of 120 homes
in northeast Rockford were built mostly for Wolverine employees on Adolph, Elizabeth, Sigsbee and Norwood streets. Some still refer to these homes located between Lewis Street and East Main Street as the “New Edition.”
Tragic School Fire
A new brick schoolhouse with a wooden interior was completed in 1870 on prop- erty on the corner of Main Street and Division Street, the current site of Inde- pendent Bank. The school property at that time extended back to Maple Street. On February 3, 1922 the schoolhouse caught fire and burned to the ground. A new school was built on North Main Street and ready for students exactly one year later. “Students missed only one day of school because school was back in session quickly, held in businesses, churches and homes all over town,” said Al Pratt, noting the importance Rockford has always placed on education. The newly constructed school of 1923 was the only school in town for 31 years before Parkside Elementary opened in 1954.
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