The History of Frear Park

A description of the site in 1989 -

“…the land is tolerably well wooded, the views from its elevation are magnificent, embracing in their broad sweep the Valley of the Hudson for many miles north and south, and in the far distance the Catskills and the Adirondacks.”


Frear Park was donated by the family of William H. Frear in June, 1917, Wright Lake and Bradley Lake, located in the park were named for members of the Frear Family. The Frear Family was originally from France where the name was as Frere. The Frere’s moved to England to escape prosecutions, where the spelling of the name was changed to Frear. The family was founded in the United States by Joseph Frear, Grandfather of William H. Frear of Troy, New York.


At the time of the land donation, the Frear Family required that the land be: 1. Forever dedicated for public use and be named “Frear Park”. 2. That Frear Avenue be created and thus named. 3. That the Frear Family be allowed to construct the gateway that now marks the entrance of that park at Oakwood Avenue. 4. That the Fountain be preserved.


Additional land was deeded to the city by the Frear Family in 1922. 20 additional acres were given by Jennie Vanderhayden the following year, bringing the total area at the time to 190 acres. The Fountain was completed in January, 1924 and the Pavilion at Fifteenth Street and Frear Avenue was finished in 1925. The Arcadia Building, now used as Maintenance Facility, was opened in 1925 with a Formal Dance. The structure is made from brick and houses 2 stone fireplaces.


The Golf Course was completed in the Spring of 1931, as a 9-Hole Course, and expanded in 1964 to 18 Holes. The Frear Park Municipal Golf Course was named the Upper Valley Winner for best golf course by Hudson Valley Magazine in 2003. The Clubhouse, known today as “Park Pub Catering & Restaurant” was constructed during 1935, with an addition being added in the 1980’s, and most recently and outside deck.


The most recent of the structures, an Ice Hockey Rink, which was constructed around 1980. Today, the 150+ acre park also offers; Tennis, Softball Fields, a Playground and Picnic Facilities. Along with walkways and beautiful landscaped areas, the Frear name is still renowned in Troy today, as it was then, as many people shopped or worked at “Frear’s Troy Cash Bazaar”, in the early and middle 1900’s. In visiting downtown Troy, people will still see the name of the store engraved at the top of the building, located on the corner of Fulton and 3rd Street. The Park Pub wants to Welcome You to sit and enjoy Frear Park, and its entire beauty, as the Frear Family envisioned it to be.

Information gathered from the following websites:

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