Postcards From Home

Zion Lutheran Church (St. John’s)

4501 7th Avenue Zion Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church – the name is a real tongue twister, especially considering that its founders’ native tongue was Swedish.  The congregation was formed in 1891, breaking off from Grace Lutheran church a block to the west.  The differences were not religious – both churches were members of the Augustana … [ Continued

Prince Hall Masonic Home (Maple Ridge Apts.)

3720 5th Street  For much of its life, the location of the Prince Hall Masonic Home was simply noted as “foot of 37th Avenue,” an appropriate address for this historic building.  Surprisingly, it still looks much as it does on our “real photo” postcard as it overlooks a scenic view of the Rock River.  Many … [ Continued

Palace Amusement – Marathon Dance

5th Avenue & 13th Street  It was a nationwide craze for over a decade, and Rock Island played a small part in it.  Our postcard today is captioned “Marathon Dance Contest, Palace Amusement Center, Rock Island.”  It was one of many postcards, most originating before 1920, that Robert Schroeder inherited from his grandmother, Mrs. Emma … [ Continued

L. S. McCabe & Co. (Stern Center)

1713 Third Avenue For decades, McCabe’s Department Store was a downtown Rock Island institution.  With multiple locations, it became the standard for retail, even challenging larger chains with its customer loyalty. Our colored postcard from Shannon Hall’s collection shows the “new” L.S. McCabe’s building at 1713 3rd Avenue.    Although postmarked 1911, the same picture, complete … [ Continued

London Building

1715 Second Avenue  It’s not a pretty picture, this postcard captioned “Rock Island Fire.”  What was clearly once a beautiful building is in ruins, icicles hanging like curtains before gaping window openings.  Why would an insurance agency create a postcard of such devastation?  We found this Real Photo postcard in the Special Collections of Augustana … [ Continued

First Church of Christ, Scientist (Karpeles Museum)

700 22nd Street This postcard shows a building that doesn’t look like a typical church – no steeple, bell tower or figural stained glass windows – but it is characteristic of Christian Science churches throughout the world.  The first Christian Science Church, the Mother Church, was built in Boston in 1894 and enlarged in 1906 … [ Continued

Exposition Park (Fairgrounds)

18th Avenue, 5-9th Streets  “April 30, 1911.  Last September we had an exposition at the old county fairgrounds. One of the out-of-door attractions was Capt. Albers 14 trained polar bears.  I snapped this from the grandstand across the racetrack while they were ‘shooting the chutes.’  This negative is a trifle thin.  Write again soon.”  This … [ Continued

Colman Florist

2754 12th Street It’s not uncommon for a young man to follow his father into the family business.  But when five generations of sons and daughters continue the family heritage, it is noteworthy.  And that is the story of the Colman Florist family, whose business and home are shown on our postcard today. The tale … [ Continued