Postcards From Home

New Armory

Much of the material in this story comes from “Rock Island’s Modernistic Architecture,” published by the Preservation Commission.  You can pick up a free copy at the downtown Rock Island library or at City Hall.  You can’t help but be impressed by its size.  It is huge — 232 feet long, 148 feet wide and … [ Continued

Parade & Stable on Third Avenue

Third Avenue West from 17th Street In 1908, Rock Island was home to the annual statewide conclave of the Knights Templar, a Masonic organization that claims roots in the Crusades.  The Knights began arriving on Monday, October 12.  The following morning at 11, an estimated 1200 to 1500 Knights marched through downtown and nearby residential … [ Continued

Teddy’s Day

Second Avenue East from 17th Street  This unused postcard from Shannon Hall’s collection shows a parade along Second Avenue, apparently celebrating a visit to Rock Island by President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.  Someone has even penciled in a 1909 date at the top.  All we had to do was find the occasion.  Mr. Roosevelt visited Rock … [ Continued

State Bank Building

Second Avenue & 17th Street Second Avenue and 17th Street north of Market Square has been home to a bank since the earliest days of Rock Island. The story owes much to “The First One Hundred Twenty-Seven Years,” a 1981 book by Lewis B. Wilson, who provides an excellent history of banking at this location.  … [ Continued

St. Joseph’s Church

14th Street & Second Avenue  St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, on the southwest corner of 14th Street and Second Avenue in Rock Island, shares a history with both the Presbyterian Church and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  The church and rectory, as they appeared in the early 1900s, are shown on the featured postcard from Shannon Hall’s … [ Continued

Rock Island Plow Company

Vicinity Second Avenue & 6th Street  This story begins about 1855.  For over a century, it was a roller coaster ride, climbing upward in good times with good-paying jobs, then hurtling down to hard times and unemployment.  But it was always exciting and newsworthy. This postcard from Richard Iverson’s collection shows the Rock Island Plow … [ Continued

Rock Island Public Library

19th Street & 4th Avenue Because this postcard is a “Real Photo,” it is an accurate representation of the Rock Island Public Library, which was built in 1903.   And although it’s nearly 100 years later, very few things have changed in this view of the building on the corner of 19th Street and 4th Avenue, … [ Continued

Potter House

1906 7th Avenue  This postcard shows the familiar home on 7th Avenue in Rock Island that was the home of one of the most prominent business women in Rock Island history, Minnie Potter.  Minnie was only 32 and a mother of 3 when her husband, J.W. Potter died in 1898.  When the Potter family sold … [ Continued