In the late 1800’s, a man by the name of Orville Gibson arrived in the town of Kalamazoo and began designing his own range of mandolins. Through the 1900’s, his company - the Gibson Guitar Corporation - grew to become one of the world’s premier musical instrument manufacturers. From 1917 until they left Kalamazoo in 1984, some of the world's finest guitars were built in the now legendary factory at 225 Parsons Street.
Not long after, a few former senior employees decided they wanted to continue the tradition of handcrafting beautiful, high quality electric guitars in Kalamazoo. In the spring of 1985, they acquired space at the iconic factory, purchased a lot of the old original guitar-making equipment, and the rest is history.
Jim Deurloo, Marv Lamb, and JP Moats, the founders of Heritage, had a combined 84 years of guitar-building experience among them when the company began. In time, they added Bill Paige and Mike Korpak as co-owners. Mike left shortly after joining, but Jim, Marv, and Bill are still active in the daily business. Between the three, they hold over 160 years of knowledge that every day is passed along to the next generation of American luthiers.
Sadly, JP Moats passed away in September 2015. He was a wonderful man and skilled craftsman, and his legacy lives on at 225 Parsons Street.
The first guitar Heritage introduced was the H-140 solid body single cutaway electric guitar, which premiered at the 1985 NAMM show in New Orleans.
Over the years, Heritage has built a small array of various instruments, including banjos, mandolins, flat tops, and basses. However, with the demand for the guitars increasing, the company decided to focus exclusively on making the world’s greatest hollow, semi-hollow, and solid body electric guitars.
Details about our new line of guitars are on their way, and will be available soon on the website.
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Use the first letter of your Heritage guitar serial number to determine the year your Heritage was built.VIEW INDEX
Use the first letter of your Heritage guitar serial number to determine the year your Heritage was built, based on the following index:
Example: D12345, this instrument was built in 1987
For over a century, the factory at 225 Parsons Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan has been a destination for guitarists, music enthusiasts, historians, and anyone proud of a great American story. As Heritage embarks on a new chapter of this ongoing history, we hope you’ll join us to watch it unfold.
Due to renovation work on our building we are currently unable to host tours.
Tours will resume in the coming weeks. Please check back soon for more information.
Our handcrafted guitars are available direct from factory or through local, independent music shops that understand your needs, style, and the value of service.
Contact us and we’ll be happy to help you out.