Postcards From Home

Hollywood Supper Club

1825 Second Avenue The Hollywood Supper Club, under the ownership of Woodrow “Woody” Cather, was a landmark in downtown Rock Island for thirty years from the 1930s to the 1960s.  Mr. Cather’s pride shows – he published at least two postcards featuring his night spot.   The first, from Shannon Hall’s collection, dates from the early … [ Continued

Modern Woodmen of America Headquarters (County Office Building)

1504 3rd Avenue  The intersection of 15th Street and Third Avenue was a hubbub of building activity in the late 1890s.  Within a two month period in early 1897, a $112,000, 60-room Rock Island County courthouse and a new Memorial Christian Church opposite it were dedicated. Almost exactly a year later, a ceremony was held … [ Continued

Royal Neighbors Supreme Officee

230 16th Street For much of modern history, women’s organizations functioned as a subsidiary to a men’s organization.  And indeed this is the way the Royal Neighbors of America (RNA) began in Council Bluffs, Iowa, when the wives of Modern Woodmen of America (MWA) were invited to meet for a social in 1888.  Soon, the … [ Continued

Rock Island Savings Bank

Third Avenue & 18th Street  The Rock Island Savings Bank was brand new when this postcard was mailed in 1911—so new, in fact, that instead of using a photo as a basis for the card, a drawing of the bank was used.  The rendering allowed the publisher to make the building appear much larger as … [ Continued

Uptown Business District

14th Avenue at 38th Street As Rock Island grew and expanded up the bluff, small retail centers developed concurrently to serve the new residents.  Our Real Photo postcard showing 14th Avenue near 38th Street is from the Special Collections at the Augustana College Library.  It was mailed – and probably created — by downtown photo … [ Continued

Downtown, Looking Southeast

Once again, thanks are due to Shannon Hall for lending us a most intriguing Real Photo postcard of the buildings and rooftops of downtown Rock Island.  The presence of certain buildings and the absence of others let us date this photograph to about 1909.  The photographer was likely atop the roof of the brand new … [ Continued

Best Building

1701-1707 Second Avenue  In 1908 there were several new buildings being built in downtown Rock Island: the Safety Building, the London (Quad City Arts) and the Best Building as depicted in the post card above from Greg Binder’s collection.  The Best Building, named for owner Louis P. Best of Davenport, replaced an old Italianate building … [ Continued

Bear Manufacturing – Automotive Safety Service School

21st Street & 5th Avenue  The Happy Bear—that’s what they called the impish critter who was the mascot and logo for the Bear Manufacturing Company a business which opened in Rock Island and stayed on for a long run.  The founders of Bear were brothers Will and Henry Damman, who invented an electric starter for … [ Continued