128 Marlborough was built in 1868 by Ivory Harmon, mason and builder, for Charles William Freeland, one of eleven contiguous houses (110-130 Marlborough) built for speculative sale on a parcel with a 198 foot frontage. Charles Freeland was a merchant, cotton manufacturer, and real estate developer. He and his wife, Sarah Ward (Harrington) Freeland, lived at 117 Beacon.
The eleven houses are arranged in a symmetrical composition, with two houses at each end of the group (110-112 Marlborough and 128-130 Marlborough) on 19 foot wide lots with bays which carry into the mansard roof, two pairs of intermediate houses (114-116 Marlborough and 124-126 Marlborough) on 17 foot 8 inch lots with oriel windows, and a central grouping of three houses (118-120-122 Marlborough), with 118 Marlborough and 122 Marlborough on 17 foot 8 inch lots and 120 Marlborough on a 16 foot lot.
Click here for a composite image of 110-130 Marlborough illustrating the symmetrical composition, assembled from several photographs taken in March of 2013.
The land for 110-130 Marlborough was sold by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at its public auction on April 9, 1863, as six 25 foot lots and two 24 foot lots. Dwight Foster, an attorney, was the successful bidder for five of the 25 foot lots, and Dr. John Cauldwell Foster, a physician, was the successful bidder for the sixth 25 foot lot and the two 24 foot lots. Charles Freeland subsequently acquired their rights to purchase the land and, on March 28, 1868, the Boston Daily Advertiser reported that he had begun construction of the eleven houses. He purchased and took title to the land from the Commonwealth on October 26, 1868, as they were approaching completion.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 128 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Marlborough and Alley 424, from Clarendon to Dartmouth.
In August of 1868, while the houses were under construction, Charles Freeland offered them for sale as a group. An August 10, 1868, advertisement in the Boston Traveller by real estate dealer John Jeffries, Jr., described them as “a block of 11 houses now being erected on Marlborough street. These houses are to be built in the most thorough manner, under the supervision of Mr. Ivory Harmon. They vary in size and price, and are intended to meet the present demand for medium-priced houses in a good locality. The horse cars are to pass within one hundred feet.”
The advertisement continued to run in October of 1868 (and possibly later), but the houses ultimately were sold to individual buyers.
On April 6, 1869, 128 Marlborough was purchased from Charles Freeland by Susan Haskell (Keep) Page, wife of Dr. Calvin Gates Page, a physician. They previously had lived at 69 Myrtle, He died four weeks later, in May of 1869.
Susan Page continued to live at 128 Marlborough with their three surviving children: Edith Page, Hollis Bowman Page, and Calvin Gates Page, Jr.
Also living at 128 Marlborough from 1870 until 1875 was stockbroker Charles Danielson Lincoln. By 1876, he had moved to College Hill.
Hollis Page married in December of 1887 to Nina Cutter. After their marriage, they traveled to Munich and by 1890 were living in Watertown. He was an artist, instructor in mechanical drawing, and expert on color harmony.
Susan Page continued to live at 128 Marlborough during the 1888-1889 winter season, but moved thereafter to Newton. Edith and Calvin Page moved with her. She continued to own 128 Marlborough and lease it to others.
During the 1889-1890 winter season, it was the home of wholesale dry goods merchant Samuel Bradford Dana and his wife, Katherine Wallen (Lyon) Dana. They previously had lived at 145 Beacon. By the 1890-1891 season, they had moved to 223 Beacon.
During the 1890-1891 winter season, 128 Marlborough was the home of Thomas Nelson and his wife, Annie (Bigelow) Nelson. They had lived at 251 Commonwealth during the previous season. A former real estate dealer, he was treasurer of several mining companies. Annie Nelson died in March of 1891 and by 1892, Thomas Nelson had moved to a new home he had built at 508 Beacon.
During the 1891-1892 winter season, 128 Marlborough was the home of Mrs. George McClure, probably Sarah J. (Craige) McClure, the widow of George McClure, a cabinetmaker, who died in January of 1891. By the 1892-1893 season, she had moved to The Ludlow (southwest corner of Clarendon and St. James).
By the 1892-1893 season, 128 Marlborough was the home of Miss Sarah Borden Durfee Lewis. She was a teacher and operated a private school in the house. During the 1893-1894 winter season, Dr. Charles Allen Porter, a surgeon, also was living there, but he had moved to 24 Marlborough by 1895. Miss Lewis continued to live at 128 Marlborough during the 1895-1896 winter season, but moved thereafter and by 1900 was living in Cambridge.
Susan Page died in May of 1895 in Brookwood, Surrey, England and 128 Marlborough was inherited by her three children.
By the 1896-1897 winter season, 128 Marlborough was the home of her son, Dr. Calvin Gates Page, Jr., and his wife, Marie Louise (Danforth) Page. They had married in June of 1896 and 128 Marlborough probably was their first home together.
Dr. Page was a physician and professor of microbiology at Harvard Medical School. He maintained his medical office at 128 Marlborough. Marie Danforth Page was a portrait artist; she maintained her studio at the house.
Marie Page died in March of 1940. Calvin Page continued to live at 128 Marlborough. He remarried in 1945 to Dr. Rose Carleton Munro, a pediatrician. They lived at 128 Marlborough until about 1948.
On November 15, 1948, 128 Marlborough was purchased from Calvin Page by Benjamin George Brooker, a certified public accountant and real estate dealer, and four days later, it was purchased from him by Octavia Morley (Sawyer) Walsh, the wife of Edward M. Walsh, a heating contractor. They previously had lived in Brookline. They had moved to 130 Marlborough by 1950.
On September 15, 1949, 128 Marlborough was purchased from Octavia Walsh by Grant Gordon Dwyer and his wife, Betty-Jane (Maynard) Dwyer. They previously had lived in an apartment at 6 Marlborough. He was a purchasing agent with John Hancock Insurance; she was an artist. They had moved to Cohasset by 1951 but continued to own 128 Marlborough and lease it to others.
By 1951, 128 Marlborough was the home of Giles Melville Stuart Tod and his wife, Miriam Denise (Cobb) Tod. They previously had lived at 135 Newbury. They had moved to Hingham by 1952.
On March 12, 1951, 128 Marlborough was acquired from Grant and Betty-Jane Dwyer by Mrs. Barbara Abbie (McLeod) Graham, the former wife of William Lloyd Graham, who operated it as a lodging house. In the late 1940s, she had been executive housekeeper at the Copley Plaza Hotel. She continued to live at 128 Marlborough (and operate it as a lodging house) in 1961.
On May 26, 1961, 128 Marlborough was acquired from Barbara Graham by Charles David Libby, who operated it as a lodging house. He previously had lived at 4 Walnut. He was a sales engineer and later a public school teacher.
In July of 1990, he applied to legalize the occupancy of the property as six apartments, noting that there was no record of the legal occupancy. He abandoned the application after a review by the rent equity board. He continued to live at 128 Marlborough in the 1980s and probably until his death in December of 1994.
On September 27, 2002, 128 Marlborough was purchased from Charles Libby’s estate by the John 128 Marlborough Street LLC (David Pogorelc, manager of record).
That same month, David Pogorelc filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the property’s occupancy as six units.
On March 6, 2003, the 128 Marlborough Street LLC purchased the property from the John 128 Marlborough Street LLC.
On August 12, 2003, it converted the property into six condominium units, the 128 Marlborough Street Condominium.