Article titled "The Stearns Estate" by Justin Wyner, describing the 'Stearns Estate, 1899' painting by William Hauk. This article was published on pages 10-11 of the Spring 1945 edition of the Tuftonian. A black and white copy of the painting was featured on the front cover.
Plaque in front of Cousens Gym in Medford, MA, commemorating the former site of the Stearns Estate. The plaque reads, "Site of the Stearns Estate: A waystation on the Underground Railroad, a haven for slaves seeking freedom. 1850-1860. Placed here by members of the Tufts community, who continue to honor the tradition of sanctuary. Dedicated April 8, 1987." The plaque was dedicated one day shy of the 120th anniversary of the death of George L. Stearns. This photograph was taken in August 2017.
View of the Stearns Estate and beyond that Medford from College Hill. The Stearns Estate mansion is located in among the trees in the lower left quadrant. The caption reads, "The Medford view in '74. This is somewhat to the east of the one above which brings the Stearns house near the left of the picture. The Royall House is the building with four end chimneys near the center of the picture. In the lower right hand corner the tower of the old Stearns windmill is barely visible."
Program for the dedication ceremonies of the Stearns Estate marker in front of Cousens Gymnasium, held April 8, 1987. The dedication consisted of several speakers and a performance of "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory" ("Battle Hymn of the Republic," sung to the tune of "John Brown's Body") by Julia Ward Howe of Medford.
View towards Medford from Ballou Hall, 1876, showing nearly the entirely Stearns Estate. The caption reads, "View from Ballou in 1876. Middle Hall [Packard Hall] in the center with an end of East Hall at the right. The entire Stearns estate is shown from the farm buildings to the windmill tower, also much of the plot of ground now occupied by Cousens Gym. The stone bank wall at the front of Middle Hall, shown in the 1856 and 1867 views of the building, has been swung to the east parallel with the front of the building. The Royall House and the summer house show clearly. The R.R. [railroad] cut and Boston Ave. are beyond the road, which lies beyond the clothes line." The mansion house of the Stearns Estate is visible just about the roof of Packard Hall.
Grandfather clock belonging to the Stearns Estate. It was bequeathed to Tufts University by Mary E. Stearns and has long been a decorative feature of the President's Office in Ballou Hall. This photograph was taken in August 2017.
Photograph of a wagon in the distance on College Avenue in Medford near Tufts College, circa 1870. The trees lining the street gave its nickname "The Willows." The Stearns Estate bordered College Avenue.
Photograph of the view towards Medford from East Hall, Tufts College. The Stearns Estate mansion is located in the trees to the middle right. The caption reads, "View toward Medford from East Hall, 1875. The railroad cut is in front of the stonewall in the foreground. The farm house of the Stearns estate is seen in the lower left corner, and the mansion house in the right center. The end chimneys of the Royall House are seen in the center of the picture and, to the left of the house, the pointed object is the summer house that at one time stood on a mound in the Royall garden."
Pike said to be one of the 954 pikes purchased by John Brown (with funds provided by George L. Stearns) for the attack at Harper's Ferry. The label associated with the object reads "Col. Stearns Estate, John Brown's pike." Whether the pike is truly one of the 954 is unknown; its previous whereabouts were not recorded.
Courtesy of the Medford Historical Society & Museum
Highboy (chest of drawers) acquired by Tufts College from the Stearns Estate around 1919, now (2017) located in the third floor lobby of Ballou Hall. Family tradition maintained that the this piece of furniture was made by Benjamin Frothingham, Jr., of Charlestown. In 1971, this highboy was located in the Wessell Library. In 1950, this highboy was located in the Gott Memorial Room in Eaton Library. This photograph was taken in August 2017.
Map of Tufts College showing buildings present in 1932 and possible sites of future buildings. In the lower right quadrant, note the presence of the Physical Education Building (Cousens Gymnasium) and possible future additions northwest of College Avenue, as well as a large plot of the Stearns Estate yet undeveloped. In 15 years, this property would be home to Stearns Village.
College Architects: Andrews, Jones, Biscoe & Whitmore
View towards Medford Square from the top of College Hill (Tufts College), ca. 1910. The tree-lined Avenue stretching left to right is College Avenue, also known as The Willows. The Boston & Maine Railroad parallels the bottom of the image, with College Hill Station appearing at the bottom left. Behind the station is Pansy Park, a pansy nursery. To the left of Pansy Park is property belonging to the Stearns Estate. Across College Avenue are the clay pits.
A map of Tufts College about ten years after it opened, from a map drawn by Charles E. Fay, with a key to the buildings given below the map. Note College Hill Station (building W) at the corner of the Boston & Lowell Railroad and College Avenue leading to the Stearns Estate just off the edge of the map. This map appeared on page 148 of The Tuftonian, Vol. 2, No. 4 (May 1942).
This painting shows the Stearns mansion in the center right and the farmhouse to the far right. In the distance on the hill are the buildings of Tufts College, with the tower of Goddard Chapel, East Hall, and West Hall visible through the trees. The road to the left is College Avenue; at the time it was known as the Willows because of the trees on either side. At the corner of College Avenue and the railroad tracks is College Hill train station. The Boston & Lowell Railroad operated on the tracks that separated Tufts College from the Stearns Estate's orchards.
Image courtesy of the Tufts University Permanent Collection
Map of Tufts College in 1938. In the lower right corner, you can see the new Cousens Gym north of College Avenue the rest of the undeveloped Stearns Estate. The building to the west of Cousens Gym was originally College Station, but at this time it had been home to Tufts University Press for some time.
Marble bust of George L. Stearns by Samuel Morse prior to its restoration in 2016. This bust was commissioned in 1879 by Mary Stearns, George's widow, to place in their home on their estate in Medford, Massachusetts.
Image courtesy of the Tufts University Permanent Collection
Excerpt from the will of Mary E. Stearns, 1901. She dictates that a third part each of her remaining estate holdings should be given to Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Berea College, and Tuskegee College, for "The George L. Stearns Memorial Fund of [that College]" for the purpose of "promoting in those several institutions the education and elevation of the youth of the South, and especially of the youth of the colored race, in whose interest and welfare my deceased husband George L. Stearns ever felt such a profound interest and to which he gave such devoted service."