Articles

Illinois Adventure #1805 “Midway Village Museum”


>>IT IS A MUSEUM WITH A DUAL
PERSONALITY. PERSONALITY.
INSIDE THE MAIN BUILDING INSIDE THE MAIN BUILDING
ARTIFACTS AND DISPLACE RECOUNT ARTIFACTS AND DISPLACE RECOUNT
SIGNIFICANT EVENTS OF THIS SIGNIFICANT EVENTS OF THIS
AREA’S HISTORY. AREA’S HISTORY.
OUTSIDE, PART OF THE IMMENSE OUTSIDE, PART OF THE IMMENSE
COLLECTION IS USED TO RECREATE A COLLECTION IS USED TO RECREATE A
PICTURE OF DAILY LIFE FROM A PICTURE OF DAILY LIFE FROM A
BYGONE ERA. BYGONE ERA.
HI. HI.
I AM JIM WILHELM. I AM JIM WILHELM.
TODAY WE ARE VISITING THE MIDWAY TODAY WE ARE VISITING THE MIDWAY
VILLAGE MUSEUM IN ROCKFORD. VILLAGE MUSEUM IN ROCKFORD.
BEHIND ME IS THE VILLAGE PART OF BEHIND ME IS THE VILLAGE PART OF
THE MUSEUM COMPLEX WHICH GIVES THE MUSEUM COMPLEX WHICH GIVES
VISITOR THE TASTE OF LIFE IN A VISITOR THE TASTE OF LIFE IN A
RURAL TOWN AROUND 1900. RURAL TOWN AROUND 1900.
THE VILLAGE CONSISTS OF 27 THE VILLAGE CONSISTS OF 27
BUILDINGS OF WHICH SOME ARE BUILDINGS OF WHICH SOME ARE
ORIGINAL STRUCTURES THAT HAVE ORIGINAL STRUCTURES THAT HAVE
BEEN RELOCATED HERE WHILE OTHERS BEEN RELOCATED HERE WHILE OTHERS
ARE SCALED REPRODUCTIONS. ARE SCALED REPRODUCTIONS.
INTERPRETERS DRESSED IN PERIOD INTERPRETERS DRESSED IN PERIOD
CLOTHING, ESCORT GUESTS THROUGH CLOTHING, ESCORT GUESTS THROUGH
THE TOWN, USING ITEMS ON DISPLAY THE TOWN, USING ITEMS ON DISPLAY
TO HELP EXPLAIN DAILY LIFE. TO HELP EXPLAIN DAILY LIFE.
AT THAT TIME ELECTRICITY WAS AT THAT TIME ELECTRICITY WAS
JUST COMING INTO VOGUE, AND IT JUST COMING INTO VOGUE, AND IT
WAS STILL ONLY USED FOR WAS STILL ONLY USED FOR
LIGHTING. LIGHTING.
IN MANY COMMUNITIES, THE POWER IN MANY COMMUNITIES, THE POWER
WAS ONLY ON FOR CERTAIN HOURS OF WAS ONLY ON FOR CERTAIN HOURS OF
THE DAY. THE DAY.
ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES WERE STILL ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES WERE STILL
IN THE FUTURE. IN THE FUTURE.
AS YOU CAN SEE, LIFE BACK THEN AS YOU CAN SEE, LIFE BACK THEN
WAS VERY LABOR INTENSIVE. WAS VERY LABOR INTENSIVE.
KNOW WHERE ELSE IS THIS BETTER KNOW WHERE ELSE IS THIS BETTER
DEMONSTRATED THAN AT THE GENERAL DEMONSTRATED THAN AT THE GENERAL
STORE. STORE.
IN A TIME BEFORE THE CAR, AND IN A TIME BEFORE THE CAR, AND
WHEN TRAVEL WAS DIFFICULT, THESE WHEN TRAVEL WAS DIFFICULT, THESE
ENTERPRISES PLAYED A VITAL ROLE ENTERPRISES PLAYED A VITAL ROLE
IN RURAL LIFE. IN RURAL LIFE.
THEY SERVED AS LOCAL POST OFFICE THEY SERVED AS LOCAL POST OFFICE
AND WERE A SOCIAL CENTER WHERE AND WERE A SOCIAL CENTER WHERE
PEOPLE COULD LEARN THE LATEST PEOPLE COULD LEARN THE LATEST
GOSSIP AND NEWS. GOSSIP AND NEWS.
THE FLOORS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE FLOORS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN
VERY CLEAN BECAUSE OF THE DUST VERY CLEAN BECAUSE OF THE DUST
AND THE MUD THAT THE CUSTOMERS AND THE MUD THAT THE CUSTOMERS
TRACKED IN FROM THE UNPAVED TRACKED IN FROM THE UNPAVED
STREETS. STREETS.
RODENTS WOULD HAVE BEEN RODENTS WOULD HAVE BEEN
ATTRACTED TO THE BULK FOODS ATTRACTED TO THE BULK FOODS
STORED THERE. STORED THERE.
THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN FLIES THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN FLIES
BECAUSE IN THE SUMMER, THERE BECAUSE IN THE SUMMER, THERE
WERE NO SCREENS OVER THE DOORS WERE NO SCREENS OVER THE DOORS
AND WINDOWS. AND WINDOWS.
HERE VISITORS CAN SEE A SAMPLE HERE VISITORS CAN SEE A SAMPLE
OF THE WARES THAT WOULD HAVE OF THE WARES THAT WOULD HAVE
BEEN ON SALE BACK THEN. BEEN ON SALE BACK THEN.
THERE WERE NOT A LOT OF THERE WERE NOT A LOT OF
PREPACKAGED ITEMS AVAILABLE. PREPACKAGED ITEMS AVAILABLE.
COFFEE WAS GROUND AT THE COFFEE WAS GROUND AT THE
COUNTER. COUNTER.
CHEESE WAS SHIPPED IN LARGE CHEESE WAS SHIPPED IN LARGE
ROUND BOXES AND SLICED PER THE ROUND BOXES AND SLICED PER THE
CUSTOMER’S ORDER. CUSTOMER’S ORDER.
PAYMENTS COULDE MADE BY CASH, PAYMENTS COULDE MADE BY CASH,
BARTER, OR STORE CREDIT SINCE BARTER, OR STORE CREDIT SINCE
MOST FARM FAMILIES MADE THEIR MOST FARM FAMILIES MADE THEIR
MONEY AT HARVEST TIME. MONEY AT HARVEST TIME.
WHILE CATALOGS WERE BECOMING WHILE CATALOGS WERE BECOMING
VERY POPULAR, CLOTHING WAS STILL VERY POPULAR, CLOTHING WAS STILL
VERY PRICEY, SO A MAJORITY OF VERY PRICEY, SO A MAJORITY OF
FAMILIES STILL MADE THEIR FAMILIES STILL MADE THEIR
CLOTHES AT HOME. CLOTHES AT HOME.
SPEAKING OF CLOTHING, THESE SPEAKING OF CLOTHING, THESE
ITEMS WERE USED FOR ONE OF THE ITEMS WERE USED FOR ONE OF THE
WORST CHORES, THE LAUNDRY. WORST CHORES, THE LAUNDRY.
CLOTHES WERE PUT IN A TUB OF CLOTHES WERE PUT IN A TUB OF
SOAPY WATER AND WORKED AROUND SOAPY WATER AND WORKED AROUND
WITH THIS DEVICE CALLED WITH THIS DEVICE CALLED
AGITATOR. AGITATOR.
STAINS WERE SCRUBBED OUT BY HAND STAINS WERE SCRUBBED OUT BY HAND
USING WASHBOARD. USING WASHBOARD.
WHITES HAD TO BE WASHED WHITES HAD TO BE WASHED
SEPARATELY AND BLEACHED. SEPARATELY AND BLEACHED.
AFTER EACH PIECE WAS WASHED AND AFTER EACH PIECE WAS WASHED AND
RINSED, UNWRUNG OUT BY HAND, AND RINSED, UNWRUNG OUT BY HAND, AND
HAD TO BE HUNG ON THE LINE TO HAD TO BE HUNG ON THE LINE TO
DRY. DRY.
THAT JOB TOOK ALMOST A WHOLE THAT JOB TOOK ALMOST A WHOLE
DAY, AND IT WAS USUALLY A DAY, AND IT WAS USUALLY A
MONDAY. MONDAY.
AND, SINCE THERE WAS NO AND, SINCE THERE WAS NO
PERMANENT PRESS, TUESDAY WAS PERMANENT PRESS, TUESDAY WAS
IRONING DAY. AS WE HAVE SEEN, LIFE BACK THEN
WAS VERY LABOR INTENSE. BUT SO, WAS VERY LABOR INTENSE. BUT SO,
TOO, WAS THE WORK PLACE, AND TOO, WAS THE WORK PLACE, AND
NOTHING ILLUSTRATES THAT BETTER NOTHING ILLUSTRATES THAT BETTER
THAN IN THE RECREATED PRINT THAN IN THE RECREATED PRINT
SHOP. SHOP.
HERE EACH WORD, EACH LINE OF THE HERE EACH WORD, EACH LINE OF THE
NEWSPAPER HAD TO BE SET BY HAND. NEWSPAPER HAD TO BE SET BY HAND.
LETTERS WERE STORED IN VARIOUS LETTERS WERE STORED IN VARIOUS
DRAWERS ACCORDING TO FONT SIZE. DRAWERS ACCORDING TO FONT SIZE.
THE MOST POPULAR LAY OUT WAS THE MOST POPULAR LAY OUT WAS
KNOWN AS THE” CALIFORNIA JOB KNOWN AS THE” CALIFORNIA JOB
CASE” IN WHICH CASE THE CASE” IN WHICH CASE THE
CHARACTERS WERE ARRANGED CHARACTERS WERE ARRANGED
ACCORDING TO THE FREQUENCY OF ACCORDING TO THE FREQUENCY OF
USE. USE.
