Harvard Historical Society

Harvard Historical Society We are a private, non-profit organization that is not related to the town's Harvard Historical Commission. Our members and generous contributors support our operations and capital spending. We hope you will become a member and join us in discovering Harvard’s rich history and how that history has shaped the present-day town we love.
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The Society is located in the Still River Meetinghouse, now a museum of Harvard’s past, where our collections are displayed, including furniture, tools, paintings, and other objects. Periodic exhibits depict the town’s history and its people. • Concerts feature musicians performing in the meetinghouse, known to be acoustically superb. • Art exhibits allow local painters and crafters to share their creativity with the community. • Discovery Open Houses showcase the extensive collection of the Society. The archives are a treasure trove of information about Harvard. Maps, photos, books, documents, town reports, personal narratives are all windows to a past that influences Harvard today

The title is Luncheon Break Party, Harvard Common, November 1886.  Is this an early car or is it a horse drawn carriage,...
01/06/2020

The title is Luncheon Break Party, Harvard Common, November 1886. Is this an early car or is it a horse drawn carriage, and the horses are too far to the right to see them? It looks like a wonderful day for November. It's not clear if these are Harvard people or just passing through.

A photo from the archives shows the Whitcomb Reed house, considered the finest mansion on the Common at the time.  It wa...
01/06/2020

A photo from the archives shows the Whitcomb Reed house, considered the finest mansion on the Common at the time. It was on the corner across Mass Ave from the General Store. This house and the Farwell House next door burned in 1917 and were never replaced. The small road visible in the picture is still there--the names of many of the roads have changed over the years.

Happy New Year to all! - *www.harvardhistory.org*
01/02/2020

Happy New Year to all! - *www.harvardhistory.org*

We received this picture of Mary Abbot as part of a generous donation today.  Mary founded the Harvard Garden Club and w...
12/31/2019

We received this picture of Mary Abbot as part of a generous donation today. Mary founded the Harvard Garden Club and was also active in the Girl Scouts.

12/11/2019

The Harvard Historical Society's Annual Meeting will take place tomorrow evening, Thursday, December 12. The meeting will beheld at The Congregational Church's Fellowship Hall, 5 Still River Rd. A business meeting will begin at 7:00 PM followed by a program to celebrate Westward Orchard's 100th year of business at 8:00 PM. Come for one or both. Good food & great conversion will follow.
Harvard Congregational Church, 5 Still River Rd, Harvard, Ma.
www.harvardhistory.org
https://www.westwardorchards.com/

Christmas card by Agnes Abbot, this might be a scene at her home on Bolton Road.If you aren't sure if you've paid your d...
12/10/2019

Christmas card by Agnes Abbot, this might be a scene at her home on Bolton Road.

If you aren't sure if you've paid your dues, please email [email protected] and we'll let you know. If you'd like to make a donation, join, or pay dues, go to our website, www.harvardhistory.org and look on the members page. You can use Paypal or send a check to Box 542, Harvard MA 01451.

Two Harvard Santas from Christmas past.
12/09/2019

Two Harvard Santas from Christmas past.

Holiday quiz---Here's a Christmas doorway from 1996--anyone recognize this door?
12/09/2019

Holiday quiz---Here's a Christmas doorway from 1996--anyone recognize this door?

A great gift from the Harvard Historical Society, The Harvard Album, by Dianne Newton.  160 pages of historic photos of ...
12/09/2019

A great gift from the Harvard Historical Society, The Harvard Album, by Dianne Newton. 160 pages of historic photos of Harvard with historical commentary, from the archives of the HHS. We are happy to ship for the cost of postage, or you can pick up at the HHS, Monday or Tuesday afternoons, 1-5 at 215 Still River Road. $35 dollars all proceeds benefit the HHS.
Also available, a box of 12 notecards with 4 scenes of the Common from the Pollard Paintings in the collection. $15.
Questions--email [email protected]

HHS Annual MeetingDue to snow the Harvard Historical Society has rescheduled their Annual Meeting for Thursday, December...
12/05/2019

HHS Annual Meeting
Due to snow the Harvard Historical Society has rescheduled their Annual Meeting for Thursday, December 12. The meeting will beheld at The Congregational Church's Fellowship Hall. A business meeting will begin at 7:00 PM followed by a program to celebrate Westward Orchard's 100th year of business at 8:00 PM. Good food & great conversation will follow.
Harvard Congregational Church, 5 Still River Rd, Harvard, Ma.
www.harvardhistory.org
https://www.westwardorchards.com/

ANNUAL MEETING CHANGE OF DATEBecause of the snow and parking problems, the Annual Meeting date has been postponed until ...
12/04/2019

ANNUAL MEETING CHANGE OF DATE
Because of the snow and parking problems, the Annual Meeting date has been postponed until we find a new venue. Date and location will be announced soon.

