337 Marlborough was built ca. 1872 for Hiram A. Gerrish, a building contractor and real estate broker, one of eleven contiguous houses (337-339-341-343-345-347-349-351-353-355-357 Marlborough) that comprise the entire north side of Marlborough between Gloucester and Hereford. He is shown as the owner of all eleven houses on the 1874 Hopkins map.
As originally designed, the houses were organized in a symmetrical design. All but 347 Marlborough, in the center, were identical, with the same façades and fenestration, with the three houses at the east (337-339-341 Marlborough) with bays on the east side, and the three houses on the west (353-355-357 Marlborough) with bays on the west side. 343-345 Marlborough and 349-351 Marlborough are symmetrical pairs. 347 Marlborough, in the center, has unique third floor fenestration and window lintels.
By 1873, 337 Marlborough was the home of Joseph Howe Wales and his wife, Isabelle (Webbe) Wales.
Joseph Wales was a ship owner and East India merchant in his father’s firm and then an insurance broker.
They continued to live there in 1874, but had moved to 1 Exeter by 1875.
By 1875, 337 Marlborough was the home of Lemuel Rice Howe and his wife, Martha Ada (Silsby) Howe. They previously had lived in Dedham. He was a dealer in dyewoods, analines, and extracts, and later also was a commission merchant in the Calcutta trade.
They continued to live at 337 Marlborough until about 1879, but had moved to 33 Fairfield by 1880.
By the early 1880s (and probably before), 337 Marlborough was owned by Joseph McIntire, a wholesale provisions (produce) merchant with Elbridge G. Knight in the firm of Knight & McIntire. He was unmarried and lived with his cousin, Miss Abby A. Rogers, at 92 Waltham. He is shown as the owner of 337 Marlborough on the 1883, 1888, 1898, and 1908 Bromley maps. It appears that he never lived there. He also owned 357 Marlborough and Knight & McIntire owned 347 Marlborough and 351 Marlborough.
By the 1879-1880 winters season, 337 Marlborough was the home of boot and shoe manufacturer George Martin Coburn and his wife, Louise (Gage) Coburn. They had married in October of 1879 and 337 Marlborough probably was their first home together. They continued to live there in 1890, but by 1891 had purchased and moved to 402 Marlborough.
By the 1890-1891 winter season, 337 Marlborough was the home, Miss Annie Norton Ward and Miss Charlotte Sprague Ward, sisters, and their brother, Harold Ward.
Harold Ward moved in about 1894 to Mt. Vernon Street, and Charlotte Ward married in June of 1897 to Henry Harrison Sprague, a lawyer, and moved to 33 Fairfield.
During the 1899-1900 winter season, 337 Marlborough was the home of Miss Louise Porter Haskell, a student at Radcliffe and a teacher. Miss Haskell had moved by 1901 to 314 Marlborough, where she was joined by her sister, Mary Elizabeth Haskell, who established the Haskell School for Girls there.
By the 1900-1901 winter season, 337 Marlborough was the home of Henry Smith Pritchett, president of MIT, and his wife, Eva (McAllister) Pritchett. They had married in 1900 and 337 Marlborough probably was their first home together. He previously had lived in Washington DC.
In about 1903, Miss Mary Caroline Spencer May established a private school at 337-339 Marlborough. Her sister, Lucy Isabelle May, joined her as a teacher in the school. They previously had taught at Miss Sarah Alice Brown’s school at 66 Marlborough, and had lived at 13 West Cedar with their mother, Mary Caroline (Painter) May, the widow of Charles William May.
In the early years after starting the school, Mary May lived at 339 Marlborough and maintained the school a 337 Marlborough. Her mother and sister, Isabelle, lived with her. By 1908, they had moved their residence to 438 Marlborough, and by 1910 they were living in an apartment at 222 Marlborough. She continued to operate the school at 337-339 Marlborough.
In the spring of 1908, Mary May purchased 337 Marlborough from the estate of Joseph McIntire (who had died in June of 1903). The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on May 16,m 1908. By 1912, she had also acquired 339 Marlborough. Mary May and her sister, Isabelle, are shown as the owners of 337 Marlborough on the 1912 Bromley map, and Mary May is shown as the owner on the 1917 and 1928 maps. Mary May is shown as the owner of 339 Marlborough on the 1912, 1917, and 1928 maps.
From 1910, only the staff (and possibly some students) lived at 337-339 Marlborough.
The school continued to be located at 337-339 Marlborough until late 1926, when it moved to 270 Beacon.
In June of 1927, Mary May applied for permission to raze 337-339-341 Marlborough and replace them with an apartment building to be designed by architect Edmund L. Leeds. It does not appear that she owned 341 Marlborough. She subsequently abandoned the application.
By 1930, 337-339 Marlborough were owned by George S. Maloof. In August of 1930, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert each building from a school to a “dwelling,” the number of occupants not being indicated. In a separate application filed the same month, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to construct a fire escape connecting the two buildings, indicating that the use was to be for “lodgings.” No formal request to change the legal occupancy to a lodging house appears to have been filed.
337 Marlborough was operated as a lodging house, with various resident operators, throughout the 1930s. Realty, Inc., is shown as the owner of 337 Marlborough on the 1938 Bromley map.
By mid-1940, 337 Marlborough was the home of Percy Cecil Chadbourn, a cook, and his wife, Zeralda Yvonne (Morel) Chadbourn. They previously had lived at 28 Cumberland.
In July of 1940, Mrs. Chadbourn applied for a license to operate a lodging house at 337 Marlborough. On July 11, 1940, the Building Department wrote informing her that she would be required to secure a change in the legal use of the property before it could be used for that purpose.
The Chadbourns moved soon thereafter and by 1942 were living at 122 Ward in Roxbury.
The Building Department files do not include a record of a change in use being requested. However, the property continued to be used as a lodging house, with several different operators during the 1940s.
From 1946,, 337 Marlborough was the home of Margaret B. Conley, who operated it as a lodging house. She previously had lived at 192 Bay State Road. She continued to live and operate at lodging house at 337 Marlborough until about 1962.
The house was shown as vacant in the 1963 City Directory.
In May of 1963,337 Marlborough was acquired from Caroline Bowditch by architect and real estate dealer Thomas Byrd Epps and his wife, Margaret Killeen (Lonval) Epps. They lived at 1 Otis Place and then, by 1965, in an apartment at 321 Dartmouth.
In June of 1963, Thomas Epps filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a lodging house into five apartments.
The property changed hands and in September of 1983 was purchased by Miss Mildred G. Broome. In October of 1983, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the third and fourth floors, including extending the mansard and rebuilding the front section of the roof.
In November of 1985, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to reduce the number of units from five to four.
In March of 2002, Louisa H. Garrison purchased 337 Marlborough from Mildred Broome.
In June of 2003, she converted 337 Marlborough into four condominium units, the 337 Marlborough Condominium.