PRIOR TO THE INVENTION OF THE PRIOR TO THE INVENTION OF THE
CALIFORNIA ARRANGEMENT, LETTERS CALIFORNIA ARRANGEMENT, LETTERS
WERE ALWAYS KEPT IN TWO CASES, WERE ALWAYS KEPT IN TWO CASES,
ONE CASE WAS STRICTLY FOR ONE CASE WAS STRICTLY FOR
CAPITAL LETTERS BE AND THAT CASE CAPITAL LETTERS BE AND THAT CASE
WAS ALWAYS PLACED ON TOP THE WAS ALWAYS PLACED ON TOP THE
OTHER WHICH GIVES RISE TO THE OTHER WHICH GIVES RISE TO THE
TERMS WE STILL USED TO ABOUT TERMS WE STILL USED TO ABOUT
UPPER AND LOWER CASE LETTERS. UPPER AND LOWER CASE LETTERS.
INDIVIDUAL LETTERS WERE INDIVIDUAL LETTERS WERE
ASSEMBLED ON A COMPOSING STICK, ASSEMBLED ON A COMPOSING STICK,
AND SEVERAL OF THESE STICKS AND SEVERAL OF THESE STICKS
WOULD MAKE UP A PAGE. WOULD MAKE UP A PAGE.
THE PRINT SHOP IS JUST ONE OF THE PRINT SHOP IS JUST ONE OF
SEVERAL RECREATED BUSINESSES SEVERAL RECREATED BUSINESSES
VISITORS CAN ENTER. VISITORS CAN ENTER.
THERE IS ALSO A HARDWARE STORE, THERE IS ALSO A HARDWARE STORE,
SEAMSTRESS HOME AND A BLACKSMITH SEAMSTRESS HOME AND A BLACKSMITH
SHOP. SHOP.
ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR BUILDING ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR BUILDING
IS THE ONE ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE. IS THE ONE ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE.
HERE VISITORS CAN FIND OUT WHAT HERE VISITORS CAN FIND OUT WHAT
CLASSES WERE LIKE AND WHAT KIND CLASSES WERE LIKE AND WHAT KIND
OF DISCIPLINE THE TEACHERS OF DISCIPLINE THE TEACHERS
IMPOSED, AND EVERY DAY STARTED IMPOSED, AND EVERY DAY STARTED
WITH CHORES. WITH CHORES.
FOR EXAMPLE, THE BOYS’ TASK WAS FOR EXAMPLE, THE BOYS’ TASK WAS
TO BRING IN A BUCKET OF WATER TO BRING IN A BUCKET OF WATER
FROM THE WELL SO THE STUDENTS FROM THE WELL SO THE STUDENTS
WOULD HAVE WATER ALL DAY LONG. WOULD HAVE WATER ALL DAY LONG.
THE DAY ALSO BEGAN WITH RECENTLY THE DAY ALSO BEGAN WITH RECENTLY
ADDED CEREMONY, THE PLEDGE OF ADDED CEREMONY, THE PLEDGE OF
ALLEGIANCE. ALLEGIANCE.
IT HAD BEEN WRITTEN IN 1892 BY IT HAD BEEN WRITTEN IN 1892 BY
FRANCIS BELLAMY AS AN EFFORT TO FRANCIS BELLAMY AS AN EFFORT TO
INSPIRE PATRIOTISM. INSPIRE PATRIOTISM.
IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM WAS A IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM WAS A
LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT THAN LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT THAN
TODAY’S VERSION. TODAY’S VERSION.
IN BEGINNING, IT WAS “I PLEDGE IN BEGINNING, IT WAS “I PLEDGE
ALLEGIANCE TO MY FLAG” AND THE ALLEGIANCE TO MY FLAG” AND THE
WORDS “UNDER GOD” DID NOT WORDS “UNDER GOD” DID NOT
APPEAR. APPEAR.
THEY WERE NOT ADDED UNTIL 1954. THEY WERE NOT ADDED UNTIL 1954.
THE PLEDGE WAS ACCOMPANIED BY THE PLEDGE WAS ACCOMPANIED BY
SOMETHING NICKNAMED THE BELLAMY SOMETHING NICKNAMED THE BELLAMY
SALUTE. SALUTE.
“I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO MY FLAG, “I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO MY FLAG,
AND THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT AND THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT
STANDS.” STANDS.”
THAT GESTURE WAS DROPPED IN THE THAT GESTURE WAS DROPPED IN THE
1940’S BECAUSE OF ITS SIMILARITY 1940’S BECAUSE OF ITS SIMILARITY
TO THE NAZISN GERMANY. TO THE NAZISN GERMANY.
THAT’S WHEN CONGRESS APPROVED THAT’S WHEN CONGRESS APPROVED
THE HAND OVER THE HEART GESTURE THE HAND OVER THE HEART GESTURE
WHICH WE STILL USED TO. WHICH WE STILL USED TO.
