326 Dartmouth was built ca. 1872, one of three houses designed by Snell and Gregerson, architects, and built at about the same time: 326-328 Dartmouth and 163 Marlborough.
In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting comments that the three houses are “three closely related structures” that “fit together to create an impressive whole.” 326 Dartmouth forms the center house of the three, half a story lower than the houses on either side and differentiated by changes in floor level and stone trim. The houses are built on three lots on Dartmouth between Marlborough and Alley 418. The lots are 100 feet deep (east to west) but are uneven in shape, with the eastern line of the lot for 326 Dartmouth longer than the western line, so that the 46 foot frontage of 326 Dartmouth is wider than the rear of the house.
326-328 Dartmouth were built for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., for speculative sale. He is shown as the owner of both houses on the 1874 Hopkins map.
By 1875, 326 Dartmouth was the home of dry goods merchant William Mathias Bremer and his wife, Welthea Loring (Malbon) Bremer. In 1874, they had lived at 127 Boylston.
By 1878, it was the home of Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Wright, the former wife of Charles Henry Todd. She had lived at 321 Dartmouth in 1877. Her unmarried son, Charles Francis (Todd) Wright, lived with her (after Mary Wright’s divorce from Charles Henry Todd, she and their children took her maiden name, Wright, as their surname).
She continued to live at 326 Dartmouth until her death in July of 1900. Prior to her death, she and her son had been joined at 326 Dartmouth by her unmarried sister, Esther Fidelia Wright.
Charles Wright and his aunt, Esther, continued to live at 326 Dartmouth. He is shown as the owner on the 1908 Bromley map. He listed his occupation as “gentleman of leisure” in the 1880 US Census, and showed no employment in the 1900 US Census.
Esther Wright died in January of 1903, and Charles Wright died in December of 1909. The Heirs of Charles F. Wright are shown as the owners on the 1912 and 1917 Bromley maps.
By 1911, 326 Dartmouth was the home of Charles Wright’s brother, William James Wright, and his wife, Georgianna (Buckham) Wright. They also maintained a home in Duxbury, where Georgianna Wright had donated the funds to build the public library (now known as the Wright Memorial Library).
William Wright was a gentleman farmer and had served in the Massachusetts legislature in 1890 and 1891. He had married Georgianna (Buckham) Wright in January of 1900. She was the widow of his uncle, George Wellman Wright (who died in 1897).
By 1920, 326 Dartmouth was the home of Dr. William Edwards Ladd and his wife, Helen Katharine (Barton) Ladd. They previously had lived at 346 Beacon. They also maintained a summer home in Nahant.
William Ladd was a physician and pediatric surgeon. He devised a number of new surgical procedures, and is known as the “father of pediatric surgery.”
From about 1925, he owned 66 Commonwealth, which he converted to medical offices for himself and other doctors.
By the 1927-1928 winter season, 326 Dartmouth was the home of William Glover Rueter and his wife, Margaret (Margot) Perkins (Cushing) Rueter. They previously had lived at 10 Fairfield. Margot Rueter is shown as the owner of 326 Dartmouth on the 1928 and 1938 Bromley maps. The Rueters also maintained a summer home in Manchester.
William Rueter previously had been a brewer in his family’s firm until the 1920s. By 1930 was treasurer of Kennedy & Company, dealers in butter, cheese, and eggs, he also was treasurer the La Touraine Coffee Company.
By 1935, the Rueters had been joined at 326 Dartmouth by his mother, Bertha (Glover) Rueter, the widow of Henry Arnold Rueter. They had lived with her at 284 Beacon in the mid-1920s.
By 1943, 326 Dartmouth was the home of Nell K. Mercier. She was the owner of the Hotel Brunswick at 520 Boylston, where she previously had lived. She continued to live at 326 Dartmouth until about 1947. While living there, she accepted lodgers. By 1948, she had moved back to the Hotel Brunswick. Born Nellie Fidelia Mercier, she was the former wife of Clifton Nicholson Phillips, and would marry again by 1963 to Herbert Camp Sneath, Boston district manager for American Express.
By mid-1947, 326 Dartmouth was owned by Fred L. Arata, a retail liquor dealer and real estate investor. He and his wife, Annette Flossie (Crovo) Boggiano Arata, lived in Brighton. In July of 1947 he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the property from a single-family dwelling into three medical offices and six apartments.
In 1950, one of the offices was the Chinese Consulate. It had moved by 1952, and the Spanish Consulate was located at 326 Dartmouth. It remained at 326 Dartmouth until about 1980.
The property subsequently changed hands, and by 1961 it was composed of nine apartments and one office (the Spanish Consulate). It again changed hands, including being sold in foreclosure in 1975.
In January of 1979, the Rhedom Realty Corporation purchased 326 Dartmouth, and in November of 1980, it converted the property into eleven condominiums. Three of the condominiums were purchased by the same buyer, and in December of 1980, Rhedom Realty applied for (and subsequently received) permission to change the occupancy to eight units.