360-370-380-388 Beacon

360-388 Beacon, looking east (2014)

Combined Lot: 144.77' x 150' (21,715 sf)

Combined Lot: 144.77′ x 150′ (21,715 sf)

360-370-380-388 Beacon are located on the north side of Beacon, between Fairfield and Gloucester (a group of four buildings), with 354 Beacon to the east and 396 Beacon to the west.

360-370-380-388 Beacon were designed by Ralph Harrington Doane, architect, and built in 1926-1927 as four three-unit apartment buildings located on a parcel of land with a Beacon Street frontage of approximately 145 feet.  360 Beacon is located on the Southeast quarter of the lot, 370 Beacon on the Northeast, 380 Beacon on the Northwest, and 388 Beacon on the Southwest.

The four buildings replaced six townhouses previously located at 356, 386, 388, 390, 392, and 394 Beacon. The houses were acquired in June and July of 1924 by William J. Burns, acting for The Embassy, Inc., and subsequently razed.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 360-370-380-388 Beacon.

In December of 1925, The Embassy, Inc., filed for approval of a single building on the combined parcel with an interior courtyard. The neighboring residents opposed the project and cited a Building Code requirement that an apartment house built on a lot 150 feet or greater in depth which runs from one street or alley to another street or alley must provide yard space at least 24 feet in depth midway between the two streets and extending across the entire width of the lot. Notwithstanding this requirement, the Building Department indicated its intention to approve the project and the residents filed suit to prevent the approval.

While the litigation was pending, the project sponsors sought to change the law. A March 9, 1926, the Boston Globe reporting on a legislative committee hearing on the bill to amend the law noted that counsel for The Embassy, Inc., “showed a plan of the proposed big apartment house to the committee and indicated that a courtyard would be placed in the middle, although the building would be built up to Back st.” Representative of the residents pointed out that “the courtyard would provide light and air only for the occupants of the apartment house, and would not help the neighbors. It would also shut off their view…and would otherwise ‘bottle them up.’” The legislative committee took no action on the bill.

In September of 1926, the Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld the residents’ petition and ordered the Building Commissioner not to issue a permit for the building.

In the meantime, perhaps anticipating the court’s response, The Embassy, Inc., sold the property. In April of 1926, it was acquired by Stanley B. Dolley of the Liberty Trust Company, and in May of 1926 it was acquired from him by real estate dealers J. Sumner Draper and Richard DeBlois Boardman as trustees of the 390 Beacon Street Trust.

Typical original floor plan of 360-388 Beacon, American Apartment Houses Hotels and Apartment Hotels of Today, by R. W. Sexton (1929)

On April 12, 1926, before taking title to the property, J. Sumner Draper and Richard Boardman filed a permit application to construct four separate buildings on the site.

Architectural plans for 360 Beacon and 380 Beacon — including elevations, floor plans, framing plans, and footing and piling plans — are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN P-9).

The project was described in a May 18, 1926, Boston Globe article as being “four separate and distinct units of three stories and basement, to be 100 percent cooperative. Each building is to contain one apartment of 13 rooms and three baths to a floor. A novel feature is four separate buildings, with light on three sides. There is a private 25-foot parkway, running from Beacon st. to the river, north and south, and also another east and west, separating the four buildings.” Although not noted in the article, this configuration brought the development in conformance with the Building Code requirements which the residents were seeking to enforce.

The article also indicated that the “plans are by Ralph A. Cram and show the most modern improvements.”  The attribution of the buildings to Cram appears to be erroneous, inasmuch as the permit applications and plans indicate the architect to have been Ralph Harrington Doane, whose offices were separate from Cram and Ferguson.

The property subsequently changed hands, and on June 28, 1950, was acquired by Beacon Court, Inc., later renamed Beacon Court Cooperative. Inc.

360-370-380-388 Beacon remained cooperative apartments in 2016, each building with three units.

