Village History

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Rockford Ohio’s Rich Village History

  • 1820 – Rockford was originally founded as Shanesville by Anthony Shane, a French Ottawa Indian.
  • 1820 – Plotted as Shanesville. Shanesville was the original county seat of Mercer County.
  • On April 29, 1828, a lease was signed by Colonel William Botts Hedges and John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) for the planting of apple trees on the Hedges’ property in Shanesville, Ohio.
  • 1866 – Became Shanes Crossing
  • 1890 – U.S. Post office changed the name to Rockford
  • Rockford is the oldest village in Mercer County
  • Rockford was the first village in Mercer County to have streetlights and an airport.
Village History
Village History Johnny Appleseed

Johnny Appleseed

On Thursday, September 24, 2009, Johnny Appleseed once again made his mark on the former Hedges property. In celebration of his 235th birthday, the Johnny Appleseed Foundation – in conjunction with American Forests – planted two apple trees that were propagated from the only Johnny Appleseed tree known to exist today.

These two trees were planted on the homestead of Mike and Debi Schumm (formerly Hedges Nursery) in Rockford, Ohio (formerly Shanesville).

Mr. Harrison Frech

Mr. Harrison Frech recently released a Revised 2020 Edition of Anthony Shane, Metis Interpreter: A Bridge between Two Cultures Scout, Interpreter, Town Founder, Witness to History.

Copies of the book are on sale at the Rockford Village Hall. Cost $10.

Shanes Crossing Historical Society, Rockford Ohio

Rockford Historical Museum

151 Columbia St.
Rockford, OH 45882

Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 3:30 pm and on weekends by appointment.


Mike Schumm – President

Brad Now – Vice President


Lisa Kuhn – Treasurer