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flag  History of Harvard, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Harvard, Massachusetts, USA

Visit Harvard, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Harvard, Massachusetts, USA - The Old Red Mill

Harvard, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

Harvard includes: Shaboken, Shaker Village, and Still River.

There is MUCH more to discover about Harvard, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Harvard Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

The Old Red Mill
Harvard, Massachusetts, USA

The Old Red Mill
Town Hall
Harvard, Massachusetts, USA

Town Hall
Indian Museum, Harvard, Mass.
Harvard, Massachusetts, USA

Indian Museum, Harvard, Mass.

"Fruitlands Museum is a cluster of small historic buildings in Harvard, Massachusetts on the former site of the unsuccessful utopian community Fruitlands. The buildings were constructed in 1910 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 as the Fruitlands Museums Historic District...

Fruitlands, inspired by Transcendentalism and Amos Bronson Alcott's ideas of societal reform, was established on 90 acres purchased by Charles Lane in May 1843. People interested in joining the community began moving in the next month and the site was optimistically named "Fruitlands" despite having only a small cluster of apple trees. The community was based on self-sufficiency, using no hired labor and growing all the food they needed themselves. The community ultimately failed because of the difficulty in growing crops. Community members began moving away as early as October 1843; Lane and Alcott abandoned it in January 1844..." wikipedia
Dickson's Landing, The Lake, Harvard, Mass., 1908
Harvard, Massachusetts, USA

Dickson's Landing, The Lake, Harvard, Mass., 1908
The Shaker Museum, Harvard, Mass.
Harvard, Massachusetts, USA

The Shaker Museum, Harvard, Mass.
Bromfield School, Harvard, Mass.
Harvard, Massachusetts, USA

Bromfield School, Harvard, Mass.
The Nashua River and Bridge in the Distance, Harvard, Mass.
Harvard, Massachusetts, USA

The Nashua River and Bridge in the Distance, Harvard, Mass.

Discover Harvard: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1839 - Harvard
Harvard, Massachusetts
Worcester county. This town was taken from Stow, Groton, and Lancaster, in 1732. It is washed on the W. side by Nashua river. It lies 30 miles N.W. from Boston, 20 N.E. from Worcester, and 13 W. from Concord. Here are two large ponds of fine fish, and quarries of slate used for monuments.
About 200 of that industrious sect, called shakers, reside here, and own a considerable tract of land. They live about 3 miles N.E. of the centre of the town and supply the market with a great variety of wares, fruits, seeds, herbs, &c. &c., the product of their mechanical ingenuity and horticultural skill.

There are three paper mills in Harvard, and manufactures of palm-leaf hats, boots, shoes, leather and grave stones: annual value about $40,000. Large quantities of hops have been raised in this place.—Population, 1837, 1,566.
The New England Gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England: also descriptions of the principal mountains, rivers lakes, capes, bays, harbors, islands and fashionable resorts within that territory. Alphabetically arranged. By John Hayward, author of the Columbian Traveller, Religious Creeds, &c. &c. Boston: John Hayward. Boyd & White, Concord, N.H. 1839
1845 - HARVARD. [Pop. 1,571. Inc. 1732.]
This town was taken from Lancaster, Stow and Groton, and named
in honor of Rev. John Harvard, the noble founder of Harvard College, who died in Charlestown.

Harvard is hilly, but the soil is good, and watered by small streams
that run into the Nashua. Agriculture is the chief employment.

The Shakers have a thriving village in the northeast part of the town.

Distance from Worcester, 22 miles ; from Boston, 30.
An Elementary Geography for Massachusetts Children by William Bentley Fowle and Asa Fitz, 1845
1848 - Harvard
This town was taken from Lancaster, Stow, and Groton, principally from the two former. It was incorporated in 1732, and named Harvard, in memory of Rev. John Harvard, founder of Harvard College. At that time it contained about 50 families.

The first church was formed in 1733, and Rev. John Seccomb was ordained. He eoutuiued with the people till 1757, when he was dismissed, and succeeded by Rev. Joseph Wheeler, ordained in 1759. He was dismissed in 1768, and the next year Rev. Daniel Johnson was ordained. He died in 1777, and in 1782 Rev. Ebenezer Grosvenor was installed pastor. In 1788, he died; and Rev. William Emerson succeeded him in the pastoral office, in 1792. Rev. Stephen Bemis, the next pastor, was ordained in 1801 he was succeeded by Rev. Warren Fay, D. D., who was installed in 1814. Dr. Fay was succeeded by Rev. Ira H. T. Blanchard, in 1823, and by Rev. Washing. Ion Gilbert, in 1831. Rev. George Fisher was ordained pastor of the second church in 1821. The Baptist society... Read MORE...

