Today, people travel from around the globe to visit Rockford, IL and get a glimpse of the life lived by this famous team. From Beyer Stadium where they played home games, to the hotels and parks they frequented, fans and historians alike can make their way through the trail and leave with a better understanding of a day in the life of a Rockford Peach.
The Faust Hotel
Rising above the downtown Rockford skyline, the Faust Hotel is central to the Peaches story. Fans would consistently meet players at events hosted at the Hotel, many times put on by the Peaches Fans association. These, along with other Peaches events, took place at this landmark building built in 1929, and the hotel also hosted guests such as Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.
The Masonic Cathedral was a common meeting place for the Peaches Fans association. In addition, money was raised to fund the Peaches with booster events here, including dances, music, movies, and “meet the Peaches.” This historic building on 607 Walnut Street was built in 1869, and stood until 2020 when it was destroyed by a massive fire.
State and Madison Recreation
Another consistent location used by the Peaches Fans association was the Recreation Building on State and Madison in downtown Rockford. The association would meet at this building for annual meetings, often in the basement. On occasion, the Peaches manager and many of the players would stop in from the road and attend these meetings that may contain some entertainment, like showing “moving pictures” of the Peaches from the prior year.
7th Street Train Station
In the 1940s and 1950s many people came to town by train, dropping off at the the 7th Street train station. Whether players were recruited or traded, many would catch the train to make their way to and from Rockford. Players even talked about arriving safely at the station in Rockford in letters to their families back home. Although no longer in use, this station still stands on 7th Street here in Rockford, IL.
The Peaches were very much involved with events taking place in conjunction with the YMCA in the 1940s and 1950s. The YMCA Lodge was and still is a beautiful cabin that sits on the Rock River, perfect for hosting events and meetings. This historic location served as meeting grounds for the fans association who were a central part of the Peaches story.
The Lafayette Hotel
Travel and hotel rooms were commonplace in the AAGPBL. Opening in 1927, the Lafayette Hotel in downtown Rockford was a fitting red carpet hotel used by the league to room players when needed. In fact, this was the usual lodging place for visiting teams after making the bus trip to Rockford for an away game.
There are 285,873 people in the Rockford Region (2016), including the surrounding metro area. Located within Winnebago County, there are several unique surrounding villages and cities that form the Rockford Region, each with its own history, restaurants, and attractions!
Stop by these local retailers of premium Peaches gear.