I have lived in the Rockford area my entire life so I like to think I know a lot about the city's history, but today I had my mind blown by two things I never knew used to exist in Rockford.

Things People Wish Would Return to Rockford

Any time we ask a question like; "what things would you like to make a comeback in Rockford", we get a LOT of answers.

Most people list their favorite restaurants and stores that have closed, but a few people mention old attractions like Kiddieland or Christmas at Colonial Village Mall.

Whenever I want to reminisce about Rockford in the "good ole days", I hit up Rockford Rocked on Facebook for a trip down memory lane. I must admit I'm a little too young to remember many of the things they post about, but I always learn something new, and today the page blew my mind a little bit.

2 Things I Never Knew Existed in Rockford, Illinois

1. Rockford used to have a zoo.

I had to do a little digging for more information, but according to a Rockford history timeline from Midway Village Museum, The Rockford Zoo was located in Blackhawk Park and was only open from 1919 to 1921. The Rockford Zoo's main attractions were a Bengal tiger, a monkey, bison, and Big Babe the elephant.

2. Rockford used to have its own Central Park

Before Kiddieland, the Rockford area was home to Central Park Gardens Amusement Park, aka, Central Park. It was located at 3500 Auburn Street, and according to the Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal;

the park opened in 1921 and quickly became a popular spot that offered amusement rides, dancing, roller skating, games, novelty and food concession stands, concerts and a giant wooden roller coaster among it's many other attractions.

Central Park remained open until 1942 when it was "sold for more profitable commercial use".

Do you know more things that used to exist in Rockford that may blow our minds? Send us a message on the app and tell us about it!

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