307 Beacon

307 Beacon (2013)

307 Beacon (2013)

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

Lot 18′ x 112′ (2,016 sf)

307 Beacon is located on the south side of Beacon, between Exeter and Fairfield, with 305 Beacon to the east and 309 Beacon to the west.

307 Beacon was designed and built ca. 1871 by Frederick B. Pope for speculative sale, one of four houses built as two symmetrical pairs (303-305 Beacon and 307-309 Beacon), and one of fourteen contiguous houses (303-305-307-309-311-313-315-317-319-321-323-325-327-329 Beacon) Frederick Pope designed and built in the early 1870s.

Frederick Pope purchased the land for 303-305-307-309 Beacon on May 31, 1871, from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The original parcel was 75 feet wide, and the total frontage of the four houses was 74 feet. Frederick Pope sold the remaining one foot strip, on the east end of the parcel, in May of 1871 and it subsequently was combined with the lot further east on which 301 Beacon was built.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 307 Beacon, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Beacon and Alley 417, from Exeter to Fairfield.

On April 5, 1872, 307 Beacon was purchased from Frederick Pope by Samuel J. M. Homer. He and his wife, Rebecca T. (Fisher) Homer, made it their home. They previously had lived at 7 Burroughs Place.

Samuel Homer was a wholesale merchant dealing in hardware and cutlery.

He died in December of 1872.

Rebecca Homer continued to live at 307 Beacon and, in June of 1877, she married again, to Rev. Samuel Hunt, a Congregationalist clergyman and former private secretary to US Vice President Henry Wilson. Samuel and Rebecca (Homer) Hunt lived at 307 Beacon until his death one year later, in July of 1878. She moved soon thereafter, but continued to own the property.

During the 1878-1879 winter season, 307 Beacon was the home of Henry Stackpole, a banker, and his wife, Bessie (Value) Stackpole.  They had lived at 20 Fairfield the previous season. They continued to live at 307 Beacon in 1880, but moved soon thereafter to a new home they had built at 340 Beacon.

By 1880-1881 winter season, 307 Beacon was the home of Miss Mary E. Torrey. She first leased the house from Rebecca Hunt and then purchased it from her on June 28, 1888.

307-309 Beacon (2013)

307-309 Beacon (2013)

Miss Torrey previously had lived at 23 Commonwealth with her sister, Elizabeth (Torrey) Spooner, the widow of shipping merchant Daniel Nicolson Spooner.  Their niece, Fanny Torrey Sturgis (daughter of William Sturgis and Katherine (Torrey) Sturgis) had lived with them, and it appears likely that she moved to 307 Beacon with Miss Torrey (Miss Sturgis is listed there in the Blue Books from 1902).

Mary Torrey died in May of 1915. She left 307 Beacon to Fanny Sturgis, who moved soon thereafter to the Hotel Somerset.

By the 1915-1916 winter season, 307 Beacon was the home of Thomas Jefferson Newbold and his wife, Katherine (Hubbard) Newbold. They had married in January of 1914 and then traveled abroad for about two years. Prior to their marriage, she had lived at 210 Beacon.

T. Jefferson Newbold grew up in Hyde Park, New York, where his parents were next door neighbors of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.  He was a friend and early supporter of FDR’s.  He began his business career as a selling agent for the International Cotton Mills.  He subsequently became investment banker and by 1924 was treasurer of the Red Star Manufacturing Company, makers of house furnishing goods.  At the time of his death in July of 1939, he was president of an electrical engineering firm and described by Eleanor Roosevelt as “one of our oldest friends.”

The Newbolds continued to live at 307 Beacon during the 1916-1917 winter season, but moved thereafter to Beverly.  By the 1923-1924 winter season, they were living at 210 Beacon, which had been the home of Katherine Newbold’s parents, Gorham and Sarah (Henshaw) Hubbard.

During the 1917-1918 winter season, 307 Beacon was the home of John Wells Farley and his wife, Isabel S. (McLennan) Farley.  Their usual home was in West Roxbury, but they appear to have been living in Boston during his tour of duty as a Major in the US Army Reserve.  He was a lawyer and, from about 1910 to 1912, also had been publisher of the Boston Herald.  In the early 1900s, he had been a noted football player and coach at Harvard and at the University of Maine.

During the 1918-1919 winter season, Fanny Sturgis was living at 307 Beacon once again, joined by her brother and sister-in-law, Elliot Torrey Sturgis and Alice MacLeod (Burbank) Sturgis.  By 1920, Fanny Sturgis was living at The Colonial at 382 Commonwealth and the Elliot Sturgises were living in Brookline, with a second home in Medford.

By the 1919-1920 winter season, 307 Beacon was the home of Dr. Pierce Powers McGann, a physician, and his wife, Elizabeth Bowditch (Fay) McGann.

They initially leased the house from Fanny Sturgis and then purchased it from her on March 28, 1924.

Pierce McGann died in October of 1932.  Elizabeth McGann moved soon thereafter to 287 Beacon to live with her mother, Katherine (Gray) Fay, the widow of  Dudley Bowditch Fay.

307 Beacon was not listed in the 1934 Blue Book and was shown as vacant in the 1933 and 1934 City Directories.

On May 16, 1934, 307 Beacon was purchased from Elizabeth McGann by Dr. Isabelle D. Kerr, a physician and nose and throat specialist, as her home and medical office. She previously had lived and maintained her office at 479 Beacon.  She also maintained a home in Hollis, New Hampshire.

307 Beacon also became the home and medical office of Dr. Ilia Galleani, a physician and early advocate of birth control.  She lived there with her husband, Fritz (Fritiof Johan Axel) Granold, a proofreader with a printing company.  They had married in 1934.  Prior to their marriage, she had lived and maintained her office at 370 Commonwealth.

307-309 Beacon (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

307-309 Beacon (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

In May of 1934, Dr. Kerr applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the interior.  The current and proposed use was said to be a single-family residence and doctor’s office.  In July of 1935, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to do additional interior remodeling.  In that application, she stated that the property was used entirely for offices and there were no residents.  However, both Dr. Kerr and Dr. Galleani continued to list their home addresses at 307 Beacon.

On August 22, 1935, Isabelle Kerr transferred a one-half interest in 307 Beacon to Ilia Galleani.

Ilia Galleani and Fritz Granold divorced in the late 1930s.  She continued to live at 307 Beacon and he moved to Norwood, where he had lived before their marriage,

Dr. Galleani continued to live and maintain her medical office at 307 Beacon until about 1953.  On July 23, 1953, she transferred her one-half interest in the property back to Isabelle Kerr. Dr. Kerr continued to live and maintain her office there until 1959.

On July 5, 1959, Isabelle Kerr transferred 307 Beacon to her niece, Susan Goodwin (Bartels) Marion, the wife of Cornelius George Marion.  Susan (Bartels) Marion was the daughter of Ernest Paul Bartels and Pearl Daisy Kerr, Isabelle Kerr’s sister. Isabelle Kerr moved to Watertown to live with the Marions; she died there in October of 1959.

In May of 1960, Susan Marion applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into nine apartments.

The property subsequently changed hands and on April 24, 1986, was acquired by Donato F. Pizzuti and Russell L. Peterson, trustees of the 240 Heath Street Realty Trust.

On March 30, 1987, they converted the property into ten condominium units, the 307 Beacon Street Condominium.

In August of  2001, T. F. Heath Realty Company applied for (and subsequently received) permission to change the legal occupancy from nine units to ten units, the existing condition.