9 Exeter was designed by Peabody and Stearns, architects, and built ca. 1872 for building contractor George Wheatland Jr., for speculative sale, one of three contiguous houses (7-9-11 Exeter).
George Wheatland, Jr., is shown as the owner of 7 and 9 Exeter on the 1874 Hopkins map.
By 1875, 9 Exeter was the home of boot and shoe merchant Emile Marquéze and his wife, Caroline Augusta (Haseltine) Marquéze. They continued to live there in 1876, but by 1877 had moved to the Hotel Hamilton at 260 Clarendon.
By 1877, 9 Exeter was the home of Miss Ellen Frothingham. In 1873, she had lived at 210 Beacon with her sister, Anne Brooks (Frothingham) Hubbard, the widow of Nathaniel Dean Hubbard, and then had traveled abroad with her.
Ellen Frothingham is shown as the owner of 9 Exeter on the 1883, 1888, and 1895 Bromley maps.
Her sister, Anne Hubbard, died in January of 1886, and during the 1886-1887 and 1887-1888 winter seasons she was living at 210 Beacon with her niece and nephew, Gorham Hubbard and Katherine Dean Hubbard.
She resumed living at 9 Exeter by 1888 and continued to live there in 1890. Thereafter, she appears to have lived elsewhere for several years, possibly traveling abroad.
During the 1890-1891 winter season, 9 Exeter was the home of Alfred Perkins Rockwell and his wife, Katharine Virgina (Foote) Rockwell. During the 1887-1888 season, they had lived at 267 Beacon, the home of Ellen Frothingham’s brother and sister-in-law, Edward and Eugenia (Mifflin) Frothingham. The Rockwells subsequently had traveled abroad, returning in May of 1890.
Alfred Rockwell was a professor of mining at MIT in the early 1870s, having held a similar position at Sheffield Scientific School in New Haven in the late 1860s. Following the Boston Fire in November of 1872, he was appointed Chairman of the Boston Fire Commission. From 1876 to 1879, he was president of the Eastern Railroad, and from 1879 until his retirement in 1886, he was treasurer of the Great Falls Manufacturing Company, a textile firm.
By the 1891-1892 season, the Rockwells had moved to the Hotel Agassiz at 191 Commonwealth.
9 Exeter was not listed in the 1892 Blue Book.
During the 1892-1893 winter season, it was the home of Esther Manton (Young) Foote, the widow of Cambridge banker George Luther Foote. She married again in June of 1893 to Rev. William Basil King. He was rector of Christ Church (Episcopal) in Cambridge; he resigned in 1900 and became a novelist, writing under the name Basil King. After their marriage they lived in Cambridge.
During the 1893-1894 winter season, it was the home of Rev. Stopford Wentworth Brooke, pastor of First Church (Unitarian), and his wife, Helen (Ellis) Brooke. They had been married in June of 1893 and 9 Exeter probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, Rev. Brooke had lived in an apartment at 409 Marlborough and Helen Ellis probably had lived with her half-sister, Effie Ellis, at 176 Marlborough.
During the 1897-1898 winter season, 9 Exeter was the home of Robert Hooper Stevenson and his wife, Caroline (Young) Stevenson. They previously had lived at 58 Chestnut. He was treasurer of the Lowell Machine Company. He served in the Civil War and was brevetted a Brigadier General. By the 1898-1899 season, they had moved to 357 Beacon.
9 Exeter was not listed in the 1899 Blue Book.
By 1901, it was the home of Wallace Bryant, a portrait artist, and his wife, Annie (Nanna) Bolton (Matthews) Bryant, also a painter and sculptress. Annie Bolton (Fay) Matthews, Mrs. Bryant’s mother, is shown as the owner on the 1908 and 1917 Bromley maps.
Wallace and Annie Bryant continued to live there during the 1913-1914 winter season, but moved soon thereafter.
9 Exeter was not listed in the 1915-1917 Blue Books.
When Annie (Fay) Matthews died in 1916, she left a number of properties to various charitable organizations, with the bequests to become effective upon the death of her sister and of her daughter, Annie (Matthews) Bryant. Among the properties was 9 Exeter, which she left to the Convalescent Home of the Children’s Hospital, Wellesley.
The Bryants separated and Nanna Bryant had resumed living at 9 Exeter by the 1917-1918 winter season. She continued to live there during the 1920-1921 season, but moved soon thereafter to 94 Beacon, which had been the home of her maternal aunt, Sarah M. Fay, who died in January of 1921.
By the 1923-1924 winter season, 9 Exeter was the home of Mrs. Lilly Belle (Price) Crowell, the widow of Chester Henry Crowell, and their daughter, Ruby M. Crowell. They previously had lived at 1298 Commonwealth in Allston. They also maintained a home at Marblehead Neck. Ruby Crowell died in 1927, and Lilly Crowell moved soon thereafter. By 1928, she was living in Arlington.
During this period, 9 Exeter was owned by Harold D. Hayden. He does not appear to have lived there. In October of 1924, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to add a one story ell at the rear of the property for use as servants’ quarters. The remodeling was designed by architect Arthur H. Bowditch.
In the fall of 1927, investment broker Richard Dudley Sears, Jr. and his wife, Frederica Fulton (Leser) Sears. purchased 9 Exeter from Harold Hayden. The sale was reported by the Boston Globe on September 11, 1927. They had been married March of 1926, after which they had spent about eight months on a wedding trip around the world. Prior to their marriage, he had lived with his parents, Richard and Eleanor (Cochrane) Sears, at 232 Beacon.
In October of 1927, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to add a second story to the ell at the rear of the property. The remodeling was designed by architects Bigelow and Wadsworth.
The Sears also maintained a home in Prides Crossing.
Frederica Sears died in October of 1966. Richard Sears continued to live at 9 Exeter until about 1972.
In January of 1974, 9 Exeter was purchased from Richard D. Sears by Stephen W. Giddings and his wife, Stephanie L. Giddings. Stephen Giddings was director of planning and development for the Boston Housing Authority.
In January of 1977, 9 Exeter was purchased from the Giddings by J. Brent Finnegan, an insurance broker, and his wife, Karen W. Finnegan.
In January of 1992, Brent Finnegan filed for (and subsequently received) permission to add a parking space at the rear of the property and to relocate the basement stairs and rear entrance to the house to accommodate a driveway. In December of 1992, the Finnegans entered into a reciprocal easement agreement with Webster Williams, Jr., owner of 7 Exeter, for the construction and use of parking spaces behind 7 Exeter and 9 Exeter.
In June of 2001, 9 Exeter was purchased from the Finnegans by Michael G. George and his wife, Cynthia C. George. In November of 2001, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to construct a new 16′ x 8′ bay at the rear of building and a new deck on the roof of the ell. In July of 2007, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to install a garage inside of the ell.
The property subsequently changed hands. It remained assessed as a single-family dwelling in 2014.