The meeting will feature a presentation for the Westward Orchards 100th Anniversary, after the business portion of the meeting.

The Historical Society, in its mission to preserve Harvard’s past, hopes its members will educate themselves on the Comp...
12/02/2019
Sign the Petition

The Historical Society, in its mission to preserve Harvard’s past, hopes its members will educate themselves on the Complete Streets Plan that will bring changes to town center. The Select Board plans to vote on the project at its meeting Dec. 3. The Society thinks it’s important to weigh the benefits of the changes to the sidewalks around the Common and to the intersection of 110 and 111, and the new traffic pattern for parking at the General Store against the effects the changes will have on the rural and historical character of the town center historic district.

There is a discussion on Nextdoor Harvard about the proposed changes --search Urbanization or Trevor Smedley to find it on Nextdoor. The petition is below.

Stop the Urbanization of Harvard’s Historic Town Center!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.
11/29/2019

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.”

-Henry Thoreau in a letter to Harrison Blake; December 6, 1856.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Harvard Historical Society
11/27/2019

Happy Thanksgiving from the Harvard Historical Society

Here's a postcard showing the Pergolas area.  No date on the card unfortunately.  Thanks to everyone for the comments on...
11/26/2019

Here's a postcard showing the Pergolas area. No date on the card unfortunately. Thanks to everyone for the comments on the previous photograph.

Harvard note cards will make a great holiday gift.  12 notecards with 4 Harvard scenes, $15.  We are happy to ship for t...
11/25/2019

Harvard note cards will make a great holiday gift. 12 notecards with 4 Harvard scenes, $15. We are happy to ship for the cost of postage. Send an email to [email protected] for ordering info.
This card shows the Old Library around 1887. The trees in the area were lost in the fire of 1880 that destroyed the Inn building that was there before the library. The library was dedicated in 1887. The personal library of William Emerson, father of Ralph Waldo, formed the basis for the book collection.

Today we received a donation of this beautiful photograph of the columns at Fruitlands.  This photo was taken in 1979. W...
11/25/2019

Today we received a donation of this beautiful photograph of the columns at Fruitlands. This photo was taken in 1979. What became of the columns after they were taken down?
If you have old photographs of Harvard please share! We love photos, just send us scans if you don't want to donate the photos themselves.

Bromfield 1980 --a long thin picture we had to post in two parts.  Help us name the students.  Any idea what event this ...
11/18/2019

Bromfield 1980 --a long thin picture we had to post in two parts. Help us name the students. Any idea what event this was?

This picture should go into the archives--it just says "Homecoming Decorating Committe."  Anyone recognize a friend?
11/18/2019

This picture should go into the archives--it just says "Homecoming Decorating Committe." Anyone recognize a friend?

We recently acquired this old postcard showing the "Great Tree" in front of the Pollard house in Still River.  This enor...
11/12/2019

We recently acquired this old postcard showing the "Great Tree" in front of the Pollard house in Still River. This enormous sycamore was notable in 1893, when Nourse's History of Harvard, says it was 15 feet in girth at 5 feet from the ground. The tree is still standing and looks much bigger now.

A poem for Veterans' Day written in 1915 by John McCrae, a Canadian army doctor, following the death of his close friend...
11/11/2019

A poem for Veterans' Day written in 1915 by John McCrae, a Canadian army doctor, following the death of his close friend and compatriot Lieutenant Alexis Helmer. Flanders Fieldswas the place of World War I battlefields in the medieval County of Flanders, which now spans southern Belgium and north-west France.

For Veterans' Day, a picture from the dedication of a WW2 memorial that stood on the Common for many years.  It was made...
11/11/2019

For Veterans' Day, a picture from the dedication of a WW2 memorial that stood on the Common for many years. It was made of wood and was replaced.

Doe Orchards
11/09/2019

Doe Orchards

"Back in the day", Whit and Bud Doe removing rocks from the land that gives us blueberries!

11/07/2019

If you are looking to do something a bit different tonight, come join us at the Historical Society for our annual musical program. We have been re-organizing our closets and a few items have inspired us to sing, dance and be merry. Join us at the Still River Baptist Church for Textile Tunes at 7:30 PM.

A picture from the same album as the Civil War statue, this one of the Congregational Church.  You can see the sheds for...
11/05/2019

A picture from the same album as the Civil War statue, this one of the Congregational Church. You can see the sheds for horses and carriages to stay during the church service to the side of the church, especially during the winter or hot summer. No date on this picture.

A very old photo (pre 1905).  The white building to the left is the Common Schoolhouse, which was moved to Ayer in 1905....
11/05/2019

A very old photo (pre 1905). The white building to the left is the Common Schoolhouse, which was moved to Ayer in 1905. It was between the General Store and the Congregational Church.

