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Rockford

Trip Planner USA  /  Michigan  /  Kent County  /  Rockford
Rockford is a city in Kent County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 5,719. It is on the Rogue River and is only 14 miles north of Grand Rapids.HistoryThe Rockford area was first visited and inhabited by Native American cultures, such as the Hopewell, Mascouten, and Ottawa tribes. There have not been archeological finds of Native American settlements in the Rogue River valley, but their trails branched through the area and were noted by early surveyors.The first important settler of what would become the city of Rockford was Smith Lapham, who had come to Kent County in 1843 after living in Washtenaw County for 18 years. Smith Lapham came to the banks of the Rogue to assist in the completion of a dam and sawmill begun by a William Hunter. Hunter gave Lapham 40acre of land on the east side of the Rogue for his trouble, and Lapham stayed there for the rest of his life. Hunter shortly left the area.Lapham built his own sawmill on his side of the river, which was completed by 1844. Other settlers soon followed, including John Long, Freeman Burch, and William Thornton. By the fall of 1845, the settlement had about 5 houses. Since the settlement existed largely on land owned or sold by Smith Lapham, it became known as Laphamville. In 1856 it was first platted as Laphamville by William Thornton.
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