235 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 235 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the north side of Marlborough and Alley 417, from Exeter to Fairfield.
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.
By the 1877-1878 winter season, 235 Marlborough was the home of merchant and cotton broker Walter Dabney and his wife Harriet (Larkin) Dabney. They previously had lived in Brookline. They continued to live at 235 Marlborough during the 1879-1880 winter season, but moved thereafter to 331 Beacon.
235 Marlborough was not listed in the 1881 Blue Book.
On January 1, 1881, 235 Marlborough was purchased from Eben D. Jordan and Charles Marsh by Margaret Cushing (Pearmain) Osgood, the wife of Dr. Hamilton Osgood, a physician. They previously had lived at 499 Shawmut.
They continued to live at 235 Marlborough during the 1883-1884 winter season. In 1885, they traveled to Europe, where Dr. Osgood studied with Louis Pasteur. They returned in mid-1886, after which they lived at 95 Mt. Vernon. He brought with him samples of the rabies antitoxin developed by Pasteur; these formed the bases for research and development of the antitoxin in America.
By the 1884-1885 winter season, 236 Marlborough was the home and office of Dr. Samuel Augustus Hopkins, Jr. He was listed as a physician in the City Directories for 1885-1890, but by 1900 had become a dentist.
By the 1888-1889 winter season, attorney Charles Henry Fiske and his son, Charles Jr., also were living at 235 Marlborough, as lodgers with Dr. Hopkins. They also maintained a home in Weston.
By 1890, they had been joined by Edgar Allan Poe Newcomb, an architect, who previously had lived at The Pinckney at 94 Pinckney. He was joined by his half-sister, Mrs. Sarah Louise Newcomb, the former wife of Henrick M. F. von Stamp, whose surname she did not use. They also maintained a home, Two Stacks, in North Scituate, which they had made their year-round residence by 1891.
Charles Fiske and his son continued to live with Dr. Hopkins in 1892, but moved soon thereafter.
In addition to accepting lodgers, Dr. Hopkins also provided office space at 235 Marlborough to other doctors and dentists.
Samuel Hopkins married in January of 1898 to Harriet Susanna (Woodworth) Sherman, the former wife of Adelbert C. Sherman, and in about 1903, they moved to 49 Hereford. He continued to maintain his dental practice at 235 Marlborough.
By the 1903-1904 winter season, 235 Marlborough was the home of Dr. Arthur William Doubleday, a dentist, and his wife, Nellie (Cotton) Doubleday. He also maintained his dental office there. They had moved to 313 Marlborough by 1906.
Harriet Hopkins died in April of 1907, and in about 1910, Dr. Hopkins moved from 49 Hereford back to 235 Marlborough, where he had continued to maintain his dental office. His adopted step-son, Woodworth Nathaniel (Sherman) Hopkins, lived with him.
By 1911, Samuel Hopkins was living at 49 Hereford again, but by 1912 he had moved back to 235 Marlborough once again. By 1914, he was living at 924 Beacon and 325 Marlborough was entirely medical offices, including Dr. Hopkins’s office.
In June of 1915, Dr. Hopkins joined the second Harvard Unit and traveled to England to work with the British hospital forces providing medical aid in France and Belgium. He appears to have returned by November of 1915, when he purchased 400 Marlborough and moved his offices there from 235 Marlborough.
By the 1916-1917 winter season, 235 Marlborough was the home of Joseph Goddard Stearns, Jr., a widower, and his two unmarried daughters, Margaret Eldredge Stearns and Mildred Bangs Stearns. They previously had lived at The Abbotsford at 186 Commonwealth. He was vice president of the Old Colony Trust Company.
Joseph Stearns died in May of 1917 and his daughters moved back to The Abbotsford.
By the 1917-1918 winter season. 235 Marlborough was the home of Caroline Estelle (Mudge) Lawrence, widow of James Lawrence. She previously had lived at 79 Mt. Vernon. She continued to live at 235 Marlborough during the 1919-1920 winter season, but moved thereafter, probably to Groton where she died in January of 1921.
During the 1920-1921 winter season, 235 Marlborough was once again the home of Margaret and Mildred Stearns. In the fall of 1921, they traveled abroad.
On July 1, 1921, 235 Marlborough was purchased from Margaret Osgood by Miss Elise Dorr and Miss Mary Dorr, sisters. They previously had lived at 45 Commonwealth with their mother, Mary Louisa (Stanwood) Dorr, the widow of cotton broker Ellerton Lodge Dorr. She had died in January of 1921.
Mary Dorr died in November of 1926. Elise Dorr continued to live at 235 Marlborough until 1952.
On October 30, 1953, 235 Marlborough was purchased from Elise Dorr by James Vincent Adley and his wife, Rose Ann (McGovern) Adley. They previously had lived in Roxbury. In October of 1954, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the interior. At that time, the house was a single-family dwelling and lodging house. In August of 1959, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the house into a two-family dwelling and lodging house.
James Adley died in January of 1980. Rose Ann Adley continued to live at 235 Marlborough (and operate it as a lodging house) in the 1990s.
On January 29, 1996, 235 Marlborough was purchased from Rose Ann Adley, by then a resident of the Bronx, by Kim L. Flood. In March of 1996, Kim Flood applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a two-family dwelling and lodging house back into a single-family dwelling.
The property changed hands. It remained a single-family dwelling in 2020.