Postcards From Home

Rock Island Reservoir

15th Avenue & 24th Street It’s something we city folks take for granted – a twist of the wrist and pure clean water flows.  But that wasn’t always the case here in Rock Island.  In the 1800s, safe drinkable water couldn’t be taken for granted.  This postcard, which features a less-than-scenic view identified as “Rock … [ Continued

United Presbyterian / Wayman AME Church

Third Avenue & 14th  Street  This is one of a series of postcards depicting local churches that was published by the Rock Island Postcard Company early in the twentieth century.  It shows what may be Rock Island’s oldest remaining church building, certainly the oldest recognizable one.  It was built in 1873 on the southwest corner … [ Continued

People’s National Bank Building (Renaissance Building)

1729-31 2nd Avenue  This postcard dates from about 1906, and shows the four-story People’s National Bank, located on the northwest corner of 2nd Avenue at 18th Street.  Its publisher has carefully removed the surrounding buildings from the picture and has depicted the building as white.  Ladies in long skirts and fancy hats chat on the … [ Continued

Hodgson’s Funeral Home (DeSilva House)

608 20th Street  The postcard identifies this large familiar home as the Hodgson Funeral Home.  That name tells us the card was published after 1941, when the Hodgson Mortuary moved from 17th Street to 608 20th Street and changed its name to Hodgson Funeral Home.  Hodgson owners Alwin F. Lindoerfer and Walter Hesemen had announced … [ Continued

House at 1530 29 ½ Street

Massive oaks provide a background for this house that still stands at 1530 29 ½ Street.  Located in the appropriately named W.E. Bailey’s Oak Grove Addition, which was platted in 1911, this and nearby neighbors date from the teens and twenties.  Architectural styles encompass both single and two story structures as well as a wide … [ Continued

John Looney Riot

16th Street at Third Avenue  This column has often featured rare Real Photo postcards from the early 1900s.  Such postcards provide uncommon and unaltered views of historic Rock Island.  Their rarity is due to the process by which they were created: Each postcard was individually printed using a negative and photographic paper.  This method is … [ Continued

Elks State Convention Parade -1913

 Second Avenue,  East from 15th Street There was celebrating in Rock Island on June 3-5, 1913, when hundreds of Elks from across Illinois came to their 10th Annual State Convention.  Local Lodge 980, five-hundred strong, with a waiting list of potential members, hosted the state delegates at their lodge at 111 18th Street (now home … [ Continued

Market Square – Farmers Congress

17th Street at Second Avenue  News coverage of the weeklong gathering of the 24th annual Farmers National Congress began on Saturday, October 6, 1906, when the Argus reported that downtown Rock Island was taking on a festival appearance in anticipation of thousands of visitors. The story was accompanied by a plea for citizens to make … [ Continued