Postcards From Home

House on the Hill – Weyerhaeuser House

3052 10th Avenue Today’s “House on the Hill,” as this mansion is known, is one of the most intact historic homes in Rock Island.  It was owned by one family for most of its life and, subsequently, by Augustana College, which has been a loving custodian for over fifty years.   The featured postcard, dating from … [ Continued

West End Settlement

427 Seventh Avenue Usually buildings are deemed historic because of their age and architecture.  But sometimes historic status derives from what happened in a building.  This Real Photo postcard lent us by Mary Chappell shows the West End Settlement, a building that is historic on both counts. Thanks to local philanthropist Suzanne Denkmann, well-to-do daughter … [ Continued

Black Hawk Watch Tower Inns

For decades, Watch Tower Park was a destination for folks all over the Quad Cities.  In 1891 when several local railways merged to form the Tri City Railway, the formerly quiet landscape was soon transformed into a busy amusement park.  Expanding this attraction was a shrewd business decision and the hundreds of passengers who paid … [ Continued

St. Mary’s Church & Parsonage

2208 Fourth Avenue This rare postcard from Shannon Hall’s collection shows St. Mary’s Church and Parsonage as it appeared about 1910.  The church, initially known as St. James, was established in 1851 by missionary priest Rev. George Alleman.   During that year, construction of a modest church on 4th Avenue and 22nd Street (or Rock River … [ Continued

St. Anthony’s Hospital

767 30th Street (St. Anthony’s Continuing Care Center)  Doesn’t the building on this postcard look familiar? We’ve all driven up 30th Street and seen St. Anthony’s Hospital – now St. Anthony’s Continuing Care Center.  There have been additions, but we can still see this old building fronting 30th Street. Right?  Wrong!  Although today’s St. Anthony’s … [ Continued

Safety Building

18th Street & Third Avenue  The big power pole in the foreground and the absence of street signs, are the only clues that this is a vintage depiction of the Safety Building at on 3rd Avenue at 18th Street.   The sepia-toned postcard was printed in Germany and was mailed in 1910, only two years after … [ Continued

Rosenfield House (Coventry Apartments)

1900 6th Avenue This 18 room Rock Island house would be considered spectacular anywhere in the country  – in fact it was described as the “most magnificent residence in the three cities” when it was completed in 1893.  That’s not surprising, considering its reported cost of $50,000.  That may not seem like a great deal … [ Continued

Roller Dam & Locks

Mississippi River The featured postcard, and the one below showing a different view, represents the culmination of a century of navigational improvements on the Mississippi River.   It was published in 1934 when the new Lock and Dam No. 15 opened at the western end of Arsenal Island and shows the downstream side of the roller … [ Continued