At a Special Town Meeting 1923 this plan (with a few options) was presented for an addition to the Grammar School.  Depe...
10/28/2019

At a Special Town Meeting 1923 this plan (with a few options) was presented for an addition to the Grammar School. Depending on size the estimated costs ranged from $15000 to $27,000.

1911 Bromfield Beacon yearbook advertisement.  A.F. Leonard was the Harvard, West Acton, and Littleton agent for Ford ca...
10/28/2019

1911 Bromfield Beacon yearbook advertisement. A.F. Leonard was the Harvard, West Acton, and Littleton agent for Ford cars. We wonder if he had a showroom.

Thank you to the generous donor who sent us some Harvard History.  This is the Village Nursery School, class of 1967.  W...
10/22/2019

Thank you to the generous donor who sent us some Harvard History. This is the Village Nursery School, class of 1967. We love to get pictures. Do you recognize a friend?

Untitled Album
10/22/2019

Untitled Album

It's back! So excited to see our 1870 Steven's organ come back to us. Can't say enough about the great work Andover Orga...
10/01/2019

It's back! So excited to see our 1870 Steven's organ come back to us. Can't say enough about the great work Andover Organ is doing.

Day one of the installation at the Harvard Historical Society saw the pedal wind chest and roller board, manual wind chest, and double rise reservoir with original (releathered) feeders, all installed back in the case. The reservoir was a very tight fit going through the keydesk opening, and it came out and went back in a few pieces. We are thankful that the original builder saw fit to make the reservoir in six screwed together pieces!

Barn To Barn Tour - Sept. 28, 2019
10/01/2019

Barn To Barn Tour - Sept. 28, 2019

We found a copy of the Bromfield Review, an Anthology of Short Fiction and Poetry by Bromfield students.  Can anyone tel...
09/23/2019

We found a copy of the Bromfield Review, an Anthology of Short Fiction and Poetry by Bromfield students. Can anyone tell us what year this might have been published by looking at the staff and writers?

"Procrastination always gives you something to look forward to." Joan KonnerTime may be running out, but there are still...
09/23/2019
Home

"Procrastination always gives you something to look forward to." Joan Konner
Time may be running out, but there are still many opportunities to purchase your Barn To Barn Tour tickets.
Monday, 9/23 - Stop in at HHS and purchase or pick up your tickets in person from 1-5 PM and 6-8 PM.
Tuesday 9/24 - Stop in at HHS and purchase or pick up your tickets in person from 1-5 PM.
Or visit www.harvardhistory.org and follow the Barn Tour links. Fun!😎 Food!😋 Art!😍 and History!🤓Don't miss this once in a lifetime event!.

Two Harvard traditions combined, a drawing by Jan Streeter Fowke and a wonderful Harvard barn.  This barn shows how the ...
09/17/2019

Two Harvard traditions combined, a drawing by Jan Streeter Fowke and a wonderful Harvard barn. This barn shows how the clever farmers adapted to the hills of New England. This barn is not on the barn tour, but come see how others managed their barn building. The 🐂🐂BARN TO BARN TOUR🐂🐂 is September 28th. Details in our events page or www.harvardhistory.org. 😄 --get your tickets now. Questions? email [email protected].

Thank you to the Garden Club for keeping our watering trough looking good all year round.  The geraniums have been spect...
09/16/2019

Thank you to the Garden Club for keeping our watering trough looking good all year round. The geraniums have been spectacular this summer.

Check out this great list of artisans, venders, and performers participating in the Barn To Barn Tour. The tour is Septe...
09/16/2019

Check out this great list of artisans, venders, and performers participating in the Barn To Barn Tour. The tour is September 28, less than two weeks away. To learn more or purchase your tickets today at https://harvardhistory.org/home-2/events-from-march-to-september/barn-to-barn-tour-2019-2/barn-to-barn-tour-tickets/?fbclid=IwAR3GBK99HO2dCqTK816mmon3xpiLprO80s-d70DvD44OghmQoqTlzRfba8Y
or send check and this ticket order formhttps://harvardhistory.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/2019.09.16-ticket-order-form.pdf to Harvard Historical Society, PO Box 542, Harvard, Ma 01451

From our neighbors in Littleton, Donelan's anniversary retro photographs.  You can check out the Littleton Historical So...
09/15/2019

From our neighbors in Littleton, Donelan's anniversary retro photographs. You can check out the Littleton Historical Society's page for comments. Lots of Harvard will remember Donelans and the 5 and 10 next door.

The early days of our Littleton location!

Address

PO Box 542 - 215 Still River Rd
Harvard, MA
01451

General information

The Curator's Quarters is open most Monday and Tuesday afternoons from 1-5. If you are interested in finding out more about the Society or have research questions, see the addresses below.

Opening Hours

Monday 13:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 13:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(978) 456-8285

Alerts

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