360-388 Beacon, American Apartment Houses Hotels and Apartment Hotels of Today, by R. W. Sexton (1929)

360 Beacon (2014)

The earliest residents at 360 Beacon were furniture dealer William L. Shearer, Jr., and his wife, Elsie (Clark) Shearer, who lived there from about 1928 until about 1931.  In 1927, they had lived at 47 Bay State Road, and by 1932, they had moved to Brookline.  By 1930, Francis Lee Higginson, III, and his wife, Dorothy (Lucas) Higginson, had taken another of the three units.  They continued to live there until about 1932, when they separated and moved elsewhere.  And by 1932, food broker Albert Henry Morse, Jr., and his wife, Ada C. (Burke) Morse, also were living at 360 Beacon.  They previously had lived at 428 Marlborough. They continued to live at 360 Beacon until about 1941, but had moved to an apartment at 282 Beacon by 1942.

The earliest residents at 370 Beacon were Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, III, a banker, and his wife, Catherine Hill (Kuhn) Coolidge.  They had married in August of 1927, and 370 Beacon probably was their first home together. They continued to live there until about 1932, but had moved to Brookline by 1933.  During the 1928-1929 winter season, Andrew James Peters and his wife, Martha Robeson (Phillips) Peters also lived at 370 Beacon.  He was a lawyer and former US Congressman, Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury in the Wilson Administration, and Mayor of Boston.  By 1930, the Peterses were living in Jamaica Plain.  By 1930, one of the other apartments at 370 Beacon had become the home of leather manufacturer Marcus Beebe, Jr., and his wife Lillian Northup (Oakley) Beebe.  They had lived at the Maryland Apartments at 512 Beacon in 1929.  They continued to live at 370 Beacon until about 1932, but were living in Needham by 1933.

The earliest resident of 380 Beacon was Thomas W. Kennedy, president of an iron and steel company.  He was a widower, and he lived there from about 1928 with his children, James and Georgia.  In 1927, they had lived in Brookline. They continued to live at 380 Beacon until about 1932, but had moved to an apartment at 192 Commonwealth by 1933.  By 1929, banker and broker Henry Courtlandt Van Voorhis and his wife Jane (Standish) Van Voorhis, also were living in an apartment at 380 Beacon.  They had lived in Brookline in 1928.  They continued to live at 380 Beacon in 1930, but had moved to an apartment at 6 Arlington by 1931.  And by 1930, the third apartment had been occupied by Dr. Malcolm Storer, a retired physician, and his wife, Grace (Ayrault) Storer.  They had lived at 302 Beacon in 1929.  Malcolm Storer died in January of 1935, and Grace Storer continued to live there until about 1958.

388 Beacon (2014)

The earliest residents of 388 Beacon were contractor William Samuel Patten and his wife, Anna Morton (Thayer) Patten, who were living there in 1927.  They had lived at 294 Beacon earlier that year.  He died in December of 1927.  Anna Patten continued to live there until about 1930, when she remarried, to Rev. Thomas Frederick Davies, Episcopal Bishop of Western Massachusetts.  By 1929, Marion Genevieve (Stevens) Douglas, the wife of James Robson Douglas, also was living at 388 Beacon with their daughters, Grace and Marjorie Jane Douglas.  Their usual residence was in Nova Scotia, where James Douglas was a broker and had served as Lt. Governor.  They continued to live at 388 Beacon until about 1931.  By 1932, Clare Hill Draper and his wife, Matilda Grace (Engman) Draper, lived at 388 Beacon.   He was a manufacturer of textile weaving machinery.  They continued to lived there in 1934, but had moved to 301 Berkeley by 1935.

Original design of Beacon street elevation of 360 Beacon, by architect Ralph Harrington Doane; courtesy of the Boston Public Library Arts Department

356 Beacon (Demolished)

356 Beacon was built in 1883-1884 for wire and cable manufacturer Charles Anthony Morss for speculative sale, one of two contiguous houses (354-356 Beacon), both with bow-shaped bays on the east side. Charles Morse and his wife, Mary Elizabeth (Wells) Morss, lived at 323 Marlborough.

