Harvard is a rural community, committed to preserving its remarkable history since it was incorporated as a town in 1732. Harvard has been witness to a series of interesting social and religious experiments. Mother Ann Lee settled in Harvard in 1781 and founded a Shaker Village, still to be seen today. Bronson Alcott, a member of the... Show all »
Harvard is a rural community, committed to preserving its remarkable history since it was incorporated as a town in 1732. Harvard has been witness to a series of interesting social and religious experiments. Mother Ann Lee settled in Harvard in 1781 and founded a Shaker Village, still to be seen today. Bronson Alcott, a member of the transcendental movement, lived with his family and friends here in the middle of the 19th century. The farmhouse where the Alcotts carried out their experimental mode of living was called Fruitlands and is now part of the Fruitlands Museum on Prospect Hill.
Harvard's traditional architecture is seen in numerous colonial and Victorian homes, churches, town hall and library that gather around a historic common. Winding roads, bordered by trees and stone walls look out on old farm houses and working apple and peach orchards. Another notable site is the 17th century village of Still River on the outskirts of town. Residents enjoy the social activities of a small town, with its Fourth of July parade, Apple Blossom Festival, Columbus Day Flea Market and many other events that take place in the in or near of the historic town common. Another resource for recreation is Bare Hill Pond, a 330-acre lake where swimming, sailing and canoeing lessons are offered in the summer and cross country skiing and skating take place in winter.
There are over 2,000 acres of conservation land throughout the town, much of it interconnected by hiking and biking trails. Harvard's school district is ranked one of the best in the state. The town provides a kindergarten through grade 12 public school program on one centrally located campus. A major school building program was completed in 1991, resulting in a new elementary school and an auditorium and other improvements for Bromfield High School. Often, families with children are initially drawn to residing in Harvard just for this exceptional school system. Many Bromfield High School students have gone on to higher education at the nation's most prestigious universities.
The municipal government of Harvard, numbering 5700 residents, is conducted by open town meeting and a five member board of selectmen. The community continues to safeguard its natural integrity by enacting zoning ordinances and other town bylaws, purchasing conservation land and making efforts at historic preservation. Homes in Harvard are predominantly single family houses. Amenities often include large lots of one or more acres and water views. Situated in Worcester County, Harvard is 32 miles west of Boston, and 22 miles northeast of Worcester. The town is bordered by Ayer, Bolton, Boxboro, Lancaster, Littleton, Shirley, and Stow. Routes 2 and 495 run through the town, and the Nashua River forms its western boundary.