Watch CBS News

Familiarize With Founders: Important Places To The People Who Built Boston

Like every city, at the core of Boston is its history. However, when it comes to Boston, the history of an entire nation lies in its roots as well. Unfortunately, the city has expanded so much since the initial settlement that many sites relating to the founders no longer exist. There are many more sites dating to the American Revolution. Nonetheless, there are a few left that are of particular interest to those who wish to visit the places that were important to those who first settled Boston.

Old Staircase
Old Staircase (photo credit: Thinkstock)

Province House Steps
Across from the Old North Church
Province St and Bosworth St
Boston, MA 02102

While visually nothing more than an old staircase, the Province House Steps represent a house that was important to the founders of Boston and existed at that location until 1922. Province House was built in 1679 for a London Merchant named Peter Sergeant. In 1716, it became the official governor's residence, housing some of the earliest governors of the colony. Today, the steps mark the site of the home that stood there for more than 200 years.

Related: Guide To Boston Walking Tours

State House
(photo credit: Thinkstock)

William Blaxton Plaque 
Across from Boston Common
50 Beacon St
Boston, MA 02108

William Blaxton was the first English settler in Boston. He settled near what would become the Boston Common in 1623. In a way, he was the founder of the town, which would later become a modern city. The location of his home on the Shawmut Peninsula is marked with a plaque on Beacon Street near the State House. This plaque was placed by the city of Boston in 1924. Stop by and read the words written to commemorate his life.

Union Oyster House
(photo credit:

Union Oyster House
41 Union St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 227-2750

The Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in Boston, but it was not always a restaurant. The structure dates back to not long after the settlement of Boston, though the exact date is unknown. It was once a clothing store and then later became a restaurant. Secretary of State Daniel Webster dined at the Union Oyster House. However, the most prominent visitor to the structure and one of the founding fathers of the United States was George Washington, whose Continental soldiers got their pay there during the American Revolution.

(photo credit:

Roxbury Latin School
101 St. Theresa Ave
West Roxbury, MA 02132
(617) 325-4920

Reverend John Eliot founded the all-boys Roxbury Latin School in 1645. However, the property and funding for the school came from Thomas Dudley. Thomas Dudley was a founder of Boston, the first person to build a home in Cambridge and a governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Families and prospective students can tour the school during the fall open houses.

Founders Memorial
(photo credit:

The Founders Memorial
Boston Common
Tremont St and Boylston St
Boston, MA 02108

The Founders Memorial, near the corner of Beacon and Spruce Streets, is a bronze bas-relief showing the meeting between the first Boston settler Reverend William Blaxton and the man who would take his place in many ways -- Reverend John Winthrop. Ann Pollard, the first white woman in Boston, is also on the memorial. The memorial itself is representative of this meeting but the land surrounding it is much more. Boston Common was where these people settled together.

Related: Boston's Best Historical Sites

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.