Rockford, Illinois was founded in 1834 and quickly grew into a center for manufacturing. Early settlers were amazed at the lush forests that surrounded the area and gave the Rockford the nickname, “Forest City”. It was this abundance of nearby trees that fueled the growth of the furniture industry which propelled Rockford to become the nation’s second largest manufacturing city. As time passed, the Forest City would also become a powerhouse in heavy machinery, aerospace, and automotive manufacturing.
In February 2012, Forbes Magazine named Rockford the ninth most miserable city in the nation. This designation got even worse in 2013 when the city was named the third most miserable city behind Detroit and Flint, Michigan. The struggling manufacturing economy and the loss of jobs were the biggest reasons Forbes gave Rockford this dubious distinction. Even with the current economic climate, Rockford has a positive outlook. According to bestplaces.net, the 10 year job growth rate is projected to increase by over 24%. Another aspect that Rockford can be proud of are its tree lined streets and public gardens. With over 7,000 acres devoted to parkland, Rockford has changed its nickname from the “Forest City” to the “City of Gardens”.
Below are a few online places to visit to get more information on Rockford, IL and some facts about living in the “City of Gardens”.
City of Rockford, Illinois
Rockford Night Out