City demolishes historic home, didn't know the history behind it - – Rockford’s News Leader

City demolishes historic home, didn't know the history behind it


Historian Terry Dyer has spent the majority of his life studying the Civil War.

"What surprised me was how this community was behind the civil war and how active it was," Dyer says.  

A focus of his studies are on this home, the hospital for camp fuller during the civil war.

"I think probably was three floors besides the basement so it probably had quite a few beds in it you're talking about 4,000 men out there someone is going to get hurt at some point," Dyer says.  

After the Civil War was over, it turned back into a residence, making it one of the oldest homes in Rockford. 
But, if you drive past 1260 North Main Street today -- you won't see much. 

"I drove up through the alley and realized right away that it was gone. It was just a pile of dirt by that point," Dyer says.  

That's because the site was on the city's list of properties to demolish. It was taken down just last month. 

"Unfortunately, we demoed this property and it appears there was some history behind it," Scott Capovilla with the Rockford Historic Preservation Commission says. 

The historic preservation commission says it was not aware of the history behind the structure. 

"The city itself cannot go out and do all this research. We don't have the resources to go out an evaluate every single property in the city to see if it has some historical significance or maybe somebody famous stayed at one of those properties," Capovilla says. 

Instead, the city says it relies on the property owners to bring that information to the city's attention. That way another site like -- the Camp Fuller Hospital doesn't turn into a pile of dirt. 

Dyer says it's important for sites like this to be preserved so the community doesn't forget the past. 

"There are enough of us who are interested in the history of Rockford and civil war history, the history of northern Illinois," Dyer says.  

The city urges people who thinks their property has some historical significance to contact the Rockford Historic Preservation Commission. 

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