Cain-Sloan Co., Nashville, Tennessee

Cain-Sloan Co.'s Church Street store
was built in 1957, across the street from
the original location, after the firm was
purchased by Allied Stores in 1956.

The Greatest Store of the Central South

Cain-Sloan Co. (1903)
501-17 Church Street at Fifth Avenue
Nashville, Tennessee

ALpine 5-4651

Cain-Sloan Budget Store • Basement Luncheonette • Post Ofice

Main Floor
Diamonds • Fine Jewelry • Jewelry • Gloves • Handbags • Leathergoods • Hosiery • Fashion Accessories • Neckwear • Hanky Bar • Hat Bar • Blouses • Main Floor Shoes •  Main Floor Sportswear • Toiletries • Cosmetics • Candy • Bakery • Stationery • Imagination Shop  • Books • Notions
Men's Store Men's Furnishings • Men's Sport Furnishings • Men's Clothing • University Shop • Men's Hats • Boys' Furnishings • Boys' Clothing

Men's Shoes • Cameras • Sporting Goods • Travel, Inc.

Second Floor
Misses' Sportswear • Dress Shop • Daytime and Casual Dresses • Budget Dresses • Better Dresses • Better Sportswear • VIllage Shop • Half-Size Dress Shop • Ladies' Suits • Ladies' Coats • Pacesetter for Misses • Young Couture • Harpeth Shop • Designer's Shop • Millinery Salon • Shoe Salon • Bridal Salon • Fur Salon • Lingerie • Foundations • Uniforms • 
Maternity Shop • Trim-a-Home Shop
Junior World Junior Dresses •  Junior Sportswear • Junior Coats • Pacesetter for Juniors

Third Floor
Fabrics • Art Needlework • Linens • Bedding • Bath Shop • Beauty Salon • Jean Sardou Studio • Personnel Office • Credit Office • Activity Room
Children's World Girls' Wear • Subteen Wear • Pizazz Shop • Children's Shoes • Toddlers' Wear • Infants' Wear • Nursery Furniture

Fourth Floor
China and Glassware • Crystal • Silver • Gifts • Decorative Accessories • Pictures • Mirrors • Lamps • Chandeliers • Housewares • Small Electrical Appliances • Casual Furniture • Cook-Out SsopGarden Shop • Music Center • Records • Television • Appliances • Vacuum Cleaners • Sewing Machines • Rugs • Carpets • Draperies • Sleep Shop • Furniture • The Iris Room
(346,000 s.f.)

Green Hills
Green Hills Village
Oct. 25, 1965
120,000 s.f.
The Steeplechase Room

Rivergate Mall
Aug. 2, 1971
150,000 s.f.
The Regatta Room

Hickory Hollow
I-24 at Bell Road
August 9, 1978
130,000 s.f.
Hickory Hollow Inn


  1. I can't wait to read about Cain-Sloan. Will you be featuring both Castner-Knott Co. and Harvey's, both of Nashville, as well as Miller's, Inc. of Knoxville and Miller Brothers of Chattanooga? These were some great stores!

  2. Where can we read more on the Cain-Sloan Department Stores and the owners? I am a descendant of the Cain's and trying to locate any of my relatives in Tennessee. Their younger sister, Donie Cain (my great grandmother) worked at one of their stores as a tailor before moving to Houston. She was married to Mel V. Simon. I remember her beautifully dressed and always with a hat and latest doubt her brothers influence in early Tennessee retail days. Thank you for any information.
    Rivers Hatchett Teske
    Westport, Connecticut

  3. How interesting! Most of my research is done in local libraries and online newspaper sources. As of now, there are not many Tennessee newspapers available online, hence the scarcity of information about Cain-Sloan. You could try perhaps as a first start - - it sounds like they moved a lot and it could help in that regard.

    Good luck!


  4. I hope you include Harvey's of Nashville. I remember as a child the zoo with live animals on each floor as you would ride the escalator. That would have been in the late 40s or early 50s.
    My husband remembers the large Laurmans Department Stores in Wisconsin, especially in


  5. I have several mechanical dioramas that were part of a group of 28 that were made for the Cain-Sloan Department Store as a Christmas display. Does anyone know of or remember this display? Or, may have photographs of the display. I would appreciate any information.

  6. We shopped there (downtown store) regularly when I was growing up in the 60s and I worked there for a while in the 70s. I converted to Catholicism in my 30s and was baptized by Father John Cain at St. Joseph's Church in Madison and he was a son of the founders (he was very old at the time I knew him, which was around 1990)

  7. I worked there when I was 16.
    Loved that store!!!

  8. My family shopped Cain-Sloan's downtown store back in the 1940 before I was born. I remember they carried top brands of clothing. I had my first charge account with them in my 20's. The Iris Room was a great place for lunch. I remember their delicious yeast rolls. My mother began working for them in the early 1970's and continued with the transition to Dillards until she retired in the late 1980's. I also remember how fantasticly they decorated the store for holidays. The Christmas decorations were not to be missed. Cain-Sloans is a wonderful memory for me.

