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Live, Shop and Relax in Rockton, IL
The small town of Rockton is nestled along the Rock and Pecatonica Rivers. It has a rich history involving the Indian Princess Hononegah who married Stephen Andrew Mack, Jr. a fur trader. They lived in Macktown formerly called "Pekatonic" meaning "crooked river" or "muddy stream". Macktown was later renamed Rockton by William Talcott on May 30, 1844.
The high school was named Hononegah after the princess and Stephen Mack Middle School after Stephen Mack. A few celebrities have passed through Hononegah's doors such as ice skating Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton and INDY race car driver Danica Patrick.
The land my own house is built on along with many others used to be part of the famous Wagon Wheel resort that covered over 300 acres. It was a hot tourist spot from 1940 though the 1970s for celebrities like Bob Hope and Shirley Temple. According to the Rockford Register Star, “It boasted attractions such as an air strip, golf course, restaurant, church, dinner theater and two ice skating rinks, where Olympic figure skating bronze medalist Janet Lynn trained.” Scott Hamilton trained at the Wagon Wheel as well along with Sandy Lenz, Jim Milnes and many others.
Books & More
One of my favorite places to frequent in town is the Talcott Free Library. The original building was built in 1854 and was used as a feed and grain store. I've always felt at home when I've visited this library.
The staff is friendly and helpful going above and beyond when it comes to the children's programs. I've taken my grandson to the story times offered here since he was two and he often doesn't want to leave when it’s time to go because he's having so much fun.
Along with hundreds of books for the children they provide puzzles, movies, music, and theme back packs to check-out. Computers are available too with educational programs for the children.
I think of it as my home away from home. It’s a nice of a place to visit and hang out especially on a cold or rainy day.
Charge Up Your Camera
The "Rockton Lighted Christmas Parade" is part of a great weekend of holiday fun called the "Christmas Walk." The parade attracts people from all over because of its colorfully lit floats. Trees and old fashioned street lights along Main Street are decorated along with store fronts all glowing against the night sky welcoming in the holiday season.
To get into the holiday mood and get a jump start on your holiday shopping visit during Christmas Walk Weekend normally held the first weekend in December. It's a great time to go shopping for special gifts and antiques at unique shops like, Main Street Antiques, Cyndys Country Cottage, The Keeping Room, and the Gem Shop to name a few. Hot chocolate, cider and treats are offered along with drawings for special door prizes in many of the shops.
Christmas Walk weekend is full of fun things to do and see for everyone. Area churches and the local American Legion on Main Street often host wonderful pancake breakfasts. I can attest to eating more than my share of pancakes and holiday goodies over this winter weekend.
Santa takes time out of his busy schedule to drop by with his elves to have his picture taken with children and the young at heart. The sound of sleigh bells and horse hooves clicking along Main Street can be heard as horse drawn carriages and wagons give visitors a tour of the town. Holiday plays, musical events, art and craft sales are also held throughout the area at this special time too.
We all scream for Dairy Haus ice cream.
Winter is officially over and warm weather is coming when the Dairy Haus opens it's doors. Its a sign of better days ahead after the long winter months. They offer a yummy variety of ice cream flavors and serve it up with a smile. A few places are available inside to sit down, but more seating can be found on the red picnic tables next to the building under several shade trees.
After taking a dip in the pool around the corner I'd often stop by with a few dripping kids for a cone. When its hot outside the Dairy Haus keeps Rockton cool with its tasty ice cream. Its a great place to hang out during the dog days of summer.
If you just can't wait to sample some of their ice cream a variety of Woodman's grocery stores are now carrying it because its just that good. If you want more information about the Dairy Haus simply go to www.facebook.com/dairyhausrockton.
Small Town Big Heart
Rockton has been my home for a number of years now and I can't imagine living anywhere else. I just love everything it has to offer. There always seems to be something interesting going on, but the easy pace of a small town remains intact.
If you’re in the area be sure to stop by the Dairy Haus for a cone and check out the Talcott Library that happens to be right next door. Maybe you'll catch one of the book sales they hold several times a year where you can leave with grocery bag full of books for a few dollars.
To get into the holiday spirit and get a jump on your shopping visit Rockton during Christmas Walk Weekend normally held the first weekend in December. This is a great town to go shopping for special gifts and antiques too with great shops like the Gem Shop, Don's Coins And Collectibles, Main Street Antiques, Cyndys Country Cottage, The Keeping Room and Eccentricities to name just a few.
If you want to grab a bite to eat try Ray's Family Restaurant where they make the best feta cheese omelets around. The Rockton Inn, and Fibs, have great meals to offer weary and hungry travelers. No matter what season you decide to visit this great town Rockton has something fun to see or do for everyone.
Rockton township historical society.
- Rockton, IL - Presented by Village Profile
Rockton is a small town full of big events! We are proud of the partnerships between our businesses, organizations, individuals and families that make Rockton an exciting, spirited place to live or visit all year long.