321 Beacon was designed by Frederick B. Pope and built in 1872 by J. P. Beal. The house was built for Frederick B. Pope for speculative sale, one of fourteen contiguous houses (303-305-307-309-311-313-315-317-319-321-323-325-327-329 Beacon) he designed and built between 1871 and 1874. He is shown as the architect and owner on the original building permit inspection, dated June 28, 1872.
By 1873, 321 Beacon was the home of William N. Mills and his wife. Annie M. (Howe) Mills. In 1872, they had lived in Cambridge. He is shown as the owner of 321 Beacon on the 1874 Hopkins map and the 1883 Bromley map.
William Mills was a barrel stave and heading dealer, in business with his brother, Henry, who lived next door at 323 Beacon.
During the 1880-1881 winter season, the Millses were living elsewhere and 321 Beacon was the home of Mrs. 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, William and Annie Mills were living at 321 Beacon again. They continued to live there during the 1885-1886 winter season, but had moved to 337 Beacon by the 1886-1887 season.
By the 1886-1887 winter season, 321 Beacon was the home of Samuel Wallis Winslow, a retired drug merchant, and his unmarried sisters, Elizabeth and Lucy W. Winslow. They previously had lived at 52 Pinckney.
Samuel Winslow is shown as the owner of 321 Beacon on the 1888 Bromley map.
Elizabeth Winslow died in 1893 and Samuel Winslow died in August of 1895. Lucy Winslow continued to live at 321 Beacon until her death in September of 1899.
The house was not listed in the 1900 Blue Book. The house remained in the Winslow family. Edward M. Winslow et al, trustees, are shown as the owners on the 1898 Bromley map, and George S. Winslow et al, trustees, are shown as the owners on the 1908 map. Edward Miller Winslow was the brother of Samuel, Elizabeth, and Lucy Winslow, and George Scott Winslow, Jr., was their nephew (the son of George Scott Winslow and Sarah (Train) Winslow).
By 1901, 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 1902, they had moved to 480 Beacon.
By 1903, 321 Beacon was the home of cotton broker Philip Gardner and his wife, Virginia (Atkinson) Gardner. In 1902, they 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 Mrs. 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.
By the 1909-1910 winter season, it was the home of Dr. Luther Gordon Paul, a physician and surgeon, and his wife Agnes Symonds (Marchant) Paul. Agnes M. Paul is shown as the owner on the 1912 and 1917 Bromley maps.
They continued to live there until about 1923, but had moved to Newton by 1924.
During the 1923-1924 winter season, 321 Beacon was the home of George Worcester Judkins, a real estate dealer, and his wife, Lillian (Shew) Young Eagleston Judkins. They previously had lived at 128 Chestnut. By the 1924-1925 season, they had moved to 58 West Cedar.
By the 1924-1925 winter season, 321 Beacon was the home of Redington Mudge DeCormis, a banker, and his wife, Anna Louise (Davies) DeCormis. They previously had lived in Brookline. A. Louise DeCormis is shown as the owner on the 1928 Bromley map, and R. M. DeCormis is shown as the owner on the 1938 map. They also maintained a home in Scituate.
Louise DeCormis died in 1940. Redington DeCormis remarried in 1944 to Lotten Augusta Lenander, a physician. After their marriage, they lived at 321 Beacon until about 1957.
By 1957, 321 Beacon was the home of Rene Harcourt Miller and his wife, Marcelle (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.
In April of 1986, Robert Collier purchased 321 Beacon from Rene H. Miller.
In August of 1986, Martin A. Samuels and his wife, Linda S. Samuels, purchased 321 Beacon from Robert Collier.
321 Beacon subsequently changed hands; it remained assessed as a single-family dwelling in 2014.