2220 Harlem Blvd. – built 1927, Eliel and Eliel, architects

2220 Harlem Blvd.

Source of photo:  Jeff Aulik, 2016

House built in 1927 for realtor/land developer E. C. Stokberger.  Prior to 1927, Harlem (Amusement) Park was on the property, both sides of Harlem north of Auburn St.   Architects Eliel and Eliel.

In 1926, a last ditch attempt was made to find a private investor to buy the park and give it to Rockford Park District after they turned down the purchase. The Golf Course belonged to Rockford Country Club, which was described as a Park.

Harlem Park 1926

Source:  Rockford Daily Republic May 12, 1926





Love’s Park – 1917

Love's Park 2

“Water Front at Love’s Park”

Source: “Rockford 1917” R017.7331 R682r 1917

Malcolm A. Love bought land in 1901 on the east bank of the Rock River, north of what is now the Auburn St. Bridge.

The map below is from the 1905 Winnebago County Atlas.

Love's Park map

The land outlined in pink was the land purchase by Malcolm A. Love from Frances A. Weldon (farm).  The area at the southern tip was called “Love’s Park” and was vaguely across the Rock River from Harlem Amusement Park.

The blue line indicates the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad tracks. The vertical lines in approximately the center between the Eddy property (Village Green in 2015) and the Willoughby Property (Willoughby Ave.; Pino’s Restaurant in 2015) is North Main St.

Source: 1892 Winnebago County Atlas.

Harlem Amusement Park – 1911

Harlem Park Dancing

Source: Republic 5/20/1911

“This stupendous, magnificent dancing pavilion will absolutely be ready for the opening next Saturday.  A large force of men are hard at work rushing it to completion.”

“This is the largest open air dancing pavilion to be found in this part of the country outside of Chicago.  The building is 60 feet wide by 104 feet long, and has been erected at a cost of no less than $5,000.”

Harlem Park – Switchback Railway

Harlem Park Switchback

Harlem Amusement Park was located at Harlem Blvd., immediately north of Auburn St., to approximately 5 blocks north and east to river.

In 1891 the Switchback Railway was new and sold 36,000 – 5 cent tickets in the first 6 weeks the park was open for the season.

Source:  “Harlem Park; The People and The Times” researched and written by Lyle Baie, 1987. Copies can be read in the Local History and Genealogy Room of Rockford Public Library.



Harlem Park Photo Studio

Harlem Park Photo Studio

“Photographic giant Eastman-Kodak’s Real-Photo postcard technology proved a popular addition to the amusement offerings at Harlem [Amusement] Park, where patrons could pose for commemorative Real-Photo novelty postcards in the park’s photo studio against a variety of backdrops, including the steamship Rockford and a Wild West “saloon” seen here. (Saloon card courtesy of Midway Village and Museum Center,)

Source: Rockford 1900 – World War I by Eric A Johnson, Arcadia Press, Copyright 2003, p112