Grant School

11th Avenue & 7th Street Back to school!  September is a time for beginnings, traditionally with youngsters bearing cedar-scented Ticonderoga No. 2’s and new Goldenrod yellow-sheeted tablets beginning new school year in a new grade, with a new teacher. While year-round – or nearly year-round — school means less free time in summer, there is … [ Continued

Alleman High School

1103 40th Street Alleman High School, shown on this vintage Real Photo postcard from Shannon Hall’s collection, opened its doors in September of 1949.  Enrollment that first year was just under 600 students.   How fortunate they were to attend school in this beautiful Italian Renaissance style building! The main entrance doors to the school open … [ Continued

House on the Hill – Weyerhaeuser House

3052 10th Avenue Today’s “House on the Hill,” as this mansion is known, is one of the most intact historic homes in Rock Island.  It was owned by one family for most of its life and, subsequently, by Augustana College, which has been a loving custodian for over fifty years.   The featured postcard, dating from … [ Continued

Rock Island’s 1902 High School

21st Street & 6th Avenue From the earliest days, there were schools in the tiny settlement that would become Rock Island, but they were private and usually quite small. Academic courses offered in the 1840s ranged from astronomy to ornamental sewing.  Tuition was charged and educational standards were inconsistent. A free public school system was … [ Continued

Old Main – Augustana College

Seventh Avenue looking Southeast Thanks to George Henning for lending today’s Real Photo postcard of an Augustana College scene.  The view is from Rock Island’s 7th Avenue looking southeast toward 38th Street.  The central feature of the postcard is Augustana’s cherished Old Main and behind it is the first building on the college campus. Augustana … [ Continued

Longfellow School

7th Avenue at 41st Street In the 1890s, E. H. Guyer promoted a new city linking Rock Island and Moline that he called Keystone. Although that dream city of 60,000, complete with its own court house, city hall, post office, depot, and theater never developed, the area did grow, as did the neighborhood school, now … [ Continued

Washington School

SW Corner of 3rd Avenue and 13th Street The full history of Rock Island’s Washington School — the grade school, not the junior high on 18th Avenue that we know today – is obscure.  It was located on the southwest corner of 3rd Avenue and 13th Street.  Our postcard, which was mailed in 1913, shows … [ Continued

Bear Manufacturing – Automotive Safety Service School

21st Street & 5th Avenue  The Happy Bear—that’s what they called the impish critter who was the mascot and logo for the Bear Manufacturing Company a business which opened in Rock Island and stayed on for a long run.  The founders of Bear were brothers Will and Henry Damman, who invented an electric starter for … [ Continued