The History of The John Jeffries House
Dr. John Jeffries, along with Dr. Edward Reynolds, founded the
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
in October of 1824 as a free clinic where Boston's most impoverished
people were welcome to have their eye diseases treated. Originally named
the "Boston Eye Infirmary," the institution was one of the first endeavors
in the area of medical specialties, and has grown to become the world-renowned
facility it is today.
By 1827 the infirmary's reputation for excellent medical care and treating the
poor had grown so much that it was incorporated under a state charter. Renamed
the Massachusetts Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary, it occupied successively larger quarters as
demand for its specialty services grew. In fact, the Infirmary itself once stood
on the site now occupied by The John Jeffries House.
By the beginning of the 20th century, the Board of Managers had concluded that the
Infirmary could not care for the large number of worthy cases applying for treatment
in its wards unless radical changes were made. Therefore, in 1909, a dwelling to
the house "nurses and domestic servants" was constructed on the old
Infirmary building at the corner of Charles and Cambridge streets.
In 1986, the nurses' building was completely renovated and renamed "The John
Jeffries House." Today, The John Jeffries House is a charming 46-room inn offering
a variety of accommodations. The character of the turn-of-the-century building was
carefully preserved during renovations. Handsome reproduction furnishings and upholstered
pieces, original molding, hardwood floors and period artwork create a
warm and elegant ambience.
The John Jeffries House provides accommodations to patients and families attending
to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and the other world-famous hospitals in
the area and to visitors of our many educational institutions, as well as to
travelers seeking a Bed and Breakfast Inn located at the foot of historic Beacon
Hill, and within the heart of Boston.