351 Beacon

351 Beacon (2019)

Lot 30' x 112' (3,360 sf)

Lot 30′ x 112′ (3,360 sf)

351 Beacon is located on the SW corner of Beacon and Fairfield, with 347 Beacon to the east, across Fairfield, 353 Beacon to the west, 334 Beacon to the north, across Beacon, and 1 Fairfield to the south, across Alley 416.

351 Beacon was designed and built ca. 1870 by Frederick B. Pope, for speculative sale. At about the same time, he designed and built a pair of houses next door, at 353-355 Beacon.

Frederick Pope purchased the land for 351-355 Beacon in several transactions. On April 7, 1869, he purchased an 11 foot wide lot from Sidney Homer and a 7 foot wide lot from John Worster, and combined them into an 18 foot lot for 355 Beacon. On March 21, 1870, he bought the 18 foot lot to the east for 353 Beacon and the 30 foot lot at the corner for 351 Beacon, both from house builder and contractor George Martin Gibson. At about the same time, Frederick Pope and George Gibson were building ten houses further west on the block at 381-395 Beacon; they shared the same business address at 81 Washington.

All of the land was part of one of several parcels originally purchased from the Boston Water Power Company on January 29, 1866, by a real estate investment trust formed by John Templeman Coolidge, Franklin Evans, and Charles Henry Parker. The trust had subdivided the property into lots, which it sold to investors and builders, who then frequently resold the lots to others.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 351 Beacon, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Beacon and Alley 416, from Fairfield to Gloucester.

On December 7, 1870, 351 Beacon was purchased from Frederick Pope by paper manufacturer Henry Martyn Clarke. He and his wife, Jane (Jennie) Loomer (Hurlburt) Clarke, made it their home. They also maintained a home in Belmont. In September of 1871, they purchased and subsequently moved to 249 Berkeley.

In October of 1871, real estate dealer John Jeffries, Jr., advertised 351 Beacon for sale.  His October 9, 1871, advertisement in the Boston Daily Advertiser noted that the house had a “parlor, library and dining-room on the first floor, and fine billiard-room in the rear,” and that the furniture could be purchased with the house if the buyer so wished.

On June 7, 1872, 351 Beacon was purchased from Henry M. Clarke by David Nelson Skillings, a lumber dealer. He and his wife, Mary (Maguire) Skillings, made it their Boston home. They maintained their primary residence at Rangeley Place in Winchester, which was their only residence in 1872.

They continued to live at 351 Beacon until about 1874, after which they once again made their home in Winchester their sole residence.

On May 8, 1874, 351 Beacon was acquired from David Skillings by George D. Oxnard. He and his wife, Caroline (Adams) Oxnard, made it their home. They previously had lived at 4 Mt. Vernon with his mother, Charlotte (Thompson) Oxnard, the widow of Henry Oxnard.

George Oxnard died in February of 1887 and Caroline Oxnard moved soon thereafter.

The house was not listed in the 1889 Blue Book.

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

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

On June 1, 1889, the Lowell Five Cents Savings Bank foreclosed on its mortgage to Frederick Pope, which had been assumed by subsequent owners, and offered the house for sale at public auction on June 26, 1889. The auction notice by auctioneers S. R. Knights & Co., published in the Boston Journal, described the house in some detail: “The building is brick, with brownstone trimmings, three stories high, octagon front, contains sixteen spacious and conveniently arranged rooms, wine, china, storage and other closets in abundance, bath room, water closet, laundry, speaking tubes and bells, furnace, gas, hot and cold water fixtures, halls and entrance story finished in black walnut, billiard room in small building in yard.”

On June 26, 1889, the Boston Journal reported that the successful bidder had been Lewis Augustus Roberts. He was a publisher and bookseller whose firm (Roberts Bros.) published Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women in 1868. He and his wife, Harriet Maud (Gardner) Roberts, lived at 317 Dartmouth. He did not complete the purchase, however, and instead he and his wife moved to the Hotel Vendome.

On October 23, 1889, 351 Beacon was again offered for sale at public auction. The successful bidder was Dr. George Hinckley Lyman, a gynecologist, who took title to the property on October 24, 1889, from the Lowell Five Cents Savings Bank. He and his wife. Henrietta Bridge (Dana) Lyman, made it their home. They previously had lived at 121 Boylston. Bessie Huntington Lyman, his daughter by his first marriage (to Maria Cornelia Ritchie Austin), lived with them.

The Lymans were living elsewhere during the 1890-1891 winter season, probably traveling in Europe.  George Lyman died in August of 1891 in London.

During the 1890-1891 winter season, 351 Beacon was the home of Henry Snow Hall and his wife, Ellen Nichols (Wood) Hall.  They previously had lived at the Hotel Brunswick (southeast corner of Clarendon and Boylston).  He was a trustee of estates.  By the next season, they had moved to 342 Beacon.

Henrietta Lyman and Bessie Lyman resumed living at 351 Beacon during the 1891-1892 winter season, but during the 1892-1893 winter season, they were traveling in Europe and it was the home of Anna Smith (Miller) Bigelow, the widow of Massachusetts Chief Justice George Tyler Bigelow.  She had lived at 341 Beacon during the 1889-1890 season.  She had moved from 351 Beacon by the next season, and by the 1894-1895 season was living at 234 Beacon.

