389 Beacon is located on the south side of Beacon, between Fairfield and Gloucester, with 387 Beacon to the east and 391 Beacon to the west.
389 Beacon was designed by architect Frederick B. Pope and built ca. 1869, one of ten contiguous houses built as five symmetrical pairs (377-379-381-383-385-387-389-391-393-395 Beacon), each house on an 18 foot wide lot and each pair united by a shared portico. 377-379 Beacon are one story higher than the other four pairs, and probably were built that way (they appear as such on the 1887 Sanborn map).
The ten houses were built for speculative sale by a consortium of Frederick Pope, who was both an architect and a builder, and George Martin Gibson, a builder and contractor. They shared the same business address at 81 Washington in 1870.
Frederick Pope purchased the land for 377 Beacon on March 18, 1869, and George Gibson purchased the land for 379-381-383-385 Beacon and 389-391 Beacon between March and August of 1869. Once the houses were built, they sold them to individual buyers.
The land for 387 Beacon was owned by real estate investor Charles Uriah Cotting, and the land for 393-395 Beacon was owned by dry goods merchant Eben Dyer Jordan, co-founder of the firm of Jordan, Marsh & Co. In these three cases, the houses were constructed by Frederick Pope and George Gibson under agreements with the land owners, who then sold the houses after they were built.
The land for all ten houses originally had been part of a parcel 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 subsequently 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 389 Beacon, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Beacon and Alley 416, from Fairfield to Gloucester.
On August 20, 1869, Frederick Pope acquired 389 Beacon from George Gibson.
On March 19, 1870, 389 Beacon was purchased from Frederick Pope by Annie Louise (Lobdell) Motte, the wife of attorney Ellis Loring Motte. They previously had lived at 62 Shawmut. In November of 1869, Ellis Motte’s parents, Rev. Mellish Irving Motte and Marianne (Alger) Motte, had purchased 395 Beacon as their home.
Ellis and Annie Motte continued to live at 389 Beacon during the 1889-1890 winter season. Their two children, Margaret Berrion Motte and Mellish Irving Motte, lived with them.
During the next two seasons the Motte family was living elsewhere and 389 Beacon was the home of John Stetson and his wife, Katherine (Kate) (Stokes) Anthony Stetson.
John Stetson was a banker, real estate investor, theatrical manager, and theater owner (he was the owner and manager of the Globe Theatre on Washington Street, destroyed by fire on January 2, 1894). Before they married, Kate (Katie) Stokes had been a well-known circus bare-back rider. She was injured in a fall from her horse and took up an acting career in New York City, where she met John Stetson; they married in June of 1887.
In June of 1892, John Stetson purchased the stable at 353 Newbury. It continued to be owned by his heirs until 1902.
By the 1892-1893 winter season, the Stetsons had moved to 461 Commonwealth. They also maintained a home on Burgess Point in Beverly, which he purchased in October of 1893. He died in April of 1896 and she died in May of the same year. After their deaths, John Stetson’s will (which left his entire estate to Kate Stetson) was the subject of a highly-publicized, protracted, and ultimately unsuccessful challenge by Adah Richmond, an actress, who claimed that she had married him in 1871 and they had never divorced.
The Mottes resumed living at 389 Beacon during the 1892-1893 winter season, and continued to live there during the 1893-1894 season.
Margaret Motte married in April of 1894 to Russell Sargent. He was a hardware manufacturer in New Haven, Connecticut, where they lived after their marriage. He died in April of 1905, and she married again in October of 1911 to his brother, George Lewis Sargent.
By the 1894-1895 season the Mottes had moved to the Hotel Ludlow (southwest corner of Clarendon and St. James). Mellish Irving Motte, an electrical engineer, moved with them. He married in December of 1896 to Helen Lyman Jewell; after their marriage, they lived in Medfield and then Concord, Massachusetts.
In March of 1895, Annie Motte purchased 138 Marlborough, a four unit apartment building where they subsequently moved. She also continued to own 389 Beacon and lease it to others.
During the 1894-1895 winter season, 389 Beacon was the home of attorney William Allen Hayes and his wife, Margaret Kowenhoven (Luquer) Hayes. They had married in August of 1894 and 389 Beacon probably was their first home together. By the next season, they had moved to 155 Bay State Road.
During the 1895-1896 and 1896-1897 winter seasons, 389 Beacon was the home of Eunice F. (Rand) Clarke, the widow or former wife of Charles Clarke. She previously had lived at 34 Newbury. By the 1897-1898 season she had moved to Trinity Court (southwest corner of Dartmouth and Stuart).
In 1897, Eunice Clarke was joined at 389 Beacon by Caroline Gardner Clarke, a concert singer and music teacher who maintained her studio at 407 Marlborough. Her primary residence was at 52 Lanark Road in Brookline with her adoptive parents, insurance broker Curtis Clarke and Anna Phoebe (Kemp) Clarke. Caroline Clarke married in September of 1899 to Dr. James Washington Bartlett, a dentist. He previously had lived and maintained his offices at Haddon Hall at 282 Berkeley, and before that at 2 Commonwealth. After their marriage, they lived at Trinity Court.
Caroline Gardner Bartlett continued her career and, in 1904, opened a music school, Sunny Hill, in Warner, New Hampshire, where she and her husband maintained their summer home. James Bartlett died in March of 1910. She resumed her singing career and was in London for a concert tour in 1914 when World War I broke out. She volunteered for the war effort and worked raising funds and collecting medical supplies for the troops. She called herself “Sister Beatrice” to avoid using the name she had made well-known as a performer and dressed in a nun’s habit of deep purple to be immediately recognizable in the war zone. In 1915, she was accused of being a German spy, and later also accused of misappropriating funds. She spent years seeking to clear her name and, in July of 1929, the State Department issued a letter commending her for her service and confirming that “there is not the slightest evidence that you were under suspicion of disloyalty.”
