St. Pius X Church

31st Avenue at 24th Street From the air, it looks like a child’s snow angel.  From street level it is surprising delicate, with its pleated roof and many stained glass windows that belie the massive concrete and steel construction.  Rock Island’s St. Pius X Catholic church, shown on today’s postcard from Shannon Hall, is located … [ Continued

Christian Science Church 23rd Street

829 23rd Street (817 23rd Street) The Christian Science religion started by Mary Baker Eddy in Boston is of fairly recent origin.  The official founding of the church as we know it today was in 1892.   In 1894, the “Mother Church,” designed by noted Chicago architect Solomon S. Beman, was built in Boston. The Quad … [ Continued

United Presbyterian / Wayman AME Church

Third Avenue & 14th  Street  This is one of a series of postcards depicting local churches that was published by the Rock Island Postcard Company early in the twentieth century.  It shows what may be Rock Island’s oldest remaining church building, certainly the oldest recognizable one.  It was built in 1873 on the southwest corner … [ Continued

Downtown, Looking Southeast

Once again, thanks are due to Shannon Hall for lending us a most intriguing Real Photo postcard of the buildings and rooftops of downtown Rock Island.  The presence of certain buildings and the absence of others let us date this photograph to about 1909.  The photographer was likely atop the roof of the brand new … [ Continued

Zion Lutheran Church (St. John’s)

4501 7th Avenue Zion Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church – the name is a real tongue twister, especially considering that its founders’ native tongue was Swedish.  The congregation was formed in 1891, breaking off from Grace Lutheran church a block to the west.  The differences were not religious – both churches were members of the Augustana … [ Continued

First Church of Christ, Scientist (Karpeles Museum)

700 22nd Street This postcard shows a building that doesn’t look like a typical church – no steeple, bell tower or figural stained glass windows – but it is characteristic of Christian Science churches throughout the world.  The first Christian Science Church, the Mother Church, was built in Boston in 1894 and enlarged in 1906 … [ Continued

Buford Mansion, Word of Life Church

When wealthy Kentuckian Charles Buford brought his wife, Lucy Marshall Buford, and their ten children to Rock Island in 1853, he didn’t waste any time.  They had come from near Lexington, Kentucky, an area known as the “Athens of the West.”  They immediately purchased a large brick home that still stands and is now the … [ Continued

Broadway Presbyterian Church

700 23rd Street In the early days of Stephenson, as Rock Island was then known, there was a single Presbyterian congregation, which didn’t even have its own church building.  By 1837, slavery issues divided the congregation into two groups.  One calling itself First Presbyterian built a new church just west of the courthouse. A bit … [ Continued