342 Beacon was designed by Allen and Kenway, architects, and built in 1880-1881 by James Fagan, mason, and Creesy & Noyes, carpenters, for leather merchant Miles Washburn and his wife, Sarah Henshaw (Carruth) Washburn. The property was numbered 340 Beacon until about 1889. In 1880, they had lived at 18 Newbury.
Miles Washburn is shown as the owner of 342 Beacon on the original building permit application, dated September 22, 1880, and on an accompanying application (dated December 15, 1880) to build a stable at the rear of the house.
Miles Washburn died in January of 1882.
Sarah Washburn continued to live at 342 Beacon, joined in 1884, by her first cousin, Charles Theodore Carruth, a dealer in chemicals, drugs, and dyestuffs. In 1883, he had lived with his parents, Charles and Mary Anna (Bachi) Carruth, at 79 Newbury. He married in June of 1884 to Anna Kent. After their marriage, they lived for a while at 342 Beacon with Sarah Washburn but had moved to 220 Newbury by the 1885-1886 winter season. Sarah Washburn is shown as the owner on the 1883, 1888, 1898, and 1908 Bromley maps.
During the 1891-1892 winter season, Sarah Washburn was living elsewhere and 342 Beacon was the home of Harry Snow Hall and his wife, Ellen Nichols (Wood) Hall. He was a trustee of estates. They had lived at 351 Beacon during the previous season. They had moved from 342 Beacon by the 1892-1893 season, and by the 1893-1894 season were living at 472 Beacon.
During the 1894-1895 winter season, she was living at 381 Commonwealth and 342 Beacon was the home of John Hitchcock, Jr., a lawyer and trustee of estates, and his wife, Esther Mary (Baker) Hitchcock. They had been married in April of 1893 and earlier in 1894 had lived at 117 Commonwealth with her mother, Mary Ann (Martyn) Baker, the widow of Ezra Howes Baker, Jr. By the 1895-1896 season, the Hitchcocks had moved to 415 Commonwealth, and by the 1896-1897 season, they had moved back to 117 Commonwealth.
By the 1895-1896 winter season, 342 Beacon was once again Sarah Washburn’s home. Her son, Paul, and her daughter, Margaret, lived with her. Paul Washburn married in April of 1897 to Mary Louise Brown and, after their marriage, they lived at 342 Beacon with his mother. Paul and Mary Washburn also maintained a home in Winchester.
In April of 1910, at the time of the 1910 US Census, Sarah Washburn was living at the Wadsworth Hotel on Kenmore Street and Paul and Mary Washburn were living elsewhere, and 342 Beacon was the home of William Vail Kellen and his wife Ella Frances (Sturtevant) Kellen. They had lived at 202 Commonwealth in 1909.
William Kellen was an attorney and also served as treasurer of the B. F. Sturtevant Company, manufacturers of fans and air handling equipment, founded by his father-in-law, Benjamin Franklin Sturtevant.
By the 1910-1911 winter season, the Kellens had moved to 32 Commonwealth and Sarah Washburn and her son and daughter-in-law were living there once again. By 1912, they had moved back to the Wadsworth Hotel.
By 1912, 342 Beacon was the home of John Burrow Muir Mactaggart, a retired merchant, and his wife, Elsie Baker (Folsom) Mactaggart. Elsie B. F. Mactaggart is shown as the owner on the 1912 and 1917 Bromley maps. They continued to live there during the 1915-1916 winter season, but moved thereafter to Chestnut Hill.
By 1917, 342 Beacon was the home of George William Simpson, a wool buyer with the American Woolen Company, and his wife, Dorothy (Davis) Simpson.
He died in November of 1918 and Dorothy Simpson moved to 316 Beacon to live with her parents, George and Ada (Whitney) Davis, where she was living in 1920.
By the 1919-1920 winter season, 342 Beacon was the home of department store heir Harold Leufroi Chalifoux and his wife, Elizabeth Alice (Burrage) Chalifoux. They had spent the previous season in Washington DC, and before that lived at 269 Beacon. By the 1920-1921 season, they had moved to 63 Commonwealth.
Dorothy (Davis) Simpson’s parents both died in 1920, and in February of 1921 she remarried, to David Alexander Gardner, a salesman with an oil company, and moved back to 342 Beacon.
In July of 1922, Dorothy Gardner had 342 Beacon remodeled to lower the front entrance to the basement level, build a rear addition, and install an elevator. The remodeling was designed by architect Edward Sears Read. Plans for the remodeling are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN G-47).
David Gardner died in August of 1922.
By 1925, it was the home of Philip Stockton and his wife Margaret (Head) Stockton. They previously had lived at the Hotel Agassiz at 191 Commonwealth and before that at 280 Beacon. They also maintained a home in Manchester.
Philip Stockton was president of the Old Colony Trust Company. In 1929, when it was acquired by the First National Bank of Boston, he became president of the bank.
The Stocktons leased the house from the Estate of George William Simpson. Davis Simpson, et al, are shown as the owners on the 1928 Bromley map, and Dorothy D. Rimmer, et al, are shown as the owners on the 1938 map.
Philip Stockton died in February of 1940, and by 1941 Margaret Stockton had moved to an apartment at 282 Beacon.
By 1941, 342 Beacon was the home of Emerich von Pflügl and his wife, Harriet (Wright) Mercati von Pflügl. Emerich von Pflügl had been an Austrian diplomat and served as a delegate to the League of Nations. He fled Europe during World War II. His wife was the former wife of Count Alexander Mercati, and her mother was Princess Myra Abigail (called Daria) (Pankhurst) Wright Pratt Karageorgevich, wife of Prince Alexis Karageorgevich of Russia (Daria Pratt won the bronze medal for women’s golf in the 1900 Olympics).
They continued to live at 342 Beacon in 1943.
By 1944, 342 Beacon was once again the home Charles and Dorothy (Davis) Rimmer. They continued to live there until about 1950.
By 1950, 342 Beacon was owned by Dr. Raymond G. Ingalls. In August of 1950, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into a single-family dwelling and doctor’s office.
In the summer of 1951, Dr. George Anteblian, a physician, purchased 342 Beacon from Raymond Ingalls. The transaction was reported b the Boston Globe on August 5, 1951. George Anteblian and his wife, Margaret, lived at 209 Beacon.
By late 1951, 342 Beacon was owned by Sidney Llewellyn Sholley and his wife, Hazel Eda (Hoag) Sholley. Sidney Sholley was founder of the Keystone mutual funds. They continued to live at 342 Beacon in 1953.
In May of 1953, James J. Healy, a Harvard Business School professor and nationally-renown labor arbitrator, acquired 342 Beacon from Sidney and Hazel Sholley. He previously had lived in an apartment at 18 Exeter. He operated 342 Beacon as a multiple dwelling, either a lodging house or apartments. No change in the legal occupancy was obtained. He continued to live at 342 Beacon in the 1980s
The property changed hands and in November of 1992 was purchased by Daniel J. Townsend and his wife, Cheryl L. Clarkson. In April of 2001, Cheryl Clarkson applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling and doctor’s office back into a single-family dwelling.
342 remained assessed as a single-family dwelling in 2014.