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

Villa de Chantal

16th Avenue at 21st Street  The Villa de Chantal, pictured in this circa 1912 postcard, served as a Catholic boarding and day school from 1901 to 1978.  It was the vision of an order of cloistered nuns known as the Sisters of the Visitation who came to Rock Island from Kentucky, bringing with them a … [ Continued

St. Mary’s School & Convent

5th Avenue & 22nd Street  St. Mary’s, the oldest Catholic Church in Rock Island County, celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 2001.  Founded in 1851 by Rev. George Alleman, it was initially known as St. James, but the name was changed to St. Mary’s about 24 years later.  The current church building was constructed in 1862, … [ Continued

Memorial Christian Church

Third Avenue at 15th Street Memorial Christian Church owes a great deal to the Mitchell family.  Its patriarch, Philemon Mitchell, came from Kentucky to Rock Island with his friend Philander Cable in 1856. They traveled by train, carrying the incredible cash amount of $80,000 with which they intended to buy a bank.  They were successful … [ Continued

Immanuel Lutheran School and Hall

Fifth Avenue West of 20th Street As you near the 20th Street and 5th Avenue intersection, the tall sculpted towers of Immanuel Lutheran Church immediately capture your eyes.  Just to the west of the church is its 1912 parsonage, and, next to that, is the site of the historic Lutheran School and Hall.  We thank … [ Continued

Edgewood Baptist Church

5th Avenue at 44th Street  This isl the tale of a little Rock Island church that, like a young child, just couldn’t sit still.  The story begins on December 3, 1905, when a new Baptist congregation with 41 charter members was organized to serve eastern Rock Island and western Moline.  A few days later, a … [ Continued

Memorial Heights Methodist Church

18th Avenue at 38th Street This Real Photo postcard of Memorial Heights Methodist Church is much newer than most postcards we write about.   Although we found it in the Special Collections at the Augustana College Library, it was originally mailed in 1959 by Don Wright with the message, “Your photos are in.”   Mr. Wright operated … [ Continued

St. Mary’s Church & Parsonage

2208 Fourth Avenue This rare postcard from Shannon Hall’s collection shows St. Mary’s Church and Parsonage as it appeared about 1910.  The church, initially known as St. James, was established in 1851 by missionary priest Rev. George Alleman.   During that year, construction of a modest church on 4th Avenue and 22nd Street (or Rock River … [ Continued