Charles Morss purchased the land for 354-356 Beacon on April 21, 1883, from Stephen D. Bennett. It was the western 48 feet of a 73 foot wide parcel originally purchased from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation on January 24, 1881, by Francis E. Parker, and sold by him on February 12, 1881, to Arthur W. Blake. Arthur Blake sold the eastern 25 feet to Charles Walter Amory and the western 48 feet to Stephen Bennett.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 356 Beacon (Demolished).

It appears likely that 354-356 Beacon were built for Charles Morss by building contractor Samuel Tarbell Ames, who is shown as the owner of 356 Beacon (shown as 382 Beacon) in the Boston Public Library’s index to the final building inspection reports (the actual report for the house is no longer extant). In his his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting states that Samuel T. Ames built 356 and 386 Beacon (next door) ca. 1883. This is incorrect, inasmuch as 386 Beacon was built ca. 1872 by John Farrington.

On December 20, 1884, 356 Beacon was purchased from Charles Morss by Charlotte Barrett (Vose) Manning, the wife of wholesale wool merchant Francis Henry Manning. They previously had lived at 128 Charles.

Charlotte Manning died in January of 1900.  Francis Manning continued to live at 356 Beacon during the 1915-1916 winter season, but moved thereafter to 129 Commonwealth to live with his sister, Abby F. Manning.

During the 1916-1917 winter season, 356 Beacon was the home of Ralph Blake Williams, a real estate trustee, and his wife, Susan (Jackson) Williams.  They previously had lived at 424 Beacon.  They also maintained a home in Dover, Massachusetts.  They had moved from 356 Beacon by the 1917-1918 season, and by 1920, they were living at 20 Hereford.

During the 1917-1918 winter season, 356 Beacon was the home of banker and stockbroker Matthew Bartlett and his wife, Serita (Lincoln) Bartlett.  They previously had lived in Brookline.  They also maintained a home in Beverly Farms.  By the 1918-1919 season, they had moved to 230 Marlborough.

On June 11, 1918, 356 Beacon was acquired from Francis Manning by real estate dealer Edwin D. Brooks, and on July 28, 1919, it was acquired from him by Lesly Augustin Johnson, a wool merchant who previously had been associated with Francis Manning’s firm, Luce & Manning.

356 Beacon was not listed in the 1919 and 1920 Blue Books.

On November 19, 1919, 356 Beacon was purchased from Lesly Johnson by Charles Taylor Lovering, Jr, Joseph Swain Lovering, and Richard Sears Lovering, as trustees for the benefit of their sister, Marian Shaw (Lovering) Reggio, the wife of Dr. André William Bradford Simone Reggio (known as William Reggio), a surgeon.

356 Beacon became the Reggios’ home. They previously had lived at 286 Beacon.  They continued to live at 356 Beacon until about 1924, when they moved to Chestnut Hill.

On June 27, 1924, 356 Beacon was acquired from Marian Reggio’s trust by William J. Burns.

The house was razed by 1926.

386 Beacon (Demolished)

386 Beacon was built ca. 1872 by housewright John Fisher Farrington for speculative sale.

John Farrington purchased the land for 386 Beacon on March 4, 1872, from George H. Peters, the eastern 20 feet of a 200 foot lot that he had purchased from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation on March 1, 1872.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 386 Beacon (Demolished).

On May 15, 1874, 386 Beacon was purchased from John Farrington by Kate (Benjamin) Marcus, the wife of African diamond merchant Alfred Abraham Marcus. They lived at 170 West Canton.

On October 5, 1884, 386 Beacon was acquired from Alfred Marcus by real estate dealer Samuel Gleason Reed.

On January 20, 1875, Charles H. Folsom, holder of a mortgage given by John Farrington to George S. Graves and assumed by subsequent owners, foreclosed and sold 386 Beacon to attorney Frederick Eugene Bryant. He and his wife, Clara May (Crosby) Bryant, lived at 95 Pinckney.

On March 9, 1875, 386 Beacon was purchased from Frederick Bryant by Cyrus Turner Clark, a painting and decorating contractor. He and his wife, Hannah M. (Tirrell) Clark, lived at 67 Worcester.

By 1877, 386 Beacon was the home of Franklin (Frank) Churchill Bacon, a piano manufacturer. He was unmarried. By 1878, he had moved to 13 Beacon.