OTHER BUILDINGS ON THE GROUNDS OTHER BUILDINGS ON THE GROUNDS
INCLUDE A RECREATION OF INCLUDE A RECREATION OF
ROCKFORD’S FIRST HOSPITAL, PLUS ROCKFORD’S FIRST HOSPITAL, PLUS
A POLICE STATION WHERE ON THE A POLICE STATION WHERE ON THE
SECOND FLOOR IS HOUSED THE SECOND FLOOR IS HOUSED THE
ROCKFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT’S ROCKFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT’S
HISTORICAL COLLECTION. HISTORICAL COLLECTION.
BUT MIDWAY VILLAGE IS MORE THAN BUT MIDWAY VILLAGE IS MORE THAN
JUST A COLLECTION OF THEMED JUST A COLLECTION OF THEMED
BUILDINGS. BUILDINGS.
HERE IN THE MAIN MUSEUM, AREA HERE IN THE MAIN MUSEUM, AREA
HISTORY IS PRESERVED AND HISTORY IS PRESERVED AND
INTERPRETED. INTERPRETED.
THE COLLECTION INCLUDES MORE THE COLLECTION INCLUDES MORE
THAN 130,000 ITEMS, ONLY A SMALL THAN 130,000 ITEMS, ONLY A SMALL
PORTION OF WHICH ARE ON DISPLAY, PORTION OF WHICH ARE ON DISPLAY,
AS WE DISCOVERED IN A BEHIND THE AS WE DISCOVERED IN A BEHIND THE
SCENES TOUR. SCENES TOUR.
>>>>
>>IT IS AN AMAZING COLLECTION.>>IT IS AN AMAZING COLLECTION.
THERE IS A HUGE WEALTH OF THERE IS A HUGE WEALTH OF
ARTIFACTS AND DOCUMENTS IN THIS ARTIFACTS AND DOCUMENTS IN THIS
COLLECTION. COLLECTION.
AT THIS POINT, THE COLLECTION AT THIS POINT, THE COLLECTION
DEPARTMENT IN PARTICULAR HOUSES DEPARTMENT IN PARTICULAR HOUSES
NEARLY 130,000 ARTIFACTS RELATED NEARLY 130,000 ARTIFACTS RELATED
TO ROCKFORD’S HISTORY. TO ROCKFORD’S HISTORY.
WHAT I AM STANDING NEXT TO RIGHT WHAT I AM STANDING NEXT TO RIGHT
NOW IS ONE OF OUR RARE CHILDHOOD NOW IS ONE OF OUR RARE CHILDHOOD
ITEMS. ITEMS.
THIS IS A FIELD CRADLE. THIS IS A FIELD CRADLE.
THE MARSH FAMILY WHO CAME TO THE MARSH FAMILY WHO CAME TO
ROCKFORD IN THE 1830’S, ABIGAIL ROCKFORD IN THE 1830’S, ABIGAIL
AND RUSSELL MARSH, SETTLED HERE AND RUSSELL MARSH, SETTLED HERE
AND STARTED 80-ACRE FARM. AND STARTED 80-ACRE FARM.
THEIR CHILD, THEIR SON GEORGE, THEIR CHILD, THEIR SON GEORGE,
HAD HIS OWN SON IN THE 1880’S. HAD HIS OWN SON IN THE 1880’S.
ABOUT THAT TIME, THIS PIECE WAS ABOUT THAT TIME, THIS PIECE WAS
BROUGHT OUT INTO THE MARKET AS A BROUGHT OUT INTO THE MARKET AS A
FIELD CRADLE. FIELD CRADLE.
EASIEST WAY TO TAKE JUNIOR ALONG EASIEST WAY TO TAKE JUNIOR ALONG
WITH YOU IS PUT IN A FIELD WITH YOU IS PUT IN A FIELD
CRADLE WHICH YOU CAN PICK UP AND CRADLE WHICH YOU CAN PICK UP AND
WHEEL. WHEEL.
TAKE ALONG WITH YOU, SWAY AS YOU TAKE ALONG WITH YOU, SWAY AS YOU
GO, KEEP JUNIOR HAPPY! GO, KEEP JUNIOR HAPPY!
THE GENTLEMAN IN FRONT OF ME THE GENTLEMAN IN FRONT OF ME
HERE IS ONE OF ROCKFORD’S CIVIL HERE IS ONE OF ROCKFORD’S CIVIL
WAR HEROES, LIEUTENANT COLONEL WAR HEROES, LIEUTENANT COLONEL
EDWARD ELLIS. EDWARD ELLIS.
HE ELLIS PUT TOGETHER A REGIMENT HE ELLIS PUT TOGETHER A REGIMENT
KNOWN AS ELLIS RIFLE. KNOWN AS ELLIS RIFLE.
THEY WENT TO WAR. THEY WENT TO WAR.
UNFORTUNATELY, HIS MILITARY UNFORTUNATELY, HIS MILITARY
CAREER WAS RATHER SHORT ONE. CAREER WAS RATHER SHORT ONE.
HE WAS INVOLVED IN THE BATTLE OF HE WAS INVOLVED IN THE BATTLE OF
SHILOH, AND IT WAS BLOODIEST SHILOH, AND IT WAS BLOODIEST
BATTLE OF THE WAR SO FAR. BATTLE OF THE WAR SO FAR.
