Business & Commercial

Modern Woodmen of America Interior

1504 3rd Avenue The next time you go to the Rock Island County Building, make it a point to go through the main entrance near the west end of the building. As soon as you are inside the building, stop and look up. Odds are you’ve never noticed the elaborately paneled wood ceiling in the … [ Continued

Rock Island House Café

Second Avenue & 16th Street They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this picture postcard does indeed tell its own story.  The postcard from Shannon Hall’s collection shows the small café in the Rock Island House hotel as it appeared after 1910.  Because such postcards with interior views are uncommon, they imply … [ Continued

Model T Touring Car – Rock Island to California

Second Avenue & 14th Street  Sometimes there’s a postcard that allows our imagination to play.  This is one such card.  It was hard to identify, but there were clues.  First, the sign hanging on the building says “Brown’s Business College.”  Then there were the words someone had scrawled on the back of the unaddressed and … [ Continued

Twentieth Street South from Third Avenue

This circa 1910 postcard is identified only as “20th Street, Rock Island, Ill.”  But 20th Street is long – how could we identify the photo more precisely?  Since these are obviously commercial buildings, the geographical area was limited to downtown.  And noting all the awnings, it was apparent that these buildings had to face either … [ Continued

Tri City Railway Car Barns

3448 Fifth Avenue They were known as street railways, and the streetcars that followed those rails were much like a train, except they were only one car long.  For forty years they created a steel network that extended well outside of our major city limits. One could hop on a streetcar in Rock Island and … [ Continued

Odd Fellows Building

1716-18 Fourth Avenue  On October 10, 1912, the International Order of Odd Fellows, UCAL Lodge #608, gathered at 1716-18 Fourth Avenue to lay the cornerstone for their new $50,000 building.  In January of that year, when the building was still in the planning stage, it had been reported that it would cost only $20,000. Odd … [ Continued

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

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