This description of a home located on Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is part of a series on the unique housing found on the installation. Information was provided by a joint effort the History Office of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command and the Welcome Club at Rock Island Arsenal.
Building 81 replaced an old wooden structure which served as the Union Army hospital. It contained a dispensary, an emergency treatment room and the surgeon’s office, and was the living quarters for the hospital steward.
On the first floor was the surgical room, two offices and the pharmacy. It has 10-foot ceilings and hardwood floors. Now only the dining room and a small kitchen dining area have wood floors. All the other rooms are tiled or carpeted.
The medical ward, dental room, squad room and veterinarian’s laboratory and offices were located on the second floor. Now, this area is divided into four bedrooms, each 15 feet square. The ceilings are 9 feet, 6 inches high.
The basement contained the diet kitchens, supply and stock room, and the drug room, and also functioned as the morgue. It has eight-foot ceilings. A Dutch door on the supply room and the framework of a huge cabinet from the drug room remain in the house.
The home has no fireplaces; it was built with a central heating system and originally was heated by the main boiler plant which heated all the stone shop buildings on the Arsenal.
After World War II the house was converted into Quarters 34. Given the history of this home, it is not surprising that several past occupants have experienced paranormal activity.