Author Talk: “Jordan Marsh: New England’s Greatest Department Store”

March 24, 2017

Join us in Story Chapel for an Author Talk by Anthony M. Sammarco on his new book, Jordan Marsh: New England’s Greatest Department Store

Founded in 1851 by Eben Dyer Jordan and Benjamin L. Marsh, Jordan Marsh who opened their first store on Milk Street in Boston selling linen, silk, calicos, ribbons and assorted dry goods to Victorian Bostonians.

Following the Civil War, the store moved to Winthrop Square and later to Washington Street between Summer and Avon Streets where in its new five story store designed by Winslow & Wetherell they unveiled the novel concept of “department shopping” under one roof. From the late 19th century on, Jordan Marsh was to offer a selection of goods that offered such things as clothing, furniture, children’s toys and a plethora of other goods that attracted shoppers six days a week. The store offered personal service, with the adage that the customer is always right, easy credit, art exhibitions, and musical performances. It soon became a treasured part of life for shoppers who went to town, especially during the holidays with The Enchanted Village of Saint Nicholas. By 1951 Jordan Marsh expanded to the suburbs with its first store at Shopper’s World in Framingham and by the 1970’s it was the largest chain in New England.

Many people mourned when Jordan Marsh was sold, and the Macy’s name went up on Jordan Marsh stores in 1995. Come hear about its fascinating history as Boston’s first department store by the author of the upcoming history of this once important department store.


Benjamin Lloyd Marsh, co-founder, and his brother Charles Marsh, a junior partner, of Jordan Marsh are buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery.



Funding for programs has been provided in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Massachusetts Cultural Council

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