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."
140 Tremont Street
Toy Shops • Creative Playthings • Fashion Fabrics
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
Shoe Salon • Children's Shoes • Lingerie • Negligees • Corsets • Men's Gift Boutique
Draperies • Linens • Closet Shop • Embroidery • Junior Shop • Young Juniors
Sportswear Centre • Misses' Dresses • Women's Dresses • Cum Laude Junior Shop
Children's Shops • Boys' • Girls' • Infants' • Children's Accessories • Cum Laude Sportswear Shop
Town Shops • Coat Salon • Suit Salon • Longwood Shop • Fur Salon • Half Size Coats and Suits
China Shop • Silver Gallery • Crystal Corner • Glassware
Gift Rooms Gift Shop • Lamps • Pictures • Mirrors • '76 shop • Artist Craftsmen • Antique Galleries
Beauty Salon • Fur Storage
Employee Dining Room
55 Boylston Street
South Shore Plaza
42,000 sq. ft.
Northshore Shopping Center
52,000 sq. ft.
12,000 Sq. Ft.
74 Central Street
12,000 Sq. Ft.
Coming in due course.
My family used to own Sterns.
My Grandfather James Nelson and his best friend Bob Maynard bought the store in the late 20's.
I have two dolls I know nothing about. I’m not sure if you would have any info on the year they were made I’m interested. I have Pictures I can send to your email. If you have any knowledge please respond. Thanks Carla MacloudDelete
Hi, Jim. I worked at Stearns during the mid to late 1960's and loved it! At one point, my office was across the hall from Mr. Maynard's and I remember him well. He was a gentleman, tended to by his devoted secretary (whose name I'm unable to remember). Once a year, someone sent him a floral arrangement of exotic, tropical flowers which she placed outside his door so we could all enjoy them. The employees were wonderful. There was nice camaraderie with Filene's and Jordan's and I'm still in touch with some. The customer and the service extended to them was probably unmatched then and is definitely a thing of the past now. Sigh. Nancy Conrad SeagerDelete
the Stearns in chestnut hill became bloomingdales...the stearns in wellsely became filenesReplyDelete
I have postcards of every RH Stearns Branch.ReplyDelete
The picture you are showing as Northshore store is really the South Shore Plaza store
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.ReplyDelete
Thanks . . . BAK
I WORKED THERE AS A YOUNG MAN . MY BOSS WAS A MR BROWN . WAS A GREAT PLACE TO LEARN RETAIL. I MET MY WIFE THERE.THE PLACE HAS LOTS OF MEMORIES
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 antiqueReplyDelete
Hello I will gladly send you copies of the post cards if you give me an e mail addressReplyDelete
Hello-please send to firstname.lastname@example.org; please post another comment here as well, so I can remove this address as soon as possible.ReplyDelete
Thank you very kindly for your interest & help!
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 themReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
When Bloomingdales opened it all changed. More boutiquey and closed in. Became Macy's and now it is closed and empty.
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!ReplyDelete
they just tore the Chesnuthill store down!!!ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
I still remember RH Stern in south shore plaza in 1960s and 1970aReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
Well that is just about the sweetest and most romantic story I have ever read! Thank you for sharing it.Delete
Thank you for shaaring this fabulous story . . . it is the stuff could make an enormously endearing movie script, in my opinion!ReplyDelete
Best wishes and God's blessings to you both!
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.ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
I'd like to ask, if you have an R.H.Stearns paper bag, could you possibly photograph it and send it to email@example.com? 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.ReplyDelete
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?ReplyDelete
It is not the same company, R.H. Stearns was only located in the Boston area.ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
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??ReplyDelete
When did Stearns at SSP close?