ELLIS WAS AMONG THE CASUALTIES, ELLIS WAS AMONG THE CASUALTIES,
AND SUCCUMBED TO HIS WOUNDS. AND SUCCUMBED TO HIS WOUNDS.
HE WAS BROUGHT BACK TO ROCKFORD HE WAS BROUGHT BACK TO ROCKFORD
WHERE HE WAS GREETED WITH A WHERE HE WAS GREETED WITH A
HERO’S FUNERAL. HERO’S FUNERAL.
THEY LAID HIM IN STATE AT THE THEY LAID HIM IN STATE AT THE
LOCAL COURTHOUSE. LOCAL COURTHOUSE.
ELLIS IEL THIS IS AN ORCHESTRAT. ELLIS IEL THIS IS AN ORCHESTRAT.
IT ALSO HAS SEVERAL OTHER IT ALSO HAS SEVERAL OTHER
INSTRUMENTS IN IT BESIDES INSTRUMENTS IN IT BESIDES
KEYBOARD. KEYBOARD.
XYLOPHONE, SNARE DRUDGE XYLOPHONE, SNARE DRUDGE
TRIANGLE. TRIANGLE.
IT WORKS THE SAME WAY AS A IT WORKS THE SAME WAY AS A
PLAYER PIANO. PLAYER PIANO.
IT HELPS THE NOTES WHICH TO PLAY IT HELPS THE NOTES WHICH TO PLAY
AND WHICH INSTRUMENT. AND WHICH INSTRUMENT.
AT WHICH POINT, INSIDES WERE AT WHICH POINT, INSIDES WERE
MADE BY NELSON WAGIN. MADE BY NELSON WAGIN.
IT WAS MADE BY ROCKFORD IT WAS MADE BY ROCKFORD
FURNITURE COMPANY HERE IN FURNITURE COMPANY HERE IN
ROCKFORD. ROCKFORD.
ROCKFORD HAD A VERY THRIVING ROCKFORD HAD A VERY THRIVING
FURNITURE INDUSTRY. FURNITURE INDUSTRY.
AT ONE POINT BEING THERE WAS AT ONE POINT BEING THERE WAS
MORE THAN A HUNDRED FURNITURE MORE THAN A HUNDRED FURNITURE
COMPANIES MANUFACTURING FUR COMPANIES MANUFACTURING FUR
NISHES. NISHES.
WE HAVE ANOTHER ITEM THAT TIES WE HAVE ANOTHER ITEM THAT TIES
TO THE FURNITURE INDUSTRY, A IT TO THE FURNITURE INDUSTRY, A IT
IS RATHERLEVER. IS RATHERLEVER.
JOHN BARNS CAME TO ROCKFORD IN JOHN BARNS CAME TO ROCKFORD IN
THE 1860’S AND WENT TO WORK FOR THE 1860’S AND WENT TO WORK FOR
MANUFACTURER OF FARM EQUIPMENT, MANUFACTURER OF FARM EQUIPMENT,
MAKING MODELS FOR THEM. MAKING MODELS FOR THEM.
THINGS FOR PATENT APPLICATIONS, THINGS FOR PATENT APPLICATIONS,
THINGS LIKE THAT. THINGS LIKE THAT.
AND HE QUICKLY BECAME FRUSTRATED AND HE QUICKLY BECAME FRUSTRATED
BY THE LACK OF POWER TOOLS AND BY THE LACK OF POWER TOOLS AND
THINGS THAT WOULD MAKE HIS JOB THINGS THAT WOULD MAKE HIS JOB
EASIER. SO HE GOT TO WORKING ON EASIER. SO HE GOT TO WORKING ON
THIS NOTION OF FOOT POWERED THIS NOTION OF FOOT POWERED
WOODWORKING MACHINES. WOODWORKING MACHINES.
THIS IS A VELOCIPEDE SCROLL SAW. THIS IS A VELOCIPEDE SCROLL SAW.
HOP ON LIKE EXERCISE BIKE, HOP ON LIKE EXERCISE BIKE,
PEDAL, MAKES THE BLADE GO UP AND PEDAL, MAKES THE BLADE GO UP AND
DOWN AND MAKES IT POSSIBLE WITH DOWN AND MAKES IT POSSIBLE WITH
LITTLE MORE EASE TO CARVE LITTLE MORE EASE TO CARVE
DECORATIVE ELEMENTS LIKE IN THAT DECORATIVE ELEMENTS LIKE IN THAT
MIGHT HAVE GONE ON THE FURNITURE MIGHT HAVE GONE ON THE FURNITURE
AS DECORATIVE APPLICATION. AS DECORATIVE APPLICATION.
IDEA WAS SO SUCCESSFUL, THAT IDEA WAS SO SUCCESSFUL, THAT
JOHN BARNS STARTED, WF AND BARNS JOHN BARNS STARTED, WF AND BARNS
WITH HELP OF THEIR OWN BROTHER, WITH HELP OF THEIR OWN BROTHER,
OWN COMPANY IN THE 1870’S AND OWN COMPANY IN THE 1870’S AND
STARTED BRANCHING OUT, DOING STARTED BRANCHING OUT, DOING
FOOT PEDALS, SCROLL SAW, AS FOOT PEDALS, SCROLL SAW, AS
ROUTERS. ROUTERS.
