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Location of Rockford, Michigan
|• Total||3.31 sq mi (8.57 km2)|
|• Land||3.24 sq mi (8.39 km2)|
|• Water||0.07 sq mi (0.18 km2)|
|Elevation||702 ft (214 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||5,852|
|• Density||1,765.1/sq mi (681.5/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP codes||49341, 49351|
|GNIS feature ID||0636089|
The Rockford area was first visited and inhabited by Native American cultures, such as the Hopewell, Mascouten, and Ottawa tribes. There have not been archeological finds of Native American settlements in the Rogue River valley, but their trails branched through the area and were noted by early surveyors.
The first important settler of what would become the city of Rockford was Smith Lapham, who had come to Kent County in 1843 after living in Washtenaw County for 18 years. Smith Lapham came to the banks of the Rogue to assist in the completion of a dam and sawmill begun by a William Hunter. Hunter gave Lapham 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land on the east side of the Rogue for his trouble, and Lapham stayed there for the rest of his life. Hunter shortly left the area.
Lapham built his own sawmill on his side of the river, which was completed by 1844. Other settlers soon followed, including John Long, Freeman Burch, and William Thornton. By the fall of 1845, the settlement had about 5 houses. Since the settlement existed largely on land owned or sold by Smith Lapham, it became known as Laphamville. In 1856 it was first platted as Laphamville by William Thornton.
By 1865 the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad Company had begun a railroad extending northward through the village. The railroad had been advising the residents to adopt a shorter name, and when a newly arrived resident from Rockford, Illinois proposed the name of his former town; He claimed it to be derived from the shallow, rocky ford below the dam where travelers crossed the river. The new name was narrowly approved. It was replatted under the name Rockford in 1865 and incorporated as the Village of Rockford in June 1866 with 315 inhabitants.
The White Pine Trail runs through the downtown area of Rockford, next to the Rogue River and the Rockford Dam. The downtown area hosts a summer farmer's market on Saturday. The city hosts a Fall Harvest Festival. The Rockford Historical Society also hosts events.
Rockford is served by the Rockford Public Schools.
- Dathan Ritzenhein, Olympic distance runner, former American 5k record holder
- Dick York, best known for playing Darrin Stephens on the 60's sitcom Bewitched
- Adam Kieft, lineman with the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL
- John Kiedis, father of Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis
- John C. Sjogren, Army soldier and Medal of Honor recipient in World War II
- Joe Staley, Left Tackle for the San Francisco 49ers
- Julia A. Moore, American poet
- Andrew Britton, Author
- Brent Bookwalter, Cyclist and participant in the 2010 Tour de France
- Jason Hartmann, Distance Runner, 4th place finisher in the 2012 Boston Marathon
- Jeremy Britt, Winner of NBC's The Biggest Loser in 2012
- Ginger Zee, Meteorologist on ABC's Good Morning America
Rockford occupies/has annexed land formerly governed by the following townships:
- Indian Trails provides daily intercity bus service between Grand Rapids, Michigan and Petoskey, Michigan.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,719 people, 2,201 households, and 1,537 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,765.1 inhabitants per square mile (681.5/km2). There were 2,302 housing units at an average density of 710.5 per square mile (274.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.0% White, 0.7% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.7% of the population.
There were 2,201 households of which 42.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 30.2% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.16.
The median age in the city was 33.7 years. 30.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.8% were from 25 to 44; 23.6% were from 45 to 64; and 10.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.4% male and 52.6% female.
The median income for a household in the city was $53,113, and the median income for a family was $71,700. Males had a median income of $62,015 versus $33,325 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,632. About 10.5% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.5% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,626 people, 1,741 households, and 1,255 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,544.2 per square mile (595.4/km²). There were 1,796 housing units at an average density of 599.5 per square mile (231.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.20% White, 0.61% African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.91% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.51% of the population.
There were 1,741 households out of which 45.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the city the population was spread out with 33.9% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 9.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $50,562, and the median income for a family was $55,954. Males had a median income of $45,847 versus $28,024 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,906. About 8.4% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 12.9% of those age 65 or over.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "GRAND RAPIDS-CADILLAC-TRAVERSE CITY-PETOSKEY" (PDF). Indian Trails. January 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- TheRockfordNetwork.com Community Website
- Rockford official website
- Rockford Public Schools official website
- Lake Bella Vista Community Portal in Rockford
- History and directory of Kent County, Michigan. Dillenback & Leavitt. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Daily eagle steam printing house, 1870. pp. 25+.
- Live Radio scanner (Police, Medical and Fire) for Rockford, Michigan