285 Marlborough was designed and built ca. 1871 by Frederick B. Pope for speculative sale, one of eight contiguous houses (285-287-289-291-293-295-297-299 Marlborough) built at about the same time.
285-287-289 Marlborough appear to have been built first, in early 1871, with 287-289 Marlborough designed as a symmetrical pair. 291-293-295-297-299 Marlborough were begun later in 1871, designed as a symmetrical composition, with 291 and 299 Marlborough on wider lots with bays, and 293-295-297 Marlborough on less wide lots with oriel windows. 295 Marlborough, on the smallest lot (17 feet wide) forms the center of that composition, with a defined mansard roof, large dormer, and centered entrance.
The eight houses were built on a 168 foot wide parcel of land which Frederick Pope assembled from three lots, all of which originally were part of one of several larger parcels originally purchased from the Boston Water Power Company on January 29, 1866, by a real estate investment trust formed by John Templeman Coolidge, Franklin Evans, and Charles Henry Parker. Frederick Pope first purchased the eastern 100 feet directly from the trust on November 19, 1870. He bought the remaining 68 feet in two lots on October 17, 1871, from the estate of Sidney Homer, a 24 foot lot and a 44 foot lot, part of the land Sidney Homer had purchased on June 1, 1869, from J. Templeman Coolidge, Jr., who had purchased it from the trust on April 20, 1866.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 285 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the north side of Marlborough and Alley 416, from Fairfield to Gloucester.
On June 12, 1871, 285 Marlborough was purchased from Frederick Pope by Henrietta Maria (Rogers) Reed, the wife of Silas Reed. It became her home and the home of her son-in-law and daughter, Nathan Anthony and Clara (Reed) Anthony. He was a wholesale hardware merchant. They all previously had lived at 149 Warren Avenue.
Silas Reed lived in the West, where he was US surveyor-general of Wyoming and a developer of mines and railroads. It appears that, when in Boston, he considered 285 Marlborough his home, inasmuch as he is listed there in the City Directory for 1885. He died the next year in Utah. Clara (Reed) Anthony was their only surviving child.
Nathan Anthony died in June of 1881. Henrietta Reed, Clara (Reed) Anthony, and the Anthonys’ children — Silas Reed Anthony, Arthur Coy Anthony, Clara Reed Anthony, Nathan J. Anthony, and Henrietta Rogers Anthony — continued to live at 285 Marlborough.
Silas Reed Anthony, a banker, married in June of 1887 to Harriet Pierce Weeks, after which they moved to 465 Beacon.
Clara Anthony married in November of 1891 to Daniel K. Snow and they moved to Brookline.
Henrietta Reed, Clara (Reed) Anthony, and Arthur, Nathan, and Henrietta Anthony, continued to live at 285 Marlborough during the 1892-1893 winter season, but moved thereafter. By the late 1890s, Clara Anthony and Henrietta Anthony were living in Fairhaven. Henrietta Reed continued to own 285 Marlborough and lease it to others. She died in March of 1900 and 285 Marlborough was inherited by Clara Anthony.
The house was not listed in the 1894 Blue Book.
By the 1894-1895 winter season, 285 Marlborough was the home of Dr. William Herbert Prescott, a physician, and his wife, Kate Homans (Hunnewell) Prescott. Dr. Prescott maintained his medical offices at the house. They previously had lived (and he had maintained his office) at 553 Boylston.
Dr. Charles H. Hare, also a physician, lived with them, as a lodger, and also maintained his medical offices at the house. He previously had lived at the Quincy House hotel and maintained his office at 22 Mt. Vernon. He continued to live and maintain his office at 285 Marlborough until 1905, when he moved to the Hotel Cambridge at 483 Beacon.
In 1910, Kate Prescott’s father, Francis Hunnewell, was living with them (he died in May of that year).
The Prescotts continued to live at 285 Marlborough during the 1911-1912 winter season, but had moved to Jamaica Plain by 1913.
By the 1915-1916 winter season, 285 Marlborough was the home of Dr. George Parkman Denny and his wife, Charlotte (Hemenway) Denny. He was a physician and also maintained his offices there. They continued to live (and he to maintain his office) there during the 1916-1917 season, but moved thereafter and by the 1918-1919 season (while he was serving in the US Army medical corps) were living at 273 Clarendon with Charlotte Denny’s parents, Augustus and Harriet (Lawrence) Hemenway. In June of 1919, they purchased and subsequently moved to 3 Gloucester.
During the 1917-1918 winter season, 285 Marlborough was the home of architect Franz Edward Zerrahn and his wife, Constance (Whitney) Zerrahn. Their primary residence was in Milton, and they probably leased 285 Marlborough because their daughter, Elizabeth, was a debutante that season.
