Albion Interactive History / People / David Trine

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / People

David Lewis Trine, 1857
    Died July 31. 1939

Builders +

The Trine family was well known for bricklaying and plastering jobs during the first few decades of this century, and worked on countless homes and businesses in Albion. The father, David Lewis Trine, was a mason by trade. Born June 21, 1857, in Manchester, Maryland, he came to Michigan in November 1879, and lived in the Springport area before moving to Albion in the late 1880s. He died July 31, 1939.

David’s son Clarence Trine (1882-1956) learned the mason a plastering trade from his father. Clarence first learned how to do stucco work at a job in Eaton Rapids. A page from the Trine family history records the details:

There was a man in Eaton Rapids who wanted a stucco house and he wanted Lewis Trine to do the stucco work. They had never done it before. This mad from Eaton Rapids hired a man from Detroit to come and show the Trines how to do stucco. He thought a great deal of Lewis Trine and his work. The Trines were one of the very few that could do stucco, cement work, plastering, lay brick, and lay block and tile. (Trine family History, AHS archives)

Clarence was known for his plastering skills, stucco work, kellastoning, and fireplace building. In his later years he worked at the Albion Malleable Iron Company.

The Trines plastered countless Albion homes and businesses. Some of the businesses and institutions include Starr Commonwealth buildings, Bullen’s Big Busy Store (kellastone project, 1921), Dean home (now Bellemont Manor (1926), Albion College gymnasium (1922), Parker Inn (1925), Bohm Theatre (1926), Sheldon Memorial Hospital (1924), Union Steel Products Co. (office building, 1919), Michigan Central Railroad freight house (1927), Albion City Hall (1921-1935), and they also worked on the retaining wall along the Kalamazoo River during the 1930’s. The Trines worked on the homes of such prominent Albion personalities as Earl Caines (Dr. L.M. Henderson, Henry Wochholz, Joseph Baldwin, Dr. E.L. Parmeter, Archer Young, Homer Pennell, Michael Dubina, Austin Bitney, George Dean, Mayor Norman H. Weiner, Dr. Phillip Henderson, Karl Hart, John Marshall, Harry Richards, and others.

The Trines were also involved in projects throughout Michigan. They laid the tile in the lobby of the state capitol building in Lansing, worked on the Lansing Reo Olds automobile plant, and worked on the Michigan Central freight house in Detroit. The Trines (Lewis, Clarence, clyde, Dayton, Floyd, and Leon) had done some $750,000 worth of work and materials in jobs by 1926. Two readily visible evidences of the Trine’s work in Albion are the kellastone on the old Bullen’s store (Brockway Block), and the two brick piers at the entranceway to Sunnyside Court, built by Clarence Trine. The tile on the house at 1232 Jackson Street was laid by Clarence Trine. It looks like brick, but is actually tile.

Regarding Clarence Trine’s accuracy, and entry in the Trine family history states “He measured up aschool house in Petoskey, and when they got the job done, he had one-half a bag of plaster too much.”

The Trines were active members of the Albion Local No.10 of the Bricklayers, Masons, and Plasterers Union, which was formed on August 11, 1911. International Union was disbanded in July 1931, as the Great Depression was taking its toll on building projects in Albion.

Source: Frank Passic. Homestead Savings and Loan and the Builders of Albion: One Hundred Years of Service, 1889-1989. Albion, MI: Homestead Savings and Loan Association. 1988.

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