Business & Commercial



FAREWELL – Night Scene Second Avenue

Second Avenue, East from 17th Street “Arrived in Rock Island today. This is near our hotel and the train station.” It is a typical message for this enduringly popular postcard scene where 17th Street meets Second Avenue as it bends to follow the river in downtown Rock Island.  Here, the camera has captured a long … [ Continued



Central Trust & Savings Bank

230 18th Street In Rock Island’s early years, it seems that there was a bank (or two) at every downtown intersection. This postcard shows one of the finest bank buildings constructed in our area.  Even today, it looks a great deal as it did when it was built in 1914 on the northwest corner of … [ Continued



Masonic Temple

420 18th Street This circa 1915 postcard shows the Masonic Temple at the northwest corner of 18th Street and Fifth Avenue that had been built only two years earlier.  It looks the same today, with the only apparent changes being an added fire escape and a new lighted sign hung at the corner. The dream … [ Continued



Market Square

17th Street & 2nd Avenue One postcard story was about a 1906 view of the Market Square building decorated for the Farmers National Congress.  This is another postcard from the same era, but with a completely different view, that shows Market Square’s surroundings on 17th Street, looking south from Second to Third Avenues. In contrast … [ Continued



Lavelle Clothier

Second Avenue & 18th Street You might not believe it – but both of the buildings shown on today’s postcard are still standing on one of downtown Rock Island’s most prominent corners.  Yes, they have changed a bit.  But since today’s appearance was created between 1925 and 1950, the buildings are still considered historic. Thanks … [ Continued



Harms Hotel

18th Street at First Avenue There is another postcard on this website showing the inside of the Hotel Harms Tap Room.  This postcard shows the exterior of the hotel that once stood at the northwest corner of 18th Street and First Avenue.  It was built for – and named after – owner Lothar Harms.  Mr. … [ Continued



Clemann & Salzmann Fire

Ben Harper was one of Rock Island’s early leaders and entrepreneurs.   He came to Rock Island in 1850, at the age of 33.   By 1854, he was elected mayor, and he also served president of the Board of Education.  In 1870, he built the Harper House, a five-story luxury hotel with 100 rooms and elegant … [ Continued



Beardsley & Bailey Company

217 18th Street  Four men, two old, two younger, stand in a doorway marked 217.  The actual address was 217 18th Street, the home of the Beardsley & Bailey wholesale liquor business for years, and various other Beardsley enterprises for decades.  The men are likely the principals in Beardsley & Bailey. Beardsley refers to James … [ Continued