506 Beacon was designed by Shaw and Hunnewell and built by Burnham & Davis, masons, in 1893-1894 for Dr. Vincent Yardley Bowditch. He previously had lived at 719 Boylston. He is shown as the owner of 506 Beacon on the original building permit application, dated September 2, 1893, on the final building inspection report, dated February 12, 1895, and on the 1895, 1898, 1908, 1917, and 1928 Bromley maps.
Vincent Bowditch was a physician and pulmonary specialist, and also maintained his office at 506 Beacon. In 1891, he had founded the Sharon Sanitarium for pulmonary diseases in Sharon; he served as its medical director until his death. He was unmarried.
Dr. Bowditch was joined at 506 Beacon by his aunt, Mary Yardley (sister of his mother, Olivia (Yardley) Bowditch), his sister, Olivia Bradley Bowditch, and Olivia Bowditch’s friend, Miss Alice M. Curtis, an artist. They all had lived with him at 719 Boylston.
His aunt, Mary Yardley, died in July of 1900. Olivia Bowditch and Alice Curtis continued to live at 506 Beacon until about 1907, when they moved to Milton.
In the fall of 1900, Vincent Bowditch was joined at 506 Beacon by Dr. Walter Channing Bailey, a physician. He had graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1898 and began practice in 1900 after spending a number of months abroad. He continued to live and maintain his office at 506 Beacon until his marriage in June of 1908 to Ruth Perkins; after their marriage, they lived (and he maintained his office) at 267 Clarendon.
By 1904, Dr. Bowditch also had been joined by his cousin, Mary Adelaide Yardley (daughter of his mother’s brother, Vincent Yardley), from London. She continued to live at 506 Beacon until her death in February of 1915.
By the 1908-1908 winter season, Vincent Bowditch was joined at 506 Beacon by his nephew, Dr. Henry Ingersoll Bowditch, the son of his brother, Edward. He was a physician and also maintained his office at 506 Beacon. He previously had lived at the Hotel Cambridge at 483 Beacon and had maintained his office both there and at 70 Bay State Road. He married in May of 1910 to Eleanor Pratt McQueen. After their marriage they lived (and he maintained his office) at 416 Marlborough.
By the 1915-1916 winter season, Vincent Bowditch’s sister, Olivia, was living with him at 506 Beacon once again. Mary Curtis had died in February of 1911 and Olivia Bowditch had continued to live in Milton until about 1915.
In about 1915, Walter Bailey moved his medical office back to 506 Beacon when he and his wife, Ruth, moved to Dover. They previously had lived at 269 Beacon, where he had maintained his medical office. He continued to maintain his office at 506 Beacon until about 1919.
Vincent Bowditch and his sister continued to live at 506 Beacon for the rest of their lives. Olivia Bowditch died in January of 1928, and Vincent Bowditch died in December of 1929.
In November of 1930, G. Augustus Holzman, a lawyer, filed for (and subsequently received) permission have a fire escape erected on the rear of 506 Beacon. The filing indicated that the property was to be used for “lodgings.” G. Augustus Holzman lived in Brookline and probably represented the owner.
By 1931, 506 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Mildred Eaton (Thompson) Hadley, the former wife of Waldo Snow Hadley, who operated it as a lodging house. She previously had lived in Cambridge. From about 1932 until 1937, she was joined by Miss Ruth Jewett Manning. Mrs. Hadley and Miss Manning previously had owned 102 Mt. Auburn in Cambridge, which they had sold in mid-1930 to the Falcon Club of Harvard. The transaction had been reported in the Boston Globe on June 15, 1930.
Mildred Hadley initially leased 506 Beacon, which by 1936 was owned by Walter Howard Gleason and his wife, Mabel W. (Robertson) Gleason. He was an attorney, real estate dealer, and investment broker. In late 1936, he sold the property to Dorothy A. Palmer. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on December 28, 1936.
In the spring of 1937, Mildred Hadley purchased 506 Beacon from Dorothy Palmer. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on May 24, 1937. Mildred Hadley is shown as the owner on the 1938 Bromley map.
She continued to live and run a lodging house at 506 Beacon until about 1956. From the early 1940s, she also operated a lodging house at 383 Commonwealth.
By the mid-1950s, 506 Beacon was owned by Franklyn G. Bill, a real estate dealer, who continued to operate it as a lodging house.
The property remained in the Bill family and continued to be a lodging house in 2014.