329 Beacon

329 Beacon (2013)

329 Beacon (2013)

Lot 17' x 112' (1,904 sf)

Lot 17′ x 112′ (1,904 sf)

329 Beacon is located on the south side of Beacon, between Exeter and Fairfield, with 327 Beacon to the east and 331 Beacon to the west.

329 Beacon was designed and built in 1874 by 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 in the early 1870s. He is shown as the architect and the owner of 329 Beacon on the original building permit application, dated April 14, 1874, and on the final building inspection report dated December 13, 1874.

329 Beacon was built on the western 17 feet of a 50 foot wide lot originally sold by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as two 25 foot lots at its March 2, 1872, auction. Frederick Pope had been the successful bidder but did not take title to the land. Instead, he built 327 Beacon on the eastern 33 feet and advertised it for for sale. On April 30, 1873, the land with the house on it was purchased from the Commonwealth by Emma Esther (Howe) Proctor, the wife of leather dealer Thomas Emerson Proctor, to whom Frederick Pope transferred his right to purchase the land. On the same day, she sold the remaining 17 foot lot to the west to Frederick Pope, including in the deed a stipulation that the rear of any house built at 329 Beacon could not extend further south than the rear of the house at 327 Beacon.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 329 Beacon, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Beacon and Alley 417, from Exeter to Fairfield.

On February 11, 1875, 329 Beacon was purchased from Frederick Pope by leather manufacturer and merchant Stephen Everett Westcott as trustee under the will of his father, Stephen Tillinghast Westcott. Stephen E. Westcott and his wife, Abbie Ann (Fuller) Westcott, lived at 119 West Chester Park and then at 146 Commonwealth.

On August 14, 1875, 329 Beacon was purchased from Stephen E. Westcott by leather and shoe merchant Henry Lefrelet Daggett. He and his wife, Sara Eliza (Williams) Daggett, lived at 116 Commonwealth and appear to have purchased 329 Beacon as an investment, to lease to others.

By 1876, 329 Beacon was the home of Oscar Bishop Stillman and his wife, Mary Anna (Dixon) Stillman. They previously had lived in Baltimore. He was a designer, constructor, and operator of sugar refineries, and was superintendent of the Adams Sugar Refinery in Boston.

They continued to live at 329 Beacon during the 1877-1878 winter season, but moved thereafter to Brookline.

By 1877-1878 winter season, 329 Beacon was the home of Rufus Hayden Whitney and his wife, Emily Burton (Stevens) Whitney.  They previously had lived in the Longwood district of Brookline, and before that at 325 Beacon.

Rufus Whitney was a wholesale dry goods merchant and later a banker and broker.

They continued to live at 329 Beacon during the 1881-1882 winter season, but moved thereafter.  By 1884, they were living in New York City. He continued to maintain his banking and brokerage firm in Boston and in 1888 he was arrested for embezzlement and larceny for misappropriating funds invested in his firm by Thomas H. Boardman of Newburyport.

Henry L. Daggett died in March of 1882. In his will, he left the residue of his estate, including 329 Beacon, in trust for the benefit of his wife, Sara (Williams) Daggett, during her lifetime, with the property to be distributed after her death to their three surviving children: Henry Lefrelet Daggett, Jr., Sara Whittemore Daggett, and Eleanor Williams Daggett.

By the 1882-1883 winter season, 329 Beacon was the home of Dr. Herman Elvers Davidson, a physician.  He was a widower.  He previously had lived at 427 Beacon.  He continued to live at 329 Beacon during the 1883-1884 season, but moved thereafter.

By the 1884-1885 winter season, 329 Beacon was the home of Frances Mitchell (Lincoln) Richardson, the widow of Henry Lincoln Richardson, a shipping and commission merchant.  Their son, William King Richardson, lived with her.  They previously had lived in Brookline.  William Richardson was a law student and was admitted to the Bar in 1887.  They continued to live at 329 Beacon, leasing the house from the Daggett family, until about 1905, when they moved to 306 Beacon.

329 Beacon was not listed in the 1905 Blue Book.

Sara (Williams) Daggett had died in March of 1900. Her son, Henry Lefrelet Daggett, Jr., had predeceased her (he died in December of 1894 in Paris), leaving his widow, Evelyn Willard (Fay) Daggett and their only son, Henry L. Daggett, III. After Sara (Williams) Daggett’s death, 329 Beacon was inherited by her two daughters, Sara and Eleanor, and her grandson, Henry.

