is the third largest city in Illinois behind Chicago and Aurora. Located in Winnebago County in northern Illinois, it is the largest city in the state outside the Chicago Metropolitan Area. Rockford covers 56.7 sq mi (147 sq km) and has a population of 153,000 (2011 estimate) within a metropolitan area of 340,000 people. The city observes the Central Standard Time (UTC-6) and in summer the Central Daylight Time (UTC-5).
Tinker Swiss Cottage, Rockford, Illinoishttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rockford_Il_Tinker_Swiss_Cottage12.jpg
Rockford was founded in 1834. It was named after the ford across the Rock River. The settlement was incorporated as a village in 1839 and chartered as a city in 1852. The city developed as an industrial center for northern Illinois, particularly after the Second World War. The factories in Rockford produced everything from knitting machines to vehicle parts. The industrial development of the city fueled a population boom.
By the end of the 20th century, however, Rockford was suffering from factory closures and a myriad of social issues from high unemployment rate to high homicide rate. The city is refocusing itself on cleaner industries such as high technology and tourism.
Jane T-Rex fossil at the Burpee Museum of Natural History, Rockford, Illinoishttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jane_TRex_Burpee.jpg
Visiting Rockford, Illinois
You can reach Rockford by taking Interstate 90 from Chicago. If you are flying in, the Chicago O'Hare International Airport provides the best connections.
Midway Theater and Spanish Tower, Rockford, Illinoishttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Midway_Theater_and_Spanish_Tower.jpg
Places of Interest in Rockford, Illinois
- Anderson Japanese Gardens
One of the finest Japanese gardens in North America.
- Burpee Museum of Natural History
Museum best known for its collection of dinosaur fossils, especially that of Jane, the local T-Rex.
- Coronado Theatre
Vaudeville movie theater, now a historic building.
- Erlander Home Museum
Museum preserving the legacy of Swedish immigrants to the city.
- Faust Hotel
Art Deco style building, the tallest in the city when it was completed in 1929.
- Klehn Arboretum and Botanic Garden
Arboretum and botanic garden with an excellent showcase of oaks, maples, woody plans and garden styles.
- Lake-Peterson House
Historical mansion of Swedish-born local philanthropist Pehr August Peterson.
- Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center
Said to be the oldest continuously operating community music organization in the United States.
- Rock Cut State Park
A state park covering some 3,000 acres including Pierce Lake and Olson Lake.
- Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum
Museum housed in a 1860's building that provides a glimpse into life in the 19th century.
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