306 Marlborough was designed by architect Frederic H. Moore and built in 1878 by Daniel Weeks Beckler, builder, and Michael Nolan, mason, 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 for all five houses, dated January 2, 1878. It appears that he built the houses under an agreement with the Metropolitan Railroad Company, operators of a horse car system in Boston, which owned the land at the time he filed the permit application. The Company had purchased the land in 1871: two 24 foot wide lots on February 16, 1871, from Franklin Evans, and two 24 foot wide lots on April 5, 1871, from Solomon H. Howe. Daniel Beckler built five houses on the land, each on a 19.2 foot lot. The land originally was part of one of several parcels 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.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 306 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Marlborough and Alley 427, from Fairfield to Gloucester.
After acquiring the land in 1871, the Metropolitan Railroad constructed a stable and horse car building on it, in apparent violation of the deed restrictions which provided that only private stables could be built on the land. In 1874, Charles W. Seabury, owner of the nearest house to the west, at 322 Marlborough, brought suit to require removal of the stables (Seabury v. Metropolitan Railroad Company; 115 Mass. 53). The case was dismissed on demurrer (the court concluded that Charles Seabury had not shown a basis entitling him to enforce the deed restrictions). By the time of the decision, however, the company had already made plans to relocate the stables. At its January 14, 1874, annual meeting, the management reported that “arrangements have been made for the lease for a short term of a tract of land at the junction of Marlborough and Parker streets, to which the car-house and stable on Marlborough will be removed as soon as the spring opens, and the land owned there by the corporation can then be sold” (as reported in the Boston Daily Advertiser on January 15, 1874). By mid-1874, the company had moved the stables and car-house to the leased land (located about where 390–396 Marlborough later would be built). According to an October 31, 1900, Boston Globe article about Timothy C. Taylor, a car starter who had worked with the street railway from 1871, the buildings were “carried bodily on rollers to the corner of Parker and Marlboro sts.”
In 1878, while 302-310 Marlborough were being built, the Metropolitan Railroad Company apparently entered into an agreement to sell the land to Harvey Jewell, one of the company’s directors, and he is shown as the owner (and Daniel Beckler as the former owner) on the final building inspection report dated December 23, 1878. The Metropolitan Railroad Company conveyed the land to Harvey Jewell on April 9, 1879.
Daniel Beckler had built six contiguous houses across the street (309-311-313-315-317-319 Marlborough) between 1874 and 1877, also on land owned by Harvey Jewell.
Daniel Beckler was a builder and lumber dealer. In about 1874, he became the proprietor of Beacon Park, a trotting park and race track in Allston, and by 1875 he also owned a stable in Hancock Square in Charlestown. He and his wife, Julia A. (Judkins) Beckler, lived in South Boston in 1874 but moved soon thereafter to Winter Hill in Somerville. They also owned a home in Northfield, New Hampshire, where he raised thoroughbred horses.
Harvey Jewell held the five houses at 302-310 Marlborough as rental property. He was a lawyer and former state legislator, who had served as Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1868 through 1872. He and his wife, Susan A. (Bradley) Jewell, lived at 204 Beacon.
By the 1879-1880 winter season, 306 Marlborough was the home of George Addison Sawyer, a haberdasher, and his wife, Hannah E. (Russell) Sawyer. They previously had lived in the Longwood district of Brookline.
The Sawyers initially leased the house from Harvey Jewell. He died in December of 1881, and on October 15, 1884, Hannah Sawyer purchased the property from his estate.
The Sawyers’ three children — Mary (Mamie) J. Sawyer, Frederick Russell Sawyer, and George Addison Sawyer, Jr. — lived with them. Hannah Sawyer’s niece, Grace L. Dow, an artist, also lived with them. She was the daughter of Hannah Sawyer’s sister, Martha M. (Russell) Dow and Nahum M. Dow.
Fred Sawyer, who worked in his father’s haberdashery story, married in November of 1878 to Cora F, Austin. After their marriage, they lived in Melrose. Mamie Sawyer died in May of 1886 and Grace Dow died in August of 1890.
In February of 1892, George A. Sawyer, Jr., married to Isabel Finch. After their marriage, they lived with George and Hannah Sawyer at 308 Marlborough. He died in September of 1897 and his widow continued to live with his parents.
Hannah Sawyer died in December of 1907. George Sawyer and his daughter-in-law, Isabel, continued to live at 306 Marlborough until his death in December of 1910, after which she moved to Passaic, New Jersey.
306 Marlborough was not listed in the 1912 and 1913 Blue Books.
By the 1913-1914 winter season, 306 Marlborough was the home of George and Hannah Sawyer’s son, Fred Sawyer, who had inherited his father’s haberdashery store and continued to operate it. He previously had lived in West Roxbury.
