Source: The Rockford Morning Star Sunday, September 28, 1913 p.22
Photograph is dated July 19, 1908
The Fordham Dam was remodeled in 1976. The Rock River water level was dropped and exposed the remains of the “City of Rockford” steamer, formerly known as “The Illinois.” There were articles and photos by Joe Lamb, May 28, 1976 in the Rockford Register-Republic, but not the one above.
Text: “A big day in Rockford history was the day in 1885 when the “Arrow,” the city’s first public steamship, was launched on the Rock river. Brought from Janesville, Wisconsin, by a group of prominent civic-minded men, the Arrow initiated a craze for boating on the Rock river which was stifled only by building of too many bridges barring the straightaway. The launching attracted a large crowd to the riverbank.”
“The Arrow’s launching prompted this group of Rockford citizens to crowd the State st, bridge in 1885 — and lured a few of the more daring ones to precarious perches from which they could better see the ceremony. The building at right rear is the old Register-Gazette building, which also house the library.”
Source: 1852 Rockford Centennial 1952 by Rockford Morning Star June, 1962
“It was the Nelson-Gent steamer that sailed so serenely into Pecatonica the other day, and awoke the echoes of the bottoms by its calliopean whistle.”
Source: Rockford Daily Gazette June 27, 1885