371 Marlborough was built in 1879-1880 by Vinal & Dodge, builders, for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., for speculative sale, one of three contiguous houses (369-371-373 Marlborough) built at the same time and one of twelve contiguous houses (369-371-373-375-377-379-381-383-385-387-389-391 Marlborough) built for George Wheatland in 1879-1881, all twelve of the same design. He is shown as the owner of 369-371-373 Marlborough on the original building permit application for the three houses, dated December 4, 1879 (no architect is indicated; the permit application indicates that the plans are the same as for 358-360 Marlborough, also built for George Wheatland, the permit applications for which also do not identify the architect).
By the 1880-1881 winter season, 371 Marlborough was the home of Elliott Russell, an accountant, and his wife, Sarah L. (Tinkham) Russell. Sarah Russell’s mother, Sarah (Lincoln) Tinkham, the widow of Spencer Tinkham, lived with them. They previously had all lived at 377 Beacon. He is shown as the owner of 371 Marlborough on the 1883, 1888, and 1895 Bromley maps.
The Russells continued to live at 371 Marlborough in 1889, but had moved to an apartment at 407 Marlborough by 1890, where he died in January of 1894. The Russell family continued to own 371 Marlborough: the heirs of Elliott Russell are shown as the owners on the 1898, 1908, and 1917 Bromley maps, and continued to be the assessed owners through 1924.
By the 1889-1890 winter season, 371 Marlborough was the home of architect Charles Allerton Coolidge and his wife, Julia (Shepley) Coolidge. They had married in October of 1889, and 371 Marlborough probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 114 Commonwealth with his parents, David Hill Coolidge and Isabella (Shurtleff) Coolidge.
By the 1892-1893 winter season, 371 Marlborough was the home Mrs. Mary Louisa (McCulloh) Mayer Upham, the widow of Henry Christian Mayer and Henry Upham. She previously had lived at 354 Marlborough, the home of her daughter, Mary Abby (Mayer) Greene, widow of Dr. John Singleton Copley Greene.
In 1894, Mary Upham was joined at 371 Marlborough by Mary Amory Greene and her sister, Margaret Greene. They previously had lived at 432 Marlborough. They were sisters of Mary Upham’s deceased son-in-law, John Singleton Copley Greene. Mary Amory Greene was an artist. They had moved from 371 Marlborough by 1895 and by 1900 were living in New York City.
Mary Upham continued to live at 371 Marlborough in 1906, but by 1907 had moved to 142 Marlborough.
371 Marlborough was not listed in the 1907 Blue Book.
By the 1907-1908 winter season, it was the home of lawyer Arthur Hazard Dakin and his wife, Emma Frances (Sahler) Dakin. They previously had lived at 39 Chestnut They also maintained a home in Amherst. .
They continued to live at 371 Marlborough during the 1909-1910 season, after which they made Amherst their home..
By the 1910-1911 winter season, 371 Marlborough was the home of Charles Pelham Greenough and his wife, Margaret Bliss (Perkins) Greenough. They previously had lived at The Torrington at 384 Commonwealth.
He was a stock and bond broker, and was known as Charles Pelham Greenough, 2nd, to avoid confusion with his uncle of the same name.
During the 1914-1915 winter season, 371 Marlborough was the home of Thomas Barbour and his wife, Rosamond (Pierce) Barbour. They previously had lived in Brookline.
Thomas Barbour was curator of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology. He later would become the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard and, in 1927, would be named director of the museum. He undertook numerous zoological expeditions throughout the world on behalf of the museum.
On March 11, 1915, the house was damaged by a basement fire. The Barbours moved soon thereafter to 12 Hereford.
By the 1915-1915 winter season, 371 Marlborough was the home of Mrs. Laura (Henshaw) McAllister. She previously had lived at The Graffam at 330 Dartmouth.
Laura McAllister was a singing teacher. She was the wife of Hall McAllister, an attorney who had interrupted his career in the early 1900s to become an actor, but later resumed practicing law with the US Department of Interior. They were separated.
Their two children, Francis Hall McAllister and Louise McAllister, lived with her.
Louise McAllister married in August of 1917 to Nevil Ford, a stockbroker. Laura McAllister and Francis McAllister continued to live at 371 Marlborough during the 1917-1918 season, but moved thereafter to The Torrington at 384 Commonwealth.
By the 1919-1920 winter season, 371 Marlborough was the home of Norreys Jephson O’Conor and his wife, Grace Edith (Corson) O’Conor. They previously had lived in Cambridge. He was an author, poet, playwright, and lecturer on Irish literature and subjects. They continued to live at 371 Marlborough during the 1921-1922 season, but moved thereafter to Grinnell, Iowa.
By the 1922-1923 winter season, 371 Marlborough was the home of William R. Hedge and his wife, Alice Paine (Nowell) Hedge. They had lived in an apartment at 409 Marlborough in 1922. Alice N. Hedge was the assessed owner of 371 Marlborough from 1925 through 1950 and is shown as the owner on the 1928 and 1938 Bromley maps. They also maintained a home in Plymouth.
William Hedge was president of the Boston Insurance Company.
He died in April of 1943. Alice Hedge continued to live at 371 Marlborough until about 1950. Their two unmarried daughters, Susan and Alice, lived with her.
In 1950, 371 Marlborough became the home of Marchant Waterson Eldridge and his wife, Alice Ruth (called Ruth) (Thomas) Eldridge. They previously had lived at 1984 Commonwealth. Marchant Eldridge et al were the assessed owners from 1951.
Marchant Eldridge was a personnel officer with New England Mutual Life Insurance.
Ruth Eldridge’s parents, Arthur Dunlop Thomas and Julia A. (Raike) Thomas, lived with them. They previously had lived at 7 Follen. He died in December of 1950. Julia Thomas continued to live at 271 Marlborough with the Elidridges.
In December of 1952, Marchant Eldridge filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into five apartments.
By 1953, Marchant Eldridge’s father, Samuel Waterson Eldridge, also was living at 371 Marlborough. He previously had been a lodger at 384 Marlborough. He was a bank examiner for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Marchant and Ruth Eldridge continued to live at 371 Marlborough until about 1957, when they moved to Marblehead. Julia Thomas probably moved with them.
Samuel Eldridge continued to live in one of the apartments at 371 Marlborough until his death in August of 1967.
In July of 1978, Marchant and Ruth Eldridge filed for (and subsequently received) permission to reduce the number of apartments from five to four, and also to install a dormer at the front of the top floor (the dormer extends across the entire width of the house).
In October of 1978, they converted the property into four condominium units, the 371 Marlborough Condominium.