HARVARD, a township in Worcester co., in Massachusetts, U.S., 32 m. NW of Boston, skirted on the W by Nashua river. Pop. 1,571.
A Gazetteer of the World: Or, Dictionary of Geographical Knowledge, Publisher A. Fullarton, 1859
1868 - Mary Woodward on Trial
Mrs. Mary Woodward, of Harvard, Mass., has been held in $1,000 for trial on a charge of inhumanly treating her step-son, six years of age. It was testified in the Police Court that the child had been whipped by the hour at a time with a heavy stick; that one day in July the woman drew three buckets of cold water from the well, and, seizing the child, removed his clothes, and, placing him in a tub, dashed water upon his head, then took him by the feet and held his head in the water as long as she dared; that recently a cat brought meadow mole in the house, which the mother cooked and compelled the boy to eat it. Mrs. Woodward, in court, said it was not a mole but a rat.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
August 22, 1868
1886 - Once Rich, Now Poor
There was, it is said, admitted to the Harvard (Mass.) poor-house the other day a man who at one time was partner in a large manufacturing concern in Boston and subsequently filled the position of cotton buyer for a New York firm at a salary of $18,000 per year. - Boston Journal.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
November 20, 1886
Harvard Massachusetts, 1890
Harvard is a fine farming town forming one of the north east angles of Worcester County, and is 38 miles from Boston. The Worcester and Nashua Railroad (a division of the Boston and Maine) runs through the western part, having a station at the southwest, near Still River Village. Shaker Village occupies the northeast extremity of the town; and near the north line is Ayer Junction on the Fitchburg Railroad. It is bounded on the north by Ayer, east by Littleton and Boxborough, on the south by Bolton, and on the west by Lancaster and Shirley. The assessed area is 16,144 acres; 5,447 being forests of oak, chestnut, maple and pine.

The land is beautifully diversified by hills, valleys, ponds and streams. Pin Hill, of curious pyramidal form, has an altitude of nearly 200 feet. It contains a valuable quarry of blue slate, from which many gravestones are cut. A coarse variety of granite is the prevailing stone. Prospect Hill, in the western part of the town, is worthy of its name; a vast... Read MORE...

1895 - Durham
Harvard, a post-village in Harvard township, Worcester co., Mass., on the Worcester & Nashua Railroad, 25 miles N.N.E. of Worcester. It has 3 churches. The town ship is bounded on the W. by the Nashua River, and has picturesque scenery. Here is a community of Shakers. op. of the township, in 1880, 1253; in 1890, 1095.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in and around Harvard:
Fruitlands Museum:

Explore the Fruitlands Museum, which includes a variety of galleries and exhibits showcasing American history, art, and nature.

Take a stroll through the picturesque landscape and enjoy the outdoor installations.

Harvard General Store:

Visit the Harvard General Store for a taste of local charm. It's a classic New England country store where you can grab a coffee, snack, or even some unique gifts.

Bare Hill Pond:

If you enjoy outdoor activities, head to Bare Hill Pond. It's a beautiful spot for swimming, kayaking, and picnicking during the warmer months.

Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge:

Nature enthusiasts can explore the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge. It's a great place for birdwatching, hiking, and immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the area.

Harvard Historical Society:

Learn about the town's history by visiting the Harvard Historical Society. Check out artifacts, photographs, and documents that tell the story of Harvard's... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Harvard Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Harvard, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Harvard.

View Them Now (sorted by year of birth)

male ancestorJonathan FARNSWORTH (10 June 1675, Groton, Massachusetts, USA - 16 June 1748, Harvard, Massachusetts, USA)
female ancestorElizabeth ROBERTS (3 August 1690, Reading, Massachusetts, USA - 29 May 1739, Harvard, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorThomas HOUGHTON (9 February 1696, Lancaster, Massachusetts, USA (South Lancaster) - 9 March 1764, Harvard, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorCaleb BROWN (23 October 1698, Lynn, Massachusetts, USA - 23 November 1758, Harvard, Massachusetts, USA)
female ancestorMaria MOORE (9 August 1699, Lancaster, Massachusetts, USA (South Lancaster) - 22 June 1791, Harvard, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorJonathan FARNSWORTH (27 March 1701, Groton, Massachusetts, USA - 1 August 1775, Harvard, Massachusetts, USA)
female ancestorElizabeth GATES (1701, Harvard, Massachusetts, USA - July 23, 1741, Harvard, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorEphraim FARNSWORTH (2 January 1703, Groton, Massachusetts, USA - 18 February 1737, Harvard, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorReuben FARNSWORTH (28 April 1705, Groton, Massachusetts, USA - 1755, Harvard, Massachusetts, USA)

Ancestors Who Were Married in Harvard, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Harvard.

View Them Now

male ancestorJoseph DARBY (15 December 1716 - 7 September 1792) and female ancestorElizabeth NURSE (17 August 1715 - 9 September 1767) married 8 June 1738
male ancestorBenjamin WILLARD (30 April 1721 - ) and female ancestorHannah GODFREY (26 November 1724 - 06/02/1816) married 5 December 1745
male ancestorSimon WILLARD (29 September 1727 - 9 January 1825) and female ancestorElizabeth DARBY (16 October 1738 - ) married 25 September 1766
photo of William EMERSON William EMERSON (6 May 1769 - 12 May 1811) and female ancestorRuth HASKINS (9 November 1768 - 16 November 1853) married 25 October 1796

Genealogy Resources for Harvard

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Updated: 9/27/2023 7:54:58 AM