Quarry House History

Joseph J. Fredella was an Italian mason who immigrated to the United States in 1901. After WWI he started mining limestone at 138 Upper Platt Street in Glens Falls and Queensbury. By 1912 Fredella had established a successful construction firm in Glens Falls, where he built several commercial and civic structures. Fredella made his reputation as a highway contractor, constructing and paving the first state highways into the Adirondack region during the period between 1920 and 1930.

Among his successful Glens Falls construction projects, Joseph Fredella built modest concrete houses for Italian immigrant quarry workers along Lime Street (the present Fredella Avenue) between 1914 and 1918. The houses of the now Fredella Avenue Historic District housed quarry workers and were embellished with details and finishes achieved by means of concrete cast in iron molds to resemble smooth or rock-faced stone. The Great Depression slowed road construction for which much of the quarried material had been used. In 1932 just after the depression, JJ Fredella's 15 acre rock quarry was shut down.

Douglass Crockwell, a commercial artist, moved into 245 Sanford Street with his wife, Margaret, a Glens Falls native and fellow artist, in 1933, the year after his first cover for the Saturday Evening Post. The Crockwells began acquiring all the land around them to stop the development of what was going to be called Hunter Heights. In 1953, they successfully filed an njunction to stop any further mining of the old Quarry site.  The Crockwells eventually owned 160 acres on the east side of Glens Falls and neighbors used to call it the “Crockwell Farm”.  They eventually donated the Crockwell pond, across from their house, to ACC (now SUNY Adirondack) and the property nearby to create the former Glens Falls Tennis and Swim club.

William Brender, MD, an artist and plastic surgeon, bought 245 Sanford Street with 6 acres in 1987. In 2007, he built a home on the limestone ledge behind the house. The finding of quartz crystals in the limestone encouraged him to acquire the old Fredella Quarry property and eventually the remaining Crockwell land on the east side of Glens Falls and Queensbury. He established the Quarry House as a spirituality and meeting place. In 2018 he renovated the art studio space and created the Sound Room and Multifunction Room. The Quarry House Retreat is dedicated to building community, embracing nature, and celebrating life. His goal is to create a community of spiritual minded individuals who want to recover from our technology induced dis-ease by "forest bathing" (aka hiking through the woods), group meditation," sound healing" (singing bowl sound immersion, chanting and dance), nature-based essential oils and healthy nutrition.

The wetlands Dr. Brender owns around the Swim and Tennis court will be donated to create the East Sanford Street Wetlands park with the cooperation of the City of Glens Falls, Town of Queensbury and the County of Warren. The old Swim and Tennis Court building will become a Nature Education Center.  Hiking, bicycling, walking your dog and enjoying nature is just one way to heal our community and attract like minded people.

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