By the 1905-1906 winter season, 329 Beacon was the home of Frank Edwards Warner and his wife, Blanche Hobart (Fay) Warner. They previously had lived at 148 Commonwealth with her widowed mother, Hannah Sophia (Blackwood) Fay, who had died in January of 1905. Blanche (Fay) Warner’s sister, Evelyn, was the widow of Henry L. Daggett, Jr.

Frank Warner was an accountant with the American Bell Telephone Company.

They continued to live at 329 Beacon during the 1910-1911 season. but moved thereafter to an apartment in the Hotel Royal at 295-297 Beacon.

329 Beacon was not listed in the 1912 Blue Books.

By the 1912-1913 winter season, 329 Beacon was the home of Dr. Richard Mason Smith, a physician, and his wife, Josephine Ethel (Brush) Smith.  They previously had lived (and he had maintained his medical offices) at 222 Marlborough.

Dr. Smith also moved his medical offices to 329 Beacon, sharing them with other doctors:  Dr. L. Harry Newburgh in 1913 and 1914 (who moved his office to 419 Beacon by 1915), and Dr. Richard S. Eustis from about 1915.

329 Beacon (ca. 1942)

329 Beacon (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

The Smiths continued to live at 329 Beacon during the 1918-1919 winter season, but moved to 120 Marlborough by 1920.

Sara Daggett had married in June of 1905 to Dr. Robert Fowler Beattie, a physician. He died in August of 1905 and she died in April of 1918. They had no children, and her interest in 329 Beacon was inherited by her sister, Eleanor Daggett, and her nephew, Henry L. Daggett, III.

On May 11, 1920, 329 Beacon was purchased from Eleanor Daggett and Henry L. Daggett, III, by Amy Hamilton (Reynolds) Lillie, the wife of John Lillie. He was an author and retired editor, having served as the resident editor in London for Harper’s magazine until 1915.  They previously had lived at the Hotel Vendôme.

The Lillies appear to have spent most winters elsewhere, inasmuch as the house was not listed in the 1921-1922 and 1924-1926 Blue Books, but the Lillies did list it as their home in the 1921-1926 City Directories.

John Lillie died in June of 1925 and Amy Lillie moved soon thereafter. By 1928, she was living in Dedham.

On September 25, 1926, 329 Beacon was acquired from Amy Lillie by Oscar Long, a dealer in picture frames, and on October 5, 1926, it was acquired from him by Thomas F. Russell.

Thomas Russell was a pharmacist. He was unmarried and lived at 329 Beacon with his three sisters, Mary J. (Jennie) Russell, Katherine M. Russell, and Elizabeth E. Russell. They all previously had lived at 174 West Canton. In the 1920s (and possibly before), they also maintained a home in York, Maine. Their youngest sister and her husband, Theresa I. (Russell) Delaney and John M. Delaney, lived in New York City.

Jennie Russell died in December of 1934, and Katherine Russell died in April of 1935.

Thomas Russell died in December of 1940. Elizabeth E. Russell continued to live at 329 Beacon until her death in January of 1960.

329 Beacon was inherited by the children of John and Theresa (Russell) Delaney: Katherine M. (Delaney) Mairs, the widow of David Kelso Mairs; John Russell Delaney; Teresa A. Delaney; Thomas F. Delaney; and George O. Delaney. In August of 1960, Teresa A. Delaney, who was the administratrix of Elizabeth E. Russell’s estate, acquired her siblings’ interests.

On December 30, 1960, 329 Beacon was acquired from Teresa Delaney by real estate dealers Stuart H. Hastings and Joseph A. Gautreau.

On January 30, 1962, 329 Beacon was acquired from Stuart Hastings and Joseph Gautreau by Philip Rahv (born Ivan Greenberg) and his wife, Theodora Jay (Stillman) Rahv.

Philip Rahv was a professor at Brandeis University. An internationally known literary critic, in 1933 had co-founded the Partisan Review in New York and was its co-editor until 1969.

On September 25, 1968, Theodora Rahv was killed in a fire at 329 Beacon which damaged the second and third stories of the house.

In March of 1969, Philip Rahv applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into five apartments.

On April 11, 1969, 329 Beacon was acquired form Philip Rahv by Maurice Abromson and Irving Karg.

On February 1, 1979, 329 Beacon was acquired from Maurice Abromson and Irving Karg by Bernard C. Cohen and Charles S. Rosenblum, trustees of the Interim Realty Trust.

On July 31, 1979, they converted the property into five condominium units, the 329 Beacon Street Condominium.