Writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, born in nearby Salem, Massachusetts, in 1804, was taken by the Old Province House, built by a merchant in 1679. Of it, he wrote: "Entering the arched passage, which penetrated through the middle of a brick row of shops, a few steps transported me from the busy heart of modern Boston into a small and secluded courtyard.
"One side of this space was occupied by the square front of the Province House, three stories high," he continued, "and surmounted by a cupola, on the top of which a gilded Indian was discernible, with his bow bent and his arrow on the string, as if aiming at the weathercock on the spire of the Old South. The figure has kept this attitude for seventy years or more, ever since good Deacon Drowne, a cunning carver of wood, first stationed him on his long sentinel's watch over the city."
Residence of the royal governors of the province of Massachusetts from 1716 until the beginning stages of the American Revolution in 1776, the house was demolished in 1922. Today only the stairs, as seen in Marden's 1934 photo, remain.