3 Fairfield was built ca. 1871 for stockbroker and banker Henry Chapman Wainwright, one of three contiguous houses (1-3-5 Fairfield), probably built for speculative sale. As originally built, both 1 Fairfield and 5 Fairfield had pitched roofs with garret windows, and the three houses formed a symmetrical composition on Fairfield.
By 1872, 3 Fairfield was the home of Alfred Perkins Rockwell and his wife, Katharine Virginia (Foote) Rockwell. They previously had lived at the La Grange House hotel at 218 Tremont. Katherine Rockwell is shown as the owner of 3 Fairfield on the 1874 Hopkins map and the 1883 Bromley map.
Alfred Rockwell was a professor of mining at MIT in the early 1870s, having held a similar position at Sheffield Scientific School in New Haven in the late 1860s. Following the Boston Fire in November of 1872, he was appointed Chairman of the Boston Fire Commission. From 1876 to 1879, he was president of the Eastern Railroad, and from 1879 until his retirement in 1886, he was treasurer of the Great Falls Manufacturing Company, a textile firm.
They continued to live at 3 Fairfield during the 1885-1886 winter season, and then traveled to Europe, returning to live at 267 Beacon.
By the 1887-1888 winter season, 3 Fairfield was the home of Mrs. Maria C. (Barnes) Blake, the widow of furniture dealer Charles Blake, and their unmarried son, William Osborne Blake, a real estate investor. They previously had lived at 119 Beacon.
They continued to live at 3 Fairfield during the 1887-1888 season, but moved thereafter to a new home they had built at 414 Beacon.
By the 1888-1889 winter season, 3 Fairfield was the home of George Henry Thayer and his wife, Cordelia (Skinner) Thayer. They previously had lived at 395 Beacon. Their son, Lucian Skinner Thayer, an employee of the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company, lived with them. Cordelia Thayer is shown as the owner of 3 Fairfield on the 1888 Bromley maps.
George Thayer was a dealer in dye-stuffs.
The Thayers continued to live at 3 Fairfield in 1889. They had moved by the 1889-1890 winter season, and by the 1891-1892 season were living at 125 Marlborough. They continued to own 3 Fairfield, however, with Cordelia Thayer shown as the owner on the 1898, 1908, and 1912 Bromley maps.
During the 1889-1890 winter season, 3 Fairfield was the home of Mrs. Margaret (Sigourney) Otis, the widow of wine and liquor dealer William Church Otis, who had died in March of 1889. Her primary residence was in Nahant. She continued to live at 3 Fairfield during the 1890-1891 season, but moved thereafter to the Hotel Brunswick (southeast corner of Clarendon and Boylston).
By the 1891-1892 winter season, 3 Fairfield was the home of merchant Benjamin Loring Young and his wife, Charlotte Wright (Hubbard) Young. They had lived at 166 Marlborough during the previous season. They also maintained a home in Weston. By the 1892-1893 winter season, they had moved to 227 Beacon.
3 Fairfield was not listed in the 1893 Blue Book.
By the 1893-1894 winter season, 3 Fairfield was the home of China shipping merchant John Graeme Purdon and his wife Clara Pomeroy (Rogers) Purdon. They previously had lived at 384 Marlborough. They continued to live at 3 Fairfield during the 1894-1895 winter season, but in the spring of 1895 purchased and moved to 356 Marlborough.
By the 1895-1896 winter season, 3 Fairfield was the home of Dr. Joseph Lincoln Goodale, a physician specializing in diseases of the throat, and his wife, Adelaide May (Evans) Goodale. Living with them was Dr. Henry Fox Hewes, also a physician. Dr. Goodale and Dr. Hewes also maintained their medical offices at 3 Fairfield.
By the 1901-1902 winter season, 3 Fairfield was the home of Walter H. Seavey and his wife, Mabel M. (Foster) Seavey. They previously had lived at The Westminster (southeast corner of St. James and Trinity Place). He was secretary, and later would become president, of E. H. Rollins & Co., investment bankers. They continued to live at 3 Fairfield during the 1902-1903 season, but moved thereafter to Hamilton.
By the 1903-1904 winter season, 3 Fairfield was the home of stockbroker Alfred Codman and his wife, Lydia Emmet (Eliot) Codman. They had been married in September of 1901 and had lived in an apartment at the Grosvenor at 259 Beacon in 1902. They also maintained a home in West Roxbury.
They continued to live at 3 Fairfield in 1906. By 1907, they had moved to their home in West Roxbury, and by 1908 to 459 Beacon.
By the 1906-1907 winter season, 3 Fairfield was the home of Mrs. Beatrice (Hardcastle) Lowell, the widow of banker Charles Lowell, who had died in May of 1906. Prior to his death, they had lived at 149 Beacon. Beatrice Lowell lived at 3 Fairfield with their adult children, Mary Beatrice Lowell and Alfred Putnam Lowell.
They continued to live there during the 1912-1913 winter season, but moved soon thereafter to 277 Beacon.
3 Fairfield was not listed in the 1914 and 1915 Blue Books.
By 1915, 3 Fairfield was the home of Leslie Clark Wead and his wife, Kate Haswell (Whitcomb) Wead. L. C. and K. H. Wead are shown as the owners on the 1917 Bromley map. Leslie Wead was a lawyer and a real estate trustee. In July of 1915, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into eight apartments, including enlarging one of the dormers. The architect was their son, Frederick Whitcomb Wead, who lived with his parents at 3 Fairfield.
They continued to live there until Leslie Wead’s death in March of 1918. By the 1918-1919 winter season, Kate Wead and Frederick W. Wead had moved to the Hotel Braemore at 464-466 Commonwealth.
Although the house was converted into eight apartments (and the permit records show that the work was done), 3 Fairfield appears to have continued to be occupied as a single-family dwelling in the 1920s.
By the 1919-1920 winter season, it was the home of William Bacon Emmons and his wife, Margaret (Young) Emmons. Margaret Y. Emmons is shown as the owner on the 1928 Bromley map. Margaret Emmons was the daughter of Benjamin and Charlotte (Hubbard) Young, who had lived at 3 Fairfield in the early 1890s. William and Margaret Emmons had lived at 15 Gloucester during the 1917-1918 season.
William Emmons owned Cloudland Farms in Pomfret, Vermont, a 2,000 acre farm where he raised Jersey cattle, Southdown sheep, and Berkshire pigs, and produced maple syrup.
By 1930, 3 Fairfield was the home of Mrs. Mary Louise (Daisy) Charleville (Taylor) Chase, the widow of Stephen Chase. She previously had lived in Connecticut. By 1931, she had moved to 290 Marlborough.
By the 1930-1931 winter season, 3 Fairfield was the home of John Eliot Yerxa and his wife, Constance (Gilpin) Yerxa. They previously had lived at 60 Pinckney. Constance G. Yerxa is shown as the owner of 3 Fairfield on the 1938 Bromley map.
A banker and broker, John Yerxa served as president of the Boston Stock Exchange in the 1940s and later became regional manager for Pan-American World Airways. He served as a member of the Boston City Council, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and the Massachusetts Senate.
Constance Yerxa died in February of 1950, and John Yerxa moved soon thereafter to 81 Beacon.
By 1951, 3 Fairfield was the home of Helen A. Durkin, who operated it as a multiple dwelling, either apartments or a lodging house. She continued to live there in 1959.
The property continued to be a multiple dwelling in the 1960s and 1970s.
By 1979, 3 Fairfield was owned by Luca J. P. Fioravanti and Aldo G. Fioravanti, brothers and trustees of Grilli Investment Trust. In November of 1979, they converted the property into eight condominiums.