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.