BLAKESLEE AND SON
In 1948, Clarence Blakeslee departed from the Waltz Hotz Blow Pipe Company to start a little company called Rockford Sheet Metal in the basement of his home. As business grew over the years there were several moves; Courtland Street to Bridge Street then to Main Street, which ended up eventually becoming the initial location of the Blakeslee Home Service Heating Company.
In order to get this new heating business off the ground, Clarence ordered an ultra-smart remodeling job to the front of the building. During this time, just appliances, lawn mowers, new kitchens, aluminum siding, and LP gas were being sold at the facility.
Eight years after establishing his company, Clarence became the President of the Grand Rapids Heating Association. At that time the small Blakeslee company had just ten employees, along with his two sons Rodd & Neil. The company installed about 150 heating plants per year.
Clarence was fortunate enough to grow his relationships in the West Michigan community to include individuals such as Gerald R. Ford Jr., who eventually became the 38th President of the United States.
In one letter dated July 30th, 1957, Gerald R. Ford stated:
Dear Mr. Blakeslee,
With great pleasure I read in the Grand Rapids Press that you have recently been re-elected President of the Grand Rapids Heating Association. I would like to take this opportunity to extend to you my sincere congratulations and to wish you and the other re-elected officers another successful and pleasant tenure.
With friendly personal regards,
I am Sincerely Gerald R. Ford, Jr., m.c.”
After experiencing a great deal of growth in the late 1970’s, the company was passed to the second generation and eldest son; Rodd Blakeslee.
In 1980, it was time for some changes which meant the building, equipment, and vehicles were all upgraded and the business became Blakeslee & Son, Inc.
Throughout the years, Blakeslee and Son has made a significant investment into the communities we serve. With active roles in area Chamber of Commerce events, the Rockford Parade and a number of other community activities, Blakeslee & Son, Inc. appreciates the opportunity to develop strong relationships with the communities we serve.
The team at Blakeslee & Son moved into their most recently building in 1998. This new building has allowed for a dramatic expansion of products and services. In addition to the new building, new service vehicles were purchased to provide a more efficient level of service to our valued clientele.
Blakeslee & Son, Inc. was passed along to the third generation when Rodd sold the business to Brian Lovall. Brian has worked his way up in the company from a “shop boy” to Master Plumber.
In 2010, Brian became the President of Blakeslee & Son, Inc. Under his leadership, the skilled team continues to find new ways to streamline services, grow product and service offerings as well as develop new ways of bringing value to our clients.