Postcards From Home

Modern Woodmen Publications Building

318 16th Street  This postcard shows the Publication Building of Modern Woodmen of America (MWA) that, for 75 years, was located at 318 16th Street right, behind the current Rock Island Police Station. MWA moved to Rock Island from upriver in Fulton in 1897 and shortly thereafter constructed their first building here, a Home Office … [ Continued

First Methodist Episcopal Church

5th Avenue & 19th Street Around 1830, John Spencer received a deed from the United States government for a large tract of land, containing what is now downtown Rock Island.  He then built a log cabin for his family just south of what is now 6th Avenue and 19th Street. The Spencer family was Methodist, … [ Continued

Memorial Park Cemetery

30th Street & Blackhawk Road  The acres just east of Rock Island’s 30th Street and north of Blackhawk Road overlooking the Rock River valley look like a park.  Nearly a thousand years ago, the mound-building Woodland predecessors of the Sauk and Mesquakie Indians recognized the beauty there when they created a resting place for their … [ Continued

Fort Armstrong Theatre (Circa 21)

Third Avenue & 19th Street Its given name was the “Fort Armstrong Theatre” and it was called the “Castle That Shadows Built.”  The shadows, of course, referred to the silent movies that were shown there.  Later it was named simply “The Fort.”  Now it is “Circa 21,” named for 1921, the year the theatre first … [ Continued

First Brick Building in Rock Island

209 15th Street When this postcard, captioned “First Brick Building Erected in Rock Island About the Year 1840,” was published in the early 1900s, the historic store building was still a point of pride.  Greg Binder shared this postcard, but the picture has been reproduced many times over the years, even though the building is … [ Continued

Denkmann Memorial Library – Augustana College

3520 7th Avenue The Augustana College campus holds many historic architectural treasures.   One of its premier buildings is the Denkmann Memorial Library.  In January of 1909, the seven children of the late Frederick Denkmann and his wife, Anna Bloedel Denkmann announced their gift of $100,000 to fund a library at the college as a memorial … [ Continued

Car Barn Ruins – June 2, 1913

5th Avenue & 35th Street   Bolts of lightening followed by deafening detonations struck to the heart of Rock Island in the wee hours of Sunday, June 1, 1913.  A fire ensued, quickly destroying the Tri-City Railway Company car barns on 5th Avenue near 35th Street.   This Real Photo postcard from the Augustana College Library Special … [ Continued

Street View – 7th Avenue at 42nd Street

There was no caption on this Real Photo postcard found in the Augustana College Library Special Collections, but someone had handwritten a notation: “44th Street and 7th Avenue.”  Further investigation found the postcard scene was actually showing the southeast corner of 42nd Street and 7th Avenue, right across from today’s Longfellow School.  The school property … [ Continued