227 Marlborough was designed by architect Louis Weissbein and built in 1873-1874 for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., for speculative sale, one of four contiguous houses (225-227-229-231 Marlborough), designed as two sets of symmetrical pairs.
The houses were built on two parcels of land, the western 19 feet of a 39 foot wide lot purchased by George Wheatland, Jr., from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on May 6, 1873, and a 50 foot wide lot purchased from the Commonwealth by his father, George Wheatland, Sr., on October 20, 1874, after the houses were completed. George Wheatland, Jr., had built three houses to the east, at 7-9-11 Exeter, which were completed about the time the houses at 225-227-229-231 Marlborough were begun.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 227 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the north side of Marlborough and Alley 417, from Exeter to Fairfield.
On October 31, 1874, 227 Marlborough was purchased from George Wheatland, Sr., by Samuel Worcester Rowse. He lived at 61 Boylston and does not appear to have moved to 227 Marlborough.
Samuel W. Rowse was an illustrator, lithographer, and painter. Best known for his drawings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, he also drew “The Resurrection of Henry Box Brown in Philadelphia,” which pictured Henry Brown, an escaped slave, emerging from the box in which he had himself shipped from Richmond, Virginia, to freedom in Philadelphia. The drawing was subsequently used widely on anti-slavery posters.
On May 1, 1875, 227 Marlborough was purchased from Samuel W. Rowse by Charles Russell Train. He and his wife, Sarah Maria (Cheney) Train, made it their home. They previously had lived at 4 Ashburton Place.
Charles R. Train was a lawyer. Originally from Framingham, he served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1847 and 1848, as district attorney from 1848 to 1854, and as a member of the US Congress from 1859 to 1863. During the Civil War, he was aide-de-camp to General George B. McClellan. After the war, he moved to Boston, where he again served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1868 to 1871 and then as Massachusetts Attorney General from 1872 to 1878.
Charles Train died in July of 1885. In his will, he left the bulk of his estate, including 227 Marlborough, in trust for the benefit of Sarah Train and their ten year old son, Arthur Cheney Train, with the provision that, after her death, the remainder would be distributed to his three sons: Arthur and Charles Train’s two sons by his first marriage, to Martha Ann Jackson, Charles J. Train and Harry J. Train. He left no provision for his two daughters by his first marriage – Lucilla (Train) Lawrence, the wife of banker Francis William Lawrence, and Althea Train, the wife of dry goods merchant Gilbert Russell Payson – indicating that it was his belief “that they do not need such provision.”
Sarah Train continued to live at 227 Marlborough during the 1888-1889 winter season.
In 1888, 277 Marlborough also was the home of Edward Dexter Sohier, a lawyer, whose wife, Hannah Louise (Amory) Sohier, had died in April of 1888 while they were living at the Hotel Victoria. Edward Sohier died in November of 1888 while living at 227 Marlborough.
During the 1889-1890 winter season, Sarah Train was living elsewhere and 227 Marlborough was the home Albert Enoch Pillsbury and his wife, Louisa Fuller (Johnson) Wheeler Pillsbury. They had married in July of 1889 and 227 Marlborough probably was their first home together. Albert Pillsbury was an attorney and state legislator, and later served as Attorney General of Massachusetts. By the 1890-1891 season, they were living at 583 Beacon.
By the 1890-1891 winter season, 227 Marlborough was the home of Herbert Austin, an iron and steel dealer, and his wife, Virginia (Pegram) Austin. They had married in April of 1890. Before their marriage, he had lived at 9 Arlington with his parents, James Walker Austin and Ariana Elizabeth Smith (Sleeper) Austin. Virginia Austin died in May of 1892 and he moved back to 9 Arlington.
By the 1892-1893 winter season, Sarah Train was living at 227 Marlborough again. She continued to live there during the 1898-1899 winter season, but moved thereafter to an apartment in Haddon Hall at 282 Berkeley.
