229 Marlborough was designed by architect Louis Weissbein and built ca. 1873 for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., one of four contiguous houses (225-227-229-231 Marlborough), designed as two sets of symmetrical pairs. In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting indicates that four more contiguous houses (233-235-237-239 Marlborough) also were built for George Wheatland, Jr., ca. 1874, but does not attribute them to Louis Weissbein.
In the fall of 1875, 229 Marlborough was purchased from George Wheatland by George Merrick Rice. The sale was reported by the Boston Globe on October 9, 1875. A resident of Worcester, he was a manufacturer of paper, calico printing, and bleaching machinery, and later a steel manufacturer.
George Rice purchased 229 Marlborough to be the home of his son-in-law and daughter, William I. Holmes and Elizabeth Frances (Rice) Holmes. They had lived at 202 Dartmouth in 1875. George Rice is shown as the owner of 229 Marlborough on the 1883, 1888, and 1890 Bromley maps. He died in November of 1894 and Elizabeth Holmes is shown as the owner on the 1895 and 1898 maps.
William Holmes was treasurer and editor of the Journal of Commerce newspaper.
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.
William and Elizabeth Holmes also maintained a home in Andover.
By the 1906-1907 winter season, 229 Marlborough was the home of banker John Torrey Linzee and his wife, Anita Homer (Manson) Linzee. During the 1905-1906 winter season, they had lived at 265 Clarendon. Anita M. Linzee is shown as the owner of 229 Marlborough on the 1908 and 1912 Bromley maps.
In August of 1909, John Sumner, owner of 225 Marlborough, applied for (and subsequently received) permission to add a story to his home. It appears likely that matching additional stories were added at 227 and 229 Marlborough at the same time.
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, however, and Anita Linzee is shown as the owner on the 1917 Bromley map.
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 summer home at 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 in 1914, but by 1915 had moved to 272 Marlborough.
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.
During the 1918-1919 winter season, 229 Marlborough was the home of Hendricks Hallett Whitman and his wife, Adelaid 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.
In the summer of 1923, 229 Marlborough was purchased from Anita Linzee by wool merchant Austin Woodbridge Follett and his wife, Gertrude Beryl (Downing) Follett. The sale was reported by the Boston Globe on August 12, 1923. Earlier that year, they had lived at the Hotel Vendôme. They lived at 229 Marlborough during the 1923-1924 winter season, but moved soon thereafter to North Attleboro.
By the 1924-1925 winter season, 229 Marlborough was the home of insurance and real estate broker William Gordon Means and his wife, Constance (Gardner) Minot Means. They had married in March of 1924 and 229 Marlborough probably was their first home together. Constance Means is shown as the owner on the 1928 Bromley map.
They also maintained summer 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.
By 1930, 229 Marlborough was the home of Charles Frothingham Leland and his wife, Margaret Waters (Carr) Leland. In 1929, they 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 Boston City Directories.
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.
By 1950, it was a dormitory (Ross Hall) for Emerson College. It continued to be a Ross Hall in 1951.
The house was shown as vacant in the 1953 Boston Directory.
229 Marlborough remained a multiple dwelling, either apartments or a lodging house, or a combination of both.
By 1958, 229 Marlborough was the home of Charles Fortin and his wife, Cecile. By 1962, they had converted the property into five apartments.
In May of 1974, Alec H. Mitchell, Jr., purchased 229 Marlborough from Cecile Fortin. In of 1981, he transferred the property to 229 Marlborough Street Realty Trust, with himself and his wife, Janet E. Scott Mitchell, as trustees. 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.
In June of 1988, 229 Marlborough was purchased from the Mitchells by 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.
The property changed hands. It remained assessed as a single-family dwelling in 2014.