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THE two brick houses on the westerly corner of Somerset and Beacon Streets occupy land formerly belonging to John Fayerweather (d. 1712).1 The easterly half, including a wooden dwelling-house, was acquired in December, 1740, by Benjamin Green, merchant, “together with the garden, outhouses, buildings, easements and fences, ways, passages, waters, watercourses, rights, members, profits, privileges, improvements, commodities and appurtenances thereunto belonging.” Mr. Green bought it for a residence, and was living there in 1747. One of the later owners was John Bowers, of Somerset, Bristol County, Massachusetts, who had laid out Somerset Street in 1800, and had given it the name of his native town. In May, 1803, Mr. Bowers sold the property to David Sears, Senior, a rich merchant, “being the same house, stable, outhouses & land now in the occupation of said Sears, between Somerset Street and Deacon Phillips’ land.” Mr. Sears was one of the very few millionaires of his day. About the year 1815, his son, the Honorable David Sears (1787-1871), Harvard, 1807, built the two brick houses above-mentioned; and about ten years thereafter he built the westerly half of the stone mansion on Beacon Street, now occupied by the Somerset Club. The large fortune inherited by Mr. Sears had been amassed by his father in the China trade. David Sears, Junior, was a member of the State Senate, and an Overseer of Harvard College. Actuated by a desire to promote Christian Unity, he built a massive stone Chapel, overlooking Muddy River, in Longwood. This Chapel was patterned after the Parish Church of his Sears ancestors, in the ancient town of Colchester, Essex, England. His desire was to found a Union Church, where clergymen of different denominations could officiate, and where sectarian distinctions were not to be. The edifice was dedicated June 30, 1862. The brick houses on the Somerset Street corner were the former home of the Boston City Club, and are still a part of the Sears estate.

1 Gleaner Articles, No. 37.

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