166 Marlborough was built in 1874-1875 for dry goods merchant Eben Dyer Jordan, co-founder of Jordan, Marsh & Co., one of six contiguous houses (166-168-170-172-174-176 Marlborough) built for him between 1874-1875 (166-168-170-172 Marlborough) and 1876-1877 (174-176 Marlborough), designed as three symmetrical pairs of houses. Eben D. Jordan and his wife, Julia M. (Clark) Jordan, lived at 46 Beacon.
The six houses were built on two parcels of land, with a combined frontage of 150 feet, originally sold by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at its public sale on April 10, 1869. The successful bidder at the auction was building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., who subsequently sold or transferred his right to purchase the land, probably under an agreement with Eben D. Jordan under which he oversaw construction of the houses. Eben Jordan took title to the land from the Commonwealth after the houses were built: a 100 foot wide parcel running west from Dartmouth on October 19, 1875, and a 50 foot wide parcel to the west of the first parcel on February 21, 1877.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 166 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Marlborough and Alley 425, from Dartmouth to Exeter.
On November 14, 1874, the Boston Globe reported that T. E. and W. H. Stewart, builders, had received a building permit to construct 166-172 Marlborough. Construction probably started soon thereafter.
On November 23, 1875, Eben Jordan transferred 166 Marlborough to his son, James Clark Jordan, as trustee for Eben Jordan’s daughter, Julia Maria (Jordan) Dumaresq, the wife of Herbert Dumaresq. Herbert and Julia Dumaresq made it their home. They had married in June of 1873 and had lived at 51 Chestnut. Prior to their marriage, Herbert Dumaresq had lived at 265 Beacon with his brother-in-law and sister, George Wheatland, Jr., and Florence (Dumaresq) Wheatland.
Herbert Dumaresq was a cotton manufacturer and later became a partner in his father-in-law’s firm, Jordan, Marsh & Company.
The Dumaresqs continued to live at 166 Marlborough during the 1883-1884 winter season, but were living elsewhere for the next two seasons.
During the 1884-1885 winter season, it was the home of Perkins Bass and his wife, Clara (Foster) Bass. He had been an attorney in Chicago and had served as US District Attorney for Northern Illinois during the Lincoln Administration. They also maintained a home in Peterborough, New Hampshire. By the 1885-1886 season they had moved from 166 Marlborough, and by the 1887-1888 season they were living at 144 Marlborough.
During the 1885-1886 winter season, 166 Marlborough was the home of Alexander Hamilton Rice and his wife Angerona (Angie) (Erickson) Powell Rice. They previously had lived at the Hotel Brunswick (southeast corner of Clarendon and Boylston). He was a paper manufacturer and dealer. He served as Mayor of Boston in 1856-1857, as a Member of Congress from 1859 to 1867, and as Governor of Massachusetts in 1876-1877. By the 1886-1887 season, they had moved back to the Hotel Brunswick and 166 Marlborough was once again the home of Herbert and Julia Dumaresq.
In the late 1880s and early 1890s, the Dumaresqs were living elsewhere once again.
During the 1888-1889 winter season, 166 Marlborough was the home of real estate broker Thomas Nelson and his wife, Anne Smith (Bigelow) Nelson. They previously had lived at 29 Hereford, and by the 1889-1890 season, they had moved to 251 Commonwealth.
166 Marlborough was not listed in the 1890 Blue Book.
During the 1890-1891 winter season, it was the home of merchant Benjamin Loring Young and his wife, Charlotte Wright (Hubbard) Young. They also maintained a home in Weston. By the 1891-1892 season, they had moved to 3 Fairfield.
The house was not listed in the 1893 Blue Book.
On April 17, 1893, 166 Marlborough was purchased from Julia Dumaresq’s trust by real estate dealer Samuel Horatio Whitwell, and on May 12, 1893, he transferred it to his nephew, Frederick Silsbee Whitwell, a lawyer and real estate investor. Frederick S. Whitwell lived at 230 Marlborough with his parents, Frederick Augustus Whitwell and Mary Crowninshield (Silsbee) Whitwell.
