About This Place
Rockford is a city in Kent County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 4,626. It is on the Rogue River and is only a few miles north of Grand Rapids.
The Rockford area was first visited and inhabited by Native American cultures, such as the Hopewell, Mascouten, and Ottawa peoples. 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 40 acres (160,000 m2) 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.