103 Beacon was built ca. 1862, one of six contiguous houses (101-103-105-107-109-111 Beacon) built at about the same time and in the same style.
Samuel Tilton purchased the land for 103 Beacon on November 22, 1861, from William Warren Goddard and T. Bigelow Lawrence. It was part of a tract of land they had purchased from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on August 1, 1857, which included all of the land on the south side of Beacon Street from Arlington to Berkeley.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 103 Beacon, and click here for further information about the land on the south side of Beacon from Arlington to Berkeley, north of Alley 421.
The Tiltons had moved by 1867 and by 1868 were living at the Tremont House hotel. They continued to own 103 Beacon.
By 1867, 103 Beacon was the home of Theron J. Dale, a textile manufacturer and wholesale dry goods dealer in partnership with his brother, Ebenezer Dale, with whom he had lived at 111 Beacon prior to moving to 103 Beacon. He also maintained a home in Gloucester.
Theron Dale died in August of 1871, and by 1872, the Tiltons were living at 103 Beacon again. Also living there were dry goods merchant and importer Joseph Swain Lovering and his wife, Mary (Taylor) Lovering. His brother, Charles Francis Lovering, lived with them.
By 1873, Joseph and Mary Lovering had moved to 121 Beacon.
During the 1876-1877 winter season, 103 Beacon was the home of wholesale boot and shoe merchant Gilman Bradford DuBois and his wife, Ellen Laura (Griswold) DuBois. Their son, Loren Griswold DuBois, a student at Harvard Law School, lived with them. By the next season, they had moved to the Hotel Brunswick (southeast corner of Clarendon and Boylston).
By the 1877-1878 winter season, 103 Beacon was the home of Percival Lowell Everett, a merchant in the China trade and founder and president of the Third National Bank of Boston. He was a widower and lived there with his three young children: Louisa Otis Everett, Otis Everett, and Elizabeth Lowell Everett. They previously had lived at 109 Beacon. They continued to live at 103 Beacon in 1880, but moved thereafter to 101 Beacon, next door.
By the 1881-1882 winter season, 103 Beacon was the home of retired paper manufacturer Henry Martyn Clarke and his wife, Jane (Jennie) Loomer (Hurlburt) Clarke. They previously had lived at 13 Walnut with his widowed father, Rev. Dorus Clarke, and before that at 249 Berkeley. They also maintained homes in Belmont and Pepperell. They continued to live at 103 Beacon in 1886.
By the 1886-1887 winter season, Samuel and Helen Tilton were once again living at 103 Beacon together with their son-in-law and daughter, Gustave Schirmer, Jr., and Grace May (Tilton) Schirmer. They had married in May of 1886. Gustave Schirmer was head of the Boston office of his family’s music publishing company.
The Schirmers continued to live at 103 Beacon until about 1892, when they moved to New York City.
On November 21, 1895, Marcellus Goggan, the successor trustee of the trust established for the benefit of Helen Tilton, transferred 103 Beacon into her name.
By the 1894-1895 winter season, 103 Beacon was the home of Henry Augustus Clark and his wife, Lydia Wilkinson (Sumner) Clark. They previously had lived in Brookline. Their son-in-law and daughter, John Healey Childe and Jessie Duncan (Clark) Childe, lived with them. The Childes had lived at 5 Marlborough in 1892.
Henry Clark was a treasurer of the Eastern Electric Cable Company and formerly had been book and stationery dealer, and manufacturer of “Griswold’s Patent Erasable Tablets.”
Both families continued to live at 103 Beacon in 1897. By 1898, the Clarks had moved to 185 Beacon to live with their son-in-law and daughter, Amory and Mary (Clark) Eliot, and the Childes had moved to an apartment at 186 Commonwealth.
103 Beacon was not listed in the 1898 Blue Book.
By the 1898-1899 winter season, it was the home and office of Dr. James H. Stevens, a physician. He was unmarried. He previously had lived and maintained his office at 379 Boylston. By 1900, he had moved to an apartment in The Grosvenor at 261 Beacon.
Samuel Tilton died in March of 1899.
The house was not listed in the 1900 Blue Book.
By mid-1900, 103 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Ellen (Sawyer) Estes, the former wife of grocery merchant Gardiner F. Estes, and their son, Clifford S. Estes.
By the 1900-1901 winter season, Helen Tilton resumed living at 101 Beacon, probably along with Mrs. Estes and her son.
Helen Tilton died in October of 1901, and 103 Beacon was inherited by her daughter, Grace (Tilton) Schirmer. She and her husband continued to live in New York City.
During the 1901-1902 winter season, 103 Beacon was the home of former financial agent Lucius Aurelius Bigelow and his wife, Elizabeth Parker (Smart) Bigelow. They previously had lived at 121 Beacon, and by 1903, they were living at 169 Beacon; in both cases, they were lodgers with Henry Salisbury Millard and his wife, Harriet (Stevens) Millard At the time of Elizabeth Bigelow’s death in June of 1904, the Bigelows lived at The Commonwealth at 362-366 Commonwealth.
103 Beacon was not listed in the 1903 Blue Book.
By the 1903-1904 winter season, 103 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Abbie Austin (Stevens) Potter, the widow of Robert Brown Potter. Her son, attorney Austin Potter, lived with her . They previously had lived at the Hotel Berkeley (southeast corner of Berkeley and Boylston).
Austin Potter married in December of 1905 to Evelyn Forbes. After their marriage, they made their home in Wellesley.
