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Rockford Area Historical Society
8131 Bridge Street, PO Box 186, Rockford, MN 55373
(763) 477-5383, storkhouse@cityofrockford.org, www.rockfordmnhistory.org

Inspiring the community's interest in its history
   Through the support of local donors, family foundations, Legacy
funds, business sponsorships, and charitable gambling proceeds, we
have broadened our outreach while focusing on our mission
to
inspire the community's interest in its history.

    One component of this inspiration comes to fruition by a
partnership with Rockford School District 881 and the development
of curriculum. An annual visit by the first graders gently introduces
them to the gem in their back yard, sparking interest that encourages
them to bring family members back for events. A follow-up
classroom visit and tour during the Minnesota unit, now taught in
sixth grade, provides a more in-depth view of Rockford's milling
industry, settlement patterns, and the building of the City the students
are familiar with today.

   Additional presentations and curriculum created by RAHS has
state-wide implications for education at all grade levels, including
adults. Using Rockford as a case study in Minnesota history, we
have developed the following programs, which contain supplemental
material and activities as well as the oral presentation.

  • Milling Industry--Three separate presentations, each
    focusing on the Woolen Mill, Flour Mill, and Lumber Mill.
    Photos and documentation from our collections mesh with the
    story of Mill City and the basic need of humans on the frontier
    to build and eat for survival.
  • Intentional Journaling--Using the Stork family diaries
    available digitally on Minnesota Reflections, students learn
    how to navigate the Minnesota Digital Library for future
    research use while coming to understand the importance of
    leaving a legacy of their own. What and how they write
    creates the history future generations will use to tell our story.
  • World War One--The story of the Stork family, living in St.
    Paul during the years of 1914-1918, provide a vivid, daily
    context to the ongoing global conflict. As is the case today,
    war is often overshadowed by the illness and death of a close
    family member, work, and social obligations. By placing the
    diaries of Clinton, Florence, and Grace in context of local
    events and national politics, students come to see history as a
    chain of events lived daily by everyone...including themselves.
  • Pastimes of the Past--Meet Florence Stork, age 10 in
    1886, living with her family in Jasper, Minnesota. Students
    come to understand her daily routine, toys, hobbies, and
    chores. Presentations include items from the AFS House, used
    by the families, and a recipe for making their own gum, just
    like Florence mentions doing in her diary.

   The RAHS has plans of adding to this list for the use of schools,
church groups, libraries, and home school networks. Future projects
include:

  • Digital Resources--How do you find what you want, when
    you want it online? From primary sources including diaries,
    letters, and newspapers to maps, birth and death certificates,
    this class will highlight some of the best archives on the
    Internet to make your own research more successful. Click
    here to view the materials online.
  • Sustainable Local Food Practices--The way we live now
    is an anomaly in the long string of years that make up our
    history as humans. From hunting and gathering to growing
    produce to store away for the winter, people have only
    recently had the chance to out-source their food production.
    What are the benefits and detractions of modifying our veggies
    and shipping them across the country? How can we
    accommodate historically proven practices in our commercial
    lifestyle? See it first at the Rockford Library, Mon. April
    14 at 6 p.m.
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Comments:
Got programming ideas?
History questions?
A fun family story of
your own? Let us know!
Our job is to serve you,
please let us know how
we can do it best
Tell us what you think!
The RAHS has become so much more than just an old
house on the corner of Hennepin and Wright Counties