Event Notices

Lecture: Jordan Marsh: Boston’s First Department Store

Lecture sponsored by the Friends of the North End Branch Library

Jordan Marsh: Boston’s First Department Store

Presented by Anthony Sammarco.

Wednesday, June 1, 6:30 -7:30 PM
The North End Branch Library
25 Parmenter St, Boston, MA.


Founded in 1851 by Eben Dyer Jordan and Benjamin L. Marsh, Jordan Marsh 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, furs, furniture, trunks, children’s toys and oriental carpets 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 middle-class life for shoppers who went to town. From the Enchanted Village to Jordan Marsh Blueberry muffins, it was a destination!