Land: 233-235-239 Commonwealth

233-235-239 Commonwealth were built on a parcel of land originally purchased from the Boston Water Power Company on February 16, 1863, by Daniel Davies, Jarvis Dwight Braman, and Grenville Temple Winthrop Braman (Suffolk Co. Deed Registry, Book 826, p. 86). It was one of four parcels purchased by Daniel Davies and his partners at the same time.  The parcels were at the west end of the block between Exeter and Fairfield, on the south side of Beacon, the north and south side of Marlborough, and the north side of Commonwealth.

Detail from plan by J. F. Fuller, showing land purchased by Daniel Davies et al (Suffolk Co. Deed Registry, Book 826, p. 87; 25Feb1863)

The blocks between Exeter and Fairfield are 600 feet in length. The boundary between the lands owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on the east and the lands owned by the Boston Water Power Company on the west was located at a point about 505 feet west of Exeter. The land purchased by Daniel Davies and his partners included all of the Boston Water Power Company’s land between the boundary on the east and Fairfield on the west (shown on the plan as Lots A, B, C, and D, east of “6th Street”).

In its deed conveying the land, the Boston Water Power Company stated that the distance from the boundary to Fairfield was 95.57 feet. In its deeds for the parcels to the east, the Commonwealth calculated the distance from Exeter to the boundary as being 504.8 feet, leaving 95.20 feet to Fairfield, a discrepancy of 0.37 feet (4½ inches).

On December 30, 1868, Daniel Davies and his partners sold their parcels on the south side of Marlborough and the north side of Commonwealth to Henry N. F. Marshall. On February 25, 1869, he sold both parcels to James C. White, and on June 29, 1869, James White sold both parcels to Dr. Horatio R. Storer.

On December 15, 1870, Horatio Storer sold the corner lot at Commonwealth and Fairfield, with a frontage on Commonwealth of 41.57 feet, to Sarah Olcott Murdoch (Blake) Whitmore, the wife of Charles John Whitmore. Dr. Storer retained the remaining 54 feet to the east, and January 6, 1877, he transferred it to a trust for the benefit of his wife and children. The northern and southern boundaries of the parcel he sold (41.57 feet) and the parcel he transferred to the trust (54 feet) were consistent with the Boston Water Power Company’s calculations of 95.57 feet.

Sarah Whitmore sold the corner lot on August 6, 1877, to Ellen A. (Larrabee) Johnson, the wife of Henry M. Johnson, and she sold the lot to Nathaniel Thayer, Jr., on November 22, 1880.

The trust established by Horatio Storer divided the 54 foot parcel into two 27 foot lots. It sold the western lot on April 3, 1878, to Daniel H. Lane, and the eastern lot on March 20, 1879, to Walter C. Cabot. The lots subsequently changed hands and were acquired by Frederick Sears Grand d’Hauteville, the western lot on February 11, 1881, and the eastern lot on March 21, 1881.

On April 30, 1881, Frederick Sears Grand d’Hauteville sold the western lot to Nathaniel Thayer, Jr., but reduced the width from 24 feet to 23.63 feet, thereby reconciling the discrepancy between the calculations reflected in the deeds from the Boston Water Power Company and the Commonwealth.

Nathaniel Thayer, Jr., combined the lot with his corner lot and sold the eastern 21 feet on October 4, 1882, to George Wheatland, Jr. Nathaniel Thayer retained the corner lot, with a 47.2 foot frontage on Commonwealth, and built his home at 22 Fairfield (239 Commonwealth). George Wheatland, Jr., built his home at 235 Commonwealth.

Frederick Sears Grand d’Hauteville sold his 27 foot lot on January 18, 1886, to Jacob C. Rogers, who had purchased the lot to the east in March of 1884 from the Commonwealth. Jacob Rogers built 231 Commonwealth as his home, and 233 Commonwealth as the home of his brother, William C. Rogers.