229 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 229 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 4, 1875, 229 Marlborough was purchased from George Wheatland, Sr., by George Merrick Rice. He and his wife, Rutha J. (White) Rice, lived in Worcester. He was a manufacturer of paper, calico printing, and bleaching machinery and later a steel manufacturer.
229 Marlborough became the home of the Rices’ son-in-law and daughter, William I. Holmes and Elizabeth Frances (Rice) Holmes. They previously had lived at 202 Dartmouth. They also maintained a home in Manchester, Massachusetts.
William Holmes was treasurer and editor of the Journal of Commerce newspaper.
In the early 1890s, George Rice’s steel business failed and his assets were assigned to James C. Elms, Winslow L. Horne, and Samuel R. Barton. On August 17, 1891, Elizabeth Holmes acquired 229 Marlborough from them.
William and Elizabeth Holmes’ two children, Alice H. Holmes and George M. R. Holmes, lived with them. George Holmes married in November of 1900 to Harriet L. Tufts and they moved to Winchester. He was an editor in his father’s firm. Alice Holmes married in December of 1903 to Dr. Robert A. Douglas Lithgow, a physician. After their marriage, they lived with her parents at 229 Marlborough.
On December 5, 1905, 229 Marlborough was purchased from Elizabeth Holmes by John Torrey Linzee, an investment banker. Elizabeth Holmes died in May of 1906 in Andover; William Holmes and the Lithgows moved to 1 Plymouth in Roxbury.
On January 7, 1906, the Boston Herald’s “Social Life” column noted that “Mr. Linzee intends to enlarge and improve” the house and “hopes to have it ready for occupancy in the spring for a little while before he and Mrs. Linzee go away for the summer.” It appears that it was at this time that an additional story was added to the house. It is shown as having four stories (plus basement) in a photograph published in the Herald on December 8, 1905, and as five stories on the 1908 Bromley map.
John Torrey Linzee and his wife, Anita Homer (Manson) Linzee, made 229 Marlborough their home. They had lived at 265 Clarendon during the 1905-1906 winter season.
On May 13, 1907, John LInzee transferred the property to his wife.
The Linzees continued to live at 229 Marlborough during the 1910-1911 winter season, but moved thereafter to 18 Marlborough. They continued to own 229 Marlborough and lease it to others.
229 Marlborough was not listed in the 1912 Blue Book.
By the 1912-1913 winter season, 229 Marlborough was the home of Oliver Willard Mink and his wife, Mabel Gertrude (Tower) Mink. They previously had lived at 184 Marlborough. They also maintained a home in Manchester near Singing Beach.
Oliver Mink was treasurer of the Ames Shovel and Tool Company and of various other Ames family enterprises. He formerly was Vice President of the Union Pacific Railroad.
The Minks continued to live at 229 Marlborough during the 1913-1914 winter season, but moved thereafter to 272 Marlborough.
During the 1914-1915 winter season, 229 Marlborough was the home of Joseph Brown Tilton, Jr., a retired stockbroker, and his sisters, Edna B. Tilton and Elizabeth Tilton. They previously had lived at 255 Newbury, and had resumed living there by 1917.
229 Marlborough was not listed in the 1916 Blue Book.
During the 1916-1917 winter season, it was the home of Charles Barnard Prince and his wife, Halldis (Möller) Prince. He was assistant treasurer of the American Tube Works, manufacturers of brass tubing. They also maintained a home in Sherborn, By the 1917-1918 winter season, they had moved to 256 Beacon.
During the 1917-1918 winter season, 229 Marlborough was the home of Raymond Perry Rodgers Neilson and his wife, Mary (Park) Neilson. His mother-in-law, Elizabeth Stevenson (Sweitzer) Park, lived with them. She was the widow of Pittsburgh steel manufacturer William Gray Park.
R. P. R. Neilson was an artist, best known for his portraits. He and his wife usually lived on Long Island in New York. He had graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1905 but resigned from the Navy in 1908 to pursue a career in art. He was in Boston prior to being reinstated as a lieutenant in the Navy in February of 1918. He subsequently served as aide to Admiral William Sowden Sims, who was in command of all naval forces operating in Europe (Admiral Sims and his wife, Anne (Hitchcock) Sims, lived at 194 Beacon in 1929).
During the 1918-1919 winter season, 229 Marlborough was the home of Hendricks Hallett Whitman and his wife, Adelaide Chatfield (Taylor) Whitman. They also maintained a home in Beverly. He was a textile manufacturer and wholesale dry goods merchant in his father’s firm, and was serving as a lieutenant in the US Army. By the 1919-1920 season, they had moved to 338 Beacon.
By the 1919-1920 winter season, 229 Marlborough was the home of William Bennett Munro and his wife, Caroline S. (Gorton) Munro. They previously had lived at the Hotel Somerset and before that at 167 Marlborough.
