I do business as Hammond Real Estate, but am legally still Ingram, Rettig & Beaty, Inc. which was founded in March of 1981. An interesting thing to note is that I bought Ellis & Andrews Real Estate in 1990 +/- which has its history here in the Square dating from the 1888, see attached, scans. So you could say I’ve been around since then, and don’t look a day over 50!
The letter below was written for our 100th anniversary by Helen Moulton, then President of Ellis & Andrews. I hope you enjoy reading it.
President, Hammond Real Estate
“Thank you all so much for being with us to celebrate the beginning of our 100th year of service. As we thought about ways of observing this landmark anniversary, we discovered that we knew very little about the history of Ellis & Andrews and how it evolved. We weren’t even exactly sure when it all began. Our letterhead has long boasted that the firm had been “in Harvard Square since 1889,” but news items in the Cambridge Chronicle and Tribune dispelled that myth. We were a whole year older!
William Rogers Ellis actually founded the Cambridge company in September 1888. In the “Old Cambridge” column of its September 22 issue, the Chronicle announced that Mr. Ellis had taken an office at 910 Main Street, Quincy Square, where the Hong Kong restaurant now occupies the first floor. A week later his first advertisement offered “Old Cambridge real estate a specialty,” and mortgage financing in addition to insurance. Old Cambridge was really a geographical entity on the map; it wasn’t just a state of mind!
Robert J. Melledge, a native of Cambridge, joined Mr. Ellis in 1893. In that same year Ellis & Melledge moved to the Lyceum Building, which is now the location of the Harvard Coop. After Mr. Ellis’s death in 1903, Mr. Melledge carried on as “successor to Ellis and Melledge,” apparently in partnership with Mr. Ellis’s son, Benjamin Pierce Ellis. In 1905, however, the younger Ellis announced himself as “late of Ellis & Melledge.” Mr. Melledge also continued to operate independently, and in 1913 he became one of the first tenants in the Brattle Building, where we are to this day.
Robert Melledge died in 1917, and Benjamin Pierce Ellis promptly reappeared as “successor to Robert J. Melledge, succeeding Ellis & Melledge.” In 1920 he joined forces with Edward A. Andrews, who had been engaged in Cambridge real estate for some fifteen years. At that time the company changed its name to Ellis & Andrews.
Edward F. Bowditch joined the company in 1927 as an agent, and a year later became part-owner. When Edward Andrews died in 1936, his son Dwight, only five years out of Bowdoin College, was an agent for the firm, which had been renamed Ellis & Bowditch. During the War, when both Dwight and Ed were in the service, Ben Ellis minded the store, along with another partowner, Gustave Cushing.
After the War, history repeated itself with another deferred father-son succession, and in 1955 Dwight Andrews became the sole owner of Ellis & Andrews, as it was once again known. He took John Norris as partner in 1961. I joined the company in 1976 as their first female broker. When both Dwight and John decided to retire in 1979, they honored me with their faith when they offered me the opportunity to purchase the real estate portion of the business. In 1930 residential properties had been reported to be scarce; now, in 1987, the story is the same. Mr. Ellis’s “Old Cambridge” attracts more new home-owners than ever, and we have enjoyed a sizeable share of their business. The turnover rate has been steadily rising, thanks both to the availability of condominiums, cooperatives, and townhouses, and to the increasing number of families with two wage-earners. Our current registry of rentals, which range from a cozy onebedroom apartment to a gracious old Cambridge home, caters to the housing needs of both the professional and the academic community.
We want to thank you for the significant part you have played in our success over the years and we look forward to our centennial year and to our second century of service to the Cambridge community.”
Helen F. Moulton
President, Ellis & Andrews Real Estate