Public Buildings

Rock Island House (Ann Goldman Building)

17th Street & Second Avenue  This Real Photo postcard from Shannon Hall’s collection is postmarked 1914 and captioned “Opening of the 1600 block, Rock Island, Illinois.”  The prominent “R I House” sign atop the building at the left reveals that the camera is looking west on Second Avenue with the Rock Island House hotel and … [ Continued

Rock Island Lines Depot

3031 Fifth Avenue It took nearly fifty years for Rock Island to get a passenger depot worthy of the city’s status as the founding home of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad.  As late as 1900, when the eastbound freight switchyards of the Rock Island Line, as the railroad was commonly called, were moved … [ Continued


500 20th Street  Sometimes a building becomes so familiar to us that we don’t really notice it anymore.  That may well be the case of Rock Island’s Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) building shown on this circa 1915 postcard from Shannon Hall.  It covered 12,000 square feet at the southwest corner of 20th Street and … [ Continued

Eagle Building F. O. E.

The Rock Island Aerie 956 of the Fraternal Order of Eagles was organized in 1905 with only 133 members.  For the first three years, meetings were held at one of the large upstairs meeting halls that were common in downtown commercial buildings.  Finally, in 1908, the Eagles paid $8000 for the first home of their … [ Continued

John Looney Riot

16th Street at Third Avenue  This column has often featured rare Real Photo postcards from the early 1900s.  Such postcards provide uncommon and unaltered views of historic Rock Island.  Their rarity is due to the process by which they were created: Each postcard was individually printed using a negative and photographic paper.  This method is … [ Continued

Hollywood Supper Club

1825 Second Avenue The Hollywood Supper Club, under the ownership of Woodrow “Woody” Cather, was a landmark in downtown Rock Island for thirty years from the 1930s to the 1960s.  Mr. Cather’s pride shows – he published at least two postcards featuring his night spot.   The first, from Shannon Hall’s collection, dates from the early … [ Continued

Modern Woodmen of America Headquarters (County Office Building)

1504 3rd Avenue  The intersection of 15th Street and Third Avenue was a hubbub of building activity in the late 1890s.  Within a two month period in early 1897, a $112,000, 60-room Rock Island County courthouse and a new Memorial Christian Church opposite it were dedicated. Almost exactly a year later, a ceremony was held … [ Continued

Rock Island Savings Bank

Third Avenue & 18th Street  The Rock Island Savings Bank was brand new when this postcard was mailed in 1911—so new, in fact, that instead of using a photo as a basis for the card, a drawing of the bank was used.  The rendering allowed the publisher to make the building appear much larger as … [ Continued