Henrietta Lyman and Bessie Lyman were living at 351 Beacon again during the 1893-1894 winter season, but moved soon thereafter to the Hotel Brunswick.

During the 1894-1895 winter season, 351 Beacon was the home of shoe and leather merchant Hugh H. Mawhinney and his wife, Mary F. (Colburn) Mawhinney.  They previously had lived at the Hotel Victoria at 273 Dartmouth.  By the 1895-1896 season, they had moved to the Hotel Brunswick.

Henrietta Lyman resumed living at 351 Beacon during the 1895-1896 winter season.  In June of 1896, she married again, in Paris, to Henri Monod, a French government health official credited with reforming and modernizing the French public health system.  After their marriage, they lived in Paris (Henri Monod died in November of 1911; Henrietta Monod returned to Boston in 1913 and lived first at the Hotel Brunswick, then at the Hotel Vendome, and then at 339 Beacon).

351 Beacon was not listed in the 1897 Blue Book.

On February 27, 1897, Henrietta Monod transferred her interest in 351 Beacon to Bessie Lyman.

On August 5, 1897, 351 Beacon was acquired from George H. Lyman’s estate and Bessie Lyman by Annie Flagg (Wales) Stratton, the wife of Solomon Piper Stratton, a crockery and glassware dealer. They previously had lived at 343 Marlborough.

Their only child, Katherine Wales Stratton, lived with them.

Annie Stratton and Katherine Stratton spent the 1903-1904 winter season in Camden, South Carolina; Solomon Stratton remained in Boston and lived in an apartment at the Hotel Bellevue, 19-21-23 Beacon. Mrs. Stratton and her daughter planned to spend the 1904-1905 winter season in Camden as well, but Katherine Stratton became ill and was under a doctor’s care in Philadelphia while Mrs. Stratton lived in Washington, D. C. S. P. Stratton again remained in Boston and lived in a hotel.

During the 1903-1904 season, 351 Beacon was the home of copper mine investor Albert Smith Bigelow and his wife, Mary (DeFord) Bigelow. They also owned a stable at 326 Newbury and maintained a home in Cohasset. They had lived at 21 Fairfield during the 1902-1903 season, and by 1904-1905 season had moved to 30 Gloucester.

During the 1904-1905 winter season, 351 Beacon was the home of Charles Willis Jones and his wife, Mary L. (Morse) Jones.  He was president of the New England National Bank.  During the 1903-1904 winter season, they had lived at 459 Beacon, and by the 1905-1906 season, they were living at 455 Beacon.  They also maintained a home in Magnolia.

351 Beacon (2019)

By the 1905-1906 winter season, the Strattons were living at 351 Beacon once again.

During the 1910-1911 winter season, Annie Stratton’s sister, Susan Makepeace Larkin Wales, an artist, lived with the Strattons. She had returned from Europe in late October and lived with the Strattons while her home at 341 Marlborough was leased others for the season.  She moved back there by the next season.

Katherine Stratton married in December of 1912 to Niels Christensen, a South Carolina State Senator and editor of the Beaufort Gazette, in Beaufort, South Carolina, where they lived after their marriage.

Solomon Stratton died in August of 1923.  Annie Stratton continued to live at 351 Beacon until her death in March of 1944.

On July 27, 1944, 351 Beacon was acquired from Annie Stratton’s estate by Alma Vorland.

The house was shown as vacant in the 1944 City Directory.

On December 4, 1944, 351 Beacon was acquired from Alma Vorland by Paul Verne Shaffer, an engineer and later an instrument maker at MIT, and his wife, Margaret E. (Hamilton) Shaffer. They previously had lived in New Jersey.

By 1945, the house had been converted into three apartments. The Shaffers lived in one of the apartments, but had moved to an apartment at 387 Beacon by 1947.  By 1949, they lived at 443 Marlborough.

On October 3, 1946, 351 Beacon was acquired from the Shaffers by Thomas Newbold, an engineer, and his wife, Noreen (Maxwell) Newbold. They lived in one of the apartments until about 1948.

On February 3, 1948, 351 Beacon was acquired from Thomas Newbold by Alonzo Hilliard. He was a widower (his wife, Dora Adela (Redmond) Hilliard had died in 1947) and lived in Cambridge where he was employed by the Pullman Company.

Alonzo Hilliard married again in 1952 to Mabel Seabyrd Wyche.

On October 18, 1954, 351 Beacon was acquired from Alonzo Hilliard by Melvin Lee Fraiman and his wife, Beatrice Z. Fraiman, of Cambridge. He was proprietor of the Chatham Real Estate Company.

In November of 1954, Chatham Real Estate applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a three-family dwelling into nine apartments.

On January 8, 1955, the house was damaged by fire, and on January 28, 1955, Chatham Real Estate filed an amended application to repair the fire damage, including rebuilding the mansard roof to reduce the building to three stories, and changing the number of units from nine to eight.

On November 21, 1955, 351 Beacon was acquired back from the Fraimans by Alonzo Hilliard. Mabel Hilliard died in September of 1957. In the mid-1960s he moved to one of the apartments at 351 Beacon, where he continued to live in 1969. In September of 1969, he purchased 411 Marlborough and moved to one of the apartments.  He died in March of 1973.

On October 29, 1974, 351 Marlborough was purchased from the estate of Alonzo Hilliard by Daniel H. Wolf. On June 26, 1976, he converted the property into eight condominium units, the 351 Beacon Street Condominium.