439 Marlborough was built in 1885 for Chadwick & Stillings, for speculative sale, one of eight contiguous houses (431-445 Marlborough). Chadwick & Stillings (N. Henry Chadwick and Oscar L. Stillings) was a hat block and flange company that became a significant house building firm in the 1880s and 1890s. They are shown as the owners, architects, and builders on the original building permit application for 439 Marlborough, dated June 16, 1885, and on the final building inspection report, dated November 13, 1886.
By the 1886-1887 winter season, 439 Marlborough was the home of Benjamin Howard Coffin, a wool broker, and his wife, Henrietta (Hodgkins) Coffin. They previously had lived at 162 West Chester Park. Benjamin Coffin is shown as the owner of 439 Marlborough on the 1888 Bromley map.
They continued to live at 439 Marlborough during the 1889-1890 winter season, but moved thereafter to the Hotel Oxford (southeast corner of Exeter and Huntington).
439 Marlborough was not listed in the 1891 Blue Book.
By the 1891-1892 winter season, 439 Marlborough was the home of John Heard, Jr., a mining engineer, and his wife, Adeline Wheelwright (Lewis) Heard. They previously had lived in Medford.
By the 1892-1893 winter season, the Heards were living in Europe and 439 Marlborough was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Alden Sampson, probably Alden Sampson and Mary Agnes (Yarnell) Sampson. A former merchant in New York City, he was an author, big game hunter, and environmental conservationist. He traveled frequently. They had lived in Oxford, England, in the spring of 1891, when their son, Edward, was born. They continued to live at 439 Marlborough through the 1894-1895 season, but moved thereafter.
John Heard died in May of 1895 in Florence, Italy.
Adeline Heard and their two small sons, Albert Farley Heard and John Heard, Jr., resumed living at 439 Marlborough. W. Wheelwright (probably her uncle, John William Wheelwright) et al, trustees, are shown as the owners on the 1895 Bromley map; George Lewis (her brother) et al, trustees, are shown as the owners on the 1898, 1908, and 1917 maps.
By the 1896-1897 winter season, she had been joined by her father-in-law, Augustine Heard, a widower (although Adeline Heard’s husband was called John Heard, Jr., his father was not named John). He was a retired East India shipping merchant.
Adeline Heard’s younger son, John Heard, Jr., died in March of 1898. Sometime between 1900 and 1905, her elder son, Albert, changed his name to John Heard, Jr.
Adeline Heard, her son, and her father-in-law continued to live at 439 Marlborough during the 1901-1902 winter season, but were living elsewhere and traveling abroad during the next three seasons.
During the 1902-1903 winter season, 439 Marlborough was the home of Anne Halstead (Lindsley) Frazar, the widow of China shipping merchant Everett Frazar, and their daughter, Abby Little Frazer. Their usual home was in Orange, New Jersey.
During the 1903-1904 winter season, 439 Marlborough was the home of investment banker Frederic Bayard Winthrop and his wife, Dorothy (Amory) Winthrop. Their son, Robert, was born in January of 1904 at 439 Marlborough. Their usual residence was their home, Groton House, in Hamilton.
During the 1904-1905 winter season, 439 Marlborough was the home of Charles Stetson, a lawyer, and his mother, Annie S. (Sawyer) Stetson, the widow of Charles Pierce Stetson. Mrs. Stetson, and probably Charles Stetson, had lived at 501 Beacon during the previous season. By the 1905-1906 season, they had moved to 360 Marlborough.
Adeline Heard and her son, John (né Albert), returned from Europe to Boston in September of 1905 and resumed living at 439 Marlborough. Her father-in-law, Augustine Head, returned in December and died en route on board the SS König Albert.
During the 1907-1908 winter season, Adeline Heard and John Heard were living elsewhere and 439 Marlborough was the home of Walter H. Seavey and his wife, Mabel M. (Foster) Seavey. They previously had lived at the Hotel Vendôme. He was secretary, and later would become president, of E. H. Rollins & Sons, investment bankers. Their primary residence was in Hamilton.
By the 1908-1909 winter season, Adeline Heard and John Heard, Jr., had resumed living at 439 Marlborough. He was a lawyer and real estate trustee.
In 1912, they were living elsewhere and 439 Marlborough was the home of attorney George Glover Crocker, Jr., and his wife, Julia Hurd (Hutchins) Crocker. They previously had lived in Cohasset, where they continued to maintain a home. By the 1912-1913 winter season, they had moved to 119 Marlborough.
By the 1912-1913 winter season, Adeline Heard and John Heard, Jr., were living at 439 Marlborough again. He married in September of 1917 to Elizabeth Silsbee, and he and his wife lived at 439 Marlborough with his mother. They had divorced by 1920.
In June of 1939, John Heard married again, to Margaret Rosamond (Gregor) Marshall, the former wife of Edward Nixon Marshall. After their marriage, they lived at her home in Cambridge.
Adeline Heard died in August of 1939.
In 1940, 439 Marlborough became the home of Stewart Toomey, a time study engineer for an automobile company, and his wife, Caterina (Catherine/Catheryn) (Longo) Toomey. They previously had lived in Medford.
The Toomeys continued to live and operate a lodging house at 439 Marlborough until about 1952, when they moved to 462 Beacon.
By 1954, 439 Marlborough was owned by Mrs. Martha M. (Roy) Gotreau, the widow of David B. Gotreau, who operated it as a lodging house. She also owned 437 Marlborough and 441 Marlborough, where she lived, both of which also were lodging houses.
Martha Gotreau’s son, Joffre Gotreau, was listed in the City Directories as the operator of the lodging houses at 437-439-441 Marlborough, as well as at 261 Marlborough, where he lived.
In May of 1954, Martha Gotreau applied for (and subsequently received) permission to construct a platform of steel and concrete at the rear of 437-139 Marlborough to serve as a patio for the two houses.
The Gotreau family continued to operate the lodging houses at 437-441 Marlborough until the mid-1960s. Martha Gotreau lived at 441 Marlborough until about 1960, after which she moved to 437 Marlborough, where she continued to live until about 1966.
In June of 1967, Milton B. Popkin and Louis Grolnic purchased 437-439-441 Marlborough from Martha Gotreau. They continued to operate them as lodging houses.
In April of 1974, Jerald R. Feldman and Harvey P. Wilk, trustees of the 437, 439, 441 Marlboro Street Realty Trust, purchased the three houses from Milton Popkin and Louis Grolnic. They continued to operate them as lodging houses.
In March of 1983, Alan D. Humbert, trustee of the Ferrari Realty Trust, purchased 437 and 439 Marlborough from Jerald Feldman and Harvey Wilk.
In June of 1983, Dorothy F. Wirth, trustee of the 437-439 Marlborough Street Trust, purchased 437 and 439 Marlborough from Alan Humbert.
In May of 1983, prior to acquiring the property, the 437-439 Marlborough Street Trust applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 437 and 439 Marlborough into seven apartments each.
In August of 1983, Dorothy Wirth converted the houses into fourteen condominium units, seven units in each house, the 437-439 Marlborough Condominium.