The Rockford Preservation Society, Inc.
With the foresight of many community leaders and families with ties to the town, the Rockford Preservation Society, Inc. was organized in 1972 with the purpose of stabilizing and preserving the Town of Rockford as a historic site. Rockford was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and the Rockford Preservation Society, Inc. was incorporated the same year and obtained 501c(3) designation.
The Articles of Incorporation direct that the Society is “to acquire, restore, reconstruct and maintain sites, places and buildings of significant historical, architectural, scenic and aesthetic value”. From its inception in 1972, the RPS, Inc. recognized that many of the remaining historical structures in Rockford were in serious disrepair and on the verge of being lost. With funding from State and Federal grants and donations of private property, the Society was able to obtain title to six (6) parcels including, the 1914 Methodist Church, 1830 Mark York Tavern, 1850 Dudley Glass store, 1900 Post Office building, 1797 Grant-Burrus hotel site, and the ca. 1810 W. P. Dobson Store/Rockford Masonic Lodge. Over the years, with the exception of the more recently acquired 1810 Dobson Store/Masonic Lodge, the Society was able to substantially stabilize each of the structures. The Methodist Church, Dudley Glass store, and Post Office building were renovated and are currently in use. Unfortunately, the Grant-Burrus Hotel building was lost to an accidental fire in 1974. This property is now the site of the Rockford Park, created on the footprint of the hotel.
Our sights are now on the Mark York Tavern and the W. P. Dobson Store/Masonic Lodge to complete their restoration and have these properties open to the public. The Mark York Tavern exterior is practically complete, so the focus is on the interior now. Restoration is in progress at the W. P. Dobson Store/Masonic Lodge.