By the 1897-1898 winter season, 389 Beacon was the home of Susan Livingston (Tilden) Barnard, the widow of commission merchant George Middleton Barnard, and her grand-daughter, Mary Winchester Barnard (daughter of Joseph Tilden Barnard and Mary Winchester (Cunningham) Barnard, both of whom were deceased). They previously had lived in an apartment at 199 Marlborough and, before that, at 106 Beacon.
They continued to live at 389 Beacon until Susan Barnard’s death in February of 1899. Mary Barnard traveled abroad and then lived in Mattapoisett. In April of 1913 she married Francis Gardner Curtis, assistant curator in Chinese and Japanese art for the Museum of Fine Arts. After their marriage they lived at 27 Brimmer and then at 143 Beacon.
By the 1899-1900 winter season, 389 Beacon was the home of real estate dealer John P. Wise and his wife, Annie M. (Long) Wise. They previously had lived at 100 Sydney. They continued to live at 389 Beacon during the 1900-1901 season, but moved thereafter to Brookline.
By the 1901-1902 winter season, 389 Beacon was the home of Cora Lee (Clark) Rice, the widow of John Hamilton Rice, and their three sons: Alexander Hamilton Rice, II, a physician and geographer/explorer; John Clark Rice, a lawyer; and Arthur Noble Rice, also a lawyer. They previously had lived at 41 St. Stephen.
John Rice married in December of 1905 to Katharine Smith Atkinson of Baltimore. They moved to an apartment at 224 Marlborough and then, in 1909, to 431 Beacon. Cora Rice and her other two sons continued to live at 389 Beacon during the 1906-1907 winter season, but moved thereafter. Hamilton Rice traveled abroad, probably to South America, and Arthur Rice moved to Nevada, where he practiced law. Cora Rice was living at 13 West Cedar by 1910.
By the 1907-1908 winter season, 389 Beacon was the home of Davenport Brown and his wife, Marie (McKenna) Brown. They previously had lived at The Stratford at 31 Massachusetts Avenue. He was a real estate trustee. They continued to live at 389 Beacon during the 1908-1909 season, but then moved to 19 Brimmer.
By the 1909-1910 winter season, 389 Beacon was the home of shoe manufacturer Charles Jones Prescott and his wife, Evelyn Munroe (Livermore) Prescott. They previously had lived in Cambridge. They also maintained a home in Norwood.
They continued to live at 389 Beacon during the 1914-1915 season, but moved thereafter to Norwood.
By the 1915-1916 winter season, 389 Beacon was the home of attorney Thomas Tileston Baldwin and his wife, Edith (Perkins) Baldwin. They previously had lived in Chestnut Hill. They continued to live at 389 Beacon during the 1917-1918 season, but moved thereafter to an apartment at 259 Beacon.
389 Beacon was not listed in the 1919 Blue Book.
By the 1919-1920 winter season, 389 Beacon was the home of attorney Lawrence Cushing Goodhue and his wife, Gertrude Munroe (Smith) Goodhue. They previously had lived at The Stratford at 31 Massachusetts Avenue. Initially, they leased the house from Annie Motte’s estate (she had died in August of 1910); they then purchased it from the estate on May 9, 1925.
The Goodhues continued to live at 389 Beacon until 1947. They subsequently made their home in Manchester, Massachusetts.
On October 1, 1947, 389 Beacon was acquired from Gertrude Goodhue by Joseph Fraser Conlan and his wife, Sarah (Sally) Agnes (Fleming) Conlan. They previously had lived at 158 Bay State Road. He was sales manager at the Hotel Somerset. They continued to live at 369 Beacon in 1950, but moved thereafter to the Hotel Bradford at 275 Tremont, where he became general manager.
On April 4, 1950, 389 Beacon was purchased from the Conlans by Frank C. Hanson and his wife, Ethel Warren Hanson, who operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived in Connecticut.
On August 15, 1951, 389 Beacon was acquired from the Hansons by Helen Freda (Miller) Kaplan, the wife of Bernard Isaac Kaplan, an attorney. They lived in Brookline and operated 389 Beacon as a lodging house.
On November 27, 1956, 389 Beacon was acquired from Helen Kaplan by her mother, Bertha (Cohen) Miller, the former wife of Eli (Elias) Miller. She was a social worker with the Massachusetts Department of Welfare and lived at 449 Beacon. She continued to operate 389 Beacon as a lodging house.
On July 6, 1959, 389 Beacon was acquired from Bertha Miller by Florence Beth Pockwinse (Pockwinski), a lodging house operator and former teacher and social worker who lived at 31 Brimmer.
On October 1, 1962, 389 Beacon was acquired from Florence Pockwinse by attorney and real estate dealer Peter Newman Kinder. In July of 1963, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a lodging house into nine apartments.
On July 1, 1970, 389 Beacon was acquired from Peter Kinder by real estate dealer Patrick J. Glynn.
On August 1, 1985, 389 Beacon was acquired from Patrick Glynn by Barry P. Winer, trustee of the 389 Beacon Street Realty Trust. On December 16, 1985, he converted the property into nine condominium units, the 389 Beacon Street Condominium.