During the 1899-1900 winter season, 227 Beacon was the home of Charles and Sarah Train’s son, Arthur C. Train. He had married in April of 1897 to Ethel Kissam, and they previously had lived in Cambridge. He was a lawyer and later would become a novelist and writer of mystery fiction, his character being lawyer-detective Ephraim Tutt (in 1942, he published Ephraim Tutt’s “autobiography,” leading to significant literary controversy).
By 1901, Arthur and Ethel Train had moved to New York City, where Arthur Train became an assistant district attorney.
227 Marlborough was not listed in the 1901 and 1902 Blue Books.
On April 1, 1902, 227 Marlborough was purchased from Sarah Train’s trust by Dr. Charles Sedgwick Minot. He and his wife, Lucy (Fosdick) Minot, made it their home. They previously had lived at 239 Marlborough. They also maintained a home in Milton.
Charles Minot was a physician and professor of anatomy at Harvard Medical School.
Sometime between 1908 and 1912, an additional story was added to 227 Marlborough (the house is shown as four stories on the 1908 Bromley map and as five stories on the 1912 map). The addition probably was made in 1909, at the same time as an additional story was added at 225 Marlborough.
Charles S. Minot died in November of 1914. Lucy Minot continued to live at 227 Marlborough. She also maintained a home in Readville.
In January of 1920, at the time of the US Census, she was living elsewhere, probably traveling, and 227 Marlborough was the home of Horace Binney and his wife, Marie Anne (Sorchan) Binney. During the 1918-1919 winter season, they had lived at 166 Marlborough. They continued to live at 227 Marlborough during the 1920-1921 season (and Mrs. Minot lived at the Hotel Vendome), but moved thereafter to 163 Commonwealth.
Lucy Minot resumed living at 227 Marlborough and continued to live there until about 1936. She died in 1939.
On February 29, 1940, 227 Marlborough was purchased from Lucy Minot’s estate by Marguerite B. Morris.
The house was shown as vacant in the 1937-1942 City Directories.
On December 19, 1941, 227 Marlborough was acquired from Henry J. O’Meara by John A. Malloy, and on December 26, 1941, it was acquired from him by his brother and sister-in-law, Matthew Joseph Malloy and Ione Wilkinson (Lohr) Malloy. They owned and operated the Stratford School at 128 Commonwealth and lived in West Roxbury.
During 1943, 227 Marlborough was occupied by the U. S. Navy, which used it for offices.
By 1944, 227 Marlborough had become a multiple dwelling, either apartments or a lodging house, or a combination of both.
On November 18, 1946, 227 Marlborough was acquired from the Malloys by real estate dealer Joseph P. Brennan. At about the same time, the Malloys moved to 227 Marlborough, which continued to be a multiple dwelling.
On July 10, 1952, 227 Marlborough was acquired from Francis Brown by William Francis Powers and his wife, Grace Margaret (O’Leary) Powers. They previously had lived in Cambridge. By 1954, they had moved to 232 Commonwealth.
On March 14, 1956, 227 Marlborough was purchased from the Powerses by Mrs. Helen A. (Leonard) Westcott, the former wife of Arthur Goodwin Westcott, who operated it as a lodging house. She was a nurse and lived at 1 Exeter, where she also operated a lodging house.
On June 3, 1958, 227 Marlborough was purchased from Helen Westcott by Frederick J. Dubrava, Jr., an accountant, who made it his home and continued to operate it as a lodging house. He also purchased 1 Exeter on the same day.
On November 4, 1960, Romo Associates foreclosed on a mortgage given by Frederick Dubrava, Jr., to Helen Westcott and assigned by her to them. In December of 1961, Romo Associates and Mayfair Construction Co. applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a lodging house and three apartments into eight apartments.
On July 31, 1963, 227 Marlborough was acquired from Romo Associates by Richard S. Gallagher and his wife, Agnes B. Gallagher. In May of 1964, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to add an apartment in the basement, increasing the number of units from eight to nine.
The property changed hands and on September 15, 1977, was purchased by Walter Bryan Bruce and his wife, Deborah G. Eaton.
On July 28, 1980, they converted the property into eight condominium units, the Marlborough Court Condominium.