443 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 applications for 431-445 Marlborough, dated June 16, 1885, and on the final building inspection report, dated November 13, 1886.
The houses were built under an agreement with Henry Whitney, who owned the land. He sold them the lots at 437-445 Marlborough and retained the lots at 431-435 Marlborough. Chadwick & Stillings built all eight houses and then they sold the houses at 437-445 Marlborough and Henry Whitney sold the houses at 431-435 Marlborough.
The land was part of a parcel Henry Whitney had acquired in two transactions, on November 24, 1882, and on March 20, 1885, all part of a tract of land originally purchased from the Boston Water Power Company on June 1, 1880, by a real estate investment trust formed by Francis W. Palfrey, Francis A. Osborn, and Grenville T. W. Braman.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 443 Marlborough, and click here for further information on the land west of Massachusetts Avenue between the south side of Beacon and the north side of Commonwealth.
In July of 1885, when the eight houses were under construction, real estate dealer Alexander H. Porter offered them for sale. His advertisement in the Boston Evening Transcript noted that “they have parlor, dining-room and kitchen on the first floor and are to be finished in hard wood. The prices will vary from $20,000 to $25,000. If purchased now they will be finished to suit, and minor changes in the plans can be made without extra cost.”
The location of the kitchen in an ell, on the same floor as the dining room, was a departure from the traditional plan for Back Bay houses, in which the kitchen was located on the basement level and the dining room was located on the floor above, with food transported by a dumb waiter from the kitchen to a pantry adjoining the dining room. In 1890, Chadwick & Stillings deviated even further from the norm when it built eight houses at 13-27 Bay State Road, also designed by Samuel Kelley, with the kitchen and laundry located on the top floor. According to an April 25, 1891, Boston Journal article, this design earned them the reputation of making “more radical departures from established customs in house building than any firm in Boston.”
On May 26, 1886, 443 Marlborough was purchased from N. Henry Chadwick and Oscar Stillings by Edward Burgess. He and his wife, Caroline Louisa (Sullivant) Burgess, made it their home. They previously had lived at 300 Beacon.
Edward Burgess was secretary of the Boston Society of Natural History and an instructor of entomology at Harvard. In the mid-1880s he became a designer of sailing yachts. Among the yachts he designed were the Puritan, which won the America’s Cup in 1885, the Mayflower, which won the Cup in 1886, and the Volunteer, which won the cup in 1887.
By the 1887-1888 winter season, they had moved to 425 Marlborough.
On October 14, 1887, 443 Marlborough was acquired from Edward Burgess by Mary Ann (Barney) Frothingham, the wife of Ward Brooks Frothingham. They previously had lived at 26 Appleton.
Ward Frothingham died in November of 1893. Mary Frothingham continued to live at 443 Marlborough during the 1896-1897 winter season, but moved thereafter and leased the house to others.
443 Marlborough was not listed in the 1898 Blue Book.
During the 1898-1899 winter season, 443 Marlborough was the home of Herbert Putnam and his wife, Charlotte Elizabeth (Monroe) Putnam. They previously had lived in an apartment at 199 Marlborough.
A lawyer and librarian by training, Herbert Putnam was Librarian of the Boston Public Library. In March of 1899, he was appointed by President McKinley as Librarian of the Library of Congress, and the Putnams moved to Washington DC.
By the 1899-1900 winter season, 443 Marlborough was the home of retired boot and shoe manufacturer Channing Lilly and his wife, Frances Eleanor (Ballister) Lilly. They previously had lived at 53 Gloucester.
Channing Lilly died in February of 1912. Frances Lilly continued to live at 443 Marlborough during the 1922-1923 winter season, but moved thereafter to an apartment at 290 Commonwealth.
On April 27, 1922, Mary Ann Frothingham transferred 443 Marlborough to her daughter, Marian Brooks (Frothingham) Eckstrom, the wife of Carl Magnus Wilhelm Eckstrom. The Eckstroms lived in New York City, where he was an actor on the stage and in silent movies, and she was playwright. Mary Ann Frothingham lived with them.
On August 3, 1923, 443 Marlborough was acquired from Marian Eckstrom by Dr. Charles Leonard Overlander. He and his wife, Ruth Lillian (Fitchett) Overlander, made it their home. They previously had lived in an apartment at 520 Beacon, where he also had maintained his medical office.
Charles Overlander was a physician and pathologist. He served as director of the Pathological Laboratory of Brooks Hospital and also was an instructor at Harvard Medical School and a lecturer at Tufts Medical School. He maintained his office at 443 Marlborough.
On April 21, 1933, he transferred 443 Marlborough into his and his wife’s names.
In March of 1935, Charles Overlander applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the rear of 443 Marlborough to add a “one car garage to be built in part of the basement and an addition to building for another car.”
Charles Overlander died in December of 1948 and Ruth Overlander moved soon thereafter.
On June 27, 1949, 443 Marlborough was purchased from Ruth Overlander by Paul Verne Shaffer, an engineer and instrument maker at MIT, and his wife, Margaret E. (Hamilton) Shaffer. They previously had lived in an apartment at 387 Beacon, and before that at 351 Beacon. They continued to live at 443 Marlborough until about 1971.
On July 1, 1971, 443 Marlborough was purchased from the Shaffers by Gerald J. Burnett and his wife, Marjorie J. Burnett. He was a systems consultant and later would co-found Avistar Communications, manufacturers and marketers of information technology network products.
On January 30, 1975, 443 Marlborough was purchased from the Burnetts by Thomas P. Garrity, Jr.
On November 30, 1978, 443 Marlborough was purchased from Thomas Garrity by Jorge Silvetti and Rodolfo Machado, architects in the firm of Machado and Silvetti Associates.
In February of 1979, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling with garage to a two-family dwelling with garage.
On May 16, 2017, 443 Marlborough was purchased from Jorge Silvetti and Rodolfo Machado by Edmund DiSanto and his wife, Colleen DiSanto.
In 2018, the DiSantos remodeled 443 Marlborough and converted the property back into a single-family dwelling.
The property continued to be assessed as a single-family dwelling in 2020.