Great question. Here is the answer thanks to our friends at GOROCKFORD.COM. I think you will be amazed.

The story goes like this. In 1834, New Englanders settled on both banks of a shallow, rocky stretch of the Rock River, where there was a natural ford. They named their settlement “Midway Village,” because it was halfway between Chicago and Galena (then a mining boomtown). By 1837, the settlement had grown and was re-named “Rockford.” (The original ford is just south of where U.S. Business Highway 20 [State Street] crosses the river at Founders Landing in Davis Park.)

Told you it was interesting. Now you can dazzle your friends. Learn more about Rockford at our local museums, or at