Stebbins Anderson, a hardware and department store founded two years after the end of the Civil War, will close at the end of December, after 152 years in business.
A Facebook post on the page of Stebbins For Her, a boutique within the store offering jewelry and accessories from brands such as Pandora, Vera Bradley and Kate Spade, cited a “retail environment has become increasingly more difficult for small businesses” but also said the owners were ready to move on.
“It has been a pleasure serving our community and loyal customers, which makes this decision all the more difficult,” the post said.
Stebbins Anderson has long served as an anchor tenant at The Shops at Kenilworth in Towson, offering housewares, gifts and patio furniture. But its origins are much different, according to an archived company biography.
It started as a coal, lumber and hardware business in 1867 under the name Cochrane Lumber Company, and was situated at 305 York Road. In 1911, the namesake proprietors bought the company, and it was renamed Stebbins Anderson Coal and Lumber Co., Inc.
After another ownership change in 1926, J.W. Edelen began operating the business and oversaw the expansion of Stebbins Anderson until his death in 1953. From 1926 to 1977, the company added housewares, sports equipment, unfinished furniture and other goods to its merchandise, the company biography said.
In 1978, the store moved to The Shops at Kenilworth, and a year later was sold to a new owner, Richard Powers. Powers ran the store until his death in 2013.
Ken and Bonnie Knight bought it in 2015. The store was remodeled and consolidated to one floor in 2016 as part of a renovation project at The Shops at Kenilworth that also brought a Trader Joe’s grocery store to the development.