THEY HAVE A WHOLE LINE OF THEY HAVE A WHOLE LINE OF
VELOCIPEDES. VELOCIPEDES.
THEY MARKETED THROUGH THE 20’S, THEY MARKETED THROUGH THE 20’S,
AND STARTED TO GET INTERESTED IN AND STARTED TO GET INTERESTED IN
WHAT THEY COULD DO WITH METAL, WHAT THEY COULD DO WITH METAL,
INSTEAD OF WOODWORKING. INSTEAD OF WOODWORKING.
THEY TOOK A LEFT TURN AND THEY TOOK A LEFT TURN AND
STARTED MANUFACTURING DRILL STARTED MANUFACTURING DRILL
PRESSES INSTEAD. PRESSES INSTEAD.
CERTAINLY IT HAS BEEN A VERY CERTAINLY IT HAS BEEN A VERY
EXPENSIVE COLLECTION THAT HAS EXPENSIVE COLLECTION THAT HAS
GROWN BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS OVER GROWN BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS OVER
THE LAST 30 YEARS AS PEOPLE HAVE THE LAST 30 YEARS AS PEOPLE HAVE
REALIZED THAT WE ARE HERE REALIZED THAT WE ARE HERE
PLAYING A ROLE TO HELP PRESERVE PLAYING A ROLE TO HELP PRESERVE
THE COMMUNITY’S HISTORY. THE COMMUNITY’S HISTORY.
>>IN THE VILLAGE, THE COLLECTION
IS USED TO GIVE PEOPLE A GLIMPSE IS USED TO GIVE PEOPLE A GLIMPSE
OF LIFE IN RURAL TOWN AROUND OF LIFE IN RURAL TOWN AROUND
1900. 1900.
IN THE MAIN MUSEUM, THE IN THE MAIN MUSEUM, THE
COLLECTION IS USED TO EDUCATE COLLECTION IS USED TO EDUCATE
PEOPLE ABOUT AREA HISTORY. PEOPLE ABOUT AREA HISTORY.
THE NAME OF THIS COMPLEX DATES THE NAME OF THIS COMPLEX DATES
BACK TO THE FOUNDING OF BACK TO THE FOUNDING OF
ROCKFORD. ROCKFORD.
IN 1834, JEMANIKUS KENT OPENED A IN 1834, JEMANIKUS KENT OPENED A
SAWMILL AND STORE. SAWMILL AND STORE.
HE CALLED THE NEW SETTLEMENT HE CALLED THE NEW SETTLEMENT
MIDWAY BECAUSE IT WAS LOCATED MIDWAY BECAUSE IT WAS LOCATED
HALFWAY BETWEEN CHICAGO AND LEAD HALFWAY BETWEEN CHICAGO AND LEAD
MINES OF GALENA. MINES OF GALENA.
THREE YEARS LATER THEY CHANGED THREE YEARS LATER THEY CHANGED
THE NAME TO REFLECT THE RIVER THE NAME TO REFLECT THE RIVER
CROSSING AT THIS LOCATION. CROSSING AT THIS LOCATION.
ONE OF THE DISPLACE HERE RECALLS ONE OF THE DISPLACE HERE RECALLS
THE HISTORY OF THE NELSON THE HISTORY OF THE NELSON
KNITTING COMPANY. KNITTING COMPANY.
IN 1873, THE TWO PARTNERS IN 1873, THE TWO PARTNERS
INVENTED A LOOM WHICH MADE IT INVENTED A LOOM WHICH MADE IT
POSSIBLE TO MORE SOCKS WITHOUT A POSSIBLE TO MORE SOCKS WITHOUT A
SEAM IN THE HEEL OR TOE. SEAM IN THE HEEL OR TOE.
THEY WERE EXTREMELY POPULAR. THEY WERE EXTREMELY POPULAR.
THEY WERE NICKNAMED THE THEY WERE NICKNAMED THE
ROCKFORDS, AND INSPIRED A FLOOD ROCKFORDS, AND INSPIRED A FLOOD
OF IMITATIONS. OF IMITATIONS.
TO DIFFERENTIATE THEIR PRODUCT, TO DIFFERENTIATE THEIR PRODUCT,
NELSON KNITTING ADDED A RED HEEL NELSON KNITTING ADDED A RED HEEL
TO THEIR SOCKS. TO THEIR SOCKS.
CRAFTERS BEGAN USING THEM TO CRAFTERS BEGAN USING THEM TO
MAKE SOCK MONKEYS, UTILIZING THE MAKE SOCK MONKEYS, UTILIZING THE
HEEL FOR THE DISTINCTIVE RED HEEL FOR THE DISTINCTIVE RED
LIPS. LIPS.
EVENTUALLY THE COMPANY BEGAN EVENTUALLY THE COMPANY BEGAN
INCLUDING INSTRUCTIONS HOW TO INCLUDING INSTRUCTIONS HOW TO
MAKE THE TOY. MAKE THE TOY.