386 Beacon was shown as vacant in the 1878 Blue Book, and was not listed in the 1879 and 1880 Blue Books.

During the 1880-1881 winter season, 386 Beacon was the home of cotton buyer Gorham Gray and his wife, Harriet (Webb) Gray.  They previously had lived at 12 Hereford.  By 1882, they were living in West Newton.

Also living at 386 Beacon during the 1880-1881 season was Isabel (Patterson) Chadbourne, widow of dry goods merchant William Chadbourne.

On July 30, 1881, 386 Beacon was acquired from Cyrus Clark by real estate dealer Samuel Horatio Whitwell.

386 Beacon was not listed in the 1882-1885 Blue Books.

By the 1885-1886 winter season, it was the home of Dr. Henry Jabez Barnes, a physician, and his wife, Augustine (Lelierre) Barnes.  They previously had lived at 314 Marlborough.  They continued to live at 386 Beacon during the 1887-1888 season, but moved thereafter to 429 Beacon.

On July 26, 1888, 386 Beacon was purchased from Samuel H. Whitwell by Grant Walker. He and his wife, Mabel (Shaw) Walker, made it their home. They had married in June of 1887 and previously had lived at the Hotel Brunswick. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 90 Commonwealth with his mother, Susan (Grant) Walker, the widow of Nathaniel Walker.

Grant Walker was an investor and director in various textile mills and related businesses.

The Walkers continued to live at 386 Beacon during the 1891-1892 winter season, but moved thereafter to 330 Beacon.

On September 1, 1892, 386 Beacon was purchased from Grant Walker by Louise (Pomeroy) Inches, the wife of Dr. Charles Edward Inches, a physician. They previously had lived (and he had maintained his medical offices) at 88 Charles Street.

The Incheses raised their three children at 386 Beacon: Henderson Inches, Charles Edward Inches, Jr., and Louise Brimmer Inches.

During the mid-1900s, the Incheses were living elsewhere (although they continued to be listed there in the City Directories).

During the 1903-1904 winter season, 386 Beacon was the home of Charles Augustus Stone and his wife, Mary Adams (Leonard) Stone.  Earlier in 1903, they had lived in Newton.  Charles Stone and his MIT classmate, Edwin Webster, founded the firm of Stone & Webster in 1889.  Under their leadership, it became an major international construction, engineering, and consulting firm.  They moved to 349 Commonwealth by 1905.

During the 1904-1905 winter season, 386 Beacon was the home of William Howard Gardiner, Jr., a consulting gas engineer, and his wife, Amelia Garrison (Candler) Gardiner.  Their principal residence was in Canton.

And during the 1905-1906 winter season, it was the home of Richard Spofford Russell and his wife, Mary Gertrude (Sutton) Russell.  Earlier in 1905, they had lived at 135 Commonwealth with his mother, Frances Spofford (Hall) Russell, the widow of William Augustus Russell.  Richard and Mary Russell also maintained a home, Oakland, in North Andover.  He was a partner in William A. Russell and Brother, the investment banking firm that managed the Russell family’s manufacturing and mining interests.  By 1907, the Russells had moved to 491 Commonwealth.

By the 1906-1907 winter season, the Incheses were living at 386 Beacon again.

Charles Inches died in January of 1911 and for the next two seasons, Louise Inches and their children were living elsewhere.

During the 1911-1912 winter season, 386 Beacon was the home of Caspar Henry Burton and his wife, Byrd Waithman (Spence) Burton.  He was a lumber dealer and furniture manufacturer from Cincinnati.  Their son, Charles Henry Burton, Jr., lived with them.  He had graduated from Harvard in 1909 (a classmate of Charles Inches, Jr.) and was a student at Harvard Medical School.  Caspar and Byrd Burton had moved to Boston temporarily to be with him.

