29 Hereford was designed by Alfred S. Bither, architect, and built in 1879 by Goldthwait & Chapin, builders, for building contractor Samuel Tarbell Ames. It was one of four contiguous houses (364 Marlborough and 27-29-31 Hereford) built for Samuel Ames, probably for speculative sale. He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated March 27, 1879.
In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting attributes 364 Marlborough, 27-29-31 Hereford, 435 Beacon, 7-9-11 Hereford, and 216-218 Commonwealth – all built in 1879 – to R. S. Bither. This is a misreading of the handwriting on the permit applications. It is clearly written as “A. S. Bither” on several of the permit applications, and is less legible on several others. There was no R. S. Bither listed in the Boston City Directories at any time in the 1870s or 1880s, whereas Alfred S. Bither was a practicing architect there from 1870 to 1880.
By 1880, 29 Hereford was the home of McPherson Le Moyne, a merchant, and his wife, Mary Brooks (Brigham) Le Moyne. M. P. Moyne is shown as the owner on the 1883 Bromley map. They continued to live there in 1884, but had moved to Brookline by 1885.
By the 1884-1885 winter season, 29 Hereford was the home of Mrs. Annah J. W. (Lovering) Curtis, the widow of Dr. Thomas Buckminster Curtis, Jr., a physician. She previously had lived at 191 Beacon. She is shown as the owner of 29 Hereford on the 1888 and 1890 Bromley maps.
During the 1886-1887 and 1887-1888 winter seasons, she was living elsewhere and probably traveling abroad and 29 Hereford was the home of real estate broker Thomas Nelson and his wife, Annie (Bigelow) Nelson. They previously had lived at 18 Fairfield. By 1889, they had moved to 166 Marlborough, and 29 Hereford was once again Mrs. Curtis’s home.
During the 1891-1892 winter season, she was again living elsewhere and 29 Hereford was the home of James Jackson Storrow, Jr., and his wife Helen (Osborne) Storrow. They had married in October of 1891 and 29 Hereford probably was their first home together.
James Storrow was an attorney and later would become an investment banker.
By 1893, the Storrows had moved to 419 Beacon and 29 Hereford was once again the home of Annah Curtis. She remarried in February of 1894 to Henry E. Howland, an attorney and judge from New York City. where they lived after their marriage.
By the 1894-1895 winter season, 29 Hereford was the home of Anna Huidekoper (Peabody) Bellows, widow of Rev. Henry Whitney Bellows. She previously had lived at 12 West Cedar. She is shown as the owner of 29 Hereford on the 1908 and 1917 Bromley maps.
Henry Whitney Bellows had been pastor of All Souls Church in New York City and an organizer of the National Conference of Unitarians. He had died in January of 1882.
Henry and Anna Bellows two surviving children, Robert Peabody Bellows,and Ellen Derby Bellows, lived with her. Ellen Bellows married in April of 1905 to Dr. Samuel Robinson, a physician, and they moved to an apartment at 416 Marlborough. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 169 Beacon. They later divorced and she remarried in 1928 to retired advertising executive Thorndike Howe Endicott. After their marriage, they lived at 31 Hereford.
Anna Bellows continued to live at 29 Hereford until her death in 1920. Robert Peabody Bellows, an architect, continued to live with her. William Truman Aldrich, his partner in the firm of Bellows and Aldrich, lived at 31 Hereford. After his mother’s death, Robert Bellows moved to 8 Park.
By the 1921-1922 winter season, 29 Hereford was the home of Charles Edward Inches, Jr., and his wife, Margaret (Carter) Inches. In 1920, they had lived in Brookline.
He was assistant treasurer of several textile mills.
By 1923, they had moved to his family home at 386 Beacon.
In the summer of 1922, 29 Hereford was purchased from Robert Bellows by Parker Williams Whittemore and his wife, Grace Jones (Sinclair) Whittemore. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on August 3, 1922. They previously had lived in West Gloucester.
Parker Whittemore was a retired manufacturer of railroad cars.
In August of 1922, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission “to remove old mansard roof and carry brick front up to present roof.” The remodeling was designed by architect William W. Dinsmoor. Plans for the remodeling — including a front elevation and floor plans — are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN G-49).
They continued to live there in 1925, but had moved to 5 River by 1926.
During the 1925-1926 winter season, 29 Hereford may have been the home of attorney Charles Cobb Walker and his wife, Helene (Whitehouse) Walker. Their usual residence was at 7 Arlington, where they also were listed in the 1926 Blue Book. At this time, they were engaged in divorce proceedings and 29 Hereford may have been the separate residence of one of them.
In the fall of 1926, 29 Hereford was acquired from Parker Whittemore by E. Childs Murphy. The transaction was reported by the Boston Globe on September 22, 1926.
The house was not listed in the 1927 Blue Book.
By the 1926-1927 winter season, 29 Hereford was the home of Albert Cameron Burrage, Jr., an engineer and copper mining executive, and his wife, Anne Belle (Shirk) Burrage. His mother, Alice Hathaway (Haskell) Burrage, trustee, is shown as the owner of 29 Hereford on the 1928 and 1938 Bromley maps. SHe died in December of 1947, but her estate remained the assessed owner through 1949.
Albert and Anne Burrage also maintained a home at Ipswich, Candlewood Farm, which previously had been their year-round residence.
Albert and Anne Burrage continued to live at 29 Hereford until about 1946.
By 1949, 29 Hereford was owned by Solomon Abend.
In the fall of 1949, 29 Hereford was purchased from Solomon Abend by Gladys (Lawson) Stanwood French, the widow of Eben Blaine Stanwood and Philip French. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on October 30, 1949. She previously had lived at 31 Fairfield.
In December of 1949, Gladys French applied for (and subsequently received) permission to change the occupancy from a single-family dwelling into a lodging house. She continued to live and operate a lodging house at 29 Hereford until shortly before her death in April of 1961.
By 1960, 29 Hereford was the home of Josephine M. Ward. In August of 1960, she filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into a two-family dwelling (the previous approval converting the property into a lodging house appears to have been overlooked).
In August of 1961, 29 Hereford was acquired by Robert E. Foster and his wife, Joan B. Foster. They previously had lived in West Roxbury. He was a real estate appraiser.
In August of 1977, they filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as four apartments, which they indicated was the existing condition. The Fosters lived in one of the apartments.
The property changed hands. The legal occupancy remained four apartments, but by 1984, it was assessed as a three-family dwelling.
In November of 1996, 29 Hereford was purchased by Felicia M. Hall. The legal occupancy remained four apartments, but from 1998 it was assessed as a two-family dwelling.
The property changed hands and in October of 2005 was purchased by George W. Fink and his wife, Sherry A. Robinson. In March of 2006, Sherry Robinson applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the interior. The legal occupancy of the property remained four apartments; however, from 2007, it was assessed as a single-family dwelling.
29 Hereford remained assessed as a single-family dwelling in 2014.