R. H. Stearns Co., Boston, Massachusetts

Though founded in 1845, the more
familiar home of R. H. Stearns on
the Boston Common was built in
The interior of the long, narrow
store was palatial in character
as befits as flush as Stearns.
The 10-story emporium graced the
corner of Tremont Street at Temple
Place across from the Common.
The tall, narrow building towered over
the green spaces of the Common.
"Conveniently Opposite Park
Street Subway Station."

R. H. Stearns Company
140 Tremont Street
Boston, Massachusetts

HUbbard 2-0260

Toy Shops • Creative Playthings • Fashion Fabrics

Street Floor
Jewelry • Toilet Goods • Cosmetics • Hosiery • Handbags • Leathers • Gloves • Neckwear • Blouses • Sweater Bar  Lingerie • Hat Bar • Notions • Stationery • Candy  Cashier's Desk
Men's Shop Men's Furnishings • Men's Shirts

Second Floor
Shoe Salon • Children's Shoes • Lingerie • Negligees • Corsets • Men's Gift Boutique

Third Floor
Draperies  Linens • Closet Shop  Embroidery • Junior Shop • Young Juniors

Fourth Floor
Sportswear Centre   Misses' Dresses • Women's Dresses • Cum Laude Junior Shop

Fifth Floor
Children's Shops • Boys' • Girls' • Infants' • Children's Accessories • Cum Laude Sportswear Shop

Sixth Floor
Town Shops • Coat Salon • Suit Salon • Longwood Shop • Fur Salon • Half Size Coats and Suits

Seventh Floor
China Shop • Silver Gallery  Crystal Corner  Glassware
Gift Rooms Gift Shop  Lamps  Pictures  Mirrors • '76 shop  Artist Craftsmen  Antique Galleries

Eighth Floor

Ninth Floor

Tenth Floor
Beauty Salon  Fur Storage

Eleventh Floor
Employee Dining Room

Chestnut Hill 
55 Boylston Street

South Shore Plaza
November, 962
42,000 sq. ft.

Northshore Shopping Center
February, 1968
52,000 sq. ft.

Burlington Mall
July, 1968
12,000 Sq. Ft.

74 Central Street
12,000 Sq. Ft.

Coming in due course.


  1. Hi there.
    My family used to own Sterns.
    My Grandfather James Nelson and his best friend Bob Maynard bought the store in the late 20's.
    Jim Nelson

  2. the Stearns in chestnut hill became bloomingdales...the stearns in wellsely became filenes

  3. I have postcards of every RH Stearns Branch.
    The picture you are showing as Northshore store is really the South Shore Plaza store

  4. Would you be willing to share some of these images? I am quite confident that the Northshore illustration is indeed Northshore, but in the interest of accuracy, I'd like to see and present verified and correct images of the stores if possible.

    Thanks . . . BAK

  5. HI :


  6. HI,MY NAME IS ED AND I HAVE COME ACROSS A HAT FROM THE 1930-1940"s wondering if you have any documents or price line on this antique

  7. Hello I will gladly send you copies of the post cards if you give me an e mail address

  8. Hello-please send to bakgraphics@comcast.net; please post another comment here as well, so I can remove this address as soon as possible.

    Thank you very kindly for your interest & help!


  9. i have a pair of white leather gloves with pearl buttons that still have a price tag on them from r.h. stearns co. boston. $4.50 size,make,#'s and such are stamped on the inside but can't make it out. don't know what value if any they have or what to do with them

  10. I loved r.h. stearns. Does anyone remember Chestnut hill days? My favorite spot was the children's shoe department. Each chair was a different animal. As a child I always wanted to turn that store into a contemporary house. Loved the open escalator feel.

    When Bloomingdales opened it all changed. More boutiquey and closed in. Became Macy's and now it is closed and empty.
    Very sad.

  11. I worked at R.H. Stearns in chestnut Hill in the early 1970's. It was a beautiful open airy bldg facing the Chestnut Hill Pond. it had a large tailor department and a wonderful cafeteria. Great memories! Chestnut hill days were wonderful!

  12. they just tore the Chesnuthill store down!!!

  13. I remember the children's shoe department in Chestnut Hill with the animal chairs. And the cosmetics department with Pantene shampoo and conditioner, when Pantene was super-expensive and smelled amazing. And the Charles of the Ritz counter where they'd custom-blend loose powder.

  14. I still remember RH Stern in south shore plaza in 1960s and 1970a

  15. In 1958 I met a handsome sailor on the Boston Common. We went for a walk on Tremont St. I was having a sneezing attack from Hay Fever. My sailor friend went into RH Sterns and purchased a fancy lace hankie for me. I kept the hankie for over 50 years. We rediscovered each other in 2011 and just married this past April 2012. I gave him back the hankie. He couldn't believe I kept it all these years. The hankie is still in good shape and just as beautiful as the day he gave it to me.

  16. Thank you for shaaring this fabulous story . . . it is the stuff could make an enormously endearing movie script, in my opinion!

    Best wishes and God's blessings to you both!


  17. I have Found a hanger tag from RH Stearns The Bridal Shop, was this located in the main store or was it a branch? Just curious to know.

