233 Marlborough was built in 1875-1876 for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., one of four contiguous houses (233-235-237-239 Marlborough), designed as two sets of symmetrical pairs.
On November 14, 1874, the Boston Globe reported that George Wheatland, Jr., had been issued a building permit for the four houses. Construction may have started soon thereafter, but probably was delayed until the spring. In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting indicates that these houses were built in 1874. However, based on the date of the permit and references to them in advertisements and deeds, it appears that they were completed in 1876.
233-235-237-239 Marlborough were built on the eastern 66.67 feet of a 75 foot wide parcel of land that George Wheatland, Jr., purchased as three 25 foot lots at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s public sale on March 2, 1872. On May 3, 1873, he transferred the Commonwealth’s bonds securing his right to purchase the lots to Eben Dyer Jordan and Charles Marsh, co-partners in the dry goods firm of Jordan, Marsh & Co. On November 25, 1876, after the houses were built, they transferred the bonds back to him, and on November 28, 1876, he purchased the land from the Commonwealth.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 233 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 23, 1876, George Wheatland, Jr., announced in the Boston Globe the auction sale of “The Very Elegant Light Stone Front House, No. 233 Marlboro Street.” The notice described the property as follows: “This is a new house, built of brick and stone, in the most substantial manner, containing all of the modern improvements, finely situated with a southern exposure; near the residences of Attorney General Train and Colonel Edward O. Shepard. This house contains eleven rooms, all well arranged.”
None of the four houses sold, and on February 28, 1877, George Wheatland, Jr., transferred the 75 foot lot and “four new dwelling houses thereon” back to Eben D. Jordan and Charles Marsh. They sold the houses between September of 1878 and January of 1881, and in September of 1881 sold the remaining 8.33 foot lot to the west to real estate dealer Samuel Horatio Whitwell.
On September 2, 1878, 233 Marlborough was purchased from Eben D. Jordan and Charles Marsh by Dr. Henry Cecil Haven, a physician who graduated from Harvard Medical School that year. He was unmarried. He continued to live there during the 1880-1881 winter season, but moved thereafter to a new house he had built at 19 Exeter.
By the 1881-1882 winter season, 233 Marlborough was leased by Dr. William Elbridge Boardman, a physician, and his wife, Mary Bangs (Bryant) Boardman. They previously had lived at 146 Marlborough.
On August 23, 1882, 233 Marlborough was purchased from Henry C. Haven by real estate dealer and trustee Charles Edward Cotting. He was unmarried and lived at 249 Commonwealth with his parents, Charles Uriah Cotting and Susan Cordelia (Delano) Cotting.
Charles Cotting immediately offered the property for sale through real estate dealers John Jeffries & Son, whose advertisements in the Boston Journal noted that the house was “subject to a lease which pays a handsome interest on the price asked “
The house did not sell and on June 14, 1886, Mary Boardman bought the property from Charles Cotting.
The Boardmans continued to live at 233 Marlborough in during the 1887-1888 winter season, but moved thereafter to the Longwood section of Brookline, and later to 388 Marlborough. He maintained his offices at The Copley at 18 Huntington.
On June 14, 1888, 233 Marlborough was purchased from Mary Boardman by Edmund Hamilton Sears, Jr., who made it his home and operated a “school for young ladies.” He previously had lived at 140 Marlborough, where he also operated the school.
The house was not listed in the 1892 Blue Book.
By the 1892-1893 winter season, 233 Marlborough was the home of banker William Pratt Lyman and his wife Helen (Beeckman) Lyman. They also maintained a home in Nahant.
The Lymans continued to live at 233 Marlborough during the 1893-1894 season, but moved thereafter and by the 1895-1896 season were living at 292 Marlborough.
During the 1894-1895 winter season, 233 Marlborough was the home of insurance broker George Herbert Windeler and his wife, Laura (Wheelwright) Windeler. They had married in June of 1894 and 233 Marlborough probably was their first home together. They had moved by the 1895-1896 season and by 1897 were living at 65 Bay State Road.
On February 19, 1895, 233 Marlborough was purchased from Edmund Sears, Jr., by William Sohier Dexter, trustee under the will of Charles Amory, Jr. It became the home of Charles Amory’s widow, Mary Louisa (Dexter) Amory (and the sister of William S. Dexter), and their daughters, Annie Linzee Amory and Susan Cushing Amory. They previously had lived at 83 Marlborough.
Susan Amory lived elsewhere for the next few years and 233 Marlborough was not listed in the 1909-1912 Blue Books.
On April 29, 1912, Robert H. Gardiner and Gordon Dexter, the successor trustees under the will of Charles Amory, Jr., transferred 233 Marlborough to Susan Amory.
By the 1912-1913 winter season, she was living there was again.
During the 1923-1924 winter season, she was in Europe and 233 Marlborough was the home of Eliot Spalding and his wife, Beatrice Winfield (Cullen) Spalding. They previously had lived in Johnson City, New York. Eliot Spalding was a former officer of the Endicott Johnson Shoe Company, owned by Henry Bradford Endicott. When Henry Endicott died in 1920, Eliot Spalding was named trustee of his estate, together with Henry Endicott’s son, Henry Wendell Endicott.
By the 1924-1925 season, the Spaldings had moved to 225 Marlborough and Susan Amory had resumed living at 233 Marlborough She continued to live there until her death in February of 1941.
On May 28, 1941, 233 Marlborough was purchased from Susan Amory’s estate by William Theobald Frary, also known as Baron William T. Frary von Blomberg. He had been adopted in the mid-1930s by the Baroness Adelheid Maria von Blomberg and assumed the title of Baron thereafter (his August 27, 1983, Boston Globe obituary states that “according to Baron Antoine Ozbolt-Frary von Blomberg, the late Baron’s adopted son, the Baroness had no children and was afraid her line was going to die out so she adopted William Frary and sent him to Berlin for schooling”). Baroness von Blomberg lived with him at 233 Marlborough until her death in January of 1949. They also maintained a home in Goffstown, New Hampshire, and later in Hampden, New Hampshire.
William Frary von Blomberg was a public relations consultant. He also was a leader of the anti-communist International Council for Christian Leadership. He continued to live at 233 Marlborough until about 1959.
On February 27, 1959, 233 Marlborough was purchased from William Frary von Blomberg by Felix F. Porter and his wife, Beverly A. (Bumsted) Porter. They previously had lived at 1116 Commonwealth.
On January 6, 1960, 233 Marlborough was acquired from the Porters by James Findley Newcomb, an organist. He and his wife, Louise A. (Schmidt) Newcomb, may have lived briefly at 233 Marlborough, if at all. In 1959, they lived at 5 Exeter, and by 1962 they were living at 285 Clarendon.
On October 14, 1960, 233 Marlborough was acquired from James Newcomb by Benjamin Dale Meredith and his wife, Magda Elizabeth (McCurdy) Meredith. They previously had lived in Wellesley. He was a salesman for the Simplex Time Recorder Company.
They continued to live at 233 Marlborough until the early 1980s, when they moved to Brookline.
On July 25, 1983, 233 Marlborough was purchased from the Merediths by Martin J. Curran and his wife, Myriam V. Curran. In October of 1983, they filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the house into a two-family dwelling.
On July 31, 2003, 233 Marlborough was purchased from the Currans by David Walt and his wife, Michele D. May. In October of 2006, they filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property back into a single-family dwelling.
233 Marlborough remained a single-family dwelling in 2016.