Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, March 16, 2008, pg. 11

Jean (Trine) Ralston recently sent me a photo of her father Clarence (1882-1956) Trineís family working at their masonry business. The Trine family was well know for their plastering, tile and brick laying jobs during the early 20th century. Through the years they worked on countless homes and businesses in Albion. The patriarch of the family, David Lewis Trine (1857-1939) was a stone mason by trade. He helped lay the first brick on Superior and Erie Sts. at the beginning of the 20th century. He also laid the foundations of numerous downtown Marshall buildings. Lewis as he was known, would walk 10 miles to Marshall to work 10 hours, and then would walk back to Albion at the end of the day. He taught his sons his skills, and the Trine & Sons firm (David Lewis, and sons: Clarence, Clyde, Dayton, Floyd, and Leon) was one of the very few which could to stucco, cement work, plastering, lay brick, and lay block and tile, according to a family history.

One lasting evidence of their work is the kellastone that was applied over the brick on the George Bullen Company building, now the building housing Sanderís Furniture on the NE corner of Superior & Erie Sts. Some of the other places the Trines worked at were Starr Commonwealth, the George Dean home (now Bellemont Manor) (1926), Albion College gymnasium (1922), Parker Inn (1925), Bohm Theatre (1926), Sheldon Memorial Hospital (1924), Albion City Hall (1933-35), and the Kalamazoo River retaining wall during the 1930s.

The Trines were also involved in projects throughout Michigan. They laid the tile in the lobby of the state capitol building in Lansing. By 1926, the Trines had done some $750,000 worth of work and materials.

From our Historical Notebook this week courtesy of Jean (Trine) Ralston and Jacquelyn (Trine) West is a photo circa 1910 showing the Trines at a bricklaying job. Notice they are all wearing white overall outfits. Left to right: Clyde, father David Lewis, Clarence holding a bricklayerís hod, and Floyd. Floyd soon after moved to Oregon. In back is Frank Bentley. How many of our readers remember the Trines?

The Trines at a bricklaying job circa 1910


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