106 Marlborough was built ca. 1868 as the home of Rev. Rufus Ellis, pastor of the First Unitarian Church, and his wife, Gertrude Louisa (Blake) Ellis. They previously had lived at 7 Hamilton Place. His brother, Rev. George Edward Ellis, lived at 110 Marlborough from 1870.
The land on which 106 Marlborough was built was part of a 50 foot wide lot originally purchased on April 9, 1863, from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by merchant and banker William Thomas. He and his wife, Cornelia Jane (Bangs) Thomas, lived at 12 Joy; they moved to 10 Marlborough in about 1864.
On November 9, 1865, William Thomas entered into an agreement with Albert F. Sise, owner of the 30 foot lot to the east, running to the corner of Clarendon, specifying that, for the next twenty years, no building of more than eight feet in height could be built in the rear areas of either of their lots (encompassing what would become 270 Clarendon and 104-106-108 Marlborough). The next day, William Thomas sold Albert Sise’s wife, Edith (Ware) Sise, the eastern 10 feet of his lot, and the Sises subsequently built 104 Marlborough on it and the western 9 feet of their lot.
On December 16, 1865, William Thomas sold the eastern 22 feet of his remaining 40 foot lot to his son-in-law, attorney Charles Mayo Ellis. Charles and Helen (Thomas) Ellis lived in Roxbury; in about 1872, they moved to 129 Commonwealth. On April 6, 1868, Charles Ellis sold the eastern 18 feet to Rev. Rufus Ellis, who had 106 Marlborough built on it (it does not appear that Charles Ellis and Rufus Ellis were closely related). On the same day, Charles Ellis sold the remaining 4 feet, to the west, back to William Thomas, who combined it with his remaining 18 feet and had 108 Marlborough built on it for his daughter, Mary M. (Thomas) Guild, the widow of George Dwight Guild.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 106 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Marlborough and Alley 424, from Clarendon to Dartmouth.
Rufus and Gertrude Ellis’s five children — William Rogers Ellis, Edward Clarke Ellis, Gertrude Stanton Ellis, Arthur Blake Ellis, and Rufus Ellis, Jr. — lived with them at 106 Marlborough.
William Ellis, an iron manufacturer, married in January of 1870 to Helen Peirce; after their marriage, they lived in Cambridge.
Edward Ellis, a commission merchant and later real estate broker, married in November of 1876 to Lillie Harriet Ely; after they married, they lived at 4 Spruce. By 1884, they lived at the Hotel Vendôme, and in 1885, they were living with Rufus and Gertrude Ellis at 106 Marlborough. By 1886, they had moved to 156 Mt. Vernon.
Rufus Ellis, Jr., married in April of 1885 to Anna G. Foote. They subsequently lived in Brookline.
Rev. Rufus Ellis died in September of 1885 in Liverpool, England, while traveling with his family.
Gertrude Ellis continued to live at 106 Marlborough with their unmarried children, Arthur Blake Ellis and Gertrude Stanton Ellis, during the 1885-1886 winter season. They moved thereafter to 18 Hereford.
On April 20, 1886, 106 Marlborough was acquired from Gertrude Ellis by Dr. James Jackson Putnam, a neurologist. He and his wife, Marion (Cabot) Putnam, made it their home and he also maintained his medical office there. They had married in February of 1886 and 104 Marlborough probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 63 Marlborough with his brother, Dr. Charles Pickering Putnam, and his sisters, Elizabeth Cabot Putnam and Anna Cabot Putnam.
In July of 1916, James Putnam’s sister-in-law, Lucy (Washburn) Putnam, the widow of Charles Putnam (who had died in April of 1914), acquired 108 Marlborough and made it her home.
James Putnam died in November of 1918. After his death, 104 and 106 Marlborough were transferred to a trust established in his will with Marion Putnam’s brother, Frederick P. Cabot, and brother-in-law, Arthur Lyman (husband of Susan Channing Cabot), as trustees. Marion Putnam continued to live at 106 Marlborough. She also maintained a home in Cotuit.
106 Marlborough was not listed in the 1933 Blue Book.
Louis Dennett was a dentist. He remodeled 106 Marlborough into a residential apartment on the fourth floor and medical offices on the first three floors. He maintained his offices there, along with several other dentists; he and his wife continued to live in Wellesley. From about 1935 to 1937, the apartment was occupied by Dr. Philip Edwin Adams, a dentist, who also maintained his office there. He had lived at 74 Fenway in 1934. He moved to an apartment at 12 Commonwealth in 1938. He married in that year to Ethel Marie Sanford and by 1939 they were living in an apartment at 196 Beacon. He continued to maintain his office at 106 Beacon.
In January of 1941, the Dennetts acquired 104 Marlborough and from about 1944 made it their home.
He continued to maintain his offices at 106 Marlborough (along with Dr. Adams and other dentists). By 1950, the Dennetts moved their residence to the apartment at 106 Marlborough, and 104 Marlborough became the home of Inez Dennett’s sister, Grace Margaret (Heilbrun) Nolan, the widow of Edmund Patrick Nolan, and their son, Robert L. Nolan.
On October 31, 1952, 106 Marlborough was acquired from Inez Dennett by Meier Karp. The Dennetts continued to live in the apartment there until about 1955, when they moved back to 104 Marlborough, joining Mrs. Nolan and her son. 106 Marlborough remained Louis Dennett’s office until his retirement in 1958.
By 159, 106 Marlborough was the home of Edward Charles and his wife, Estelle (Waldman) Charles. They previously had lived in an apartment at 184 Marlborough. They continued to live at 106 Marlborough until about 1962, when they moved to 303 Marlborough.
On December 19, 1962, 106 Marlborough was acquired from the estate of Meier Karp (who died in 1957) by John H. Ayvazian, Jr.; Nubar J. Dinjian; George Najarian; and Thomas Moranian, trustees of the Penwood Realty Trust
In March of 1963, the trust applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the property into ten apartments. As part of the remodeling, it lowered the front entrance to street level.
The property subsequently changed hands and on September 5, 1984, was acquired by John R. Giles and Sarah H. Giles, trustees of Tenth Capitol Realty Trust.
On October 2, 1984, they converted the house into seven condominium units, the 106 Marlborough Street Condominium.