About Us – Friel’s History
Friel Lumber Company was established in 1903 by Mr. S.E.W. Friel. The company operated a number of sawmills in the area manufacturing construction lumber, railroad ties, and veneer products such as fruit baskets. During the rapid railroad expansion in the 1920s, Friel Lumber shipped railroad ties by the carload throughout the east coast. In the mid-1930’s, Friel Lumber discontinued all its manufacturing plants and solely became a retail building materials supplier.
In 1923, James R. Friel and in 1926, S.E.W. Friel Jr. (both sons of the founder) joined the company. They eventually became owners in 1941 after the passing of their father (S.E.W. Friel). The current owner James R. Friel Jr. joined the company in 1964 and became a partner in 1968. Throughout the next several decades, Friel Lumber maintained steady growth in the eastern shore town of Queenstown. Mr. James R. Friel passed away in 1983, just as Queen Anne’s County began to see the growth that continues today. This spawned a similar growth spurt in Friel Lumber company.
In 1988, Friel opened the largest and most complete Kitchen and Bath Showroom in the area. In 1996, a new 10,000 sq. ft. hardware store was added to the existing Kitchen and Bath Showroom. And in 1999, a 12,000 sq. ft. drive-through warehouse was added, the first of its kind in Queen Anne’s County.
We sadly mourned the passing of Mr. S.E.W. Friel Jr. in 2000.
In 2003, Friel added another 16,000 sq.ft. warehouse as well as three 150 foot covered lumber sheds to protect our lumber from the elements. This growth continued, as in April 2012, when we opened our new Kitchen & Bath cabinet showroom in Chester, Maryland. We also completed an extensive remodel or our hardware store plus added a new Millwork showroom at our Queenstown location.
Friel Lumber Company remains a family-owned business. James R. Friel Jr. is joined each day by his sons James R. Friel III, and Robert Friel. All reside in Queen Anne’s County, as they have their entire lives.
Friel Lumber Company Mission Statement
Since 1903, our mission has been to provide quality materials with exceptional customer service at a fair price. One of the best things about us is that we continually strive to achieve that goal. Our expert sales staff has an average of 15 years of experience in the building materials industry. We specialize in material packages of all sizes. We provide custom plans specifically for your project, or you can provide your own.
Our expertise and guidance can help your project go smoothly and be completed on time. We will do everything in our power to keep your project on track and assure your total satisfaction. We know our goals have been achieved when you send a friend or family member to us, recommending them to us because of how happy you are with your project.
Proud Member of LMC
Lumbermens Merchandising Corporation (LMC) is the largest Forest Products and Building Materials Buying Group in the USA. Friel Lumber is recognized as “Building On Service Dealers,” an exclusive network of independent lumberyard companies who own LMC. As an owner of LMC, Friel Lumber Company is among the most competitive, progressive, and outstanding independent suppliers in the industry. This allows us to provide our customers with the quality products and solutions of big business and still stay part of our local community.
We have direct access to unlimited products with top suppliers in the industry. LMC Members are said to have the strength of “Billions of Dollars in Buying Power” with the total organization supporting them. Ultimately, our customers are our most important focus, so being able to provide them with better products is important to us.