Our family & company’s history…
Video Transcript: Hi, I’m Barbara Harmer, Credit Manager at Matthews and Fields.
I’d like to share with you a bit of our family’s history – and the history of our company.
The Matthews family, Isaac and Sylvia, emigrated from England to Canada in the late 1800’s. They were part of a large number of Englishmen and women who came to tame the wild country of Canada…
The family originally settled in Montreal and lost no time becoming expert builders of docks and cargo facilities. Their hard work helped grow their newly adopted country’s shipping commerce.
They moved on to Lake Ontario and continued their work of developing waterfront infrastructure for the shipping industry. There was plenty of work because at that time ships were the 18 wheelers of the day!
The family settled in Lakeport, near Colburg, Ontario. Their business prospered and their family grew. One of her son’s, Alonzo, sailed and traded railroad ties and lumber used in farming to ports around Lake Ontario. In 1890 the schooner, “The Robert MacDonald” was built in Picton, Ontario. The ship measured 70 feet in length and 19 feet in breadth. Alonzo captained the ship and continued trading lumber from Canada for agricultural products.
Alonzo brought his family to the Port of Charlotte here in Rochester to spend the winter. They liked the lively atmosphere in Charlotte and decided to stay. They lived on River Street in Charlotte and kept the lumber on a lot near the Genesee River. Later they built a house at 3841 Lake Avenue. From here they delivered lumber by horse-drawn cart.
Pamela Matthews, daughter of Alonzo, married Leslie Fields in 1920. Leslie became a major contributor to the business along with Lena Matthews, her sister. The women of the family were resourceful – and tough! Once a nail salesman came to the Lumber yard on Stonewood Avenue asking to see Mr. Matthews. Lena sternly stated that she was Miss Matthews and he should be talking to her!
Leslie & Pamela’s two sons, Jack & Donald, expanded the business by building a new store and lumberyard in Henrietta in 1960. All the buildings were erected that winter by Matthews & Fields employees.
They also created a new truss plant onsite, which has been a very successful venture – and of great service to contractors over the years. .. Jack Field’s engineering background also led to innovations in machining doors and routing stair stringers.
Today the company is managed by Jack’s children, John Fields and me, and Donald’s sons, Scott Fields and Douglas Fields. We are happy and proud to be a part of this family and its company’s heritage. We’ve been in business over a hundred and fifteen years serving our community. We’d like to invite contractors, remodelers, and homeowners to learn more about us here on this website – or by visiting either of our two stores.
Matthews & Fields: where our customers are our neighbors…
About us Today
Since 1896 Matthews & Fields Lumber Company has earned a solid reputation as the leading supplier of top quality lumber, mill work and building materials to builders and homeowners. We have earned this reputation through our dedication and ability to serve the professional contractor. We are known for our honesty and hard-work ethic. Our mandate is to not only meet but to exceed out customers’ needs and expectations by providing top quality merchandise, responsive, friendly, and professional customer service.
We currently operate from: Greece on the north and west side of Rochester and Henrietta on the south and east side of Rochester.
Matthews & Fields has a staff of over 60 qualified professionals, we are here to help you get the job done first time, every time. People are our number one asset. We are proud of our history and place in our community. The majority of our employees and customers have been with us for many years. These commitments come from our pledge to provide unparalleled personal service and outstanding performance at a competitive price.
We value our relationships. Our desire is to have an opportunity to earn your business and have you as a life-long customer. Please visit us today. We can make a difference in your business…