Business & Commercial

Fort Armstrong Theatre (Circa 21)

Third Avenue & 19th Street Its given name was the “Fort Armstrong Theatre” and it was called the “Castle That Shadows Built.”  The shadows, of course, referred to the silent … [ Continued

First Brick Building in Rock Island

209 15th Street When this postcard, captioned “First Brick Building Erected in Rock Island About the Year 1840,” was published in the early 1900s, the historic store building was still … [ Continued

Second Avenue West from 18th Street

Second Avenue is the undisputed heart of downtown Rock Island, both historically and today. It has been the destination of shoppers, tipplers, and travelers, of salesmen, milliners, attorneys and blacksmiths. … [ Continued

Mill Store

300-02 Fourth Avenue  The Mill Store, featured on this postcard, notes that it contains drygoods, shoe, and grocery departments.   In city directories, the Mill Store also indicated that it sold … [ Continued

Family Theatre (Peter Fries Building)

1903-05 Second Avenue  In 1902, a fine new building went up just across the street from downtown’s beautiful Spencer Square. Located at 1903-05 Second Avenue, it was named for its … [ Continued

Elks Club Building (Blue Cat Brew Pub)

111 – 115 18th Street  Rock Island Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge No. 980 was organized on June 26, 1905, with B. F. Knox serving as exalted ruler.  … [ Continued

Illinois Theatre

1600 Second Avenue Rock Island never lacked culture.  That was demonstrated in 1901 when a plan to build a new theatre that had been promoted by the Rock Island Club … [ Continued

First National Bank

Second Avenue & 17th Street  There was a time, not so long ago, when nearly every town, large and small, had its own bank. It was a bank where decisions … [ Continued