The village of Rockford, near the Surry County border with Yadkin County, once held a prominent place in the area’s history. Founded in 1790, the town served as the Surry County seat for more than six decades, until what was then Surry County was split into present-day Surry and Yadkin counties in 1851.
While many towns in such circumstances would eventually cease to exist, Rockford has continued on. While the number of people moving to and visiting the town declined in the years after the county seat was moved to Dobson, the town persisted and now serves as home for a number of historic buildings, as well as serving as the site of an annual Memorial Day gathering in the spring and multiple Christmas concerts each December.
Later this month, area residents and visitors will have the chance to rediscover just what Rockford has to offer with the village’s 11th Remember Rockford/Rediscover Rockford gathering, slated for Sept. 23 from 10 a.n. until 1 p.m.
The event this year is being done in partnership with the Richmond Hill Law School holding its own big day on Sept. 23.
Hannah Holyfield, president of the Rockford Preservation Society and owner of Rockford General Store, said the Rediscover Rockford event began in 2010 as Remember Rockford. It was a nearly annual gathering meant for folks to be able to come in, learn a bit about the town’s history and see some of the historic buildings there.
“In 2021, we changed the title of the event to Rediscover Rockford and had a big event to coincide with the 250th aanniversary of Surry County,” she said. Last there organizers skipped the event, but decided to bring it back, though on a smaller scale than in 2021.
She said the day will kick off at Rockford Methodist Church when Dr. Allen Paul Speer and Dr. Janet Speer will speak about “Rockford in the 1850’s,” beginning at 10 a.m.
“Then we have Danny Carter, Josh Hobson, and Darrell Jester entertaining us with bluegrass music through the lunch time. A BBQ lunch will be available for $12 for adults and $6 for children,” Holyfield said.
At around 1:15 the group will off a tour of the 1810 Dobson Store/Masonic Lodge and the 1830 Mark York Tavern.
“There will also be time to visit the 1850 Davenport Gallery where Perlie Chic Boutique has her clothing and gift shop and the 1900 Post Office which is now the Rockford Visitor Center and History Room,” she said. “After the tour, feel free to head over to Richmond Hill Law School, just across the river off of Richmond Hill Church Road. They are having an open house and a program by Fletcher Edwards about the amazing rock carvings of Sampson Fleming. His presentations will be at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. He will share fascinating stories about Mr. Fleming and the etchings that he carved in rocks.”
She asks all those planning to attend the Rockford event to email her at Hannah@rockfordinn.com, or to text or call 336-469-4601 “to let us know if you are coming so we will be sure to have enough BBQ.”