225 Beacon

225 Beacon (2015)

Lot 18' x 112' (2,016 sf)

Lot 18′ x 112′ (2,016 sf)

225 Beacon is located on the south side of Beacon, between Clarendon and Dartmouth, with 223 Beacon to the east and 227 Beacon to the west.

225 Beacon was built in 1868-1869 for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., for speculative sale, one of four contiguous houses (223-225-227-229 Beacon) designed as a symmetrical group. 223 Beacon and 229 Beacon are on 19.5 foot lots and have double oriel windows (to which a third, smaller extension has been added at 229 Beacon), and 225 Beacon and 227 Beacon are on 18 foot lots and have single oriel windows.

George Wheatland, Jr., assembled the 75 foot lot for the four houses in two transactions. He purchased the western two feet on March 18, 1868, from attorney Edwin H. Abbot, it being the western portion of a 20 foot lot Edwin Abbot had purchased from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on January 3, 1867. He purchased the eastern 73 feet on April 10, 1868, from attorney Peleg Whitman Chandler, comprising three lots Peleg Chandler had purchased from the Commonwealth: a 25 foot lot to the east he purchased on September 19, 1865, and two 24 foot lots he purchased on January 4, 1866.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 225 Beacon, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Beacon and Alley 419, from Clarendon to Dartmouth.

In 1869, 225 Beacon became the home of Copley Amory, a banker and stockbroker, and his wife, Katharine (Catharine/Catherine) Elizabeth (Chace) Amory.  They previously had lived in the Longwood district of Brookline.  The house was purchased from George Wheatland on June 2, 1869, by Charles Amory and James Bowdoin Bradlee, trustees of a marriage settlement trust established on June 10, 1865, to hold property owned by Katharine Amory prior to her marriage to Copley Amory.

Katharine Amory died in April of 1871, and Copley Amory continued to live at 225 Beacon with their young son, Thomas Copley Amory.  In about 1873, they were joined by his parents, Charles and Margaret (Greene) Amory, who had lived at 198 Beacon the previous year.  Charles Amory had purchased 50 Beacon in January of 1872 and probably was in the process of remodeling or rebuilding the house. By the 1875-1876 winter season, Charles and Margaret Amory were living at 50 Beacon, joined by Copley Amory and his son. Copley Amory died in December of 1879; Thomas Copley Amory continued to live at 50 Beacon with Charles and Margaret Amory.

217-225 Beacon (ca. 1870), photograph by Josiah Johnson Hawes, courtesy of the Boston Athenaeum

217-225 Beacon (ca. 1870), photograph by Josiah Johnson Hawes, courtesy of the Boston Athenaeum.

During the 1877-1878 winter season, 225 Beacon was the home of Charles Whitney and his wife, Jessie Grant (Perkins) Whitney.  They had married in January of 1877 and 225 Beacon probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage she had lived at 263 Clarendon. They had moved by the next season and  by the 1879-1880 season they were living at a new home they had built at 181 Commonwealth.

By the 1878-1879 winter season, 225 Beacon was leased by Edward Gray, a cotton buyer, and his wife Elizabeth Gray (Story) Gray.  They previously had lived at 214 Beacon.

225 Beacon continued to be owned by Katharine Amory’s marital trust and on April 19, 1880, Charles Amory, as surviving trustee, transferred the property to Thomas Copley Amory, still a minor for whom he and William S. Draper served as guardians. Later that year, Thomas Copley Amory’s legal name was changed to Copley Amory.

The Grays continued to live at 225 Beacon during the 1883-1884 winter season, but moved thereafter to a new home they had built at 293 Beacon.

On May 31, 1884, 225 Beacon was purchased from Copley Amory’s guardians by three unmarried sisters: Eulalie Mary Iasigi, Elizabeth Frances Iasigi, and Mary Vitalis Iasigi.  They previously had lived at 43 Mt. Vernon with their mother, Eulalie (Loir) Iasigi, the widow of Joseph A. Iasigi.  Elizabeth (Loir) Iasigi had died in December of 1883.

In January of 1887, Elizabeth Iasigi married Dr. James Dwight.  On January 22, 1887, Eulalie and Mary Iasigi transferred their interest in 225 to Elizabeth Dwight and moved to The Kensington (northeast corner of Boylston and Exeter). The Dwights made 225 Beacon their home. They also maintained a home in Woods Hole and then, by the early 1900s, in Barnstable.

James Dwight was a physician, but retired from practices in the mid-1880s. He was a pioneer of amateur tennis, known as the “Father of American Tennis.”

James Dwight died in July of 1917.  Elizabeth Dwight continued to live at 225 Beacon in 1919, but during the 1919-1920 winter season she was living in Brookline and 225 Beacon was the home of real estate investor Stephen Westcott Sleeper and his wife Elisa Harriet (Cushing) Sleeper.  They previously had lived at 336 Beacon, and moved back there by the 1920-1921 season.

225 Beacon (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

Elizabeth Dwight was once again living at 225 Beacon during the 1920-1921 winter season, but moved soon thereafter to Brookline.

By the 1921-1922 winter season, 225 Beacon was the home of Charles Stewart and his wife Elizabeth Poultney (Pleasants) Stewart.  He was manager of the Boston office of Cunard White Star steamship lines.  They previously had lived at 4 Louisburg Square and before that at 5 Exeter.  They also maintained a home in East Gloucester.

The Stewarts first leased 225 Beacon, but on May 27, 1926, Elizabeth Stewart purchased the house from Elizabeth Dwight.

The Stewarts continued to live there until 1940, but had moved to an apartment at 90 Commonwealth by 1941. During World War II he served as chairman of the British Ministry of War Transport, for which service he received the Order of the British Empire.

On June 2, 1941, 225 Beacon was purchased from Elizabeth Stewart by Helen L. (Fairbanks) Lynde, wife of Charles Ripley Lynde, an importer of china and glass.  They lived in Newtonville.

225 Beacon was shown as vacant in the 1941 and 1942 City Directories and was not listed in the 1941 and 1942 Lists of Residents.

On March 12, 1942, 225 Beacon was purchased from Helen Lynde by Benjamin Miles Ellis.  He lived there with his mother, Charlotte (Lottie) (Miles) Ellis, the widow of Benjamin William Ellis.  They previously had lived in Brookline.

Benjamin Ellis was owner of the Ellis Fire Appliance Company, which sold fire protection equipment, and was a noted fire buff (“spark”) who went to almost every working fire in Boston.  In 1960, he estimated that he had been to more than 60,000 fires, including the Cocoanut Grove fire in November of 1942, where he assisted in the rescue work.  According to Boston on Fire by Stephanie Schorow, he “installed firehouse-style brass poles in his four-story office on High street, just so he could get out of the building faster.”

In August of 1949, Benjamin Ellis married Rachel Sturgis Codman.  After their marriage, they lived at 225 Beacon.  Lottie Ellis continued to live with them until her death in March of 1955.

Benjamin and Rachel Ellis continued to live at 225 Beacon in the 1980s.  He died in February of 1988 in a rest home in Brookline.

On January 31, 1989, 225 Beacon was purchased from the estate of Benjamin Ellis by Diana Walshe.

On March 21, 2017, 225 Beacon was purchased from Diana Walshe by Ryan N. Cotton.

225 Beacon remained a single-family dwelling in 2021.

Composite image of 223-229 Beacon illustrating the symmetrical composition, assembled from several photographs taken in January of 2013.