Rock Island High School

1400 25th Avenue  The fireworks on July 4, 1858, were more spectacular than ever.  Crowds gathered in Union (later Spencer) Square for the display were startled to see flames shooting from their brand new high school, burning it to the ground before it could even be occupied.  Only two years earlier, five separate school districts … [ Continued

Villa de Chantal East Library

2001 16th Avenue  This ornate room, identified as the East Library in the featured postcard, is located at the top of the stairs at the main entrance to Rock Island’s Villa de Chantal.  As the Real Photo postcard, from Shannon Hall’s collection shows, the room features highly decorated Gothic arches resting on Corinthian columns. There … [ Continued

Hawthorne School

700 Third Avenue The first Public School No. 1 that served Rock Island’s first ward was a simple two-room frame building.  Even before our school board was organized in 1857, it stood on the south side of Third Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets.  Population growth soon resulted in the addition of a third room.   … [ Continued

Denkmann Memorial Library – Augustana College

3520 7th Avenue The Augustana College campus holds many historic architectural treasures.   One of its premier buildings is the Denkmann Memorial Library.  In January of 1909, the seven children of the late Frederick Denkmann and his wife, Anna Bloedel Denkmann announced their gift of $100,000 to fund a library at the college as a memorial … [ 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

“Old” Lincoln School

7th Avenue at 22nd Street Looking much as it did when constructed in 1894, “Old” Lincoln School stood at the corner of 7th Avenue and 22nd Street until 2012.  It that era, each Rock Island ward had its own grammar school.  Ward 4 was served by P.S. No. 4, as Lincoln was called originally, although … [ 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