443 Beacon was built by Daniel Davies, a housewright and carpenter, one of four contiguous houses, three (443-445-447 Beacon) built in 1872-1873 and the fourth (449 Beacon) built in 1876. They were the first houses built on Beacon west of Hereford. The original building permit application for 443-445-447 Beacon no longer is available (and probably was destroyed in the November 9, 1872, Boston fire), but Daniel Davies & Son is shown as the owner of the three houses in the Boston Globe’s September 14, 1872, report on approval of the permits. Daniel Davies is shown as the owner and Daniel Davies & Son as the builder on the original building permit application for 449 Beacon, dated July 20, 1876.
In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting indicates that Charles Davis was the architect for 443-445-447-449 Beacon. There was no architect named Charles Davis listed in the Boston City Directories during this period, and Bunting probably was referring to Charles H. Davies, Daniel Davies’s son. He was in partnership with his father and, although not trained as an architect, may have designed the houses.
443-445-447-449 Beacon were built on part of a parcel of land that Daniel Davies purchased on June 20, 1866, from the Boston Water Power Company. The parcel included all of the land between Hereford and Parker Street. Parker Street was located on top of the Cross Dam and ran southwest at approximately a 45 degree angle, starting about 210 feet west of Hereford on the south side of Beacon. The street was 60 feet wide. All of the land to the west, between Parker Street and West Chester Park (Massachusetts Avenue), was purchased from the Boston Water Power Company on March 1, 1872, by a real estate investment trust (known as the Beacon Street Lands Trust) formed by Grenville Temple Winthrop Braman (who was Daniel Davies’s son-in-law), Henry Dwight Hyde, and Frank William Andrews. Parker Street between Beacon and Boylston was discontinued as a public thoroughfare in 1877, and Daniel Davies and Grenville T. W. Braman joined with the Beacon Street Lands Trust to acquire the roadway between Beacon and Commonwealth and the land beneath it.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 443 Beacon, and click here for further information on the land on the south side of Beacon between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue.
On May 25, 1874, 443 Beacon was acquired from Daniel Davies by Amelia Coverley (Finnegan) Braman, the wife of Jarvis Dwight Braman. They previously had lived at 38 Charles. 445 Beacon became the home of Daniel Davies and his wife, Amity Bacon (Hastings) Davies, and 447 Beacon became the home of their son-in-law and daughter, Grenville Temple Winthrop Braman and Susan (Susie) A. (Davies) Braman.
Jarvis and Grenville Braman were brothers. Their father, Jarvis Braman, had owned a bath house at the foot of Chestnut Street on Beacon Hill, described as the “first public bath in Boston” in an August 24, 1890, Boston Globe article. He died in 1850 and Jarvis Dwight Braman took responsibility for the business. He listed his occupation as “swimming school” in the 1855 Boston City Directory, and as “Bath House” in the 1860 US Census. By 1865, he had become assistant paymaster general for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and by the 1870s he was engaged in real estate with his brother, Grenville. Grenville Braman had served as treasurer of the Boston Water Power Company in the 1860s and was a trustee of the real estate investment group that purchased large tracts of the company’s Back Bay lands. Jarvis Braman served as president of the Boston Water Power Company from mid-1878 until his death in 1888.
Jarvis Braman died in October of 1888. Amelia Braman continued to live at 443 Beacon with their four surviving children: Dwight Braman, a banker and broker, Lillie (Lila) Amelia Braman, Lucy C. Braman, and Edward Richardson Braman.
Amelia Braman died in May of 1890. 443 Beacon was inherited by Dwight, Lillie, Lucy, and Edward Braman, who continued to live there.
Edward Braman entered Harvard in 1892 but subsequently withdrew because of ill health and moved to Colorado Springs, where he died in October of 1894. He died intestate, and his estate was divided among his three surviving siblings.
During the 1894-1895 winter season, the Bramans were living elsewhere and 443 Beacon was the home of Katherine Peabody (Converse) Blagden, the widow of Edward Reynolds Blagden. He had died in August of 1894 in Chicago and his wife had brought his remains to Boston for burial at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.
The Bramans had resumed living at 443 Beacon by the 1895-1896 winter season.
