Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
Trelfa Photographic Collection, 1886-1920

Finding aid created by
Marian Matyn, Dana Fey

Summary Information
Title: Trelfa Photographic Collection, 1886-1920
Creator: Trelfa, Fred R., 1886-1979.
Inclusive dates: 1886-1920
Extent: 0.50 cubic feet (in 1 boxes)
Photographic materials collected by the Trelfas, documenting a wide range of Michigan and national people, places and events.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:


Access Restrictions:

Trelfa Photograph Collection is open for research.


Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Trelfa Photograph Collection, 1886-1920, Folder #, Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


The collection is divided into six series, organized by accession number and order of donation.


Fred R. Trelfa, born April 9, 1886 in Strathroy (Ontario), moved to Alpena, Michigan, in 1895. He had a brother, Tom C. Trelfa, of Detroit. On September 16, 1914, Fred married Mable C. Hagen. She died on August 19, 1974, after 60 years of marriage. They had two children, Mable and Richard T.

Fred R. Trelfa attended public schools until 1902 when he began working with the Alpena City Water Co. He worked for Holmes & Kelsey Wholesale Grocery Co. from 1905 to 1908 and at Alpena County Savings Bank from 1908 to 1919, as a bookkeeper and bond teller. In 1919, Fred R. Trelfa began work at Fletcher Paper Co., from which he retired in 1959 as secretary-treasurer and director of the company.

Fred R. Trelfa was active in school organizations, the Masons, and historical societies. He was a community leader interested in preserving Alpena’s history, including hundreds of photographs and manuscripts that he collected and organized. Numerous paper and photographic collections documenting Alpena, Michigan, and Michigan history were donated to the Clarke by the Trelfa brothers.

On March 27, 1979 Fred R. Trelfa, age 92, died in Alpena. (This information is from Fred’s obituary.)

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection, 6.25 cubic feet (in 14 boxes) 1849-1925, and undated, was donated over a period of time by one or both of the Trelfa brothers and is divided into six series. The series were established by accession number and topic matter. For a more detailed listing see the Box and Folder Listing. Overall the collection is in good physical condition.

Series 4 consists of 0.50 cubic ft. (in 1 box), Acc#3073, Crowe Glass Negatives. The collection consists of 92 glass-plate negatives #1-96, undated, circa 1913-1916. Most of the plate measure 5x7 inches. Topics include views of Alpena, Crescent Island, Grand Lake, Presque Isle Bay, Misery Bay, Whitefish Point, Hubbard Lake, Fort Mackinac, Thunder Bay Island, Sulpher Island, and Partridge Point, streets, buildings, a circus, parade, elephant, cage, clown, animals, boats, swimming, river, Iroquois Hotel, and homes.

Subject Terms

    • Trelfa, Fred R., 1886-1979.
    • Trelfa, Tom C.
    • Crocker, Esli K.
    • Circus--History--19th century.
    • Lighthouses--Michigan.
    • Lifesaving stations--Michigan.
    • Spanish-American War,1898--History.
    • Hot Springs National Park (Ark.)
    • Mississippi River.
    • Alpena (Mich.)--History.
    • Rapid City (Mich.)--History.
    • Presque Isle County (Mich.)--History.
    • Thunder Bay (Mich.)--History.
    • Mackinac Island (Mich.)--History.
    • Hubbard Lake (Mich.)--History.
    • Island Lake (Mich.)--History.
    • Grand Lake (Mich.)--History.
    • Washington, D.C.--History.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Trelfa Collection, Series 4 (Accession#3073, Trelfa Collection Series 4 - Crowe Glass Negatives) [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Glass-plate negatives, Alpena, people, creek, buildings, bridges, dam, river, Alkali (8), 1913-1916
    Box   1 F   2
    Glass-plate negatives, Alpena, buildings, businesses, boats, trains, people, fields, camp, tents, streets (8), 1914-1916, undated
    Box   1 F   3
    Glass-plate negatives, Alpena, camp, soldiers, circus (8), 1913-1914, undated
    Box   1 F   4
    Glass-plate negatives, Alpena, circus, people (8), undated
    Box   1 F   5
    Glass-plate negatives, Alpena, circus, parade, camp, nest, gull (8), 1914, undated
    Box   1 F   6
    Glass-plate negatives, Alpena, egg hatching, lighthouse, lakes, ravine, roads, boulder, Misery Bay (8), 1914-1915, undated
    Box   1 F   7
    Glass-plate negatives, Alpena, people, buildings, Whitefish Point, parade, Fourth of July, clowns (8), 1915, undated
    Box   1 F   8
    Glass-plate negatives, Alpena, Fourth of July, parade, streets, people, Hubbard Lake, homes, boats (8), 1916, undated
    Box   1 F   9
    Glass-plate negatives, Alpena, Fort Mackinac, boats, Thunder Bay Island, people, buildings, lake Hubbard, Presque Isle, Sulpher Island (8), 1914-1916, undated
    Box   1 F   10
    Glass-plate negatives, Alpena, camp, boats, tents (8), 1913-1914, undated
    Box   1 F   11
    Glass-plate negatives, Alpena, camp, people, river, dam (8), undated
    Box   1 F   12
    Glass-plate negatives, Fort Mackinac, Mackinac Island, people (5), undated