49 Hereford was designed by Bradlee and Winslow, architects, and built in 1882 by Vinal and Dodge, masons. It is one of five contiguous houses (45-47-49-51-53 Hereford) they built for speculative sale in association with building contractor George Wheatland, Jr. He is shown as the owner on the original building application for all five houses, dated February 24, 1882. 47-53 Hereford are designed as a symmetrical composition, somewhat unbalanced by 45 Hereford.
The block of Newbury between Hereford and West Chester Park (Massachusetts Avenue) was intended primarily for stables, including private carriage houses and larger public livery stables, and in 1882, when 45-53 Hereford were built, there already were several stables directly across the street, on the south side of Newbury. 53 Hereford was designed with a window-less wall on Newbury, probably to avoid looking onto these stables and to firmly orient 45-53 Hereford in an eastward facing direction, as a residential block of buildings.
The land for 45-53 Hereford was acquired on April 9, 1881, by George Wheatland, Sr., of Salem, from Caleb H. Warner and Charles F. Smith, trustees for the benefit of the creditors of Nathan Matthews. It originally had been purchased by Nathan Matthews on January 2, 1871, from the David Sears family, which held large holdings of Back Bay tidal lands.
The deed to George Wheatland, Sr., included a restriction that only dwelling houses facing Hereford could be built on the land. The restriction was for the benefit of the owners of the land at 314-320 Commonwealth, which Caleb Warner and Charles Smith had sold in April of 1879 to Sumner R. Mead and to Frank N. Thayer and William H. Lincoln.
On February 18, 1882, George Wheatland, Sr., sold the land to Warren D. Vinal and Charles A. Dodge, the builders. On the same day, they subdivided the land into five lots and entered into a mortgage with George Wheatland, Jr., on each lot, probably to provide the funds for the construction. In November of 1882, after the houses were completed, Vinal and Dodge sold 45 Hereford and 53 Hereford to individual buyers, and in February of 1883, they sold 47-49-51 Hereford to real estate dealer Brice S. Evans. He sold 51 Hereford in August of 1883, but 47 and 49 Hereford remained unsold, and on April 4, 1884, George Wheatland, Jr., foreclosed on his mortgages to Vinal and Dodge, which had been assumed by Brice Evans, and took possession of the two houses. He sold them later in 1884.
The original lots at 45-53 Hereford were 67 feet deep (east-west) and had a four foot easement at the rear to provide passage and drainage from all five houses to the alley between Commonwealth and Newbury. To the west, behind the five houses, was a lot with a 23 foot 3 inch frontage on Newbury. On April 19, 1886, the individual owners of the houses purchased the portions of this lot behind each of their houses, extending the size of their lots to 90 feet 3 inches. Although the reason for this purchase is not known, it is likely that it was to preclude construction of a stable on this land and to provide a larger buffer between the houses and the stable district. On March 8, 1888, the owners of the five houses agreed to move the easement for passage and drainage to the new western edge of their property and share the cost of a new sewer system at that location. That new drainage was not built, however, and on April 8, 1908, the owners agreed that the 1888 agreement remained in effect and that, until a new sewer was built, continuing to use the old sewer, located about 65 feet west of Hereford, would not constitute an easement over the properties.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 49 Hereford.
On May 5, 1884, 49 Hereford was purchased from George Wheatland, Jr., by Annah L. (Brown) Wentworth, the wife of carpet merchant and manufacturer Frederick B. Wentworth. They previously had lived in Walpole.
On July 10, 1885, 49 Hereford was acquired from Annah Wentworth by her brother, Samuel Newell Brown. He and his wife, Ruth Coombs (Haskell) Brown, lived at 119 Commonwealth.
Frederick and Annah Wentworth continued to live at 49 Hereford during the 1886-1887 winter season, but moved thereafter to Dorchester.
On November 14, 1887, 49 Hereford was purchased from Samuel N. Brown by Annie Elizabeth (Everett) Maynard, the wife of stable-owner John E. Maynard. They previously had lived in Charlestown. John E. Maynard, Jr., his son by his previous marriage to Susan E. (Hawley) Maynard, lived with them.
The Maynards continued to live at 49 Hereford during the 1888-1889 winter season, but moved thereafter to the Hotel Ilkley (Huntington at Cumberland).
On May 10, 1889, 49 Hereford was purchased from the Maynards by Louisa Green (Bursley) Fessenden, the wife of Sewall Henry Fessenden. They previously had lived at 17 Hereford. They also maintained a home in Newton. Their unmarried son, Russell Green Fessenden, lived with them.
Sewall Fessenden was agent for the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. Russell Fessenden was a real estate dealer.
Sewall Fessenden died in July of 1894. Louisa Fessenden and Russell Fessenden continued to live at 49 Hereford until her death in July of 1903. Russell Fessenden moved thereafter to 24 Marlborough.
On October 23, 1903, 49 Hereford was purchased from the estate of Louisa Fessenden by Harriet Susanna (Woodworth) Sherman Hopkins, the wife of Dr. Samuel A. Hopkins, Jr., a dentist. They previously had lived at 235 Marlborough, where he continued to maintain his dental office.
Nathaniel Woodworth (Sherman) Hopkins, Harriet Hopkins’s son by her previous marriage to Adelbert C. Sherman, lived with them.
Harriet Hopkins died in April of 1907. Samuel Hopkins and Nathaniel Woodworth (Sherman) Hopkins continued to live at 49 Hereford during the 1907-1908 winter season, after which they moved to 235 Marlborough, where he had continued to maintain his dental office.
In her will, Harriet Hopkins had left 49 Hereford to her son, Nathaniel, and on November 22, 1909, he transferred it to his step-father.
