Postcards From Home

New Billburg Bar

……………231 20th Street……………….  When Anthony Billburg opened his new saloon at 231 20th Street in 1915, he called it the New Billburg, and touted it as the Longest Bar in the World.  Previously Billburg had operated a saloon nearby at 221 20th Street while the Bullfrog Buffet operated by Mack Glynn was at 231.  The … [ Continued

Bethany Home, former Gilpin Moore House

Bethany Home, former Gilpin Moore House ………………..3518 5th Avenue……………. For nearly forty years, Bethany Home was located in this magnificent mansion just south of Rock Island’s Fifth Avenue near 36th Street.  The beginning of Bethany is traced to an infant abandoned in Gottlieb H. German’s woodshed. German, who was a harness maker for the Rock … [ Continued

House at 1601 25th Street

  Postcards had appeal for both hometown residents and tourists.  Postcards made it easy for people to send a familiar or exotic image to their friends, accompanied by a short note in the space provided on the front and/or back of the card.  Popular Rock Island cards usually featured parks, scenic views, riverboats, or downtown … [ Continued

Sylvan Bridge

…….Mississippi River at 24th Street……. Rock Island grew from a village to a city because of a bridge – the first railroad bridge to cross the Mississippi River in 1853. We remain a community of bridges: big bridges, small bridges, old bridges, new bridges, fancy bridges, plain bridges. And there is one bridge that we … [ Continued

New Modern Woodmen Building

1701 First Avenue The Modern Woodmen of America (MWA) fraternal life insurance company of Rock Island has an uncommon longevity. It has been in business since 1883, and has been an anchor in downtown Rock Island for over 110 years. Always it has occupied a building of outstanding architectural merit. The first MWA home in … [ Continued

Lincoln Park Davenport Fountain

Near 39th Street & 11th Avenue Two unused Real Photo postcards from Shannon Hall’s collection show different perspectives of a fountain which once stood near the north side of Rock Island’s Lincoln Park.  They complement the colorized postcard that is featured here.  The close-up view has a handwritten date of 1939, when the Davenport Memorial … [ Continued

Fort Armstrong Hotel

1900 Third Avenue The new Fort Armstrong Hotel at the corner of 19th Street and 3rd Avenue received major coverage in the Seventy-fifth Anniversary edition of the Rock Island Argus, on December 31, 1925. “No other factor in recent years has served more to exercise the spirit of community cooperation in Rock Island than the … [ Continued

Eugene Field School

7th Avenue at 28th Street The Eugene Field School depicted on the circa 1905 postcard published by the Rock Island Postcard Co. bears no resemblance to the present Rock Island school of that name. This school, known as P.S. No. 5, reportedly cost $11,000 when it was built in 1890 to serve the 5th Ward. … [ Continued