Rockford, Illinois

Rockford Business Signs

Rockford is a city located within the northernmost region of the present-day U.S. state of Rockford, Illinois.  The area which would become Rockford has been inhabited since at least around 300-1100 A.D., when natives of the Woodland Traditions established mounds there.  In fact, the Beattie Park Mound Group, which is “a grouping of Late Woodland period Indian mounds” is located right where downtown Rockford, Illinois now sits.  The Beattie Park Mound Group is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Many years later, in 1834, New Englanders founded the village of Rockford.  Initially, it was comprised of two separate settlements, Kentville and Haightville, on either side of the Rock River.  Collectively, these settlements were referred to as ‘Midway.’  However, by 1837, the town was renamed Rockford, due to the area’s proximity to a ford across Rock River.  Rockford, Illinois was officially incorporated into a town in 1839 and then into a city in 1852.

Today, according to a 2016 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Rockford, Illinois has a total population of 147,651 people.  This makes it the third largest city in the state of Illinois (the largest outside the Chicago metropolitan area) and the 171st most populous city in the country.  As for the Rockford, Illinois metropolitan area, according to that same report, it has a total population of 344,623 people.  This makes it the 148th most populous metropolitan area in the United States.

Historically, Rockford, Illinois has been known for its output of heavy machinery and tools.  In fact, by the twentieth century, the city was the second leading center of furniture manufacturing in the nation.  However, due to industrial decline, this is no longer the case.  Now, according to Rockford, Illinois’s 2009 City Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the largest employer in the city is Rockford Public School District, which is responsible for 4,800 jobs.  Chrysler’s Belvidere Assembly Plant comes in a close second, employing 4,700 people, while Swedish American Hospital comes in a far third, with 2,600 employees.

Rockford, Illinois also boasts the Burpee Museum of Natural History.  This museum, established in 1942, now features exhibits including Jane-Diary of a Dinosaur, the Carboniferous Coal Forest, the Ordovician Sea, Geoscience, The First People, Windows to Wilderness, and The Fossil Preparation Viewing Lab.

Other prominent attractions featured within the city of Rockford, Illinois include the Lake-Peterson House.  The Lake-Peterson House, listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1873 by John Lake in the Victorian Gothic Revival Style of Architecture.  Equally interesting is the Tinker Swiss Cottage.  The Tinker Swiss Cottage, which is also listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, is now a historic house museum.  Built in 1870, the Tinker Swiss Cottage was originally built as the personal residence of Robert Hall Tinker.  Now, however, due to its function as a museum, the Tinker Swiss Cottage is “a popular destination for school groups, general tours, and for rentals.”

Are you the lucky owner of a small business in and/or around the Rockford, Illinois area?  Have you ever thought about the possibility of becoming one?  These resources listed below may prove invaluable to you, should you choose to accept such an exhilarating quest:

Apply for a Business License in Rockford, Illinois:

Start Your Business in Rockford, Illinois:

Rockford Chamber of Commerce:

Searching for Rockford business signs?

Get the word out there about your small business!  Contact one of our authorized member sign shops:


Rockford, IL

Frank Mabry




Lake Bluff, IL

CJ Jacquette



Jorn’s Signs

Hillsboro, IL

Darrin Jorn


Chicago, IL

Dimitry Kuzmenko



Noticeable Banners

Mt Olive, IL

Tim Starks



Tall Grass Signs

Palos Heights, IL



Top Secret Designs

Wood River, IL

Josh McDowell



Creation by cooley

Washington, IL