In 1912, Caspar Burton, Jr., left medical school to join Dr. Wilfred Grenfell’s mission to provide medical services to the native populations in Labrador.  By the 1912-1913 winter season, Caspar and Byrd Burton had moved to 7 Chestnut Street; they subsequently moved back to Cincinnati.  Caspar Burton, Jr., worked with Dr. Grenfell until 1915, when he enlisted in the British Red Cross, then the Royal Fusiliers, and then, in 1917, the US Army (he died in March of 1920 in Cincinnati from wounds suffered during the war).

While they were living at 386 Beacon, the Burtons were joined by Charles Wilkins Short, Jr., a friend of Caspar Burton, Jr., from Cincinnati who had graduated from Harvard in 1908 and then studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Architecture.  While living at 386 Beacon, he met Countess Camilla Hoyos, a friend of the Burtons from England.  They married in November of 1912 and continued to live at 386 Beacon during the 1912-1913 winter season, after the Burtons had moved.  Charles Short was a draftsman with Ralph Adams Cram.  He later would become an architect and builder in New York.

By the 1913-1915 winter season, Louise Inches and her children were once again living at 386 Beacon.

Charles Inches, Jr., married in October of 1916 to Margaret Carter. After their marriage, they lived at 8 Acorn and then in Brookline. He was a stockbroker and later a textile mill executive.

Henderson Inches married in August of 1920 to Elizabeth Ayer. After their marriage, they lived at 39 Pilgrim. He was a commission merchant.

Louise Inches and her daughter, Louise, moved from 386 Beacon soon thereafter and were living in Cambridge by 1923.

During the 1920-1921 winter season, 386 Beacon was the home of William Dana Orcutt and his wife, Louise (Thompson) Orcutt.  He was an author, publisher, and typeface designer.  They previously had lived in an apartment at 333 Commonwealth, where they resumed living the next season.

386 Beacon was not listed in the 1922 Blue Book.

By the 1922-1923 winter season. it had become the home of Charles Inches, Jr., and Margaret (Carter) Inches.  They had lived at 29 Hereford during the previous season. They continued to live at 386 Beacon during the 1923-1924 season, but had moved to Beverly Farms by 1925.

On June 30, 1924, 356 Beacon was acquired from Louise Inches by William J. Burns.

The house was razed by 1926.

388 Beacon (Demolished)

388 Beacon was built ca. 1872 by Bourn & Leavitt, a partnership of carpenters Robert Tower Bourn (Bourne) and William Leavitt, one of seven houses (388-390-392-394-396-398-400 Beacon) built for George H. Peters and his partners in the firm of Edward D. Peters & Co., commission merchants, for speculative sale.

The seven houses were built on the western 180 feet of a 200 foot lot George Peters purchased on March 1, 1872, from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 388 Beacon (Demolished).

On August 11, 1873, 388 Beacon was purchased from George Peters by William Jonathan Cutler, a wholesale druggist. He and his wife, Lucy Lazell (Hobart) Carter Cutler, made it their home. They previously had lived at 9 Beacon.

Living with the Cutlers was James Richard Carter, Lucy Cutler’s son by her previous marriage, to Richard Bridge Carter.  James Carter was a paper warehouse operator. He married in October of 1873 to Carrie Giles. After their marriage, they lived at 388 Beacon with the Cutlers until about 1877, when they moved to West Newton.

The Cutlers were living elsewhere during the 1879-1880 winter season and 388 Beacon was the home of stockbroker Rogers Lewis Barstow and his wife, Sarah C. (Baker) Barstow.  In 1878, they had lived in Dorchester.   His sister, Eliza Barstow, lived with them.  Sarah Barstow died in December of 1879, and Rogers Barstow had moved back to Dorchester.

During the 1880-1881 winter season, 388 Beacon was the home of Edwin Forrest Child and his wife, Sarah Eunice (Wilbour) Child. Their son, George Beverly Child, lived with them. They previously had lived at 480 Columbus. Edwin Child was president and George Child was secretary of the Boston & Montana Gold Mining Company. By 1882, they were living at 68 St. James.

By the 1881-1882 winter season, 388 Beacon was once again was the Cutlers’ home.

William Cutler died in April of 1884.  Lucy Cutler continued to live at 388 Beacon until her death in April of 1897.