EVEN THOUGH NELSON IS NO LONGER EVEN THOUGH NELSON IS NO LONGER
IN THE BUSINESS, THE SOCK MONKEY IN THE BUSINESS, THE SOCK MONKEY
IS STILL POPULAR ACROSS COUNTRY. IS STILL POPULAR ACROSS COUNTRY.
ANOTHER PART OF THE NEW SEM IS ANOTHER PART OF THE NEW SEM IS
DEDICATED TO THE ROCKFORD DEDICATED TO THE ROCKFORD
PEACHES OF THE ALL AMERICAN PEACHES OF THE ALL AMERICAN
GIRLS PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL GIRLS PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL
LEAGUE. LEAGUE.
THEY WERE IN THAT LEAGUE FOR 12 THEY WERE IN THAT LEAGUE FOR 12
YEARS, AND DURING THAT TIME, NO YEARS, AND DURING THAT TIME, NO
OTHER TEAM IN THE LEAGUE HAD A OTHER TEAM IN THE LEAGUE HAD A
BETTER OVER ALL RECORD. BETTER OVER ALL RECORD.
ON DISPLAY ARE THE LEAGUE ON DISPLAY ARE THE LEAGUE
CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHIES THE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHIES THE TEAM
WON IN 1948 AND 1949. WON IN 1948 AND 1949.
IN ALL, THEY WOULD TAKE THE IN ALL, THEY WOULD TAKE THE
TITLE FOUR TIMES. TITLE FOUR TIMES.
ALSO, THERE ARE BIOS ON SOME OF ALSO, THERE ARE BIOS ON SOME OF
THE TEAM’S ALL STAR PLAYERS, AND THE TEAM’S ALL STAR PLAYERS, AND
THERE IS THIS REPRODUCTION OF THERE IS THIS REPRODUCTION OF
THE PEACHES’ UNIFORM. THE PEACHES’ UNIFORM.
FOR HOME GAMES, THE PLAYERS WORE FOR HOME GAMES, THE PLAYERS WORE
WHITE. WHITE.
FOR ROAD GAMES, THEY WORE PEACH FOR ROAD GAMES, THEY WORE PEACH
COLORED UNIFORMS. COLORED UNIFORMS.
THEY WERE DESIGNED TO EMPHASIZE THEY WERE DESIGNED TO EMPHASIZE
THE FEMININITY OF THE PLAYERS. THE FEMININITY OF THE PLAYERS.
BUT THEY WERE NOT CONDUCIVE FOR BUT THEY WERE NOT CONDUCIVE FOR
SLIDING INTO BASES. SLIDING INTO BASES.
MANY PLAYERS SUFFERED SCRAPES, MANY PLAYERS SUFFERED SCRAPES,
AND CUTS AND BRUISES. AND CUTS AND BRUISES.
>>IN ANOTHER ROOM IS THIS PLANE>>IN ANOTHER ROOM IS THIS PLANE
FROM THE 19 20’S WHICH PLAYED A FROM THE 19 20’S WHICH PLAYED A
ROLE IN AVIATION HISTORY. ROLE IN AVIATION HISTORY.
NICKNAMED “GREATER ROCKFORD,” NICKNAMED “GREATER ROCKFORD,”
THE PLANE WAS PILOTED BY BERT THE PLANE WAS PILOTED BY BERT
HASSELL, WHO HAD A THEORY THAT HASSELL, WHO HAD A THEORY THAT
TRANS ATLANTIC FLIGHTS COULD BE TRANS ATLANTIC FLIGHTS COULD BE
COMMERCIALLY VIABLE IF A COMMERCIALLY VIABLE IF A
DIFFERENT ROUTE WERE PIONEERED. DIFFERENT ROUTE WERE PIONEERED.
WHAT HE PROPOSED WAS NOT TO FLY WHAT HE PROPOSED WAS NOT TO FLY
ACROSS THE ATLANTIC IN ONE LONG ACROSS THE ATLANTIC IN ONE LONG
FLIGHT, BUT TAKE A PATH OVER THE FLIGHT, BUT TAKE A PATH OVER THE
ARCTIC CIRCLE TO MAKE SEVERAL ARCTIC CIRCLE TO MAKE SEVERAL
REFUELING STOPS ALONG WAY OF IN REFUELING STOPS ALONG WAY OF IN
1928, HE AND HIS COPILOT TOOK 1928, HE AND HIS COPILOT TOOK
OFF FROM ROCKFORD TO STOCKHOLM, OFF FROM ROCKFORD TO STOCKHOLM,
SWEEDEN. SWEEDEN.
UNFORTUNATELY, WHILE THEY ARE UNFORTUNATELY, WHILE THEY ARE
SEARCHING FOR THE REFUELING CAMP SEARCHING FOR THE REFUELING CAMP
IN GREEN LAND, THEY RAN OUT OF IN GREEN LAND, THEY RAN OUT OF
FUEL AND LANDED ON ICE CAP. FUEL AND LANDED ON ICE CAP.
