Loves Park Illinois History
For believers and skeptics, the stories of ghostly apparitions and unexplained events hidden in Loves Park, Illinois, and other parts of northern Illinois add another dimension to the colorful history of northern Illinois. Families associated with haunted places like the Horseshoe Bay Hotel have added another layer of mystery and intrigue to this colorful history of Nordillea for believers or skeptics.
The county is named after the Winnebago Indian tribe that once occupied parts of northern Illinois. The area, now known as Machesney Park, was settled in the late 18th century as part of an attempt by the U.S. government to open up a large area of northern Illinois to agricultural, mining and industrial development.
The camp was deactivated in 1921 and handed over to the state of Illinois, and most of its territory is now divided between Machesney Park County and the US Army Corps of Engineers' Camp Grant. Camp Grant was deactivated in 1946, but the camp has since been reactivated and is still in operation.
Most of the city's population was concentrated in what is now known as North Park, known as Machesney Park, but there was also significant activity in other parts of Loves Park. Just one year later, construction began on a new park and recreation center on the grounds of Camp Grant. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new location took place on July 1, 1937, just a few months after the opening of Love Park High School.
The 700-acre portion was called Rock Cut State Park, and Pierce Lake was named Rockford's state representative, who worked tirelessly to win the project from Winnebago County. The gym at Harlem High School is named after its founder, Dr. William H. Pierce. Art was chairman of the beautification committee of Loves Park and was twice honoured as parade marshal for the Young Heart Festival. In his later life, Art worked closely with the Rockford Park District and was chairman for several years when he founded and built the Field of Honor Memorial in L'Aquila Park.
Rockford became known in baseball circles nationwide in the six years after the Civil War. Rockford Female Seminary was founded in 1847, fully coeducational in 1958 and Rockford College in 1892. Some of the most famous college graduates were born in Loves Park, such as John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush and Babe Ruth. In 1966, the first ever induction ceremony into the American Baseball Hall of Fame was held at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
As the Loves Park community began to flourish in the early years after the city was incorporated, so did the AW Anderson agency. As the communities of the park flourished in the early years of incorporation, a number of shops began to be established, including a grocery store, a cinema and a bowling alley. And when the city of Rockford began its transformation from a small town to a city with a large population of residents and business owners, it did so with the help of an influential group of businessmen.
They were instrumental in passing a local ordinance recognizing the 13-block area as a historic district, and eventually adding Haight Village to the National Register of Historic Places. If North Park residents had opted for the community, their community would have been the second in Rockford and the largest in the county. In 1952 and 1955, a proposal to annex Loves Park was rejected, but the proposal to annex Rockford fell on deaf ears.
Loves Park's educational institutions, looking for their next step in the community's development, took over the school district as well as the North Park School District and Rockford Public Library.
The following abstract copies of the original records are available from the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) at Northern Illinois University (NIU). They can also be accessed through the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign's Library of Public Records (LOPR) at the College of Arts and Sciences and the Chicago Public Library (CPL) at Illinois State University, both in Chicago. The following abstract copies are available from the Illinois Archives and Records Administration (ILAR), the state's public archive. They are also accessible through the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and the Illinois Central Archives & Records Center (ICRC), both located within NorthernIllinois University. And subsequent abstract copies can only access their original records from a copy in a local library. And they are only accessible through an original copy in a regional archive and documentation office in Illinois (Illinois County Library).
The Illinois State Archives-managed Regional Archives (IRAD) are located at Northern Illinois University (NIU), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the College of Arts and Sciences. For online ordering of documents, this brochure describes which documents are in the State Archives and a list of the National Archives.