329 Beacon

329 Beacon (2103)

329 Beacon (2103)

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 between 1871 and 1874.

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

They continued to live there in 1878.  By 1880, they were living in Brookline.

By 1877-1878 winter season, it 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 in 1882.  By 1885, they had moved to 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.

329 Beacon (ca. 1942)

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

By 1883, 329 Beacon was owned by the estate of leather and shoe merchant Henry Lefrelet Daggett, who had died in March of 1882.  He had lived at 116 Commonwealth.  The Daggett Estate is shown as the owner on the 1883 and 1888 Bromley maps, H. L. Daggett’s Heirs are shown as the owners on the 1895 and 1898 maps, and Henry L. Daggett et al are shown as the owners on the 1908 and 1917 maps.

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 there, leasing the house from the Daggett Estate, until about 1905, when they moved to 306 Beacon.

329 Beacon was not listed in the 1905 Blue Book.

By 1906, it was the home of Frank Edwards Warner and his wife,  Blanche Hobart (Fay) Warner.  In 1905, they had lived at 148 Commonwealth with her widowed mother, Hannah Sophia (Blackwood Fay, who had died in January of 1905.  They leased the house from the Daggett Estate (Blanche Fay’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 there in 1911, but by 1912 had moved to an apartment at 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.  In 1912, they 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.

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

329 Beacon was not listed in the 1920 US Census, nor in the 1920-1922 Blue Books.

By 1923, it was the home of John Lillie and his wife, Amy H. (Reynolds) Lillie.  He was an author and retired editor, having served as the resident editor in London for Harper’s magazine until 1915.  They continued to live at 329 Beacon until about 1926.

By the 1926-1927 winter season, 329 Beacon was the home of Thomas F. Russell, a druggist, and his three unmarried sisters: Mary J. (Jennie), Katherine M., and Elizabeth E. Russell.   They previously had lived at 174 West Canton.  He is shown as the owner of 329 Beacon on the 1928 and 1938 Bromley maps.  In the 1920s, he also maintained a summer home in York, Maine.

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

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

By 1962, 329 Beacon was the home of Philip Rahv and his wife, Theodora Jay (Stillman) Rahv.

Philip Rahv (born Ivan Greenberg) 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.

329 Beacon changed hands and, in February of 1979 was purchased by Bernard C. Cohen and Charles S. Rosenblum, trustees of the Interim Realty Trust.  In July of 1979, they converted the property into five condominiums.