Woman moves childhood home from Mattawan to Paw Paw

Posted at 6:08 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 19:11:19-05

PAW PAW, Mich. — People traveling in Van Buren County got to see a wide. slow-moving sight Thursday: a house blocking off some major roads for hours as it was moved from Mattawan to Paw Paw.

The home shut down traffic in both directions on Main Street, Red Arrow Highway and Hazen Street.

The 7.5-mile journey took about four hours as the truck hauling the home slowly crawled along at five miles per hour. A woman who grew up in the home says the 55-year-old house holds a special place in her heart.

“It was my mom and dad’s home, I grew up in it. I couldn’t thank all these people enough, we are so blessed to have them all out here making a dream come true and that we can continue making memories here in this home,” said Juanita Collier.

Collier says her family sold the house a while ago and that her prayers were answered when she was able to get it back at no cost before the owners of the property demolished it.

“They said 'if you want it you just have to have it moved and you can have it.' And they gave us the house and now we’re moving it to Paw Paw, where it will remain,” said Collier.

Moving the home required a big effort. The Van Buren County Sheriff's Office and Paw Paw police were on hand to make sure the move went smoothly. Crews had to move wires and traffic lights so the truck hauling the house could creep under them.

The homeowners wouldn't say how much they had to pay to move the home, only that it's cheaper than buying a new house. Not only did they have to pay the moving service, they had to pay Paw Paw police and the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office for traffic service and to help lift lines.

Police say the cost alone for lifting the street lights was $7,000.