78 Marlborough was designed and built ca. 1866 by architect and builder Charles K. Kirby, one of five contiguous houses (72-74-76-78-80 Marlborough) he built at the same time for speculative sale. The five houses form a symmetrical composition, with 72-74 Marlborough and 78-80 Marlborough each being a pair of symmetrical houses with bays, and 76 Marlborough with a flat façade in the center.
The land on which 72-80.Marlborough were built was part of a 220 foot parcel Henry Lee, Jr., and Jonathan Amory Davis purchased from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on November 14, 1863. J. Amory Davis died in May of 1865 and his interest was inherited by his daughter, Ann Wainwright Davis. On October 6, 1865, she transferred her interest in the eastern 160 feet to Henry Lee, and he transferred his interest in the western 60 feet to her. On October 14, 1865, Henry Lee, Jr., entered into an agreement with Charles Kirby to sell him the 160 foot lot, subject to Charles Kirby’s agreement to build nine houses on the land. Ultimately, Charles Kirby built five houses at 72-80 Marlborough on the eastern 89 feet 9 inches of the land, and on October 21, 1871, Henry Lee, Jr., sold Charles H. Joy the remaining 70 feet 3 inches to the west, where 82 and 86 Marlborough were built.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 78 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Marlborough and Alley 423, from Berkeley to Clarendon.
After completing 72-80 Marlborough, Charles Kirby entered into an agreement ln March of 1868 with the City of Boston to purchase a 75 foot lot to the east on which he built three more houses: 70 Marlborough in 1868-1869 and 66-68 Marlborough in 1870.
On October 1, 1867, 78 Marlborough was purchased from Charles Kirby by Caleb William Loring, trustee for the benefit of Harriet (Harriett) (Upham) Putnam, the widow of merchant John Pickering Putnam. He had died in January of 1867 while they were traveling in Europe. They previously had lived at 32 Marlborough. Their unmarried children – Harriet Putnam, John Pickering Putnam (a student and future architect) and Sarah Gooll Putnam (later to become a portrait artist and watercolorist) — lived with her.
Harriet Putnam’s daughter, Harriet, married in October of 1872 to Horace John Hayden. After their marriage, they probably lived briefly in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was general freight and ticket agent for the Missouri River, Fort Scott, & Gulf Railroad. By 1874, he was general freight agent for the Boston and Albany Rail Road and they lived at 104 Marlborough.
Harriet Putnam, J. Pickering Putnam, and Sarah Gooll Putnam continued to live at 78 Marlborough until about 1879. By 1880, they had moved to a newly-built home at 277 Dartmouth, designed by J. Pickering Putnam. 78 Marlborough continued to be owned by Harriet Upham’s trust.
By the 1879-1880 winter season, 78 Marlborough was the home of Dr. Charles Montraville Green, a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, and his wife, Helen Lincoln (Ware) Green. They previously had lived at 57 Tremont. They also maintained a home in Medford, where he had been born.
In July of 1880, their son, Robert Montraville Green, was born at 78 Marlborough.
In 1882, they were joined by a lodger, Charles Wellington Stone, who operated a private “classical school” for boys at 36 Temple. He was a widower, his wife, Ellen Mary (Buckingham) Stone, having died in December of 1881. Prior to her death, they had lived in Cambridge.
Charles Stone married again, in September of 1883, to Alice Stone (although they had the same last name, they do not appear to have been related). After their marriage, they moved to 68 Chestnut, where he also operated his school. They subsequently moved to Roslindale and then, in 1916, to 488 Beacon.
On September 6, 1884, Charles Green purchased 78 Marlborough from Harriet Putnam’s trust.
The Greens continued to accept lodgers and in 1885 they were joined briefly by Edmund Hamilton Sears, Jr. He previously had lived in California, where he was an instructor in Latin and Greek at the University of California at Berkeley. In the fall of 1885, he moved to 140 Marlborough, where he opened a “day school for young ladies.”
Helen Green died in 1911. Dr. Green continued to live (and maintain his office) at 78 Marlborough and to maintain a second home in Medford. Their son, Robert Green, also a physician, lived and maintained his medical practice with his father. He also was editor of the Boston Medical and Surgical Review.
Robert Green married in November of 1919 to Dorothy Bradford Summers. After their marriage, they lived in an apartment at 496 Commonwealth and later in Brookline.
Charles Green continued to live at 78 Marlborough until his death in November of 1928.
On March 28, 1929, 78 Marlborough was purchased from the estate of Charles Green by Lucia (Lucy) Potter (Nowell) White, the wife of securities broker Charles Pearce White. They previously had lived in an apartment at 90 Commonwealth. They also maintained a home at Bass Rocks in Gloucester.
On August 27, 1967, 78 Marlborough was purchased from Lucia Chadwick by Octavia Morley (Sawyer) Walsh, the widow of Edward M. Walsh. She previously had lived at 218 Commonwealth.
On July 1, 1968, 78 Marlborough was acquired from Octavia Walsh by Jerry Samuel Rice, a photographer. He and his wife, Flo Ann (Bennett) Rice, made it their home. They previously had lived in an apartment at 11 Exeter. They continued to live at 78 Marlborough until about 1973.
On May 8, 1973, 73 Marlborough was acquired from Jerry Rice by Phillip David Deemer and Arthur J. Goldsmith, Jr., president and vice-president, respectively of the Jarrow Press, publishers of “New Life” and other publications associated with the Episcopal Church. They lived in Sudbury.
On June 13, 1975, 78 Marlborough was acquired from Phillip Deemer and Arthur Goldsmith, Jr., by Dr. Edward M. Matz, a physician and radiologist, and his wife, Elizabeth Lee (Davis) Matz. They previously had lived in an apartment at 220 Marlborough. They continued to live at 78 Marlborough until about 1983.
On June 1, 1983, 78 Marlborough was purchased from the Matzes by Norman Priebatsch and his wife, Suzanne Priebatsch. In May of 1984, they filed to establish the legal the occupancy of the house as a single-family dwelling. The property was assessed as such through 1991, and thereafter was assessed as a two-family dwelling.
Norman Priebatsch died in April of 2012, and on June 18, 2013, Suzanne Priebatsch transferred his imputed 50 percent interest in the property to herself and Ilene G. Rosenthal as trustees of The Norman E. Priebatsch 1993 Family Trust.
The property continued to be assessed as a two-family dwelling in 2020.