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Trombley House Floats to Park
by Gay McInerney

Trombley House 2008
October 21, 1981, was an important day for the Rotary Club of Bay City as representatives watched the Trombley/Centre House ply the waters of the Saginaw River aboard the barge "Helen" owned by William Stender Mal-Marine. The short but exciting journey marked a milestone in a lengthy project that involved the club, the Historical Society, and the Chamber of Commerce.

The project unfolded years earlier when Rotary President Kyle Haselden, Historical Society President Mary Smith, and Chamber President Frank Braman put together a plan that would preserve the very cornerstone of historic Bay City. This effort would require moving this significant structure from its location at 24th & Water Street to a new location in Veterans Memorial Park.

Gay McInerney
Member 1993 - 2006
Although the actual distance was not extensive, the necessary groundwork was. The initial project planning began in 1979. Planning required the participation of the City of Bay City, including the Crump Street "right-of-way closure" and site arrangements in Veterans Memorial Park.

Necessary funding was arranged by the Rotary club and the Kantzler Foundation, along with other assistance from the Historical Society, for the move. Laracey Brothers executed the move. An archeological excavation completed by Dr. Earl Prahl met additional preparation requirements of the State. The house was moved by William W. Stender Marine Contracting from the middlegrounds.

As a major Rotary project, moving the 146 year old historic Greek Revival Trombley House in 1981 was certainly spectacular. Haselden and other task force members were aboard the "Helen" as the barge moved slowly and cautiously down river through the open spans of the Lafayette Bridge and onto the pages of history.
Historical interpretation at the Trombley House - 2008

Rotary Club Resolution Supporting Trombley House
October 1, 1981

Whereas, the Rotary Club of Bay City has instructed a task force to pursue a project to secure Centre [Trombley] House, Bay City's original residence and business establishment, for the purpose of preserving said building for historic purposes, and

Whereas, said Trombley House may be used as an extension of the Bay County Museum System, and as a learning project in living history, and

Whereas, the Rotary Club by unanimous voice vote, agreed to pursue said project on a long-term basis as a gift to the community, and

Whereas, it now seems reasonable that through cooperative efforts with certain other community organizations, said project can be a reality,

Therefore, be it resolved, that the Rotary Club of Bay City does pledge $4,500 to the Trombley House Project to be matched by certain grants for the purpose of securing, renovating, preserving, and maintaining the Trombley House for the purposes outlined above, and as an extension of the Bay County Museum, with said funds to be committed only upon the certainty that pledges, permissions, and systems for said project can be assured. Resolution to be in effect for length of option.