Frederick S. Whitwell married in November of 1893 to Gertrude Howard of 169 Commonwealth, and they made 166 Marlborough their home. According to a December 3, 1893, Table Gossip entry in the Boston Globe, the house was a wedding present from Frederick S. Whitwell’s aunt, Sophia Louisa Whitwell, who lived at 111 Commonwealth with her unmarried brother, Samuel Horatio Whitwell.
For the next 25 years, the Frederick and Gertrude Whitwell lived at 166 Marlborough sporadically, frequently leasing it to others and opting to live in apartments for all or part of the winter season. During some of these periods, they may have been in California, where he was associated with his brother-in-law, Edward W. Howard, in various enterprises, including ranching in the San Joaquin Valley and development of extensive real estate holdings in San Mateo and Burlingame.
During the 1896-1897 winter season, the Whitwells were living at the Hotel Tuileries at 270 Commonwealth and 166 Marlborough was the home of dry goods commission merchant Joseph Sargent, Jr., and his wife, Nellie Louise (McClure) Sargent. They previously had lived at 441 Beacon. He retired in about 1897 and, thereafter, they spent their winters in Egypt or France and their summers in Magnolia.
During the 1897-1898 winter season, the Whitwells were at the Hotel Austerfield at 7-9 Massachusetts Avenue and 166 Marlborough was the home of attorney Charles Francis Choate, Jr., and his wife, Louise (Burnett) Choate. They also maintained a home in Southborough, which was their primary residence.
During the 1898-1899 winter season, the Whitwells were traveling in Europe and 166 Marlborough was the home of Philip Shelton Sears and his wife Mary Cabot (Higginson) Sears. They had married in February of 1898, and, after traveling abroad, had summered in Nahant; 166 Marlborough was their first Boston home together. He was a lawyer and trustee, and later would become a noted sculptor. Prior to their marriage he had lived at 51 Beacon with his parents, Frederick Richard Sears and Albertine Homer (Shelton) Sears, and she had lived at 274 Beacon with her father, Francis Lee Higginson. Philip and Mary (Higginson) Sears continued to live at 166 Marlborough during the 1899-1900 season, but moved thereafter to 471 Beacon.
By the 1900-1901 winter season, the Whitwells resumed living at 166 Marlborough, and remained until about 1905, when they moved to The Holland at 50 Commonwealth and then to 113 Marlborough (to live with his parents) in 1906 and 1907.
By the 1904-1905 winter season, 166 Marlborough was the home of Henrietta Clementine (Bright) Inches, the widow of cotton broker John Chester Inches. She previously had lived at 349 Commonwealth. She continued to live at 166 Marlborough during the 1906-1907 season, but moved thereafter to 441 Beacon.
Frederick and Gertrude Whitwell resumed living at 166 Marlborough for the 1907-1908 and 1908-1909 winter seasons. Their only child, Gertrude H. Whitwell, died there in November of 1908.
During the 1909-1910 winter season, the Whitwells were at the Hotel Puritan at 390 Commonwealth and 166 Marlborough was the home of Percival Hall Lombard and his wife, Isabel (Fabyan) Lombard. They were living in Manchester in June of 1909 when their daughter, Rosamond, was born, and had moved to Brookline by January of 1911 when their son, George Fabyan Lombard, was born.
During the 1910-1911 and 1911-1912 winter seasons, the Whitwells were living at 166 Marlborough again.
During the 1913-1914 winter season, the Whitwells were living there again.
During the 1914-1915 winter season, 166 Marlborough was the home of Laura Kate (Colman) Liggett Hill, widow of Hiram Shaw Liggett of the St. Louis tobacco manufacturing firm of Liggett and Myers, and of former Maine Governor John Fremont Hill. Her daughter, Katherine Langdon Hill, lived with her. They previously had lived in Augusta, Maine, where John Fremont Hill had died in March of 1912. Laura Hill and Katherine Hill moved to 18 Exeter by the next season.
