129 Beacon was built ca. 1861, one of two contiguous houses (127-129 Beacon) built at about the same time in the same design. Two other houses, 131-133 Beacon, in a similar style, were built slightly earlier, ca. 1860.
All four houses were built on land owned by William Warren Goddard and T. Bigelow Lawrence, part of a tract of land they had purchased from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on August 1, 1857. That tract included all of the land on the south side of Beacon Street from Arlington to Berkeley.
Three different builders constructed the houses: James Standish built 127 Beacon, John Danforth Dunbar built 129 Beacon, and Samuel Shurtleff Perkins built 131-133 Beacon. In each case, after the buildings were completed, the land was acquired by the builder from William Goddard and T. Bigelow Lawrence, and then the builder resold the house to its first occupant.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 129 Beacon, and click here for further information about the land on the south side of Beacon from Arlington to Berkeley, north of Alley 421.
On March 27, 1861, after completing the house at 129 Beacon, John D. Dunbar purchased the land from William Goddard and T. Bigelow Lawrence. He and his wife, Harriet (Beaman) Dunbar, lived at 375 Tremont.
During the 1861-1862 winter season, 129 Beacon was the home of broker and commission merchant Francis Edward Bacon and his wife, Louisa (Crowninshield) Bacon, who had married in October of 1860 and then traveled in Europe. In her Reminiscences, published in 1922, Louisa Bacon recalled that, after spending one winter at 129 Beacon, they spent the next two years at the “old Tremont House” hotel. They also maintained a home in Newport. They later would live briefly at 276 Beacon.
On May 6, 1862, 129 Beacon was purchased from John Dunbar by retired druggist William Gardiner Prescott, He and his wife, Josephine Augusta (Peabody) Prescott, made it their home. They previously had lived at 4 Walnut. They also maintained a home in Pepperell, Massachusetts. They continued to live at 129 Beacon in 1867, but had moved by 1868 and by 1870 were living at 55 Beacon with his widowed mother, Susannah (Amory) Prescott.
By 1868, 129 Beacon was the home of banker Francis Welles Hunnewell and his wife, Margaret L. (Fassitt) Hunnewell. By 1871, they had moved to a new home they had built at 278 Clarendon.
On September 6, 1870, 129 Beacon was purchased from William Prescott by Sarah (Messer) Wheelwright, the wife of dry goods commission merchant John Williams Wheelwright. They previously had lived at 101 Boylston.
The house was not listed in the 1917-1919 Blue Books.
On October 16, 1919, 129 Beacon was acquired from the Wheelwright family by Miss Euphemia E. McClintock, who made it her home.
A native of South Carolina, she had served as president of the College for Women in Columbia, South Carolina, until that institution merged with Chicora College in 1915. She moved to Boston, where her sister, Mary Law McClintock, operated Miss McClintock’s School at 4 Arlington and (by 1922) at 135 Beacon.
Euphemia McClintock probably first was a teacher in her sister’s school, but by late 1923 had established her own institution, Erskine School, at 115 Beacon. Mary Law McClintock died in January of 1925, and Euphemia McClintock appears to have inherited her sister’s school. McClintock School soon ceased operation at 4 Arlington and 135 Beacon became Erskine School. At about the same time, Euphemia McClintock ceased leasing 115 Beacon (which became a private home again) and acquired 111 Beacon.
On November 28, 1941, Anne M. Young and Franklin W. Fessenden, conservators of the property of Euphemia McClintock, transferred the five buildings she owned — 111 Beacon, 129 Beacon, 135 Beacon, 145 Beacon, and 303 Berkeley (147 Beacon) — to Erskine, Inc.
129 Beacon remained an Erskine School dormitory until about 1942.
The property was shown as vacant in the 1944 City Directory.
On August 30, 1946, 129 Beacon was acquired by Miss Ruth K. Partridge. She was a secretary and later a saleswoman, and previously had been a lodger at 114 Beacon. Her mother, Mabel (Simmons) Partridge, the widow of Amos M. Partridge, lived with her; she previously had lived in Belfast, Maine. They operated 129 Beacon as a lodging house.
Ruth Partridge married in 1955 to Kenneth F. French, a salesman, who had been a lodger at 129 Beacon. They continued to live there in 1956, but moved soon thereafter. Mabel Partridge continued to live and operate the lodging house at 129 Beacon until about 1958.
The property changed hands, remaining a lodging house in the 1970s.
On September 30, 1980, 129 Beacon was acquired by owned by Farshid Banani and Lili Banani, trustees of the Moshiri Company Trust.
In October of 1980, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the house into four apartments.
On June 24, 1981, they converted the apartments into four condominium units, the 129 Beacon Street Condominium.