During the 1908-1909 and 1909-1910 winter season, 49 Hereford was the home of George W. Harrington and his wife, Marion (Andrews) Harrington. They previously had lived at 59 Chestnut. He was a real estate dealer and later would also become a poet and author.
During the 1910-1911 winter season, Samuel Hopkins was again living at 49 Hereford. He moved by back to 235 Marlborough by the next season.
On September 1, 1911, 49 Hereford was acquired by Thomas Hunt, an attorney. He and his wife, Carrie (Speiden) Hunt, lived at 44 Mt. Vernon. He leased 49 Hereford to others.
By the 1911-1912 winter season, it was the home of Arthur Wallace Rice and his wife, Martha Davis (Brewer) Rice. They previously had lived in Jamaica Plain.
By 1916, 49 Hereford was the home of Dr. James Murray Gallison and his wife, Mae (Kells) Gallison. He was a physician and surgeon, and also maintained his office there. They previously had lived (and he had maintained his office) at 407 Marlborough. They continued to live at 49 Hereford during the 1917-1918 winter season. By 1920, they had moved to Brookline and he had moved his office to 522 Commonwealth.
On October 1, 1918, 49 Hereford was acquired from Thomas Hunt by real estate and insurance broker Walter Samuel Chapin. On the same day, he transferred the property to Albert Cameron Burrage. He and his wife, Alice Hathaway (Haskell) Burrage, lived at 314 Commonwealth. He was an attorney and former gas lighting company official, and was an investor in mining and chemical companies. He leased 49 Hereford to others.
Albert Burrage died in June of 1931. However, the deed from Walter Chapin to Albert Burrage was not recorded until June 25, 1935, on the same day as Alice Burrage, as executor of his estate, transferred the property to herself as his heir. She continued to lease 49 Hereford to others.
By the 1919-1920 winter season, 49 Hereford was the home of Gerald Dorr Boardman, a real estate dealer, and his wife, Elizabeth Elwood (Devens) Boardman. They previously had lived in Auburn, New York, where he had been business manager for the interests of Thomas Mott Osborne, a bank manager, and managing editor of the Auburn Publishing Company. They continued to live at 49 Hereford in 1926, but had moved to 387 Commonwealth by 1927. They also maintained a home in Manchester.
By the 1926-1927 winter season, 49 Hereford was the home of Elizabeth (Devens) Boardman’s brother, Arthur Lithgow Devens, III, and his wife, Wenonah (Wetmore) Devens. They had lived at The Charlesgate at 535 Beacon during the previous season, and at 367 Beacon prior to that. They also maintained a home at Nahant.
Arthur Devens was a banker and broker.
The Devenses continued to live at 49 Hereford until about 1940, when they moved to an apartment at 512 Beacon.
By 1941, 49 Hereford was the home of Miss Susanna H. Moore, who operated it as a lodging house. She previously had lived at 301 Newbury, where she had also operated a lodging house. She continued to live at 49 Hereford until 1942.
By 1944, 49 Hereford had been leased from Alice Burrage by Phillip J. Arnold and his wife, Blanche Arnold, who operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived in New York. They continued to live at 49 Hereford until mid-1945.
On December 27, 1944, 49 Hereford was acquired from Alice Burrage (through Frederick E. Ordway, a real estate conveyancer) by Samuel Siskind, a lawyer.
On March 29, 1945, it was acquired from Samuel Siskind by Ralph Charles Vinal. He and his wife, Mary Charlotte (Thompson) Vinal, previously had lived at 45 Westland. She died in November of 1943, and after acquiring 49 Hereford, he made it his home. It continued to be a lodging house.
By mid-1945, 49 Hereford also was the home of Mrs. Susan Mabel (Brown) Elliott, the former wife of Burton Austin Elliott, who probably operated the lodging house. She also previously had lived at 45 Westland.
Susan (Brown) Elliott married in about 1960 to Arthur D. Murphy. They moved soon thereafter.
On October 25, 1961, 49 Hereford was purchased from Susan Murphy by William T. Stewart and his wife, Patricia (Spaulding) Stewart. They owned and lived at 47 Hereford and leased 49 Hereford to others.
On August 16, 1967, Dr. Rose (Wexler) Winston, a physician, acquired 47-49 Hereford from William and Patricia Stewart. She already owned 51–53 Hereford. She and her husband, Dr. Murray R. Winston, also a physician, lived at 133 Commonwealth. She operated 47-49-51-53 Hereford as lodging houses.
On July 29, 1992, real estate broker and investor Patrick Joseph Glynn purchased 47-49-51-53 Hereford from Stephen W. Howe, guardian of the estate of Rose Winston.
In August of 1992, Patrick Glynn filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 49 Hereford into seven apartments, which he indicated had been its actual status for a number of years.
On December 22, 1994, 49 Hereford was acquired by the 49 Hereford Street Limited Partnership, the general partner of which was Countryside Management, Inc. (Patrick J. Glynn, treasurer, and his wife, Anne T. Glynn, president). On the same day, 47 and 51 Hereford also were acquired by parallel limited partnerships, and in August of 1995, 53 Hereford was acquired by another limited partnership of which Countryside Management was the general partner. In February of 1999, 45 Hereford was acquired by the 45 Hereford Street LLC (Neil G. Glynn, manager).
In December of 2017, the owners of 45-53 Hereford received permission to renovate the Hereford façades of the buildings, remove the existing penthouse structure at 53 Hereford, install an entrance and windows on the Newbury façade of 53 Hereford, and construct a new building in the former rear yards of the five buildings, with an entrance at 321 Newbury.
49 Hereford remained an apartment building in 2018.