Godfrey Moving and Storage
According to the 1906 Past and Present of Washtenaw County, Charles Godfrey moved here to work for the Ann Arbor Railroad. When he saw there was no chance for advancement, he took a horse and a dray (a heavy, flatbed cart) as payment for what the line owed him, and in 1881 started what would become Godfrey Moving and Storage.
Operating out of his house on Maiden Lane, he delivered freight, baggage, and machinery. By 1893, he was doing well enough that he and his wife, Harriet, were able to build a new brick house at 420 N. Fourth Ave. (now home to Legal Services of South Central Michigan). Behind the house, where Kerrytown's parking lot is now, were a barn for his horses and storage sheds for his drays and wagons; he slept in a back bedroom so he could hear if the horses became restless at night.
By the time the history was written in 1906, Godfrey had twenty horses and all kinds of wagons for heavy work. "He makes a specialty of weighty articles and furniture moving," it reported. At the start of each semester, Godfrey met incoming trains to move U-M students' trunks up the State Street hill to their new digs.