148 Marlborough was built ca. 1872 for building contractor John Farrington, probably for speculative sale, one of five contiguous houses (140-142-144-146-148 Marlborough).
John Farrington also had three more contiguous houses built ca. 1871-1872 at 132-134-136 Marlborough, leaving a vacant lot at 138 Marlborough. It appears likely that 140-148 Marlborough were built somewhat later than 132-136 Marlborough, inasmuch as 140-148 Marlborough were shown on the 1874 Hopkins map as still being owned by John Farrington, whereas 132-136 Marlborough already were owned by individual residents.
By 1874, 148 Marlborough was the home of Eleazer Crocker Sherman, a widower. He had lived at the Tremont House hotel in 1873. A former flour and grain dealer in Plymouth, he was president of the National Bank of the Commonwealth. He is shown as the owner of 148 Marlborough on the 1883 Bromley map.
During the 1877-1878 winter season, Eleazer Sherman was living elsewhere and 148 Marlborough was the home of chemical manufacturer George William Webster Dove and his wife, Susan Cotter (Glidden) Dove. Their primary residence was in Andover.
In July of 1878, Eleazer Sherman remarried, to Mary Louisa (Perkins) Thayer, the widow of Edmund D. Thayer. After their marriage, they lived at 148 Marlborough.
Eleazer Sherman died in February of 1881. Mary Sherman continued to live at 148 Marlborough in 1888. The Heirs of E. C. Sherman are shown as the owners on the 1888 Bromley map.
By 1889, it was the home of stockbroker Stanley Cunningham and his wife, Mary Ann (Crehore) Cunningham. They had lived at 167 Newbury in 1888. Mary Ann Cunningham is shown as the owner of 148 Marlborough on the 1890 and 1895 Bromley maps. They continued to live there in 1895, but had moved to Brookline by 1896.
In the spring of 1895, 148 Marlborough was purchased by Dr. Franklin Dexter and his wife, Jane Appleton (Dwight) Dexter. The sale was reported by the Boston Globe on May 29, 1895. They previously had lived at 363 Beacon. Jane Dexter is shown as the owner of 148 Marlborough on the 1898 Bromley map.
Franklin Dexter was a physician and professor at Harvard Medical School.
In October of 1902, they purchased 247 Marlborough. They continued to live at 148 Marlborough during the 1902-1903 winter season, and then moved to 247 Marlborough.
148 Marlborough was not listed in the 1904 Blue Book.
By the 1905-1905 winter season, 148 Marlborough was the home of Rear Admiral Francis Tiffany Bowles and his wife, Adelaide Hay (Savage) Bowles. In 1903, he had retired from the Navy and become president of the Fore River Shipping Corporation. Their son and daughter, Thomas Savage Bowles and Catherine Hay Bowles, lived with them. They also maintained a summer home in Barnstable.
148 Marlborough was owned by merchant and investor Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, former U. S. Ambassador to France, who had acquired 315 Dartmouth, next door, in about 1900 and remodeled it extensively before moving there in about 1903. He probably acquired 148 Marlborough at the same time to facilitate the remodeling, and then leased it to Admiral and Mrs. Bowles. He continued to be shown as the owner of both 315 Dartmouth and 148 Marlborough on the 1908 Bromley map.
By 1912, Francis and Adelaide Bowles had purchased 148 Marlborough and Adelaide Bowles is shown as the owner on the 1912, 1917, 1928, and 1938 Bromley maps.
Thomas Bowles died in August of 1910 while a student at Harvard. Catherine Bowles married in October of 1915 to Alfred Putnam Lowell, a lawyer. After their marriage, they lived at 56 Brimmer.
Admiral Bowles died in August of 1927. Adelaide Bowles continued to live at 148 Marlborough until her death in January of 1949.
In 1949, Thomas J. Diab purchased 148 Marlborough from the Bowles’s son-in-law, Alfred Putnam Lowell. The sale was reported by the Boston Globe on July 10, 1949.
In June of 1949, Thomas Diab applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into nine apartments. As part of this remodeling, the top floor was expanded to accommodate two apartments, eliminating the three original dormers. Plans for the remodeling, designed by architect Clark F. Merrick, are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN R-99).
The property subsequently changed hands. It remained an apartment building in 2010.