Postcards From Home

Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Depot

Foot of 17th Street NOTE:  The pictured postcard is not the one originally featured with this article. From its earliest days, Rock Island was a city of railroads.   With the railroads came their stations or depots, both for freight and passengers.   The earliest stations were modest, utilitarian structures, but later ones were notable for their … [ Continued

Beth Israel Synagogue

2128-30 Third Avenue This stately building on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street usually arouses curiosity.   Although now it’s a sports bar, it still evokes its religious past as Beth Israel Synagogue.  Comparison of its appearance today with that on the early 1900s postcard shows many changes, yet much of its original style … [ Continued

Wagner House

904 23rd Street Postcards of houses are not easily found.  And when they are found, the pictured house is often unidentified or  has been demolished.  Relatively few house postcards were published, probably because most folks preferred sending a postcard of a public building rather than a private dwelling.  Only homes which could attract enough interest, … [ Continued

Spencer Square, Part 2

2nd -3rd Avenues; 19th -20th Streets An earlier article told the first half of the story of Spencer Square in downtown Rock Island — how the square block between 19th and 20th Streets and Second and Third Avenues was given to the city for public use, and how it was converted from a weedy swamp … [ Continued

Schocker Paper Company

1918 First Avenue It is quite a lovely building, this home of Schocker Paper Company.  You could easily imagine it today, converted to apartments, with wide windows overlooking Rock Island’s riverfront from First Avenue. But in 1914, when this postcard was mailed, the riverfront was strictly industrial with little pretense at beauty.  Looking through the … [ Continued

Rock Island County Courthouse

3rd Avenue and 15th Street What a beautiful courthouse!  This postcard, from Dr. Mark Buckrop, never fails to elicit oohs and ahhs when people see it for the first time.   Then the question is, “But what happened to it?”  Rock Island County was officially established in 1833 and Stephenson, as the city of Rock Island … [ Continued

FAREWELL – Night Scene Second Avenue

Second Avenue, East from 17th Street “Arrived in Rock Island today. This is near our hotel and the train station.” It is a typical message for this enduringly popular postcard scene where 17th Street meets Second Avenue as it bends to follow the river in downtown Rock Island.  Here, the camera has captured a long … [ Continued

Mississippi River Scene

Shannon Hall’s extensive postcard collection is the source of this postcard captioned, “Mississippi River, Rock Island, Illinois.”   It was created by Detroit Publishing Company, which operated from about 1895 to the mid 1930s.  That company sent photographers all over the world and also bought negatives from other photographers.  It published not only postcards, but also … [ Continued