In April of 1896, Lucy Braman married Charles Alfred Johnson, a real estate dealer in Denver. She died in March of 1899 in Denver, and the Johnsons’ two small children, Barbara Braman Johnson and Jarvis Dwight Braman Johnson, lived temporarily at 443 Beacon under Lillie Braman’s care. She returned to Denver with them during the 1901-1902 winter season and remained there with them until Charles Johnson’s remarriage in May of 1902 to Anne Valliant Burnett, after which she returned to Boston.
Dwight Braman moved to New York City in 1902 and married in January of 1903 to Helen Stuyvesant Dudley. He continued as a banker and stockbroker in New York until his retirement in 1926.
Lillie Braman also moved in 1902 and traveled abroad; by 1909 was living at the Hotel Kempton at 237 Berkeley.
On October 23, 1903, Lillie Braman acquired Dwight Braman’s interest in 443 Beacon, and on October 26, 1903, she acquired Lucy (Braman) Johnson’s interest, which had been inherited by Barbara and Jarvis Johnson. Lillie Braman leased 443 Beacon to others.
443 Beacon was not listed in the 1903 Blue Book.
During the 1903-1904 winter season, 443 Beacon was the home of paper manufacturer Charles Vose and his wife, Mary Ann Barrett (Hersey) Vose. They previously had lived at 285 Beacon. By 1905, they were living in East Walpole.
By the 1904-1905 winter season, 443 Beacon was the home of Dr. Edward Allen Pease, a physician, and his wife, Margaret Caldwell (Mohler) Pease. He also maintained his medical offices there. They previously had lived at the Hotel Cambridge at 483 Beacon. They continued to live at 443 Beacon (and he to maintain his office there) during the 1906-1907 winter season, but moved thereafter and by 1909 were living in Brookline.
During the 1908-1909 winter season, 443 Beacon was the home of attorney Charles Eustis Hubbard and his wife, Caroline Dennie (Tracy) Hubbard. They had lived at 413 Beacon during the previous season. They continued to live at 443 Beacon during the 1910-1911 season, but moved thereafter to 12 Hereford.
443 Beacon was not listed in the 1912 Blue Book.
By the 1912-1913 winter season, 443 Beacon was the home and medical office of Dr. Franklin Spilman Newell. He previously had lived at 379 Beacon.
Franklin Newell was an obstetrician and professor of obstetrics at Harvard Medical School. He was unmarried.
During the 1912-1913 winter season, Lillie Braman lived at 443 Beacon along with Dr. Newell. She had moved by the next season and was living in Topsfield at the time of her death April of 1915. In her will, Lillie Braman left 443 Beacon to her brother, Dwight Braman.
By the 1913-1914 winter season, Dr. Robert Henry Vose, a physician, also lived and maintained medical office at 443 Beacon. He previously had lived and maintained his medical office with Dr. Robert Soutter at 53 Hereford. Dr. Vose continued to live (and maintain his office) at 443 Beacon during the 1920-1921 winter season, after which he moved to Milton, where he lived with his unmarried sister, Elizabeth Vose. Robert Vose and Elizabeth Vose do not appear to be closely related to Charles Vose, who lived at 443 Beacon in 1903.
Dwight Braman died in June of 1929. His widow, Helen Stuyvesant (Dudley) Braman, continued to lease 443 Beacon to Franklin Newell.
On July 10, 1933, Helen Braman transferred 443 Beacon to Lucy (Braman) Johnson’s children, Barbara Johnson and Jarvis Johnson, both still residents of Denver.
On November 25, 1935, 443 Beacon was purchased from Barbara Johnson and Jarvis Johnson by Benjamin George Brooker, a certified public accountant and real estate dealer.
Benjamin Brooker remodeled 433 Beacon into apartments, including eliminating the mansard roof and expanding the top floor. The Building Department’s records do not include the permit application for this remodeling, but the plans, drawn by architectural engineer Manning Waters (Mendal Waters), are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston City Archives (reference BIN P-131).
Benjamin Brooker lived at 545 Blue Hill Avenue in Roxbury in 1936. In 1937 he lived in one of the apartments at 443 Beacon. By 1939, he had moved to Newton. He married in about 1949 to Hannah (Botzin) Myers, the former wife of Harold Myers. After their marriage they lived at 133 Marlborough until about 1960, when they moved to 101 Beacon, which he had purchased and remodeled.
On February 28, 1961, 443 Beacon was purchased from Benjamin Brooker by Robert White.
On February 1, 1991, Robert White transferred 443 Beacon to Charles White Management, Inc.
443 Beacon remained an apartment house in 2020.