Also living at 103 Beacon during the 1903-1904 winter season was Samuel Hooper Hooper. He had lived at Brimmer Chambers (Pinckney at Brimmer) in 1900.
Samuel Hooper Hooper was a real estate investor and investment banker. In later years, he became a wine importer. He organized and led the Boston Assembly society balls for many years, and was a founder and the first president of the Tennis and Racquet Club.
Abbie Potter continued to live at 103 Beacon until her death in November of 1913.
By the 1913-1914 winter season, 103 Beacon was the home of Dana Malone and his wife, Margaret Bradford (Robbins) Malone. They had lived at 124 Marlborough during the 1911-1912 winter season, but their primary residence was in Greenfield. He was an attorney. He served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the State Senate, and from 1906 to 1910 was Massachusetts Attorney General.
On June 6, 1916, Grace Schirmer transferred 103 Beacon to her daughter, Gertrude Helen Schirmer, who was married that day to attorney William Rodman Fay.
The Malones continued to spend their winters at 103 Beacon until his death in August of 1917.
By the 1917-1918 winter season, William Rodman Fay and Gertrude Helen (Schirmer) Fay had made 103 Beacon their home. They also maintained a home in Dover, Massachusetts.
They continued to live at 103 Beacon during the 1920-1921 season, but moved to New York City in mid-1921 when William Fay became President of the G. Schirmer music publishing firm founded by Gertrude Fay’s grandfather, Gustave Schirmer.
By the 1921-1922 winter season, 103 Beacon was the home of Dr. George Jackson Hill, a physician, and his wife, Lucy Freeman (Winslow) Hill. They previously had lived at 35 Commonwealth. In June of 1922, they purchased and moved to 19 Commonwealth.
During the 1922-1923 winter season, 103 Beacon was the home of attorney Ralph Emerson Forbes and his wife, Elise (Cabot) Forbes. Their daughter, Margaret, was being presented into society that season. Their primary residence was in Milton.
During the 1923-1924 winter season, 103 Beacon was the home of Dr. Hunter Robb, a gynecologist, and his wife, Marguerita Francesca (Grebe) Ginn Robb. Francesca Robb had been married previously to Edwin Ginn, a textbook publisher and founder of the International School of Peace in Boston, which later became the World Peace Foundation. He had died in 1914 and she had married again, to Hunter Robb, in 1918. After their marriage, they lived in Winchester in the home built by her first husband. In July of 1923, while the Robbs were abroad, the house was seriously damaged by fire. They probably were living at 103 Beacon while it was being rebuilt.
During the 1924-1925 winter season, 103 Beacon was the home of investment banker John Eliot Thayer, Jr., and his wife, Katherine Lee Bayard (Warren) Thayer. They also maintained a home in Lancaster. By the next season, they had moved to 77 Marlborough.
On September 18, 1925, 103 Beacon was purchased from Gertrude Helen Fay by Roger Wolcott Converse and his wife, Barbara (Ware) Converse). They previously had lived at 101 Chestnut. He was a salesman and later a real estate broker, They divorced soon thereafter.
On September 30, 1926, 103 Beacon was purchased from Roger and Barbara Converse by Marie Elise (Chayer) Bordeau, the former wife of Frank (Francois) Xavier Bordeau. Their son, Cyril Bordeau, lived with her. They previously had lived at 134 Huntington.
Marie Bordeau operated 103 Beacon as a lodging house. She also owned 495-497 Beacon, which she also operated as a lodging house.
In 1940 and 1941, she was living in Revere, and the lodging house at 103 Beacon was managed by Johanna (Hannah) K. (Johanson) Olsson, the wife of Jonas Edward (Edward Johan) Olsson, a machinist. She also operated a lodging house at 119 Beacon, where she and her husband lived, and managed a lodging house at 114 Beacon.
By 1942, Marie Bordeau was living at 103 Beacon once again. She continued to live and operate a lodging house there until about 1947, when she moved to 495-497 Beacon.
On September 12, 1947, 103 Beacon was acquired from Marie Bordeau by Edith Maria (Johnson) Kurciviez, the wife of Michael Kurciviez, a bartender. They previously had lived in Stoneham and before that at 50 Temple in Boston. They continued to operate 103 Beacon as a lodging house.
In April of 1951, they applied for (and appear to have received) permission to convert the house from a single-family dwelling into a lodging house and single-family dwelling, legalizing the existing use. The Kurciviezes moved back to 50 Temple by 1952.
On September 13, 1954, the Kurciviezes transferred 103 Beacon into Edith Kurciviez’s name
On December 2, 1954, 103 Beacon was purchased from Edith Kurciviez by attorney Lawrence W. Sabatino and his wife, Jessica Sabatino, who continued to operate it as a lodging house. They previously had lived at 20 Marlborough.
On March 8, 1956, 103 Beacon was acquired from Lawrence and Jessica Sabatino by William L. Brennan and his wife, Ella M. Brennan. They continued to operate it as a lodging house.
The house subsequently changed hands, remaining a lodging house.
On June 14, 1977, 103 Beacon was acquired by Keevin Geller and John B. Wise. In April of 1977, before finalizing their purchase of the house, they had applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the house into seven apartments.
On August 9, 1977, they converted the apartments into seven condominium units, the 103 Beacon Street Condominium.
In October of 1982, the Board of Appeal approved a petition by the owner of the top floor unit seeking to remodel the unit, including raising the roof by approximately two feet.
In July of 1986, the owner of units 6 and 7 applied for (and subsequently received) permission to combine the units, reducing the number of units in the building to six. On November 3, 1987, the condominium master deed was amended to reflect the reduced number of units.