    I would be curious to see your entries for Harvey's and Castner-Knotts.

    Thank you for this walk back in time.

  9. SPW-I worked as a waitress in The Iris Room at the downtown Cain-Sloan in 1975 I think. I was in my last year of college. I too remember going downtown at Christmas when I was young to see the beautiful decorations at Harvey's and Cain-Sloans. The Iris Room was a popular place for shoppers, attorney's and other downtown workers, The bread was baked there and made a great combo with soup and sandwich.

    1. Hi there, I remember eating down there when they would have fashion shows. I like there tuna salad and veggie soup. Do you have any recipes for this. Thank you mary

  10. I worked as an "extra" sales person from 1967-1972 at the downtown store. I loved working there! I'm trying to find out when the "new" downtown store was built. Anyone know?

  11. I have an original brass hanging light that was used inside the store.It was bought when the store was demolished. It is around 100 years old.Would love to get some info on it.

  12. Are there any photos existing of the Cain-Sloan branch stores? I've looked all over the net and haven't found a thing.

  13. Branch stores that I remember were located at Hickory Hollow Mall (which I believe was torn down and rebuilt by Dillard's), Rivergate Mall (still open but completely renovated as a Dillard's), Green Hills (still open but soon to be torn down to make way for Neiman Marcus and newer Dillard's) and Governor's Square (Clarksville - now Belk).

  14. Were there 2 locations on Church Street?

    1. yes use to be at first in the Harveys store building. until 1956 when Allied bought them out.

    2. I believe everything converted to plastic in 1979

  15. I only know of one location on Church Street which I worked at from 1981 to 1988. Can someone remember the date that the downtown location actually closed?

  16. I worked as a store detective at all locations during the 70's

  17. Anonymous asked: Can someone remember the date that the downtown location actually closed? ...
    Harvey's closed its downtown store in 1984. Cain-Sloan closed its downtown store in 1987. Reference: The Nashville Scene at, the years are listed near the end of that article. I hope this helps.

  18. Clarksville never had a Cain-Sloan. The Belk there had always been a Belk, alhough it looks like a Dillard's. Clarksville had a Harvey's and Ward's at the Plaza.

  19. Here's an article from a Nashville Scene in 1996 on the rise and fall of the Church Street department stores:

  20. I grew up in a small town known as Christiana, Tennessee. The home next door to us was always a curiosity to me because it was a mansion that set far back off in the woods. The home was falling in and had been abandoned by it's owner. The local folklore was that a lady who was the half owner of Cain Sloan department stores had lived there and left the home, to move to Texas. However, in her will, the property was to never be sold. It was to be used my any family member who needed a home to go to, if need be.
    Can anyone verify this story as true? Locals just said that she had met a man and did not need the home any longer but wanted to take care of her relatives if they fell on hard times.

  21. I have an old metal Cain Sloan charge plate in a small leather wallet. It was my great aunt's. Any idea of the time frame?

    1. Can you describe it? Trying to find out if what someone found is the same thing.

  22. Does anyone know what a metal tag with Cain Loan Nashville stamped on it would be? It also has a number 333 and a hole like for a key chain maybe.

    1. Most likely it is a charge coin, from the days before plastic. You can see one from Abraham & Straus in the charge card section of this site.

  23. Am in possession of what appears to be a clear 1/2 bottle imprinted with Cain Sloan Co Nashville This probably was a perfume bottle but am not sure & would like to know about it & what it may be worth as a collectible item. May be contacted @ my e-mail or @ 615-767-6128.

  24. I started at C/S in 1979 as mgmt trainee and worked in various positions until Oct 1981! Still have a sofa I purchased there in 1980. Upscale dept store!!

  25. Rivers Hatchett Teske10 November, 2017 06:20

    Looking for any Cain relatives and their history from the Cain Sloan Department Stores in Nashville. My great grandmother was Donie Cain and worked in the store for years for either her brothers (The Cain owners) or maybe they were cousins? She wore such elegant clothes and never left the house without a hat! I am curious about the note above from Christiana, Tn. (Oct 25, 2015)- my g.g. moved to Houston Texas after Nashville - so wondering if this could be part of her story of which I know nothing about.

    1. There is a book written about C/S- " A Saga of Ambition Achieved", by Margaret Sloan- Joyner and Hogan publisher 2008

  26. I love Cain Sloan I bought my senior prom dress there

  27. I have a charge plate in the red leather sleeve that has Ruth Ervin's name on it and a number. It is very interesting to read the information here.

  28. My father, Paul Hardesty was a merchandise manager for the downtown Cain Sloans from 1963-1972 when he died suddenly at age 42. Does anyone remember him or have any memories to share? I was only 11 when he died. My parents entertained the "french girls" that came in to do fashion shows.

    ~Kitty Hardesty


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