326 Commonwealth was designed by Bradlee, Winslow, and Wetherell, architects, and built in 1882-1883 by Vinal & Dodge, builders, for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., for speculative sale, one of three contiguous houses (322-324-326 Commonwealth), and one of fifteen houses (322-326 Commonwealth and 338-360 Commonwealth) built on the same block for George Wheatland, Jr., in 1882-1884. George Wheatland is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated September 20, 1882, and as the owner of all three houses on the 1883 Bromley map.
326 Commonwealth was not listed in the 1884 Blue Book.
By the 1884-1885 winter season, it was the home of Lewis Brooks Bailey and his wife, Anna Lawrence (Hamilton) Bailey, his sister, Miss Elizabeth H. Bailey, and Anna Bailey’s sister, Virginia (Hamilton) Forster (called Foster in the Blue Books), the widow of Theodore Forster of St. Louis. Lewis and Anna Bailey had married in April of 1884 and 326 Commonwealth probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, Lewis Bailey had lived at 55 Bowdoin with his mother, Mary (Hall) Bailey, the widow of Lewis Bailey, and his unmarried sisters, Mary and Elizabeth. His mother had died in October of 1882 and Mary Bailey had died in August of 1883. Lewis B. Bailey et al are shown as the owners on the 1888 Bromley map.
Lewis Bailey died in November of 1888. Anna (Hamilton) Bailey, Elizabeth Bailey, and Virginia (Hamilton) Forster continued to live at 326 Commonwealth during the 1888-1889 season, but moved thereafter. By the early 1890s, Elizabeth Bailey was living at the Hotel Bellevue at 19-23 Beacon, and Anna Bailey and Virginia Forster were living in St. Louis, where they had been born.
By the 1889-1890 winter season, 326 Commonwealth was the home of wholesale produce merchant George Henry Tinkham and his wife, Frances Ann (Holden) Tinkham. They previously had lived at 74 Montgomery. Fannie A. Tinkham is shown as the owner of 326 Commonwealth on the 1890, 1898, 1908, and 1917 Bromley maps, and was the assessed owner through 1925.
Their son, George Holden Tinkham lived with them. George Henry Tinkham’s unmarried sister, Abbie A. Tinkham, also lived with them.
George Henry Tinkham died in June of 1904. Fannie (Holden) Tinkham, George Holden Tinkham, and Abbie Tinkham continued to live at 326 Commonwealth.
George Holden Tinkham was a lawyer. He served as a member of the Massachusetts State Senate from 1910 through 1912, and as a member of the US Congress from 1915 to 1943 (he did not stand for re-election in 1942).
Abbie Tinkham died in March of 1913, and Fannie Tinkham died in December of 1923. Fannie Tinkham’s Heirs were the assessed owners of 326 Commonwealth in 1926, and George Holden Tinkham was the assessed owner from 1927 through 1939 and is shown as the owner on the 1928 and 1938 Bromley maps.
George Holden Tinkham continued to live at 326 Commonwealth and Washington DC until about 1940, when he moved to 369 Marlborough to live with his sister, Madeleine (Tinkham) Miller, the wife of Loris Almy Miller.
By 1940, 326 Commonwealth was owned by Harvey W. Forbes et al, who were the assessed owners that year. In January of 1940, Harvey Forbes applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into five apartments and a doctor’s office.
The property changed hands and by 1967 was owned by Robert White.
In December of 1988, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 326 Commonwealth from five apartments and a doctor’s office into ten apartments. At the same time, he also applied for (and subsequently received) permission to combine it with 322-324 and 328-330-332-334 Commonwealth into one property with 63 apartments, to be known as 322-334 Commonwealth. 336 Commonwealth remained a separate property.
326 Commonwealth remained an apartment house in 2015.