William and Lucy Cutler had no children together and 388 Beacon was inherited by Edward Hutchins Cutler, William Cutler’s son by his first marriage, to Lucia Conant (Washburn) Cutler. Edward Cutler was a wholesale druggist in St. Paul, where he lived with his wife, Lucy Carter Dunbar (she was the daughter of William Harrison Dunbar and Amelia (Hobart) Dunbar; Amelia (Hobart) Dunbar was the sister of Edward Cutler’s step-mother, Lucy (Hobart) Cutler).

On August 23, 1897, 388 Beacon was purchased from Edward Cutler by banker and broker Sumner Bass Pearmain. He and his wife, Alice Whittemore (Upton) Pearmain, made it their home. They previously had lived in an apartment at 295 Commonwealth.  They also maintained a home in Framingham.

On October 9, 1897, Sumner Pearmain transferred the property into his wife’s name.

Sumner Pearmain’s brother-in-law and sister, Dr. Hamilton Osgood and Margaret Cushing (Pearmain) Osgood, lived with them, along with their younger daughter, Mary Alden Osgood.  The Osgoods previously had lived in Europe, and before that at 95 Mt. Vernon.  They also owned 235 Marlborough, where they had lived in the early 1880s.  Hamilton Osgood was a physician and in 1885-1886, during an earlier stay in Europe, he had studied with Louis Pasteur.  When he returned, he brought with him samples of the rabies antitoxin developed by Pasteur; these formed the basis for research and development of the antitoxin in America.

Mary Osgood married in January of 1904 to Robert Erskine Childers.  After their marriage, they lived in London.  Erskine Childers was an author and a clerk in the British Parliament, and later would become a leader of the Irish nationalist movement, for which he was executed in November of 1922.  Their son, Erskine Hamilton Childers, would become the fourth President of Ireland.

In 1904, Hamilton and Margaret Osgood moved to 8 Mt. Vernon Place.

Sumner and Alice Pearmain continued to live at 388 Beacon during the 1923-1924 winter season, after which they moved to an apartment at 256 Beacon.

On July 1, 1924, 388 Beacon was acquired from Alice Pearmain by William J. Burns.

The house was razed by 1926.

390 Beacon (Demolished)

390 Beacon was built ca. 1872 by Bourn & Leavitt, a partnership of carpenters Robert Tower Bourn (Bourne) and William Leavitt, one of seven houses (388-390-392-394-396-398-400 Beacon) built for George H. Peters and his partners in the firm of Edward D. Peters & Co., commission merchants, for speculative sale.

The seven houses were built on the western 180 feet of a 200 foot lot George Peters purchased on March 1, 1872, from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation.

All seven houses were completed by 1874 and are shown on the 1874 Hopkins map. However, only 388 Beacon was sold immediately. The remaining six houses at 390-400 Beacon were unsold, and possibly unoccupied, until 1877.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 390 Beacon (Demolished).

On March 24, 1877, 390 Beacon was purchased from George Peters by Mary (Mason) Stockton, the wife of Howard Stockton. They previously had lived in Brookline.

Howard Stockton was an attorney and also served as an officer or director of various railroad, textile mill, banking, and other companies.  Among his positions, he was treasurer of the Cocheco Manufacturing Company from 1876 through 1887 and of the Salmon Falls Manufacturing Company from 1880 to 1887, president of the American Bell Telephone Company from 1887 to 1889, and Actuary of the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Company from 1901 until his death in 1932.

Mary Stockton died in February of 1886. He continued to live at 390 Beacon with their seven young children: Lawrence Mason Stockton, Mary Remington Stockton, Philip H. Stockton, Ethel Stockton, Eleanor Stockton, Jane Mason Stockton, and Howard Stockton, Jr. By 1889, they had been joined by his mother, Mary E. (Remington) Stockton, the widow of Philip Augustus Stockton.

Mary Stockton married in October of 1903 to textile manufacturer William Amory, II. After their marriage, they lived at the Hotel Royal at 295-297 Beacon and then at 341 Beacon.

