309 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 309 Beacon, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Beacon and Alley 417, from Exeter to Fairfield.
A December 16, 1872, advertisement by Frederick Pope in the Boston Transcript offering 309 Beacon for sale described it as “three stories, basement and French roof; five stories finished, three in natural woods.”
While the house was unsold, Frederick Pope made 309 Beacon his home. He was unmarried. His parents, Samuel and Sarah H. (Stetson) Pope, his sister Sarah E. Pope, and his brother, Eugene Alexander Pope, lived with him. They all had lived at 319 Beacon, another of his newly-built homes, the previous year, and before that in Cambridge.
On February 8, 1875, Frederick Pope – who appears to have been experiencing financial difficulties – transferred 309 Beacon and several other properties to his brother, Eugene.
309 Beacon was subject to two mortgages given by Frederick Pope, one to the Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank and the other to Joseph McIntire. On May 8, 1875, Joseph McIntire foreclosed on the mortgage he held and took possession of the property (assuming liability for the mortgage to the Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank). On November 8, 1875, the property was acquired from him by George Butterfield.
The Pope family continued to live at 309 Beacon in 1876, but moved thereafter back to Cambridge.
By the 1878-1879 winter season, it was the home of Henry Munroe Rogers and his wife, Clara Kathleen (Barnett) Rogers. They had married in April of 1878 and 309 Beacon probably was their first home together. They also maintained a home in Rockport. Prior to their marriage, he had lived with his widowed father, John Hicks Rogers, at 303 Beacon.
On April 18, 1879, 309 Beacon was acquired from George Butterfield by the Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank (which still held the first mortgage on the property). On November 17, 1881, Henry Rogers purchased 309 Beacon from the Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank, and on December 14, 1881, he acquired Eugene Pope’s residual equity interest in the property.
John Rogers was an attorney. Clara Barnett was the daughter of English composer John Barnett and, prior to their marriage, she had been an opera singer known as Clara Doria. After their marriage, she composed and taught music.
The Rogerses continued to live at 309 Beacon for the rest of their lives. She died in March of 1931, and he died in March of 1937.
On December 28, 1938, 309 Beacon was purchased from Henry Rogers’s estate by Shirley Clifford Speed, a real estate dealer who converted many Back Bay houses into lodging houses and apartments.
In May of 1939, S. Clifford Speed applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into a lodging house.
The property subsequently changed hands and on April 29, 1946, was acquired by Mrs. Adeline (Norton/Notarangelo) Morris, the former wife of William Eugene Morris, who operated it as a lodging house. She was a claims adjuster with the Veterans Administration. She previously had lived in Washington DC. On April 18, 1947, she transferred the property to herself as trustee for the benefit of her daughter, Jeanne Carole Morris.
In April of 1949, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remove a shed at the rear of the building and replace it with an enclosed porch.
By mid-1950, Adeline Morse had remarried to Dr. Wilfred Lawrence McKenzie, a physician in Winchester.
On September 29, 1950, 309 Beacon was acquired from Adeline McKenzie by Willard Joseph Erhardt, a former opera singer, who continued to operate it as a lodging house. He died in January of 1958.
The property changed hands and on June 15, 1962, was acquired by Bessie E. Jacobs and Esther B. Pearlman, trustees of the B & E Realty Trust. In July of 1962, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a lodging house into nine apartments.
The property changed hands and on May 2, 1977, was acquired by real estate dealer Patrick J. Glynn and his wife, Anne T. Glynn. On January 22, 1991, they Glynns transferred the property to themselves as trustees of the 309 Beacon Street Trust, and on December 31, 1996, they transferred the property to Glynn Realty Associates III, LLC.
309 Beacon remained an apartment house in 2016.