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.
Map of Tufts College in 1929, less than a decade after the Stearns mansion was torn down. In the lower right is College Avenue, labeled "To Willows + Medford," referring to the street's nickname. Arrows also indicate that the Site for New Gym and the Tufts College Press are located to the right of the railroad.
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
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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Snippet of the executor's inventory (dated July 14, 1913) of the will of Mary E. Stearns, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The typewritten document gives a list of items donated to Tufts College and their assessed value ($100.00).
Excerpts from the handwritten will of Mary E. Stearns, who died in December 1901. The excepts itemize a number of specific objects in her house that she would like to be donated to Tufts College after her sons are finished with them. The text reads, "Also to hold for the use and enjoyment of the said Henry during his life the following described articles of personal property situated in the house where I now reside namely: my tall "grandfather's clock" on the front stairway, the "highboy," the cabinet, the tripod table, the old English mirror, all the old-fashioned chairs which belonged to my deceased husband, the bust of John Brown, the bust of George L. Stearns, the bust of Beethoven, the bust of Emerson, the bust of Clytie, the Venus of Milo, and the several paintings painted by my old friend Christopher P. Cranch, excepting only the one hereinbefore given to Lenora Cranch Scott, said articles all to be kept, preserved and used by him during his life in the house where I now live and not elsewhere."
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.