Postcards From Home

Illinois Theatre

1600 Second Avenue Rock Island never lacked culture.  That was demonstrated in 1901 when a plan to build a new theatre that had been promoted by the Rock Island Club and the Argus finally came to fruition with the hiring of George H. Johnston of St. Louis.    But before anything could be built, money had … [ Continued

Long View Park Lower Lake

17th Street at 13th Avenue  The Augustana College Library holds many treasures.  Among the postcards in their Special Collections are these two Real Photo shots of the lower lagoon – or lake as it was known then — at Rock Island’s Long View (later Longview) Park.   The park developed on what had been Bailey Davenport’s … [ Continued

Government Bridge Guard House

Rock Island Arsenal  How often do you pass this unassuming but striking little building, identified on our postcard as the Government Bridge Guard House?  Only when walking or waiting for the bridge to open is there an opportunity to examine it and compare it to the early 1900s postcard from Greg Binder’s collection. The most … [ Continued

House at 1038 21st Street

There’s something magical about a house with tower.  Although towers reached a peak (sorry) of popularity in the Victorian era, towered houses were still relatively rare.  Additionally many towers have been cut off, losing their distinctive roofs.  This unused Real Photo postcard from the collection of Robert Schroeder shows a special Queen Ann style home … [ Continued

Alleman High School

1103 40th Street Alleman High School, shown on this vintage Real Photo postcard from Shannon Hall’s collection, opened its doors in September of 1949.  Enrollment that first year was just under 600 students.   How fortunate they were to attend school in this beautiful Italian Renaissance style building! The main entrance doors to the school open … [ Continued

First National Bank

Second Avenue & 17th Street  There was a time, not so long ago, when nearly every town, large and small, had its own bank. It was a bank where decisions and loans were made locally, where the officers and employees were friends and neighbors.  As often as not, that bank was called the First National … [ Continued

Residence of Phil Mitchell (Case-Mitchell House)

720 20th Street  For years this stately home on Rock Island’s 20th Street just south of 7th Avenue has been known as the Mitchell House.  It is named for Phil Mitchell, a scion of the most prominent banking family in Rock Island, who entered the banking field in 1861, when he was only 15 years … [ Continued


SW Corner, Third Avenue at 19th Street Postmarked in 1912, this postcard shows the YMCA – Young Men’s Christian Association – building that was located on the southwest corner of 3rd Avenue and 19th Street.  Its style is Richardsonian Romanesque, as were many of Rock Island’s early schools, and it was designed by the same … [ Continued