291 Beacon was designed by architect Samuel J. F. Thayer and built in 1881-1882 by David Connery & Co., masons, and John Rawson, carpenter, as the home of Daniel Haridon Lane, a merchant tailor, and his wife, Susan M. (Winn) Lane. In 1880, they had lived at 305 Beacon. Daniel Lane is shown as the owner of 291 Beacon on the original building permit application, dated August 20, 1881.
Susan Lane purchased the land for 291 Beacon on June 22, 1881, from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The land originally had been offered for sale by the Commonwealth at its auction on November 26, 1866, and dry goods merchant Eben Dyer Jordan, co-founder of Jordan, Marsh & Company, was the successful bidder for the seven 24 foot lots running west from 283 Beacon. He aubsequently sold or transferred his rights to purchase the five lots at 283-291 Beacon.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 291 Beacon, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Beacon and Alley 418, from Dartmouth to Exeter.
Click here to see the original plans for 291 Beacon.
Daniel and Susan Lane’s son, Daniel Winn Lane, lived with them. He was an insurance broker, treasurer of Duren & Company, distributors of typewriters, and later served as a member of the Boston City Council and the Massachusetts Boxing Commission. He married in April of 1911 to Margaret McKenzie, and they moved to Brookline. They divorced in 1917 and he resumed living with his parents at 291 Beacon.
By 1898, the Lanes also maintained a home at Phillips Beach.
Daniel Haridon Lane died in March of 1923, and Susan Lane died in March of 1925. Daniel Winn Lane moved soon thereafter to 857 Beacon.
On October 24, 1925, 291 Beacon was purchased from Susan Lane’s estate by Emma A. (Meegan) Carlin, the wife of William J. Carlin. They previously had lived in an apartment at 416 Marlborough. They also maintained a home in Swampscott.
William Carlin was president and treasurer of the Coffin Valve Company, manufacturers of valves and fire hydrants.
William Carlin died in July of 1928, and Emma Carlin died in May of 1934.
Their two daughters, Katherine F. Carlin and Helen M. Carlin, inherited 291 Beacon and continued to make it their home.
On June 18, 1935, the City of Boston filed a lien against the property for non-payment of taxes, and on December 30, 1940, the Land Court foreclosed the right of the Carlins to redeem the property by payment of the back taxes. The City was the assessed owner from 1942 through 1944. On June 20, 1944, it sold the property at public auction to real estate dealer Ray C. Johnson, to whom it conveyed the title on July 17, 1944.
Katherine Carlin and Helen Carlin continued to live at 291 Beacon until about 1945. On February 13, 1945, S.Clifford Speed and Willard Welsh, also a real estate dealer, acquired their residual interest in the property.
On May 8, 1945, 291 Beacon was acquired from S. Clifford Speed and Willard Welsh by David Brooks Chapin. He previously had lived in an apartment at 178 Commonwealth. Living with him were his brother and sister-in-law, Robert Bigelow Chapin, Jr., and Anne Claire (Malone) Dickens Chapin. They previously had lived at 220 Commonwealth. They all moved from 291 Beacon the next year.
On May 22, 1946, 291 Beacon was acquired from David Chapin by Ethel M. (Crowell) Lowd, the widow of Arley A. Lowd. She was joined there by Lucy Letita (Purdy) Gilnor, the widow of Roy Gilnor, and they operated it as a lodging house. In 1945, they had lived at 86 Marlborough, after which Ethel Lowd had moved to 6 Gloucester and Lucy Gilnor had moved to 284 Newbury.
On December 15, 1947, 291 Beacon was acquired from Ethel Lowd by Irma K. Schweizer, the wife of Herman Schweizer. They lived in Hempstead, New York. It continued to be a lodging house and their son, Richard William Schweizer, lived there while he was a student at MIT.
On June 24, 1949, 291 Beacon was acquired from Irma Schweizer by Herman Curtis Hazlett, a machinist, and his wife, Lexie Winsome (Miller) Hazlett, a nurse. They lived at 279 Beacon and operated both it and 291 Beacon as lodging houses.
On November 25, 1955, Jack Fay (Jacob Fagelman) of the Fay Realty Company acquired 291 Beacon from Lexie Hazlett. He continued to own the property until his death in August of 1996. After his death, 291 Beacon became the property of Jack and Nellie (Goldman) Fay’s children, Stanley Fay and Marilyn R. (Fay) Weisman, wife of Jason Weisman.
On January 23, 2006, they transferred the property to themselves as trustees of the Wiltshire-Beacon Realty Trust.
291 Beacon remained a lodging house in 2016.