During the 1915-1916 winter season, 166 Marlborough was the home of Miss Emily Dutton Proctor and her niece, Miss Fredrika Gurnsey Holden (daughter of Fred G. Holden and Arabella Gertrude (Proctor) Holden). Their primary residence was in Proctor, Vermont.
During the 1916-1917 and 1917-1918 winter seasons, the Whitwells were living at 166 Marlborough again.
During the 1918-1919 winter season, the Whitwells were at The Abbotsford at 186 Commonwealth and 166 Marlborough was the home of Horace Binney and his wife, Marie Anne (Sorchan) Binney. They had lived at 136 Beacon during the 1916-1917 season. By January of 1920, they were living at 227 Marlborough.
By the 1919-1920 winter season, the Whitwells had resumed living at 166 Marlborough, and continued to live there continuously until the mid-1930s.
By the 1920-1921 season, they had been joined by his widowed mother, Mary (Silsbee) Whitwell, and his sister, Natalie Silsbee Whitwell. They previously had lived in Milton. Mary and Natalie Whitwell continued to live at 166 Marlborough until about 1925, when they moved to an apartment at 308 Commonwealth.
During the 1924-1925 winter season, the Whitwells were joined by Gertrude Whitwell’s niece, Olivia Howard, the daughter of Edward Howard and his wife, Olivia D. (Lansdale) Howard. Her father had died in January of 1915 and her mother had remarried in May of 1922 to Robert Frazer, Jr., an American diplomat. A resident of California, Olivia Howard was in Boston for the season and in January of 1925 announced her engagement to Robert Lovejoy Raymond, Jr., of Milton. They were married in April of 1925 in Zurich, where her stepfather was the American Consul.
By the 1925-1926 winter season, the Whitwells had been joined at 166 Marlborough by attorney Frederick William Eaton and his wife, Jennie Stevens (Smith) Newman Eaton. They previously had lived at 251 Beacon. Their primary residence was in Concord. They continued to live with the Whitwells during the 1926-1927 season, but moved thereafter to 194 Beacon.
Frederick and Gertrude Whitwell maintained a summer home at Osterville and spent their winters in California (in 1932) or at the Hotel Vendome. They had ceased living at 166 Marlborough by the mid-1930s.
In 1933, 166 Marlborough was the home of Theodora (Havemeyer) Winslow, the widow of Rear Admiral Cameron McRae Winslow, and their adult children: Natalie Winslow, Cameron McRae Winslow, Jr. (a naval officer), Theodora Winslow, Emily Winslow, John Chilton Winslow, and Arthur Winslow. They previously had lived at 205 Commonwealth, where Admiral Winslow had died in January of 1932. They also maintained a home in Newport. They had moved from 166 Marlborough by 1934.
In 1934, 166 Marlborough was the home of Mabel Florence (Smith) Wolfe Baldrige, the widow of coffee merchant Dudley Wolfe and estranged wife of Omaha insurance broker Joseph M. Baldrige. She had lived at 177 Commonwealth in 1933. Dudley Francis Wolfe, her son by her first marriage, had lived with her at 177 Commonwealth and probably moved to 166 Marlborough with her. She also maintained a home, Warrenton Park, in Rockland, Maine.
Mabel Baldrige died in June of 1934. Dudley Wolfe married in October of 1934 to Mrs. Alice Blaine (Damrosch) Pennington, daughter of New York Symphony conductor Walter Johannes Damrosch, and former wife of Hall Pleasants Pennington. In 1939, Dudley Wolfe died while attempting to climb K-2, the world’s second highest mountain.
On November 19, 1935, 166 Marlborough was acquired from Frederick S. Whitwell by the Provident Institution for Savings in the Town of Boston. The bank held a mortgage on the property and it appears likely that Frederick Whitwell transferred the property to the bank to avoid foreclosure.