Fred Sawyer’s first wife, Cora, had died in June of 1905. He remarried in August of 1907 to Edna Willard (Brooks) Prescott. They separated by 1913 and subsequently divorced. In about 1916 he married again, to Hazel McClary. They lived at 306 Marlborough and also maintained a home in Swampscott.
In 1924 and 1925, Earl Gill, a salesman with Frederick Sawyer’s haberdashery, lived at 306 Marlborough with the Sawyers.
The Sawyers continued to live there during the 1925-1926 winter season, but moved thereafter to 304 Commonwealth.
On August 16, 1926, 306 Marlborough was purchased from Fred Sawyer by Elizabeth Alice (Burrage) Chalifoux, the wife of department store heir Harold Leufroi Chalifoux. They previously had lived at 230 Commonwealth. They also maintained a home in Beverly.
On August of 1926, Elizabeth Chalifoux filed for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the house, adding a new bay at the second story in the rear. The addition was designed by architect William Chapman.
On May 19, 1927, Elizabeth Chalifoux transferred the property to her mother, Alice Hathaway (Haskell) Burrage, the wife of Albert Cameron Burrage, as trustee on her behalf.
In about 1935, they were joined at 306 Marlborough by Ernest Harvey Pentecost, a widower, and his children. They previously had lived in Brookline. They also maintained a home in Topsfield. Ernest Pentecost was a former sea captain, having served as captain of the Cunard Line’s Saxonia from 1897 until his retirement soon after his marriage in November of 1908 to Marion Wentworth Peirce (who died in 1921). During World War I he served as a flotilla commander in the British Navy.
Harold and Elizabeth Chalifoux and Ernest Pentecost continued to live at 306 Marlborough until about 1941. The Chalifouxes moved to Beverly and Santa Barbara, California; Ernest Pentecost moved to an apartment at 1 Gloucester.
In December of 1941, Matthew Mansworth filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into three apartments. The Mansworths subsequently lived in one of the apartments.
On February 5, 1947, 306 Marlborough was purchased from Marie Mansworth by Philip King Farrington, trustee of the King Realty Trust. He and his wife, Pearl V. (Hiatt) Farrington, lived in an apartment at 231 Beacon, which he also owned.
In May of 1952, Philip Farrington sold 231 Beacon and they moved to an apartment at 306 Marlborough. He died in 1953, and on May 28, 1954, Harold Klein, successor trustee of King Realty Trust, transferred 306 Marlborough to Pearl Farrington.
On December 28, 1954, 306 Marlborough was acquired from Pearl Farrington by real estate dealers Warren-Stevens, Inc. By that time, the property had been remodeled to be five, rather than three, apartments. In September of 1955, H. Leon Sharmat of Warren-Stevens, Inc., applied for permission to convert the property from five apartments into five apartments and a dance studio. His application was denied and he did not appeal the denial.
On August 12, 1958, 306 Marlborough was acquired from Warren-Stevens, Inc., by Robert M. Zimmerman and his wife, Shirley S. (Twerskey) Zimmerman, who had married earlier that year. He was an attorney and she was a teacher. They lived in one of the apartments until about 1961, when they moved to Wellesley.
On January 3, 1961, 306 Marlborough was acquired from the Zimmermans by Albert A. Natale.
On October 10, 1962, 306 Marlborough was acquired from Albert Natale by attorney Daniel J. Finn, trustee of the 306 Marlborough Street Trust. He and his wife, Mary (Ross) Finn, lived at 294 Marlborough.
On December 24, 1981, 306 Marlborough was purchased from Daniel J. Finn by Julius R. Cavadi, trustee of the 206 Marlborough Street Renewal Trust. In March of 1984, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy of 306 Marlborough as five apartments, noting that a “prior owner and mortgagee purchased property as five family on October 10, 1962, and had continuously used it for that purpose.”
On June 19, 1984, 306 Marlborough was purchased from Julius Cavadi by Edward F. Godfrey and his wife, Judith C. Godfrey. In August of 1984, they filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property back into a single-family dwelling.
It remained a single-family dwelling until 1991; from 1992, it was assessed as a two-family home.
On February 28, 2001, 306 Marlborough was purchased from the Godfreys by Andrew G. Winton and his wife, Suzanne Winton.
On November 8, 2003, the Wintons entered into a “Preservation Restriction Agreement” with the National Architectural Trust for the purpose of ensuring preservation of 306 Marlborough’s exterior.
The property subsequently changed hands. It continued to be assessed as a two-family dwelling in 2020.