Public Buildings

New Post Office – Federal Building

19th – 20th Streets; 2nd – 3rd Avenues Postcards from Home typically tells about buildings a century or so old. Too often, the subject has been demolished leaving only pictures to document its existence. Even when a building is still standing, its current appearance often is different from the postcard illustration. Today’s postcard from the … [ Continued

Old Rock Island Post Office

Second Avenue & 16th Street Rock Island had a post office before we even had a town.  Starting in 1825, Colonel George Davenport’s small trading post on the island was where the small amount of mail was received and sent.   Col. Davenport’s commission reportedly appointed him postmaster of Rock Island, Missouri.  By 1834, the first … [ Continued

“New” City Hall

 This 1945 postcard, published for Hickey Brothers Cigar Stores, shows the beautiful new Art Deco style building on the corner of 16th Street and Third Avenue that was dedicated in 1941, as a home for City Hall and the Police Department. This corner had been the site of city government for decades, as the city … [ 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

Rock Island County Courthouse

3rd Avenue and 15th Street What a beautiful courthouse!  This postcard, from Dr. Mark Buckrop, never fails to elicit oohs and ahhs when people see it for the first time.   Then the question is, “But what happened to it?”  Rock Island County was officially established in 1833 and Stephenson, as the city of Rock Island … [ Continued

Harms Hotel

18th Street at First Avenue There is another postcard on this website showing the inside of the Hotel Harms Tap Room.  This postcard shows the exterior of the hotel that once stood at the northwest corner of 18th Street and First Avenue.  It was built for – and named after – owner Lothar Harms.  Mr. … [ Continued

Views of Rock Island, Illinois

 This postcard was an inexpensive production.  The publisher simply compiled miniature black-and-white versions of other Rock Island postcards.  One can assume this was a bargain for the purchaser as well, who received ten different pictures for the price of a single postcard.  The selection indicates which buildings and structures were considered interesting, important or salable … [ Continued

Harper House Hotel

2nd Avenue & 19th Street It opened to wide acclaim with an elaborate banquet in February 1871.  And according to an 1877 County Directory,  “One of the oldest residents of Davenport, a citizen whose interests are in that city, said ‘The Harper House is a better advertisement for Rock Island than three times the money … [ Continued