R.H.Stearn's was located at the north end of the South Shore Plaza next to the former Filene's. It closed when the company closed in January 1978. All Filene's had to do was knock down the wall between the two stores to expand, and that's what they did creating Filene's The Men's Store in that area. Now the entire Filene's Store is a Macy's Store.Delete
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.ReplyDelete
My first job was as a stockboy in the Wellesley store. I still have my uniform shirt.ReplyDelete
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 firstname.lastname@example.org no I'm no an antiques appraiser....I appraise real estate....so I am in the dark with this. ThanksReplyDelete
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?ReplyDelete
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. email@example.comReplyDelete
I found one of these also. It is a beautiful little piece of an early credit form.ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
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!ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
I have an old boxfrom RH Sterns along with a charge coin from the early 1900'sReplyDelete
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 :)ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
Hello! I have a question about the merchandise that was sold at the store. Would any of y'all know if they sold ivory at any point in the stores history? I ask because I found a trinket labeled as such in a box with this stores logo.ReplyDelete
My mother worked in the hair salon in the late 50s and 60s. I love to see the building whenever I venture into Boston.ReplyDelete
Hello there, I was popping in to hopefully find some information!ReplyDelete
My fiance came home with a find today, she got her hands on a vintage Harris Tweed sport coat, with Garbycroft and RH Stearns tags. As far as I can tell, Garbycroft survived from '49-'70s, and RH Stearns was probably where it was sold? Does anyone know anything at all? The coat is in magnificient shape, with all the tags still on it, including the in-pocket papers with classifying numbers. Please email me if you know anything, or want to see a photo of the coat for help. warnhammer@Gmail.com
Hello, I'm wondering if anyone may have some information about any of the Nativity Scenes, or Creech, that was sold at R.H. Stearns.I was born in 1979 and It was originally bought by my 3x Grandmother in the Boston store. It's in the original box tied with it's original string. Some of the pieces say "Made In Germany" on the bottom, 1 or 2 say "Made in China", and the rest, most of the people, have been painted over on the bottoms. Please email me if you know any history about these or would like to see photos of any particular piece or it set up as the Nativity Scene. Any help or interest is appreciated. firstname.lastname@example.orgReplyDelete
My great aunt Hulda Lambert worked at the downtown Boston store for almost 40 years. The store ended in the middle 1970's when the store was bought...the retirement fund was robbed by the new owners, as well as the first floor ceiling chandelier was stolen. It was made by Waterford crystal and it was recovered at Logan airport. I do have a couple of early RH sterns items in storage...metal charge cards, etc..ReplyDelete
I worked with Hulda! We were great friends despite the difference in age (it was my first job in Boston, second job ever). When she went out on sick leave for a while, I filled in for her on the small signs she printed. I remember her fondly. I didn't know that about the chandelier.Delete
At a rummage sale,I found three RH Stearns plates from their centennial in the 1940s. They have different Boston scenes, and I've discovered they were part of a set of 8. I've now found the rest of the set online and enjoy using them. I went to Stearns regularly with my mother in the 50s. Such an elegant store - we both loved it - and the plates are a great reminder when we dressed up, took the trolley to the subway, and emerged right in front of RH Stearns. Also loved going next door to Bailey's for a hot fudge sundae!ReplyDelete
Ah, Bailey's! Back when they knew how hot fudge sundaes were made. That fudge, dripping on the plate below! As decadent as a sundae should be.Delete
I have a beautiful fur coat made by RH Stearns. I found it at used clothing store. I love it so much and was so pleased to find it.ReplyDelete
I have a Vogue sewing pattern purchased by my great aunt at RH Stearns in 1965. She never sewed it up, and there's the original carbon copy receipt inside!ReplyDelete
Worked as an assistant mgr first in Pebody then in Chestnut hill. I have fond memories of the managers I worked with,particuarly Jack Mcguire. He had over thirty years of experience with the company as did many oth er senior managers. Jack still holds a place in my heart as one of the best bosses I have ever had, and I had quite a few. Sterns was a quality company that employees were proud to work for. I left after a corporate raider bought the company for cheap and watched as he sucked the life force and assets out of the business. I only had a couple of face to faces with the guy and he was a real piece of work, and I'm holding back my opinion. I was glad to leave,seeing the writing on the wall for the companie's future. For what it's worth, my whole life in customer service has been grounded on what I absorbed from working at RH Sterns.ReplyDelete