THEIR DEAL WAS NOT OVER. THE THEIR DEAL WAS NOT OVER. THE
TWO MEN HAD TO HIKE FOR TWO TWO MEN HAD TO HIKE FOR TWO
WEEKS BEFORE THEY FINALLY WEEKS BEFORE THEY FINALLY
REACHED SAFETY. REACHED SAFETY.
IT WAS DRAMATIC STORY AND MADE IT WAS DRAMATIC STORY AND MADE
ALL THE HEADLINES. ALL THE HEADLINES.
DURING WORLD WAR II, A DURING WORLD WAR II, A
RECONASSAINCE TEAM SPOTTED THE RECONASSAINCE TEAM SPOTTED THE
REMAINS OF THE AIRCRAFT IN REMAINS OF THE AIRCRAFT IN
GREENLAND. GREENLAND.
PHOTOS WERE FORWARDED TO THEIR PHOTOS WERE FORWARDED TO THEIR
COMMANDER WHO HAPPENED TO BE COMMANDER WHO HAPPENED TO BE
COLONEL BERT HASSELL. COLONEL BERT HASSELL.
26 YEARS AFTER THAT DISCOVERY, 26 YEARS AFTER THAT DISCOVERY,
BERT’S SONS, IN 1968 LAUNCHED A BERT’S SONS, IN 1968 LAUNCHED A
RECOVERY EXPEDITION THAT BROUGHT RECOVERY EXPEDITION THAT BROUGHT
THE PLANE HOME. WE ARE IN THE MAIN MUSEUM WHICH
IN ADDITION TO THE AREA’S IN ADDITION TO THE AREA’S
HISTORY, RECOUNTS THE TOWN’S HISTORY, RECOUNTS THE TOWN’S
INDUSTRIAL PAST AS WELL. INDUSTRIAL PAST AS WELL.
IT IS A PAST BUILT ON IT IS A PAST BUILT ON
IMMIGRATION AND FIRE. IMMIGRATION AND FIRE.
A LARGE SWEDISH POPULATION A LARGE SWEDISH POPULATION
PROVIDED THE SKILLS AND LABOR PROVIDED THE SKILLS AND LABOR
BASE FOR A GROWING FURNITURE BASE FOR A GROWING FURNITURE
INDUSTRY. INDUSTRY.
WHEN THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE WHEN THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE
DESTROYED THAT CITY’S DESTROYED THAT CITY’S
MANUFACTURING ABILITY, THE MANUFACTURING ABILITY, THE
NUMBER OF COMPANIES AND NUMBER OF COMPANIES AND
FACTORIES THIS ROCKFORD GREW. FACTORIES THIS ROCKFORD GREW.
MORE RECENTLY ROCKFORD IS THE MORE RECENTLY ROCKFORD IS THE
HOME OF THE ESTWING HOME OF THE ESTWING
MANUFACTURING COMPANY, ONE OF MANUFACTURING COMPANY, ONE OF
THE LARGEST MANUFACTURERS OF THE LARGEST MANUFACTURERS OF
GEOLOGICALOOLS. GEOLOGICALOOLS.
IN FACT, NASA CHOSE ESTWING IN FACT, NASA CHOSE ESTWING
PICKS FOR USE BY THE ASTRONAUTS PICKS FOR USE BY THE ASTRONAUTS
DURING THE MOON MISSIONS. DURING THE MOON MISSIONS.
TODAY THE MUSEUM GIVES GUESTS AN TODAY THE MUSEUM GIVES GUESTS AN
OVERVIEW OF ROCKFORD’S HISTORY. OVERVIEW OF ROCKFORD’S HISTORY.
PEOPLE THAT SETTLED HERE IN THE PEOPLE THAT SETTLED HERE IN THE
INDUSTRY THAT ONCE POPULATED THE INDUSTRY THAT ONCE POPULATED THE
RIVER BANKS. RIVER BANKS.
OUTSIDE THE COLLECTION IS USED OUTSIDE THE COLLECTION IS USED
TO DEMONSTRATE RURAL LIFE IN A TO DEMONSTRATE RURAL LIFE IN A
TIME BEFORE THE 20TH CENTURY. TIME BEFORE THE 20TH CENTURY.
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, THIS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, THIS
FACILITY HOSTS SEVERAL SPECIAL FACILITY HOSTS SEVERAL SPECIAL
EVENTS, INCLUDING THE POPULAR EVENTS, INCLUDING THE POPULAR
CIVIL WAR AND WORLD WAR II CIVIL WAR AND WORLD WAR II
ENCAMPMENTS. ENCAMPMENTS.
TO CHECK THE CALENDAR FOR TO CHECK THE CALENDAR FOR
UPCOMING EVENTS OR FOR MORE UPCOMING EVENTS OR FOR MORE
INFORMATION, VISIT THEIR WEB INFORMATION, VISIT THEIR WEB
SITE AT WWW.MIDWAYVILLAGE.COM OR SITE AT WWW.MIDWAYVILLAGE.COM OR
CALL (815)397-9112.

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