339 Beacon was designed by architect Samuel D. Kelley and built in 1881-1882 by Frank Jones, mason, for building contractor Samuel Tarbell Ames, one of two contiguous houses (339-341 Beacon) of the same design with two story (plus basement) front bays on the eastern side. Samuel Ames is shown as the owner on the original building permit application for the two houses dated March 12, 1881. At about the same time, Samuel T. Ames had three additional houses built to the east, at 333-335-337 Beacon, also designed by Samuel D. Kelley in a similar style but with bays extending one more story.
On September 26, 1881, probably while 339 Beacon was still being completed, dry goods merchant Nathaniel Willard Pierce purchased the land from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and he and his wife, Catherine Hatch (Collamore) Pierce, made 339 Beacon their home. They previously had lived at 198 Beacon.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 339 Beacon, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Beacon and Alley 417, from Exeter to Fairfield.
During the late 1880s, the Pierces were traveling in Europe. When they returned, they moved to the Hotel Vendome, where they were living during the 1889-1890 winter season.
During the 1887-1888 winter season, 339 Beacon was the home of Elijah Brigham Phillips, president of the Fitchburg Railroad, and his wife, Maria Rebecca (Ayling) Phillips. Their son-in-law and daughter, Cyrus A. Page and Anna M. (Phillips) Page, lived with them, as did their unmarried son, Walter Brigham Phillips, a stockbroker. They all previously had lived at 398 Beacon. By 1889, they had moved to the Longwood section of Brookline.
During the 1888-1889 winter season, 339 Beacon was the home of George Homer Ball and his wife, Florence (Gill) Ball. They previously had lived at the Hotel Vendome. He was an attorney and president of the Norwich and Worcester Railroad. They had moved by 1890 and by 1892 were living at 23 Bay State Road.
During the 1889-1890 winter season, 339 Beacon was the home of Eugene Griffin and his wife, Alice (Hancock) Griffin. They previously had lived at 183 Huntington. He was an officer the Thomson-Houston Electric Company, manufacturers of generators and electric motors, and later would become First Vice President of General Electric Company (a graduate of West Point, he re-enlisted at the time of the Spanish-American War and retired at the rank of Brigadier General). They continued to live at 339 Beacon during the 1890-1891 season, but moved thereafter to an apartment at 295 Commonwealth.
On September 9, 1891, 339 Beacon was purchased from Nathaniel Pierce by John Ellwood Paige. He and his wife, Anna (Wing) Paige, lived in Lynn, where he was a bookkeeper.
On January 11, 1892, 339 Beacon was purchased from John Paige by shoe manufacturer Charles Patten Shillaber. He and his wife, Helen Starr (Camerden) Shillaber, made it their home. They previously had lived at 125 Beacon.
They continued to live at 339 Beacon during the 1895-1896 winter season, but moved thereafter to 275 Beacon to live with his mother, Caroline M. (Patten) Shillaber, the widow of Jonas Green Shillaber. By 1898, they had moved to West Roxbury.
On October 26, 1896, 339 Beacon was purchased from Charles Shillaber by Frances Henrietta (Janvrin) Hood, the wife of George Henry Hood. They previously had lived in Brookline. They also maintained a home, Fort House, in Manchester, Massachusetts.
George Hood founded the Boston Rubber Company in 1877, manufacturers of rubber boots and shoes. He served as its president and treasurer until 1892, when it merged with the United State Rubber Company. In 1896, his sons, Frederic Clarke Hood and Arthur Needham Hood, founded the Hood Rubber Company, which also manufactured rubber boots and shoes.
Living with George and Frances Hood were three of their five surviving children: Helen Frances Hood, a composer, Richard Percival Hood, an architect, and Florence Henrietta Hood.
Florence Hood married in April of 1899 to Raymond Lee Whitman; after their marriage, they lived in New York City.