Philip Stockton married in February of 1906 to Margaret Head. After their marriage, they lived at 7 Hereford. He was president of the City Trust Company. When it merged with Old Colony Trust Company in 1910, he became president of the combined organization.

Eleanor Stockton married in July or 1906 to Rev. Sherrard Billings, He was a teacher at Groton School and was serving as rector of St. Paul’s Church in Boston during his sabbatical. They returned to Groton where she died in July of 1907 in childbirth.

Howard Stockton, his mother, and his four unmarried children continued to live at 390 Beacon during the 1906-1907 winter season, but moved thereafter to 31 Commonwealth.

On January 31, 1907, 390 Beacon was purchased from Howard Stockton by Helen Whyte (Merriam) McElwain, the wife of boot and shoe dealer William Howe McElwain. They previously had lived at 169 Bay State Road and, before that, at 272 Marlborough.

William McElwain died in January of 1908.  Helen McElwain continued to live at 390 Beacon with their four children: Dorothy Howe McElwain, Donald Merriam McElwain, Alexander McElwain, and Helen Blanchard McElwain.

Dorothy McElwain married in September of 1916 to John Cleveland Talbot and they moved to Medfield (she died in January of 1918).

Donald McElwain married in October of 1917 to Charlotte Augusta (called Augusta) Converse. After their marriage, they lived at 390 Beacon with his mother and unmarried siblings. He was a shoe manufacturer.

During the 1918-1919 winter season, the McElwains were living at the Hotel Puritan at 390 Commonwealth and 390 Beacon was the home of paper manufacturer George Thomas Keyes and his wife, Emily Brown (Eaton) Keyes.  They had lived at 278 Beacon during the previous season.  By the 1919-1920 season, they had moved to 22 Fenway, and by the 1920-1921 season, they lived at 338 Beacon.

By the 1919-1920 winter season, 390 Beacon was the McElwains’ home once again. They continued to live at 390 Beacon during the 1920-1921 season, but moved thereafter and by 1923 were living in Medfield.

During the 1921-1922 winter season, 390 Beacon was the home of Charlotte Elizabeth (called Elizabeth) (Howe) Sproul, the widow of Pittsburgh attorney Frank Penrose Sproul. In 1920, she had lived at 496 Commonwealth. By the 1922-1923 winter season, she had moved to 320 Marlborough.

390 Beacon was not listed in the 1923 Blue Book.

On May 22, 1923, 390 Beacon was purchased from Helen McElwain by Juliet Borland (Higginson) Goodwin, the wife of attorney Frederic Sprague Goodwin. They also maintained a home in Dover, which they appear to have made their year-round residence for the past several years.  During the 1918-1919 winter season, they also had maintained a Boston home at 15 Gloucester.  By the 1924-1925 season, they had moved from 390 Beacon to 265 Commonwealth.

On July 1, 1924, 390 Beacon was acquired from Juliet Goodwin by William J. Burns.

The house was razed by 1926.

392 Beacon (Demolished)

392 Beacon was built ca. 1872 by Bourn & Leavitt, a partnership of carpenters Robert Tower Bourn (Bourne) and William Leavitt, one of seven houses (388-390-392-394-396-398-400 Beacon) built for George H. Peters and his partners in the firm of Edward D. Peters & Co., commission merchants, for speculative sale.

The seven houses were built on the western 180 feet of a 200 foot lot George Peters purchased on March 1, 1872, from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation.

All seven houses were completed by 1874 and are shown on the 1874 Hopkins map. However, only 388 Beacon was sold immediately. The remaining six houses at 390-400 Beacon were unsold, and possibly unoccupied, until 1877.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 392 Beacon (Demolished).

On June 13, 1877, 392 Beacon was purchased from George Peters by Minnie (Whitaker) Niles, the wife of advertising agent Stephen R. Niles. They previously lived at 17 Pinckney.

During the 1882-1883 winter season, the Nileses were living elsewhere and 392 Beacon was the home of Robert Dawson Evans and his wife, Maria Antoinette (Hunt) Evans.  He was president of the American Rubber Company.  By the 1883-1884 season, they had moved to a new home they had built at 324 Beacon, and the Nileses were once again living at 392 Beacon.

