321 Beacon was designed by Frederick B. Pope and built in 1871-1872 by James P. Neal, mason, one of three identical houses (321-323-325 Beacon) built for Frederick B. Pope for speculative sale, and one of fourteen contiguous houses (303-305-307-309-311-313-315-317-319-321-323-325-327-329 Beacon) he designed and built in the early 1870s. Frederick Pope is shown as the architect and owner on the final building inspection report for all three houses, dated June 28, 1872.
321-323-325 Beacon – each 16 feet 8 inches wide – were built on two 25 foot wide lots. The eastern lot was owned by Frederick Pope and the western lot was owned by Augustus Napoleon Loring. The lots had been sold by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at its public auction in December of 1870 and Frederick Pope and Augustus Loring either were the successful bidders or acquired the right to purchase the land from them. They did not take title to the property until June 28, 1872, the same day as the completed houses received their final inspection report. Frederick Pope then sold 321 Beacon and he and Augustus Loring sold 323 Beacon together. Augustus Loring retained 325 Beacon as rental property and then as his home.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 321 Beacon.
On October 1, 1872, 321 Beacon was purchased from Frederick Pope by William N. Mills. He and his wife. Annie M. (Howe) Mills, made it their home. They previously had lived in Cambridge.
William Mills was a barrel stave and heading dealer, in business with his brother, Henry F. Mills, who purchased 323 Beacon next door at the same time as William Mills purchased 321 Beacon.
During the 1880-1881 winter season, William and Annie Mills were living elsewhere and 321 Beacon was the home of Abby W. (Chapman) Chamberlin, the widow of Daniel Chamberlin, who had been proprietor of the Adams House hotel at 553 Washington. At the time of his death in April of 1879, they had lived at 1474 Washington and were building a home at 315 Commonwealth. After his death, she moved to the Commonwealth Hotel at 1697 Washington, where she was living in 1880 and resumed living again in 1882.
By the 1881-1882 winter season, the Millses were living at 321 Beacon again. They continued to live there until about November of 1885, when they purchased and subsequently moved to 337 Beacon.
On November 6, 1885, 321 Beacon was purchased from William Mills by Samuel Wallis Winslow, a retired drug merchant. He and his unmarried sisters, Maria Elizabeth Winslow and Lucy Waldo Winslow, made it their home. They previously had lived at 52 Pinckney.
Maria Elizabeth Winslow died in June of 1893 and Samuel Winslow died in August of 1895. In his will, he left 321 Beacon to his sister, Lucy, with the caveat that, in her will, she devise the property to the children of their brothers or their issue.
Lucy Waldo Winslow continued to live at 321 Beacon until her death in September of 1899. In her will, she left 321 Beacon to her brother, Edward Miller Winslow, and her nephew, George Scott Winslow, as trustees for the benefit of the children of her deceased brother, George Scott Winslow: George Scott Winslow; Eleanor Winslow; Amabel (Winslow) Cairnes, the wife of John Jameson Cairnes; and Charles Gibson Winslow.
During the 1900-1901 winter season, 321 Beacon was the home of Edward Burlingame Hill and his wife, Mary Alison (Bixby) Hill. They had married in June of 1900, and 321 Beacon probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 43 Chestnut and she had lived at 16 Exeter (196 Marlborough) with her father, Dr. George Holmes Bixby, a widower.
Edward Burlingame Hill was a composer and music teacher, and later would become a professor of music at Harvard.
By the next season, they had moved to 480 Beacon.
321 Beacon was not listed in the 1902 Blue Book.
By the 1902-1903 winter season, it was the home of cotton broker Philip Gardner and his wife, Virginia (Atkinson) Gardner. They previously had lived at 315 Beacon.
They continued to live at 321 Beacon during the 1907-1908 winter season, but moved thereafter to Brookline. By the 1909-1910 season, they had moved to 74 Commonwealth.
During the 1908-1909 winter season, 321 Beacon was the home of Mary C. (Taber) Collins Tatum, the widow of Abel Clark Collins and of Edward Tatum, a glass manufacturer. Her usual residence was in New York City. She was active in the American Peace Society and probably was in Boston in connection with the “Peace Sunday” meeting at Trinity Church on December 20, 1908, at which leaders of the society spoke.
On March 9, 1909, the house was damaged by a fire which started in a storeroom on the third floor.
On May 20, 1909, 321 Beacon was purchased from Lucy Winslow’s nieces and nephews by Dr. Luther Gordon Paul, a physician and surgeon, and on the same day, he transferred the property to his wife Agnes Symonds (Marchant) Paul. They made 321 Beacon their home and his medical office. They previously had lived at Trinity Court (southeast corner of Dartmouth and Stuart) and he had maintained his office at 657 Boylson.
They continued to live at 321 Beacon until about 1923, but had moved to Newton by 1924.
On June 1, 1923, 321 Beacon was purchased from Agnes Paul by Lillian (Shew) Young Eagleston Judkins, the wife of George Worcester Judkins, a real estate dealer. They previously had lived at 128 Chestnut. By the 1924-1925 season, they had moved to 58 West Cedar.
On May 3, 1924, 321 Beacon was purchased from Lillian Judkins by Redington Mudge DeCormis, a banker. On May 9, 1924, he transferred the property to his wife, Anna Louise (Davies) DeCormis. They made 321 Beacon their home. They previously had lived in Brookline. They also maintained a home in Scituate.
On October 1, 1937, Louise DeCormis transferred 321 Beacon back to her husband. She died in 1940.
Redington DeCormis remarried in 1944 to Dr. Lotten Augusta Lenander, a physician. After their marriage, they lived at 321 Beacon until about 1957.
On July 15, 1957, 321 Beacon was acquired from Redington DeCormis by Rene Harcourt Miller and his wife, Marcelle Lucienne (Hansotte) Miller. They previously had lived in Brookline. A pioneer in the development of jet planes and helicopters, he was a professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. They continued to live there in the mid-1970s.
On April 22, 1986, 321 Beacon was purchased from Rene Miller by Robert Collier, trustee, Beacon Street 321 Realty Trust.
On August 7, 1986, 321 Beacon was acquired from Robert Collier by Martin A. Samuels and his wife, Linda S. Samuels
321 Beacon subsequently changed hands; it remained a single-family dwelling in 2016.