They continued to live at 229 Marlborough during the 1920-1921 season, but moved thereafter.
During the 1921-1922 winter season, 229 Marlborough was the home of banker and stockbroker James Jackson Minot, Jr., and his wife Miriam (Sears) Minot. They had married in October of 1921 and 229 Marlborough probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 188 Marlborough with his widowed father, Dr. James Jackson Minot, Sr. In 1922, they moved to 104 Beacon.
During the 1922-1923 winter season, 229 Marlborough was the home of banker Henry Parsons King, Jr., and his wife, Mary (Parker) King. They previously had lived at 101 Chestnut, and In 1920, they had lived at 118 Beacon with his widowed mother, Alice Ormond (Spaulding) King. They moved to 247 Beacon by the 1923-1924 season.
On June 28, 1923, 229 Beacon was purchased from Anita Linzee by Marion Houghton (Richards) Coffin Follett, the wife of wool merchant Austin Woodbridge Follett. They previously had lived at the Hotel Vendome. They lived at 229 Marlborough during the 1923-1924 winter season, but moved soon thereafter to North Attleboro.
On July 16, 1924, 229 Marlborough was purchased from Marion Follett by Constance (Gardner) Minot Means, the wife of insurance and real estate broker William Gordon Means. They had married in March of 1924 and 229 Marlborough probably was their first home together. They also maintained home, The Alhambra, in Prides Crossing.
They continued to live at 229 Marlborough until their divorce in 1930. At the time of the 1930 US Census, William Means and their son, Augustus, were living in Beverly, and Constance Means and her daughter from her first marriage (to Grafton Winthrop Minot), Anna Minot, were living in Philadelphia.
On April 23, 1930, 229 Marlborough was purchased from Constance Means by Charles Frothingham Leland and his wife, Margaret Waters (Carr) Leland. They previously had lived at 293 Marlborough.
Charles Leland owned a farm in Southborough, which also was the Lelands’ summer home.
229 Marlborough was shown as vacant in the 1938-1941 City Directories.
On December 1, 1942, 229 Marlborough was purchased from Margaret Leland by Aristides Melendez, and on the next day it was acquired from him by Anna (Korn) Finkel, wife of Nathan Finkel. They lived in Dorchester.
By 1943, 229 Marlborough was the home of attorney William Herbits and his wife, Mildred M. (Kennedy) Herbits, who operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived at 36 Fowler. They continued to lived at 229 Marlborough in 1944.
229 Marlborough continued to be a lodging house in the mid- and late 1940s.
On October 9, 1950, 229 Marlborough was purchased from Anna Finkel by Geraldine Hicks, the wife of Edward Hicks. On October 11, 1950, it was acquired from her by Edward W. Palmer and his wife, Jean C. Palmer.
By 1950, it was a dormitory (Ross Hall) for Emerson College. It continued to be Ross Hall in 1951.
On July 16, 1951, 229 Marlborough was acquired from the Palmers by Frederic W. Simpson. He and his wife, Sheila T. Simpson, made it their home They previously had lived in Pennsylvania. On February 16, 1952, he transferred the property into his and his wife’s names.
On March 13, 1954, 299 Marlborough was acquired from the Simpsons by real estate dealer John J. Venola. He lived in Somerville. Later that year, he married Charlotte G. Rohan, an attorney. After their marriage, they lived at 401 Marlborough.
On April 30, 1957, 229 Marlborough was purchased from John Ventola by Philip L. Fortin of Cambridge, and on the same day, he transferred it to his sister-in-law, Cecile (Robillard) Fortin, the wife of Charles Auguste Fortin, an insurance agent. They made it their home.
229 Marlborough remained a multiple dwelling, either a lodging house or apartments.
On December 10, 1962, Cecile Fortin transferred the property into her and her husband’s names.
Charles Fortin died in August of 1972.
On May 17, 1974, 229 Marlborough was purchased from Cecile Fortin by Alec H. Mitchell, Jr. On February 21, 1981, he transferred the property to the 229 Marlborough Street Realty Trust, with himself and his wife, Janet E. Scott Mitchell, as trustees. They lived in one of the apartments at 229 Marlborough.
In October of 1983, he filed for permission to legalize the occupancy as four units. In the application, he noted that when he had purchased the property, it had been five apartments and that he had subsequently removed one of the units “without permit,” so that it currently was a four family dwelling. He subsequently abandoned the permit application.
On June 16, 1988, 229 Marlborough was purchased from the Mitchells by general construction contractor Jay M. Cashman. In December of 1990, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as a single-family dwelling.
On February 12, 1997, the house was purchased from Jay Cashman by Jonathan W. Osgood and Deborah R. Jennings.
229 Marlborough continued to be assessed as a single-family dwelling in 2021.