Friel Lumber Company observes 120th anniversary

CENTREVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners on Oct. 24 presented Friel Lumber Company representatives with a proclamation celebrating the company’s 120th anniversary.

The family-owned enterprise in Queenstown, overseeing both Friel Lumber and S.E.W. Friel’s Canning House, boasts five generations of the Friel family at the helm.

Founded in 1903 by Samuel Edward Whiting Friel, Friel Lumber initiated its journey as a lumber mill, operating several sawmills that produced construction lumber, railroad ties and veneer products such as fruit baskets.

The company’s diversified ventures led it into the canning industry in 1912, establishing the renowned Queenstown cannery.

Over the decades, Friel Lumber Company strategically expanded its presence in Queen Anne’s County by constructing additional warehouse facilities and a kitchen and bath showroom.

According to a news release, S.E.W. Friel has achieved the status of being the largest private label manufacturer of sweet corn in the nation, and the sole surviving cannery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

In the present day, Friel Lumber Company stands as one of Queen Anne’s County’s major employers with about 250 workers, most of whom are county residents.

To learn more about Friel Lumber Company, see


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