Postcards From Home

Memorial Christian Church

Third Avenue at 15th Street Memorial Christian Church owes a great deal to the Mitchell family.  Its patriarch, Philemon Mitchell, came from Kentucky to Rock Island with his friend Philander Cable in 1856. They traveled by train, carrying the incredible cash amount of $80,000 with which they intended to buy a bank.  They were successful … [ Continued

Levi S. McCabe House

2920 Fifth Avenue When Levi S. McCabe died in 1915 at the age of 79, our entire city mourned the death of this tireless booster.  McCabe’s department store employees marched en masse from the store to Broadway Presbyterian Church for the services.  All the other downtown stores closed in respect during the funeral.  Mr. McCabe … [ Continued

“Old” Lincoln School

7th Avenue at 22nd Street Looking much as it did when constructed in 1894, “Old” Lincoln School stood at the corner of 7th Avenue and 22nd Street until 2012.  It that era, each Rock Island ward had its own grammar school.  Ward 4 was served by P.S. No. 4, as Lincoln was called originally, although … [ Continued

Immanuel Lutheran School and Hall

Fifth Avenue West of 20th Street As you near the 20th Street and 5th Avenue intersection, the tall sculpted towers of Immanuel Lutheran Church immediately capture your eyes.  Just to the west of the church is its 1912 parsonage, and, next to that, is the site of the historic Lutheran School and Hall.  We thank … [ Continued

Hawes Bungalow

1418 20th Street This Rock Island postcard, from the collection at the Rock Island Public Library, shows a house with the printed identification:  “Bungalow of Charles W. Hawes, Head Clerk of M. W. of A.”   Fortunately, this charming home still graces our town and still looks very much like it did a century years ago.  … [ Continued

Family Theatre (Peter Fries Building)

1903-05 Second Avenue  In 1902, a fine new building went up just across the street from downtown’s beautiful Spencer Square. Located at 1903-05 Second Avenue, it was named for its owner and marked “Peter Fries”in relief copper letters.   Although the name is blacked out on the postcard, it was located in the rectangle between the … [ Continued

Elks Club Building (Blue Cat Brew Pub)

111 – 115 18th Street  Rock Island Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge No. 980 was organized on June 26, 1905, with B. F. Knox serving as exalted ruler.  Initially, the lodge met at the Illinois Theatre on the southeast corner of 16th Street and Second Avenue.  It only took a short time for … [ Continued

Clock Tower & Gatehouse – Arsenal Island

Rock Island – the real, the original, Rock Island – is the geographic and historical center of the Quad Cities.  This is not some overgrown sandbar island-wannabee, subject to the whims of the Mississippi’s current.  Rather, this sturdy thousand acre stone plateau that rises above the original shallow rapids forces the river to alter its … [ Continued