Arnoff and Lou’s Relics celebrate 100 years in business

One corner of one room at the fully stocked Lou’s Relics.

Judith O’Hara Balfe

Arnoff and Lou’s Relics celebrate 100 years in business

MILLERTON — Arnoff Moving and Storage plans to celebrate its 100th birthday by breaking ground for a new building at its location on Millerton road in spring of this year.

Currently, Arnoff is being handled by the fifth generation of Arnoffs — Daniel, brother Craig and cousin Nicholas.

With a full fleet of almost 200 trailer trucks and 650,000 square feet of storage space spread across Poughkeepsie, Malta, Millerton and Lakeville, the business has come a long way since 1924, when it began with one truck, an office and a warehouse in Lakeville.

But Arnoff’s story began even before that — back in 1917.

Molly Arnoff emigrated from Russia to New Haven, Connecticut, in the early 1900s, when she fell in love with a property at 345 Millerton Road.

She packed up her family, including her son Louis, and her belongings, and moved to what was, at the time, a comparatively rustic scene: the outskirts of Lakeville.

On arriving at her new home, she found that the previous owners had left behind all of their furnishings, so she moved the former owners’ belongings to the barn, along with her three cows.

When people came to welcome her to the neighborhood, she offered them the chance to buy some of the things stored in the barn.

Louis, when he got a little older, founded a moving business in 1924: one warehouse, one truck, and a little peddling business on the side.

The cows were sold and the barn began to be filled with a objects and household goods that Lou collected through his business; when people moved, they often left things behind, or sold them cheap.

These items were placed in the barn and offered for sale, and in short order Lou became known as a dealer who offered good quality at fair prices.

Lou’s Relics still stands: Today there are about 10 rooms filled with an unbelievable number of objects for sale.

When Lou married a lady named Marion, they lived in Lakeville and their business grew. They had a son, Richard, who eventually took over the business, expanding it even more.

Then Richard married Phyllis, and they had two sons, Marc and Michael. Lou and Marion moved to Florida, but every summer they returned to the Lakeville property to sell antiques and other items from the barn. Both businesses grew with the family.

When his parents died, Richard took over barn duties, and Lou’s Relics lived on. Richard grew that business as well, and with help from Doug Hall, who has been with Lou’s Relics for more than 40 years, has continued to collect and sell antiques and collectibles.

All this time, the family has also been growing their moving and storage business, offering full service in both the moving and storage areas in the Hudson Valley, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida and other states and places besides.

Each of the last five generations have been involved in some way. Family policy dictates that when an Arnoff finishes their schooling, they spend a year working for another company in the field. They see how others work, get an understanding of policy, and bring fresh ideas back to Arnoff.

Their motto remains, “Let Our Family Move Your Family.”

Arnoff building and facility, 5979 Elm Ave., Millerton. Judith O’Hara Balfe

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