Postcards From Home

Central Fire Station

17th Street & 5th Avenue  Until May 19, 1891, Rock Island did not have a paid fire department but rather relied on volunteer companies for fire protection.  Considering that many homes and business still used stoves for heating and gas or kerosene for lighting, it is a wonder that fires were not more frequent and … [ Continued

Black Hawk Park Lounge

For as long as anyone remembers – and even before – Black Hawk State Historic Site has held a unique place in our regional history.  Its location at the crest of the cliff overlooking the Rock River valley and the confluence of the Rock and Mississippi rivers was the center of the Sauk and Mesquakie … [ Continued

Rock Island Argus Building

The signature “Cervin & Horn Archts” at the lower right corner tells us that today’s postcard of the new Rock Island Argus building was created from an architectural rendering or drawing.  Benj. A. Horn of that firm designed the building in 1925, calling it Italian Renaissance in style.  From our perspective today, it seems as … [ Continued

Buford Mansion, Word of Life Church

When wealthy Kentuckian Charles Buford brought his wife, Lucy Marshall Buford, and their ten children to Rock Island in 1853, he didn’t waste any time.  They had come from near Lexington, Kentucky, an area known as the “Athens of the West.”  They immediately purchased a large brick home that still stands and is now the … [ Continued

Third Avenue, West from 19th Street

A few weeks ago, we showed you a 1950s view of Third Avenue, looking east from 17th Street.  Today we return to Third Avenue as it appeared in 1910, this time looking west from 19th Street.  Very few would recognize this scene today.  Some of the prominent buildings are gone; others that we would readily … [ Continued

Augustana College, 7th Avenue W from 38th Street

This is 7th Avenue near 38th Street as depicted on a postcard dated 1911.  The building on the left was the first building of Augustana College. It was completed in time for the beginning of school in September, 1875.  The cost was reported to be $43,000.  The building housed the entire College program including classrooms, … [ Continued

Third Avenue, East from 17th Street

Usually these stories are about postcards from the early 1900s.  But this one is different – the view of Rock Island’s Third Avenue, looking east from 17th Street is only about fifty years old, new enough so that the scene is familiar to many of our readers.  And to many, the most immediately recognizable features … [ Continued

Broadway Presbyterian Church

700 23rd Street In the early days of Stephenson, as Rock Island was then known, there was a single Presbyterian congregation, which didn’t even have its own church building.  By 1837, slavery issues divided the congregation into two groups.  One calling itself First Presbyterian built a new church just west of the courthouse. A bit … [ Continued