Stephen and Minnie Niles’ son, Edward Glover Niles, lived with them. Her was a portrait painter. He married in June of 1887 to Emily Mary Wilks; after their marriage, they lived at 392 Beacon with his parents.

Stephen Niles died in November of 1893. Minnie Niles continued to live at 392 Beacon with Edward and Emily Niles until the 1898-1899 winter season, when they all moved to 318 Beacon.

On November 30, 1898, 392 Beacon was purchased from Minnie Niles by James Ford Rhodes. He and his wife, Ann (Card) Rhodes, made it their home. They previously had lived at 176 Newbury.

James Ford Rhodes had been a coal, iron, and steel producer in Cleveland with his father, Daniel Pomeroy Rhodes.  He retired in 1885 and moved to Boston, where he became an author and historian.  His History of the Civil War: 1861-1865 received the Pulitzer Prize in 1918.

After acquiring 392 Beacon, James Ford Rhodes had the house remodeled to add a rear bay on the eastern side at the basement and first story levels, and to significantly renovate the interior on all levels. The remodeling was designed by architects Peabody and Stearns. The exact date of the work is uncertain. On May 9, 1899, he entered into a party wall agreement with Howard Stockton, owner of 390 Beacon, to provide for an extension of the party wall further north. The project appears to have been delayed, however, inasmuch as the new bay does not appear on the 1902 Bromley map, but does appear on the 1908 map. Undated plans for the remodeling are included in the Peabody and Stearns Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference PS/MA.067A).

Click here to view the plans for the remodeling.

During the 1906-1907 winter season, the Rhodeses were living elsewhere and 392 Beacon was home of Rose (Lee) Gray, the widow of attorney Reginald Gray.  She previously had lived in Chestnut Hill.  By the next season, she had moved to 108 Beacon and the Rhodeses were living at 392 Beacon once again. They continued to live there during the 1921-1922 winter season, but moved thereafter.

By the 1922-1923 winter season, 392 Beacon was the home of John Jameson Chickering and his wife, Anne Elizabeth (Russell) Chickering.  He was an educator, having served as superintendent of schools in Flushing, New York, and in Queens, New York.

They continued to live at 392 Beacon in 1924.  By 1925, they had moved to 62 Beacon.

On June 27, 1924, 392 Beacon was acquired from James Ford Rhodes by William J. Burns.

The house was razed by 1926.

394 Beacon (Demolished)

394 Beacon was built ca. 1872 by Bourn & Leavitt, a partnership of carpenters Robert Tower Bourn (Bourne) and William Leavitt, one of seven houses (388-390-392-394-396-398-400 Beacon) built for George H. Peters and his partners in the firm of Edward D. Peters & Co., commission merchants, for speculative sale.

The seven houses were built on the western 180 feet of a 200 foot lot George Peters purchased on March 1, 1872, from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation.

All seven houses were completed by 1874 and are shown on the 1874 Hopkins map. However, only 388 Beacon was sold immediately. The remaining six houses at 390-400 Beacon were unsold, and possibly unoccupied, until 1877.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 394 Beacon (Demolished).

On April 7, 1877, 394 Beacon was purchased from George Peters by Ann R. (Babcock) Richards, the wife of Calvin A. Richards. They previously had lived at 10 Chester Square.

Calvin Richards was a wine and tea merchant and real estate investor.  From the late 1870s, he also was president of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company.

He died in February of 1892.  Ann Richards and their unmarried daughter, Anna (Annie) Louise Richards, continued to live at 394 Beacon.

On January 9, 1920, Ann Richards transferred the property to her daughter.

Annie L. Richards died in 1921, and Mrs. Ann Richards moved soon thereafter to the Hotel Somerset.  She died in January of 1923.

394 Beacon was not listed in the 1922-1924 Blue Books.

On April 24, 1924, 394 Beacon was purchased from Annie L. Richards’s estate by real estate dealer William N. Ambler. On June 19, 1924, it was acquired from him by real estate dealer Edward J. Ball, who transferred it to William J. Burns on June 28, 1924.

The house was razed by 1926.