“Furniture Center Lost Out to South” – 1968

Source:  Rockford Register-Republic, Feb. 15, 1968; Sesquicentennial Edition. Feb 15-16

Forest City Furniture Co. – 1891

“Forest City Furniture Co.  Rockford’s pioneer industry in the furniture line.  The business was established in 1869 by A. C. Johnson, and the present company was incorporated in 1875.  The officers are:  Gilbert Woodruff, President; R. W. Emerson, Secretary and Treasurer.  A. C. Johnson, Superindent.  A General line of furniture and office desks is manufactured.  The capital stock of the company is $150,000.  The plant of th4e company includes four large four-story brick buildings, with a floor area of 150,000 square feet.  They also have six acres of yard room for lumber storage.  They employ an average of 240 hands and do business exceeding  $300,000 a year.”

Source: “Industrial and Picturesque Rockford,” Eugene Browne and F. Ford Rowe, 1891

Forest City Furniture Co.

Source of picture: “Industrial and Picturesque Rockford,”  Eugene Browne and F. Ford Rowe, 1891

“Forest City Furniture. Gilbert Woodruff, President; R.W. Emerson, secy. and treas., Wholesale manufacturers of bookcases, office desks, library cases, chamber suits, parlor desks, sideboards, table washstands, table beds, etc., R.A. ave. between Seventh and Eighth.”

Source: 1892 Philippi’s Rockford City Directory

Forect City Furn  Vert

Map from 1892 Winnebago County Atlas shows company on both sides of the RR tracks,, Railroad Ave. between 7th and 8th Ave.

The 1928 Sanborn Fire Insurance map is covered over and shows Forest City Phonograph Co. in this location. In 1919 Forest City Furniture was being sold to Forest City Phonograph Co. “400 men to be at work in sixty days.”




Erlander Home Museum

John Erlander

Erlander Home Museum-

Lived at his home at 404 South 3rd Street for 75 years

Came to Rockford in 1854

One of the first Swedish settlers in Rockford

Some of his furniture came from Sweden; some was among the first pieces built in Rockford

Writing desk / bureau made 1856 of native Cherry wood

Also from 1856: a 38 inch tabletop made by C. J. Lindholm

Blinds, doors, stair railings, posts and spindles made by A. C. Johnson, John Nelson, and Gust Hollem

Kitchen cupboards bought at auction; made by John Nelson

An additional room, now the kitchen, is the only room added to the original building

John Erlander’s first home in Rockford was a shanty on 300 block of South 2nd Street

He later moved to the 400 block of Grove Street  (End house on North 1st Street next to Parsonage)

Third house was on South Third Street, built in 1871




Source:  Rockford Public Library’s “Rockfordiana” files, “Historic Houses and Landmarks – Vol. 1”,  Rockford Morning Star,  09/26/1946