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Postcards From Home



Sawmill Fire

26th Street near Mississippi River The special midnight edition of The Argus headlined, “Worst Fire in City’s History Involves Loss of Over $500,000.”  The aftermath of that fire is shown on today’s Real Photo postcard from the Special Collections at Augustana College.   On the reverse, the sender wrote that the fire was a “couple of … [ Continued



St. Pius X Church

31st Avenue at 24th Street From the air, it looks like a child’s snow angel.  From street level it is surprising delicate, with its pleated roof and many stained glass windows that belie the massive concrete and steel construction.  Rock Island’s St. Pius X Catholic church, shown on today’s postcard from Shannon Hall, is located … [ 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



House at 1019-1021 21st Street

1019 21st Street, Rock Island, Illlinois There’s a wealth of local history in Augustana College Library’s Special Collections.  That’s where we found this rare “real photo” postcard, dating from about 1910.  It shows a double house, a side-by-side duplex, located at 1019-1021 21st Street in Rock Island.   The double house style is surprisingly common in … [ Continued



Christian Science Church 23rd Street

829 23rd Street (817 23rd Street) The Christian Science religion started by Mary Baker Eddy in Boston is of fairly recent origin.  The official founding of the church as we know it today was in 1892.   In 1894, the “Mother Church,” designed by noted Chicago architect Solomon S. Beman, was built in Boston. The Quad … [ Continued



Gustafson & Hayes

1714-16 Second Avenue Of course you have seen these buildings in downtown Rock Island. You can easily find them.  You don’t even need to look up their locations in early 1900s City Directories.  You even realize they won’t look exactly the same today.  Not only can you expect to see today’s new businesses, but the … [ Continued



Harms Hotel Tap Room

18th Street at First Avenue  Before we explain our postcard today, we must tell you a bit about Rock Island’s Hotel Harms. In the near future we will give the hotel that opened in 1902 and once stood on the southwest corner of 18th Street and First Avenue a column all its own. The hotel … [ Continued



Hickey Brothers Store Number Five

Third Avenue & 18th Street  There’s an old saying, “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”   In the case of the Hickey Brothers Cigar Stores, it took only a single generation to found the business, manage its glorious expansion, and be devastated by its final bankruptcy. Two young Hickey brothers, William, 17, and John, 12, sold … [ Continued


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