During the 1918-1919 winter season, 285 Marlborough was the home of attorney Lyon Weyburn and his wife, Ruth (Anthony) Weyburn, the granddaughter of Nathan and Clara (Reed) Anthony (and the daughter of Silas Reed Anthony). They previously had lived at 113 Commonwealth with her stepfather and mother, Randolph Frothingham and Harriet Pierce (Weeks) Anthony Frothingham. By the 1919-1920 season, they had moved to an apartment at 405 Marlborough, and by the 1920-1921 season to 76 Marlborough.
On December 19, 1918, 285 Marlborough was purchased from Clara Anthony by James G. Hickey, manager of the United States Hotel on Beach Street near South Station, He and his wife, Adeline (Haynes) Hickey, made it their home.
Adeline Hickey died in 1920 and James Hickey married again, in September of 1922, to Dorothy Bedford. She had been shown as a servant in the Hickey household in the 1920 US Census. They also maintained a home at Tennants Harbor, Maine. On August 9, 1927, he transferred 285 Marlborough into his wife’s name.
285 Marlborough was not listed in the 1930 Blue Book.
On June 27, 1929, 285 Marlborough was purchased from Dorothy Hickey by Evelyn (Fortune) Lilly, the former wife of pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly. Their daughter, Evelyn (Evie) Lilly, lived with her. In June of 1931, she married again, to Frederic Clay Bartlett, an artist, noted for his murals, and art collector; they lived at 285 Marlborough through the 1932-1933 winter season.
They subsequently left Boston, dividing their time between their homes, Whitehall in Beverly and The Bonnet House in Fort Lauderdale. They continued to own 285 Marlborough and lease it to others.
By the 1935-1936 winter season, it was the home of Gordon Alfred Petremont and his wife, Dorothy (Parker) Petremont. They previously had lived at 66 Marlborough.
Gordon Petremont sales manager of a chocolate company and in 1937 patented the idea of identifying the different fillings of chocolate candies by using different colors for the paper cups used to hold them.
On June 9, 1938, 285 Marlborough was purchased from Evelyn (Fortune) Lilly Bartlett by Dorothy Petremont’s brother, Charles Sherman Parker, of Waterbury, Connecticut, as trustee for her benefit.
In the early 1950s, Gordon and Dorothy Petremont separated, and on October 19, 1955, Charles Parker transferred 285 Marlborough into her name. She continued to live at 285 Marlborough with her son and daughter, Charles Frederick Petremont and Patricia Petremont. Dorothy Petremont was a piano teacher, Charles Petremont was a violinist and violin teacher, and Patricia Petremont was a dance teacher and later would become a composer of popular music in collaboration with Duke Ellington.
Dorothy Petremont died in January of 1963.
On June 25, 1963, 285 Marlborough was purchased from Dorothy Petremont’s estate by Alexander O. Stanley and his wife, Nancy M. (Vahey) Rappaport Stanley. They had married in March of 1963; she previously had been married to attorney Jerome L. Rappaport, from whom she was divorced. Alexander Stanley was director of publications for the International Marketing Institute at Harvard Business School.
Nancy Stanley died in September of 1963 and Alexander Stanley moved soon thereafter.
On October 31, 1963, 285 Marlborough was purchased from Alexander Stanley by real estate broker John Stanley Ames, III, and his wife, Mary L (Alford) Ames. They continued to live there until about 1966, when they moved to an apartment at 11 Exeter.
On March 8, 1966, 285 Marlborough was purchased from John and Mary Ames by Electra Bilmazes, a publicist.
By 1967, she had started her own publicity agency, Cooperate Images, located at 285 Marlborough. She appears also to have converted the building into a multiple dwelling, with several other residents listed there in the City Directories in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
In January of 1972, she married Thomas W. Gerber, editor of the Concord Monitor in Concord, New Hampshire. After their marriage, they lived in Webster, New Hampshire.
On July 9, 1973, 285 Marlborough was acquired from Electra Gerber by Edwin M. Leach.
On February 1, 1977, 285 Marlborough was purchased from Edwin Leach by Panos Ghikas, an artist. He and his wife, Patience Elaine (Haley) Ghikas, an artist and art restorer, made it their home.
On January 8, 2002, Panos Ghikas transferred the property into both of their names.
On April 30, 2002, 285 Marlborough was purchased from Panos and Patience Ghikas by Barry Dargan. In August of 2002, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the interior of the property. The proposed use was indicated as a single-family dwelling (the application indicated that the prior legal use was not known because the file was missing).
On August 11, 2005, 285 Marlborough was purchased from Barry Dargan by Elaine M. Ruback, the wife of Richard S. Ruback. The Rubacks made it their home.
The property subsequently changed hands. It remained assessed as a single-family dwelling in 2020.