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Hours of Gold, Hours of Lead

Darkness Falls

Falmouth’s legendary Highfield and Tanglewood Halls set the stage for the rise—and tragic fall—of the famous Beebe family.

Photos Courtesy of Falmouth Historical Society,

Tragedy first struck the family in 1900. Arthur, the oldest son of Emily and J. Arthur, committed suicide at the family’s Commonwealth Avenue home in Boston while the rest of the family was vacationing in California. Just 28 years old, Arthur attended Harvard Medical School and had just successfully completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital when he died.

The New York Times reported, “It has been impossible to reach any member of the [Beebe] family, and Medical Examiner F.W. Draper, who admits that he was called to view the body, in answer to the query ‘Did Mr. Beebe shoot himself?’ said, ‘I cannot answer that question.’ The only facts, obtained, The Post says, are that Dr. Beebe was seen walking on Commonwealth Avenue Sunday evening. A few hours later his uncle found him dead under circumstances which made it imperative to call the Medical Examiner.”

Young Arthur’s close friend and fellow Harvard alumnus, Sydney Messer Williams, eulogized his deceased classmate. “Outside his college courses, in which he stood well, and his medical school work, in which he took the deepest interest, Beebe was especially fond of sailing, and for several years his boat ‘Nobska’ was champion of its class in Buzzards Bay…He was a man who preferred a few intimate friends to a wide general acquaintance, and those whom he knew best were almost all ’94 men, not only during college, but up to the time of his death.”

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