16 Things You Never Knew About the Rock River

16 Things You Never Knew About the Rock River

The Rock River Circa 400,000 BCSure, you know about dead bodies and the Waterfront Festival. You’re a smart Rockordian with some college experience and a firm grip of Wikipedia. You drink fancy beers at that stimulus package brew house and eat pizza at the City Market. Nobody doubts you except yourself… and your parents.

But, you’ve never feasted on Moeriseni Crab after a long hard day of sturgeon  fishing in a canoe you built with your own two hands. You’ve never danced the fire dance with the Kickapoo tribe in preparation for the Wahpeemi ceremony. Surely, you’ve never drowned your lover and unborn child in an act of desperation. No, you haven’t lived. That vacation to Cancun was a God damn joke and those dolphins that you swam with are being held against their will.

What else have you missed out on? Don’t worry you’re about to find out.

Here are 16 little-known facts about the Rock River:

1. Firstly, you should be thankful to have such a beauty of a river going straight through our scenic downtown area. The river wasn’t always here. In 1871, The Rock River was rerouted to Rockford from Beloit by a pack of ambitious beavers. Before then, it skipped our city entirely and ran through Pecatonica. Like so many of us our favorite river isn’t in Rockford by choice.

2.Everyone likes it when a cute little dog humps their leg, but nobody would be smiling if a giant mastodon was was doing the same. Every 3 years, trillions of Mastodons would congregate at the river banks to breed. They could have met anywhere but, as the dark side of Rockford Craigslist would agree, It feels better outside, where people might see you.

3. Crabs may be prevalent in some parts of Rockford life today, but thousands of years ago our Indian ancestors were shoving crabs in their face all the time. The Moeriseni Crab was hunted to extinction around the same time that Jesus was allegedly being born. They were always an easy target. The moeriseni crab, commonly know as- obviously we don’t fucking know! people weren’t speaking English yet. They were know for being slow and clumsy. It was thought they tasted like canned tuna… but we obviously don’t know that either. We’ll never know. We ruin everything.

4. Fast forward a bit. The year is 1854. Rockford has just elected it’s second mayor, Remmy Parathon. He was a good ol’ chap… whoring, drinking and gambling with our city’s money, just as expected. His favorite hobby was also the deadliest, not whoring, spear fishing. Rockford’s second Mayor was killed trying to wrestle a giant sturgeon from the river. He sunk his spear and fell into the water with the monster. Who knows what took place in the depths of that murky water. It was dark. He was alone and vulnerable. He was asking for it really. Don’t fuck with sturgeon guys! Anyway, Remmy was never seen again.

giant sturgeon5. While we’re on the subject, the supposed Indian burial mounds at Beattie Park are not what they seem. An exhumation that took place in the early 30’s revealed that the burial mounds near the river actually contain giant fish. It is thought that hundreds of years ago some of these giant sturgeon we’ve been hearing so much about, beached themselves on the river banks. Why? I don’t know… maybe they caught a glimpse of the shit hole their river was turning into and decided to end it all. So kids, what do we do with things we’re ashamed off? We bury them and plant a garden of lies to cover it up.

6. The Rock River used to be a crystal clear sandy paradise until lies and corruption turned it dooky brown. Before this place was filled with degenerate low-life scum like you and your morally corrupt overlords, a peaceful, sexually liberated group of hunter gatherers lived here. The Kickapoo tribe was content to hunt venison and forage for the plentiful spoils of the forest. They never waded very far into the Rock River on account of the aforementioned giant sturgeon that- and I can’t stress this enough, we’re a really, really big part of our history. However, they did have a use for it’s beautiful sandy beaches. every year they celebrated summer by engaging in group sex on the beach. They didn’t suffer from the stigmas we attach to sex today. The entirety of urban diction would seem like 1st base to them. They tried it all. Those were the days, the whole family hanging out at the beach… real quality bondage time. Then the fat white guy shows up and ruins everything. Sound familiar? How does this relate to the water clarity? Not sure. What are we talking about? I think you know. Call me

7. We’ve been tossing things we don’t need anymore into rivers since the beginning of time. From feces to nuclear waste, we’ve dumped it all. Since 1948, 421 dead bodies have been discovered in the Rock River. Cool!

8. A dark cloud hovers above the Verdi Club on Madison st. Their water front location isn’t just perfect for corn boils, bingo and bag pipe practice. It’s a great spot for incest and murder too. Gaylord Verdi, the patriarch of the Verdi family, had a secret love affair. It turned into quite a sticky situation when his love became pregnant. To complicate matters further, his lover was also his sister. He did what any sane man would do. Gaylord Verdi knocked his sister unconscious and drowned her on the river banks where the Verdi Club stands today. Don’t judge him guys… these were different times… better times.

9. Do you ever wonder why you see so many people snorkeling in the river by the Byron Nuclear Plant? Of course you do! You’re a curious, hairless descendant of a monkey. You’re probably aware that the Rock River contains many coral reefs. Byron is home to the largest reef by far, The Geiger Reef. Back in the early 1900’s a casino boat carrying 155 passengers crashed into the Geiger Reef and sank along with hundreds of dollars in quarters. The wreckage was never found. Most of the passengers survived, but some were of course killed by giant sturgeon. Strap on you goggles kids. We’re going treasure hunting. Rocktown Adventures, located on Madison st. often hosts guided snorkeling trips in the area.

polluted river10.The Rock River contains more than 190,000 metric tons of nuclear waste. Why metric tons? Because, I don’t support any unit of measurement that our government uses… including time. Just look at the sun. That’s good enough for me. It is thought that the radioactive waste was the cause of the giant sturgeon’s extinction.

12. Thousands of songs have been written about our favorite river. Classics like Got My Cement Shoes On and Wash That Blood Off Boy have been pleasuring ear drums for decades. We all know Antonin Dvorak’s New world Symphony was partially inspired by a boat trip down the Rock River, but fuck that genius. Justin Timberlake’s 2002 hit, Cry Me A River was written about the Rock River. in 2001 Justin lost his shoe in a goose fight, right here on the banks of the river. The goose faced a lawsuit for emotional damages but the case was settled out of court. He wrote Cry Me a River while coping with his tragic loss. Don’t feed the geese… They’re strong enough already.

13. Chemical testing has revealed that The Rock River is 2.73 PPM (parts per million, dumb ass) cocaine and 4.39 PPM heroine. No Surprise there.

16. Us optimists know that downtown Rockford is in the middle of an amazing transformation into one of Illinois’ best tourist destinations. There’s a lot happening. Boutique shop, butcher shops, art galleries, The District Bar and Grill, breweries, festivals… But you’re wondering, where is a good old fashioned discrete gay bath house when you need one? Fret not my friends! With the left-over stimulus money we saved from the Rockford Brewing Co. Rockford will transform Rever’s Marina into a river fed Bath House. You remember where you and your gothic friends hung out when, for some reason, you went the the Waterfront Festival don’t you? Well, that’s the spot. Plans have been in the works since Mayor Berry was elected. Construction is slotted for April 2017. So you guys can stop going to the YMCA. Ok? that’s enough… There are kids there.

Well, that’s it guys. That’s exactly 16 “facts” Lets us know how we did. Should we fire our unpaid intern? email us and let us know!


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