MOLINE -- Surrendering its funeral-home property so a new bridge can be built wasn't something the Trimble family of Moline wanted to do.
''It wasn't our first preference,'' said Eric Trimble, funeral director and president of Trimble Funeral and Cremation Centers, a family-owned and -operated business since 1874. ''But the state has given us the opportunity to give a really large gift to the Quad-Cities.''
The Trimbles plan to build a new, ''multi-faceted development'' at 701 12th St.in downtown Moline about nine blocks west of it where has been doing business -- at 601 21st St. -- since 1913. The new development, Trimble Pointe, will serve as home to Trimble Funeral and Cremation Center, Worry Free Cremation Care and Crematory, Veterans Funeral Care and Trimble Funeral Planning.
The north side of the new complex will be called CityView at Trimble Pointe and will be a fully licensed reception center with a panoramic view of the Mississippi River and a separate entrance and parking lot. CityView will offer client families and their guests an on-site, upscale venue for funeral luncheons and hospitality visitations, as well as be available to the community for meetings and celebrations.
The new complex is in an ideal location, said Mr. Trimble's son, Reid Trimble, funeral home manager, licensed funeral director and embalmer. ''It is directly accessible from the present and future 7th Avenue exits of Interstate 74, and it is in the exact center of the greater Quad-Cities metropolitan area. We will still be the closest funeral home to the Rock Island National Cemetery; there are 20 churches within a one-mile radius and we will remain ideally positioned to conveniently serve families on both sides of the river.''
Trimble Pointe will be built on the site of the former Irving School, which closed in 1973 and burned down in 1980, Eric Trimble said. The two-and-a-half acre site has sat unused since then, he said. He hopes footings of the new building will be finished before the first frost.
''We hope to be in the new building a year from now,'' Mr. Trimble added.
Mr. Trimble said the new building will be comparable in size to its current facility. ''But it will be highly more efficient and built specifically for its planned use,'' daughter Amy Trimble added.
Features will include a cafe, state-of-the-art digital screens and equipment for memorial tributes, an on-site crematory and an outdoor gazebo and scattering garden. ''It will make it possible to even have outdoor receptions,'' Mr. Trimble said.
"What families are looking for in a funeral home -- what they want and need -- is so different now than it was in years past,'' Reid Trimble said. ''The ways that families choose to remember loved ones and celebrate their lives have changed so much, even in the last five or so years.''
The entire family has been involved in the new building plans, according to Eric Trimble and his wife, Barbara.
''Working with the kids on this has been just great,'' he said. ''It's been an amazing experience. ... If it weren't for them, I wouldn't still be doing this. The kids are the fifth generation involved in the history of this business.''
The firm dates back to 1874, when it was opened on Rodman Avenue -- later to be known as River Drive -- by Edwin B. Knox, a Civil War veteran. It was known then as E.B. Knox Picture Framing and Undertaking.
Eric Trimble's parents, Dorothy and Riley Trimble, bought the business in 1945 from Luther Knox, Edwin Knox's son.
'"Trimble's has been a Moline staple for many years,'' Moline Mayor Don Welvaert said in a news release, ''and we are delighted they chose to stay in Moline.''
Today is Tuesday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2014. There are 106 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: A fine lumber mill is on the course of erection at Andalusia. A flouring mill at that location is doing a fine business. 1889 — 125 years ago: J.B. Lidders, past captain of Beardsley Camp, Sons of Veterans, returned from Paterson, N.Y., where he attended the National Sons of Veterans encampments. 1914 — 100 years ago: President Wilson announced that he had received from the imperial chancellor of Germany a noncommittal reply to his inquiry into a report that the emperor was willing to discuss terms of peace. 1939 — 75 years ago: Delegates at the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church in Springfield voted to raise the minimum pay of ministers so that every pastor would get at least $1,000 annually. 1964 — 50 years ago: An audience of more than 2,600 persons jammed into the Davenport RKO Orpheum theater with a shoe horn feasted on a Miller-Diller evening that was a killer night. Phyllis Diller sent the audience with her offbeat humor. And send them she did! It was Miss Diller's third appearance in the Quad-Cities area. 1989 — 25 years ago: A few years ago, a vacant lot on 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Rock Island was a community nuisance. Weeds grew as high 18 inches. Today, the lot has a new face, thanks to Michael and Sheila Rind and other neighbors who helped them turn it into a park three weeks ago.