On May 4, 1937, 166 Marlborough was acquired from the bank by insurance broker Burrill Devereux Barker, Jr. He and his wife, Jean Lamont Barker, made it their home. They previously had lived in an apartment at 138 Marlborough. In the same month he acquired the house, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel it into a two-family home.
By 1938, the Barkers were living in one of the two units, and Helen (Thomas) Warren, the widow of paper manufacturer, Samuel Dennis Warren, III, lived in the other. She had lived at 261 Marlborough in 1937.
The Barkers moved to 62 Beacon in about 1943, and the unit they had occupied at 166 Marlborough became the home of Melville Henry Smith, New England manager of the Curtis Publishing Company, and his wife, Helen N. Smith. They previously had lived in an apartment at 250 Beacon.
On July 12, 1944, Helen Warren acquired 166 Marlborough from J. Devereux Barker.
By 1944, the Smiths had moved to 101 Chestnut and their unit at 166 Marlborough was the home of Charles Francis Adams, Jr., and his wife, Margaret (Stockton) Adams. They previously had lived in Florida. He was a Lt. Commander in the US Naval Reserve; in 1948, he became president of the electronics firm, Raytheon Corporation. The Adamses continued to live at 166 Marlborough until about 1946.
By 1947, the unit previously occupied by the Adamses was the home of Carl Fred Woods, an engineer, and his wife, Katherine (Dugan) Woods. They previously had lived in Winchester. They continued to live there until about 1950.
Helen Warren continued to live in the other unit at 166 Marlborough until about 1950.
On October 25, 1950, 166 Marlborough was purchased from Helen Warren by Roy Irving Bull and his wife, Elsie Lillian (Bainton) Bull. They previously had lived in Wellesley. He was president and treasurer of Baltimore Brushes, Inc.
The Bulls lived in one of the two units and George Lester Hunt and his wife, Joyce Dorothy (Stone) Hunt, lived in the other. They previously had lived in an apartment at 280 Beacon. He was an insurance company executive.
The Bulls and the Hunts continued to live there in 1955.
On July 21, 1955, 166 Marlborough was acquired from the Bulls by Lois A. (Billings) Leadbetter, the wife of Dr. Wyland F. Leadbetter. They lived in one of the apartments. They previously had lived in Needham.
Wyland Leadbetter was clinical professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and chief of urology at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Earl Sidney Berkowitz and his wife, Edith S. Berkowitz, lived in the other unit. They previously had lived in Salem. He was an executive with his family’s firm, the Mr. Boston Distiller Corporation. They continued to live at 166 Marlborough in 1959.
By 1960, the Berkowitz’s unit was the home of Edward F. Gilday and his wife, Edna M. (Priestman) Gilday. They previously had lived in Framingham. Edward Gilday was a music educator, choral director, and composer; from 1959 to 1967 he was conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. The Gildays continued to live at 166 Marlborough until about 1965.
In June of 1965, Wyland Leadbetter applied for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the occupancy from two to three units, and in December of 1968, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the occupancy from three to four units.
The Leadbetters continued to live there in 1970.
On May 30, 1974, 166 Marlborough was acquired from the Beddoes by Louis Francis Musco, Jr. He was treasurer of Bay State College and co-trustee of the Commonwealth Realty Trust, which owned 164 Marlborough.
On July 1, 1974, Robert F. Kelsey purchased 166 Marlborough from Louis Musco, Jr. In the deed, Louis Musco reserved the right at some future time to increase the height of “the present one-story building, now known as 164A Marlborough, attached to seller’s building at 164 Marlborough,” by adding one story nine feet above the present roof line.
The property changed hands and on March 31, 1968, was purchased by Amy Zell Ellsworth trustee of the Aliad Realty Trust. It remained a four unit apartment building until April 17, 2014, when she converted it into four condominium units, the 166 Marlborough Street Condominium. In August of 2015, the unit owners amended the condominium master deed to reduce the number of units to three.