209 Beacon was designed by Peabody and Stearns, architects, and built in 1874-1875 for merchant, cotton manufacturer, and real estate developer Charles William Freeland, probably for speculative sale, one of two contiguous houses (205-209 Beacon) designed as a symmetrical pair. Charles Freeland is shown as the owner on the original permit for 205-209 Beacon (identified as 205-207 Beacon), dated October 14, 1874, and on an amendment dated July 13, 1875, adding a one-story, 30-foot wide wooden shed at the rear of both properties.
Charles Freeland previously had built five contiguous houses to the west at 211-213-215-217-219 Beacon ca. 1866; those houses were designed by architects Ware and Van Brunt.
Charles Freeland purchased the land for 209 Beacon from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on April 28, 1874. He purchased the land for 205 Beacon on December 7, 1875, after the house had been completed, presumably under an earlier purchase agreement with the Commonwealth.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 209 Beacon.
On March 22, 1876, 209 Beacon was purchased from Charles Freeland by Mary Chester (Hasbrouck) Denny, the wife of John Ware Denny, a wool commission merchant. They previously had lived at 99 Beacon. They also maintained a home in Milton.
They continued to live at 209 Beacon during the 1880-1881 winter season, but moved to Milton soon thereafter. Mary Denny continued to own 209 Beacon and lease it to others.
By the 1881-1882 winter season, 209 Beacon was the home of Henry R. Reed and his wife, Sarah A. (Brewster) Reed. They previously had lived in the Harrison Square district of Boston.
Henry Reed was a partner in the firm of Nash, Spaulding & Co., wholesale grocers and owners of the Revere Sugar Refinery.
209 Beacon was not listed in the 1886 Blue Book.
By the 1886-1887 winter season, 209 Beacon was the home of dry goods merchant Benjamin Williams Crowninshield and his wife Katherine May (Bradlee) Crowninshield, whose home at 164 Marlborough was temporarily the location of the Algonquin Club. By late 1888, the Club had moved to its new permanent location at 217 Commonwealth and the Crowninshields had moved back to 164 Marlborough.
On September 1, 1888, 209 Beacon was purchased from Mary Denny by Lily (Lillie) (Clapp) Amory, the wife of cotton broker and manufacturer Charles Bean Amory. They previously had lived at 77 Marlborough.
They continued to live at 209 Beacon during the 1889-1890 winter season, but moved thereafter to Milton. Lily Amory continued to own 209 Beacon and lease it to others.
By the 1890-1891 winter season, 209 Beacon was the home of Rev. Frank Louis Norton and his wife, Jane Huntington (Watkinson) Norton.
Rev. Norton was an Episcopalian minister and had served as rector of St. Stephen’s parish in Lynn in the mid-1880s.
Frank Norton died in July of 1891. Jane Norton continued to live at 209 Beacon during the 1892-1893 winter season, but moved thereafter. By the 1895-1896 season, she was living at 186 Beacon.
By the 1893-1894 winter season, 209 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Lucy Catherine (Daniell) Crehore, widow of George Clarendon Crehore, and their two youngest children: Charles Lemuel Crehore and Lucy Clarendon Crehore. They previously had lived at 31 Newbury.
She continued to live at 209 Beacon until 1899, when she purchased and moved to 155 Beacon.
By the 1899-1900 winter season, 209 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Anna Dwight (Whiting) Howard. Her mother, Rebecca (Bullard) Whiting, and her unmarried children, Frances Sargent Howard and John Kenneth Howard, lived with her.
Anna Howard was the wife of William Henry Howard, a California landowner and cattle rancher, who probably was in California at the time. He died in October of 1901 and is buried in San Mateo, California.
Anna Howard, her children, and her mother continued to live at 209 Beacon in 1903. By 1904, they had moved to The Holland at 50 Commonwealth.
On March 1, 1904, 209 Beacon was acquired from Lily Amory by The First Church in Boston, located at the southwest corner of Marlborough and Berkeley.
During the 1904-1905 winter season, 209 Beacon was the home of Rev. James Eells and his wife, Kate (Merwin) Eells. They previously had lived at 41 Marlborough.
Rev. Eells was pastor of First Church in Boston until September of 1905, when he resigned and moved to Tarrytown, New York, where he became headmaster of the Huckley School.
209 Beacon was not listed in the 1906 Boston Blue Book.
During the 1906-1907 winter season, it was the home of George Gilbert Quincy, a dealer in celluloid goods, and his wife Maria Elizabeth (Salisbury) Quincy. By 1908, they had moved to The Buckminster in Kenmore Square.
On December 4, 1908, 209 Beacon was acquired from The First Church in Boston by Abigail Taylor (Seelye) Scudder, wife of Dr. Charles Locke Scudder. He was a surgeon and also maintained his medical office there. They previously had lived (and he had maintained his office) at 189 Beacon.
They continued to live there during the 1919-1920 winter season. They subsequently moved to The Kenmore at 496 Commonwealth and also maintained a home in Sherborn.
On October 20, 1920, 209 Beacon was acquired from Abigail Scudder by Ruth (Porter) Johnson, the wife of Murdoch M. Johnson, a laundry company executive. They previously had lived in an apartment at 270 Commonwealth.
Before moving in, the Johnsons remodeled portions of the interior and it may have been at this time that the front entrance was lowered to street level (the permit for the remodeling does not include this change, but the change was made sometime before the early 1940s). The remodeling was designed by architects Kilham and Hopkins.
On December 6, 1944, 209 Beacon was acquired by Dr. George Anteblian and his wife, Margaret Sandeson (Nall) Anteblian. He was a physician and also maintained his medical offices at 209 Beacon.
In June of 1945, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the house from a single-family dwelling into a three-family dwelling and doctor’s office.
George Anteblian died in March of 1983. After his death, the property was assessed as a four-to-six family dwelling.
Margaret Anteblian continued to live at 209 Beacon until her death in June of 2000, and 209 Beacon was inherited by her daughter, Margaret S. Anteblian.
209 Beacon remained a four-to-six family dwelling in 2016.