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Moving Firm Rolls To State Milestone

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MOVING OUT — This old photo shows H.B. Godfrey, right, moving things out of the old U.S. post office at Main and Catherine in Ann Arbor, in 1904.

Moving firm rolls to state milestone

By Pamela Klein

An Ann Arbor moving company celebrates its 100th year in business during 1981, one of the few firms in the state to have achieved that record.

Godfrey Moving & Storage Co., 2420 S. Industrial Highway, has gone through many changes since the firm was founded in the fall of 1881, according to current President Tom Lapinski.

Founder Charles E. Godfrey started the business in his downtown Ann Arbor home and later moved the company to a building on North Fourth Avenue. That structure, still known as the Godfrey Building, was enlarged through the years to accommodate the company’s expansion into the storage and warehouse business.

CHARLES’ SON, H.B. Godfrey, took over operation of the business from 1930 to 1956, when it was purchased by Ann Arbor resident Frank Clark. The business was moved to its South Industrial location in 1968, Lapinski said.

Compared to the 1890s, when the company used about 15 horse-drawn wagons to do its moving, Godfrey now operates 21 trailers and employs an average of 35 workers during the year, Lapinski said.

From a 10,000-square-foot structure, Godfrey now has more than 50,000 square feet of space used to store everything from military equipment or parts to art objects to computers, he added. As a moving company, the firm has shipped all those items and more, including a 10-foot boa constrictor, Lapinski said.

GODFREY MOVING & Storage will host an open house to celebrate its 100th year in business sometime this summer, he added. The Michigan Historical Society has said the firm is one of the few in the state to be in business for 100 consecutive years.