The Hoods continued to live 339 Beacon during the 1905-1906 winter season, but moved thereafter to Hamilton. At about the same time, Richard P. Hood moved to England to serve as Secretary and Agent for the Hood Rubber Company.
On July 9, 1907, Frances Henrietta Hood transferred 399 Beacon to her son, Arthur N. Hood, and on October 21, 1907, he transferred it to real estate dealer Augustus Larkin Thorndike.
On February 16, 1910, 339 Beacon was acquired by attorney John Loomer Hall. He and his wife, Dorothy Brinley (Morgan) Hall, made it their home. They had married in January of 1910 and lived briefly at 130 Marlborough before moving to 339 Beacon.
They continued to live at 339 Beacon during the 1915-1916 winter season, but moved thereafter to 285 Clarendon.
On December 30, 1915, 339 Beacon was purchased from John L. Hall by Henrietta Bridge (Dana) Lyman Monod, the widow of Dr. George Hinckley Lyman and of Henri Monod of Paris.
Henrietta Monod’s first husband, George Lyman, was a gynecologist, who died in August of 1891. They had lived at 351 Beacon. She married again in June of 1896 to Henri Monod, a French public health official credited with reforming and modernizing the French public health system. He died in November of 1911 and Henrietta Monod returned to Boston in 1913, living first at the Hotel Brunswick (southeast corner of Clarendon and Boylston) and then at the Hotel Vendôme.
Henrietta Monod continued to live at 339 Beacon during the 1917-1918 winter season, after which she moved back to the Hotel Vendôme. She also continued to maintain a home in Paris.
339 Beacon was not listed in the 1919 Blue Book.
On April 13, 1919, 339 Beacon was purchased from Henrietta Monod by Bancroft Gheradi Davis. He had married in February of 1919 to Charlotte Jones and 339 Beacon was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 48 Beacon.
Bancroft Davis was a lawyer in Boston and a professor at Harvard Law School. He also served as treasurer and later as vice president of the Angier Chemical Company.
In May of 1919, Bancroft Davis applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the interior of the house.
In 1919, before the Davises took occupancy, 339 Beacon apparently had been leased by Henrietta Monod for use as a private school, inasmuch as on June 10, 1919, the Building Department inspected the building (probably as a result of Bancroft Davis’s permit application to remodel the building), found that it was being operated as a private school, and issued Henrietta Monod a notice of violation for lack of egress.
By the 1919-1920 winter season, Bancroft and Charlotte Davis had made 339 Beacon their home. They also maintained a home in Sherborn.
Charlotte Davis died in June of 1931. Bancroft Davis continued to live at 339 Beacon until his death in October of 1947.
The property subsequently changed hands and on December 1, 1948, was acquired by William H. Walker of New Britain, Connecticut. On the same day, he transferred the property to Harvey Lincoln Reed, Jr., and his wife, Marjorie (Lucas) Reed. They lived in Waban and previously had lived in New Britain.
William Walker lived at 339 Beacon, probably managing the property on the Reeds’ behalf, and in January of 1949, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into eight apartments.
Harvey Reed, Jr., died in March of 1949. In November of 1956, Marjorie Reed and her son, Harvey Lincoln Reed, III, purchased 341 Beacon. They continued to live in Waban. Harvey Reed, III, died in May of 1982.
On October 11, 1985, 339-341 Beacon were purchased from Christine Curran by 341 Beacon Street Associates (a joint venture of H & P Associates Limited Partnership II and First American Development Corporation III). On the same day, 341 Beacon Street Associates also acquired 343 Beacon.
In July of 1986, 341 Beacon Street Associates applied for (and subsequently received) permission to combine 339-341-343 Beacon into one property, add an additional story to 339 and 341 Beacon, aligning it with the roofline of 337 Beacon, and add a penthouse and roof deck on all three buildings.
On August 20, 1987, 341 Beacon Street Associates converted 339-341-343 Beacon into twenty-three condominium units, the Beacon Place Condominium.