  18. I came across this page while looking up something else....what memories it brought back. My mother loved this store and I still remember every Tues.was special sale day. She was there every week. I know I have jewelry boxes and probably a bag or two still in my archives. I can still picture certain departments.

  19. I'd like to ask, if you have an R.H.Stearns paper bag, could you possibly photograph it and send it to bakgraphics@comcast.net? I would like to add it to the "Shopping Bag" section of The Museum. I will certainly be happy to give you credit for having done so.



  20. I have a doll cradle made by The Stearn Co. Euclid Ave Cleveland Oh is this the same company? I can't find any information on it and was wondering if anybody can help?

  21. It is not the same company, R.H. Stearns was only located in the Boston area.


  22. I worked at Stearns during my coop job experience at Northeastern University. I started circa 1956 as linen salesperson, millinery clerk and eventually as a "floor walker". I saw them open their Chestnut Hill Store and worked on and off part time for many years until I graduated. I remember the a fore mentioned Mr. Maynard when he was an old man and had many a chat with him.

  23. We have a gorgeous Skinner's Rayon Satin wedding dress with an R. H. Stearns Co. Boston label! The dress is probably from the 1940's, and I found your site while researching the label. What a fascinating story and history behind this regal-looking wedding gown! Take a look at this amazing gown: vintagewedding.com VWD 056.

  24. I own a fox fur stole from this store that my grandmother owned and wore very gently. It has the label and monogram lettering inside and is for sale for the right price.

  25. For some reason or another, the metal canopies over the two entrances USED to have R H Stearns cast in them on all three sides, but now the R and H's have all been removed, leaving only the Stearns. Completely unrelated, but I now work high above the Food Court in the former Gilchrist's building.


  26. Where was the Stearns at South Shore Plaza located? I think it was adjacent to the old Filene's (now Macy's)? And Filene's later expanded into that building??
    When did Stearns at SSP close?

  27. I used to purchase beautiful fabric in the lower level of Stearns in the 1970s. They had something called "Viyella" - I think it was a lightweight wool of some sort.

  28. My first job was as a stockboy in the Wellesley store. I still have my uniform shirt.

  29. I have a "charm" with the RH Stearns Co logo on the front and a 6 digit number ...... I was told used for credit purposes.....show the charm....charge your goods!....has anyone else found ne of these.....I found this in an antique shop in Western Mass for $5.....I have worn it since then....any history on it..if so....please send to me at paul@fisher-appraisal.com no I'm no an antiques appraiser....I appraise real estate....so I am in the dark with this. Thanks

  30. I've come across a postcard from R.H. Stearns in Braintree. It is in great condition and has a detachable side that's says "save this miniature for your scrapbook." Are you interested in it?

  31. I worked at RH Stearns from1973 until it closed in I think 1977...right through the Bankruptcy...everyone would scramble to the Province Bank because only so many Paychecks could be covered! I started in Fur Storage. It was my very first job. I worked with Miss Alice Benaglia and Mr.Barney-the furrier (tailor)..he looked like he was 100 years old! I later became an Asst. Buyer in various Depts. (RTW). I have so many wacky memories. If anyone ever watched "Are you being served?", it reminds me a lot of RHS. I left retail in 1980, but have had second jobs at different fine stores. RHS was the perfect training ground for what Customer Service should be. donnariep@hotmil.com

  32. I found one of these also. It is a beautiful little piece of an early credit form.

  33. I recently purchased two 100% Cashmere coats dating 50's - 60's in wonderful condition. I live in Newfoundland,Canada and all the rich fish merchants travelled to Boston regularly. I have recently collected quite a few items from different Boston stores.

  34. I worked at RH Stearns back in 1957 during the Christmas/Holiday season. I worked in the sign dept. on the lower floor next to the display dept. All the signs throughout the store, were hand done by the sign painter. I helped place them around the store in the different departments and the windows. Loved working in the windows with the display staff. I was working at the store,when they filmed "Home Before Dark". We all hoped we might be in the film. The filming took a long time..the end result was a glimpse of the store front!

  35. I have a lovely Irish linen tablecloth and matching napkins which retain their original retail store labels from R.H. Stearns Boston & Chestnut Hill. You can view them on ebay or Pinterest (2016) from ordinarie_antiques.

  36. I have an old boxfrom RH Sterns along with a charge coin from the early 1900's

  37. I have a 1950's men's black and red paisley robe from RH Stearns. It has never been worn! You can find it on Etsy by shopping at MoonlightMartini :)

  38. I loved RH Stearns, Boston store, from 40s on. The saleswomen were like aunts, used to call me Margaret because they were sure I looked just like Margaret O'Brien. I can't tell you how special they made me feel, can still picture them but have forgotten the names. I got honorable mention in their Margaret O'Brien look alike contest. So funny to think about now. I shopped there through my teen years and even as a married mom continued to buy clothes for myself and for our children. Bought Liberty of London fabric there, too. Wonderful store! My compliments to everyone who used to work there.

  39. I just bought a 1920's black velvet dress with the RH Stearns label on it. By the time I get done with the repairs it will look almost as good as it did when it was hanging on a rack in the women's dresses department on the 4th floor.


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