By Marianne Mueller


The Green Quarter, a landscape and design company in Rockton received a Historic Landmark status in a special dedication, held on July 21, 2021.  This property is one of four landmarks in Rockton; each is given a plaque to put to signify this honor.  

Rockton Village Planning and Development Administrator, Tricia Diduch made opening remarks. “This is a celebration of the fact that we have now doubled our local landmarks. This is one of the prime examples of properties that have stayed around and have longevity,” Diduch said. 

“We appreciate our local property owners who invest in maintaining the historic preservation of their buildings.”

Village of Rockton Historic Preservation Commission Chair, Chris Anderson thanked Rockton Village President John Peterson; who was at the landmark dedication, the Village Board and the entire Historic Preservation Commission.  Clint Cole, Mary Ann Mathwich, Mark Meichtry, Cheryl Peterson, Leanne Wright, and Ann Rogge were recognized for serving on the HPC.  At the Aug. 3 Rockton Village Board meeting Michael Hafele was appointed to the commission for a three-year term.

This historic building is housed at 109 S. Blackhawk Blvd. and has been owned by Tricia Davey for many years. Manley Sand began in Rockton in 1907 when Edward Manley formed the Rockton Moulding Sand Co. to serve foundries in Rockford and Beloit.  New plant locations were acquired through the years and the firm name was changed to Manley Sand Co. In 1964 the company was purchased by Martin Marietta and became known as Manley Sand/Martin Marietta. 

The original office was at the current location of the Green Quarter. Later the office moved to 110 E. Main St., now the Village Municipal Center- Rockton Village Hall. Several additions were made to the building through the years. 

Anderson referenced different uses in the Green Quarter over the years. “This building was used as residence, as office space and still has the original walk in safes, one on the first floor and one in the basement.”

“I would like to thank Tricia Davey for her work on restoring the building,” Anderson said. 

Former Rockton Historic Preservation Chair, Rory Mulligan, of Mulligan Restoration, was also credited for doing carpentry repairs on the exterior in preparation for paint last year. Mulligan also installed historically appropriate half round gutters and round downspouts on the Green Quarter building. 

“We have now added 17 Identification signs around town to signify that specific locations are in the National Historic District.  Two reasons these signs have been placed around town is help with preservation and to raise and promote public awareness. Signs can be found during the Rockton Township Historical Society walking tours,” Anderson said. 

Also now landmarked is the George Royden home at 119 W. Chapel St. The home was estimated to be built in the 1860’s to the 1870’s.  Mr. Royden owned and operated the main grocery store in the Rockton. His son William was the druggist in the store. Macktown Construction Group worked on the homes restoration. This historic property is now owned by the Wright family.  

Another building that is Landmark is Rockton Township Historical Society Green Street Museum holds pieces of Rockton’s rich history. It was given Landmark honors on Aug. 9, 2017. It was built in 1950 on land once owned by and Hononegah Mack that was later subdivided the Rockton Township Green Street Museum. The Society was formed in 1952 with 100 Charter members with the purpose to prevent the demolition of the Stephen Mack home, which now sits on property in Macktown Forest Preserve. Rockton Woman’s Club took action toward restoring and preserving the building. 

The Carriage House Museum is a Greek revival structure. The building is a one and a half story hip grout masonry structure. The grout construction is uncommon, as this may be the only grout masonry building in Rockton.”

What is now known as the Green Street museum was originally a single family home. The first owners were Amos and Sarah Fassett. John B. Peterson took over ownership in the 1850’s but is unclear if he ever lived in the residence. Most notably the family of Marble D. Keeney, proprietor of the M.D. Paper Mill lived there from 1868 until 1886.” 

In August 1993 the Rockton Township Historical Society purchased the house for additional museum space. Two additions have been completed; the Carriage House in 1999 and the expansion to that along with the connector to the house in 2003. In honor of the Society’s 40th anniversary a commemorative stone and marker was placed at the site of the Talcott log house near the mill race to honor the founder of Rockton. In 2002 the Society celebrated 50 years with special events.

The property is shown on an 1871 map. In 1974 The Rockton Township Historical was listed on the National Register of Historic places.

One of the other landmarks is the Rockton Dam, which was featured as part of this summer’s series of walking tours.  It was built in 1838 to create power for the water plant in the vicinity of the Race. 

Based on the museums value in the Rockton community a nomination was submitted to the State Historic Preservation office. Nominations are accepted by property owners, historical society’s, governmental agencies, individuals or groups. 

 Criteria to be considered for this honor involve an examination of the property, age, integrity and significance. A structure must be at least fifty years old and look authentic of a past era. 

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