302 Marlborough was designed by architect Frederic H. Moore and built in 1878 by Daniel W. Beckler, builder, and Michael Nolan, mason, on lot 1 of land formerly owned by Harvey Jewell, one of five contiguous houses (302-304-306-308-310 Marlborough) built for speculative sale. Daniel Beckler is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated January 2, 1878. Harvey Jewell is shown as the owner (and Daniel Beckler as the former owner) on the building inspection dated December 23, 1878. Daniel Beckler also had built six contiguous houses across the street (309-311-313-315-317-319 Marlborough) between 1874 and 1877.
By the 1879-1880 winter season, 302 Marlborough was the home of retired Rear Admiral Charles Steedman and his wife, Sarah (Bishop) Steedman. They previously had lived at 13 Hereford.
Rear Admiral Steedman had commanded the Boston Navy Yard from 1869 to 1872 and the South Pacific Squadron from October of 1872 to September of 1873, when he retired.
The Steedmans continued to live at 302 Marlborough during the 1880-1881 season, after which they moved, probably to Washington DC.
During the 1881-1882 winter season, 302 Marlborough was the home of William Latham Candler and his wife, Fannie Vaughan (Chandler) Candler. They had lived in Brookline in 1880. William Candler was treasurer and manager of the Aspinwall Land Company; he had served as a Colonel in the Civil War, on the staff of General Joseph Hooker. By 1883, the Candlers were living in Brookline once again.
By the 1882-1883 winter season, 302 Marlborough was a private school operated by Julia E. Hilliard and her sister, Sarah Miriam (called Miriam) Hilliard. They are shown as the owners on the 1883 and 1888 Bromley maps.
They lived at 116 Mount Vernon with their widowed mother (also a teacher). She died in April of 1886, and they moved to 302 Marlborough to live at the school.
In 1885, while the Hilliard sisters were living with their mother, 302 Marlborough was the home of George Thurston, a salesman. By 1888, he had moved to 26 St. James.
During the 1885-1886 and 1886-1887 winter seasons, 302 Marlborough also was the home of Miss Laliah B. Pingree and her sister, Delia Lydia Pingree. By the next season, they had moved to the Hotel Cluny at 543 (233) Boylston.
By 1890, the school no longer was located at 302 Marlborough and the sisters were living at 111 Pinckney, and by 1892, they had moved back to 116 Mt. Vernon, where they continued to live at the time of the 1920 US Census.
By the 1889-1890 winter season, 302 Marlborough was the home of Charles Whipple Smith, a real estate and insurance broker, and his wife, Harriet Elizabeth (Farnsworth) Smith. They previously had lived at 34 Gloucester. They continued to live at 302 Marlborough during the 1891-1892 season, but moved thereafter to 270 Newbury.
By the 1892-1893 winter season, 302 Marlborough was the home of Dr. George Hamlin Washburn, a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, and his wife, Anna Marilla (Hoyt) Washburn. They previously had lived at 313 Marlborough.
By the 1894-1895 season, they had been joined by George Washburn’s grandmother, Elizabeth (Homes) Washburn, the widow of Philander Washburn, and his aunt, Elizabeth Homes (Washburn) Brainard, the former wife of Charles Rollin Brainard, an Episcopal minister and later a lawyer and author. Elizabeth Brainard was an artist.
They all continued to live there during the 1894-1895 season, but moved thereafter to 311 Marlborough.
302 Marlborough was not listed in the 1896 Blue Book.
By the 1896-1897 winter season, 302 Marlborough was the home of Arthur Dehon Hill and his wife Henrietta Post (McLean) Hill. They previously had lived at 19 Marlborough with his parents, Adams Sherman Hill and Caroline Inches (Dehon) Hill.
Arthur Dehon Hill was a lawyer and strong defender of civil liberties, and later would be known for representing Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti after their appellate counsel, William G. Thompson, retired.
In about 1898, his parents joined them at 302 Marlborough. They had lived at 9 Massachusetts Avenue the previous year, and by 1899 had moved to 190 Commonwealth.
Arthur and Henrietta Hill continued to live at 302 Marlborough during the 1900-1901 season, but moved thereafter to 83 Mt. Vernon.
By the 1903-1904 winter season, it was the home of Mrs. Serafina (Loring) Lincoln, the widow of attorney Arthur Lincoln, and their daughter, Serita Lincoln. They previously had lived at 13 Gloucester (where Arthur Lincoln died in December of 1902). Serafina L. Lincoln is shown as the owner of 302 Marlborough on the 1908, 1912, and 1917 Bromley maps. Soon after acquiring 302 Marlborough, Mrs. Lincoln and her daughter traveled abroad (they sailed from Boston on the SS Commonwealth on August 27, 1903) and 302 Marlborough was the home of others for several years.
During the 1903-1904 winter season, it was the home of James A. Jones and his wife, Mary E. (Brown) Jones. He was general manager of the West Indies Department of the United Fruit Company. By 1905, they were living in Swampscott.
By the 1904-1905 winter season, it was the home of Miss Fanny Young. By the next season, she had purchased and moved to 454 Beacon.
In April of 1910 (at the time of the 1910 US Census), they were living in Washington DC and 302 Marlborough was the home of William Brewster, a trustee. He had lived at 131 Beacon in 1909.
By the 1910-1911 winter season, Serafina and Serita Lincoln were living at 302 Marlborough once again. In October of 1911, Serita Lincoln married Matthew Bartlett, a banker and broker; after their marriage, they lived in Beverly Farms.
Serafina Lincoln continued to live at 302 Marlborough during the 1913-1914 season, but moved thereafter to The Abbotsford at 186 Commonwealth.
During the 1914-1915 season, 302 Marlborough was once again the home of William Brewster.
Serafina Lincoln moved back during the 1915-1916 season, but then moved permanently to The Abbotsford, where she continued to live until her death in November of 1926.
302 Marlborough was not listed in the 1917-1934 Blue Books and appears to have been largely unoccupied during that period. William Brewster listed it as his residence in the 1917 City Directory and showed it as his mailing address on a passport application in May of 1920, and probably used it as a Boston residence (he maintained a residence in Newport and traveled frequently to Europe).
Serita (Lincoln) Bartlett, is shown as the owner of 302 Marlborough on the 1928 Bromley map, and was the assessed owner through 1934. She and her husband lived at 15 Gloucester.
By 1934, the house was owned by the Massachusetts Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). In July of 1934, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into “offices and dwelling.”
Miss Maud E. Fisk and Mrs. Grace M. Putnam, presumably WCTU leaders, lived at the house in 1936. By 1937, Mrs. Putnam had moved and Miss Fisk had been joined by Mrs. Carrie A. S. Gates.
The Massachusetts WCTU is shown as the owner on the 1938 Bromley map.
By 1953, the property was considered by the Building Department as a lodging house and dormitory, and was cited for failing to have adequate egress from all rooms.
In December of 1983, Knight Radio purchased 302 Marlborough from the Massachusetts WCTU.
In June of 1993, Peter S. Voss and his wife, Pamela L. Voss, purchased 302 Marlborough from Knight Radio, Inc. In November of 1993, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from offices and dwelling units into a single-family dwelling.
The property changed hands. It remained a single-family dwelling in 2014.