Harvard, Massachusetts

:"This article is about the town of Harvard, Massachusetts. Harvard University is located in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts."

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Harvard, Massachusetts
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Worcester County in Massachusetts

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Massachusetts
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Worcester
established_title = Settled
established_date = 1704
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date2 = 1732
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
government_type = Open town meeting
leader_title = Town Administrator
leader_name = Timothy Bragan
leader_title1 = Board of
leader_name1 = Lucy Wallace
Timothy Clark
Leo Blair
Peter Warren
Ron Ricci
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 69.9
area_total_sq_mi = 27.0
area_land_km2 = 68.3
area_land_sq_mi = 26.4
area_water_km2 = 1.6
area_water_sq_mi = 0.6
population_as_of = 2000
settlement_type = Town
population_total = 5981
population_density_km2 = 87.6
population_density_sq_mi = 226.9
elevation_m = 128
elevation_ft = 421
timezone = Eastern
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = Eastern
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 42 |latm = 30 |lats = 00 |latNS = N
longd = 71 |longm = 35 |longs = 00 |longEW = W
website = [http://www.harvard.ma.us/ www.harvard.ma.us]
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 01451
area_code = 978
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 25-28950
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0619482
footnotes =

Harvard is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. A farming community settled in 1658 and incorporated in 1732, it has been home to several non-traditional communities, such as Harvard Shaker Village and the utopian Transcendentalist center Fruitlands. Today it is an affluent residential town noted for its excellent public schools.Who|date=April 2008 The population was 5,981 at the 2000 census.


Europeans first settled in what later became Harvard in the 17th century, along a road connecting Lancaster with Groton that was formally laid out in 1658. There were few inhabitants until after King Philip's War, in which Groton and Lancaster were attacked and substantially destroyed. Over the next 50 years the population grew until it had reached a point adequate to support a church. A new town including parts of Lancaster, Groton, and Stow was incorporated in 1732, subject to the proviso that the inhabitants "Settle a learned and Orthodox Minister among them within the space of two years and also erect an House for the publick Worship of God." It is uncertain how the town obtained its name, though the Willard family, among the first settlers and the largest proprietors in the new town, had several connections to Harvard College.

In 1734, the town was considered to have five districts or villages. These were Oak Hill, Bare Hill, Still River, Old Mill and Shabikin (present day Devens).

The town economy was primarily based on agriculture until the middle of the 20th century. This past is most prominently visible in the number of apple orchards. It is now a residential town within reach, for example, of the technology companies outside of Boston. It has had a relatively quiet history, but has attracted several "non-traditional" communities that have given its history some flavor.

The Shakers

The town was site of "Harvard Shaker Village", a utopian religious community established in 1791, one of 19 scattered between Maine and Kentucky, and as far west as Indiana. The sect, renowned for plain architecture and furniture, reached its peak membership in the 1840s. But greater employment opportunities introduced by the Industrial Revolution would entice away some potential and practicing Shaker members. Some became disaffected with the church's insistence on celibacy, self-abnegation, and communal ownership of property. Indeed, Mary Marshall Dyer, a onetime believer, became an outspoken Anti-Shaker. The flock dwindled, and like others, "Harvard Shaker Village" eventually closed. Today, only one church "society" remains open, run by the last Shakers at "Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village" in New Gloucester, Maine.
* [http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/shaker/har.htm "Harvard Shaker Village", Shaker Historic Trail]


Amos Bronson Alcott and some friends established the utopian transcendentalist socialist farm called Fruitlands on the slopes of Prospect Hill in Harvard. The community failed rather quickly but saw visits from the likes of Henry David Thoreau. Mr. Alcott's daughter, Louisa May Alcott lived at the farm with her father.

Fiske Warren Tahanto Enclave

Fiske Warren, a follower of Henry George, attempted to establish a single tax zone in Harvard in 1918. The enclave bought up land communally and attempted to manage the land according to George's principles. The enclave failed soon after Warren died in 1938.

St. Benedict Center

Father Leonard Feeney was a Catholic priest who strongly believed in the original Dogma of the Catholic Church; that only baptized Catholics would go to heaven. Some new Catholics, or neo-Catholics, within the Church have disagreed with this view. Some had taken action against Father Feeney, but were later proven wrongFact|date=April 2008. There had been an attempted excommunication on Fr. Feeney in 1953. Later, the Catholic Church saw it fit to clear up any misunderstanding by doing a reconciliation with Fr. Feeney in 1972Fact|date=April 2008. When Fr. Feeney died in 1978, his "spiritual decedents" came to the Hospital Emergency Room removed from him items such as fingernail clippings as holy relics, indicating their belief that he was, or ought to be, a SaintFact|date=April 2008. A branch of the Saint Benedict Center] is located in Still River, on the west side of Harvard.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.0 square miles (69.9 km²), of which, 26.4 square miles (68.3 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km²) of it (2.26%) is water.

The area is largely wooded with small rolling hills, fields and wetlands. In addition to the numerous streams and brooks throughout Harvard, Bare Hill Pond is a central, iconic locale.

Harvard and the surrounding area are renown for apple orchards and riding stables.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 5,981 people, 1,809 households, and 1,494 families residing in the town. The population density was 226.9 people per square mile (87.6/km²). There were 2,225 housing units at an average density of 84.4/sq mi (32.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.69% White, 4.50% African American, 0.17% Native American, 1.97% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.09% of the population.

There were 1,809 households out of which 44.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.4% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.4% were non-families. 14.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the town the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 32.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 124.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 133.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $107,934, and the median income for a family was $119,352. Males had a median income of $90,937 versus $49,318 for females. The per capita income for the town was $40,867. About 0.5% of families and 2.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.7% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.


The town elects five members to the Board of Selectmen to run the town day-to-day and has an annual Town Meeting to pass/amend the town bylaws.

Infobox Mass Town Govt
county= Worcester
clerk_courts = Dennis P. McManus (D)
cty_treasurer = Position Eliminated
da = Joseph D. Early, Jr. (D)
deeds = Anthony J. Vigliotti (D)
probate = Stephen Abraham (D)
sheriff = Guy W. Glodis (D)
state_rep = James B. Eldridge (D)
state_sen = Pamela P. Resor (D)
gov_councilors = Thomas J. Foley (D)
fed_rep = Niki Tsongas (D) (5th District),
fed_sen = Edward Kennedy (D)
John Kerry (D)

The town has resisted pressures to regionalize its school system and its K-12 school system ranks among the top 5% of schools in the state and more than 90% of its graduates go on to college. The public high school, the Bromfield School, and the Harvard Elementary School are both located in the center of town on Massachusetts Avenue.

Notable residents

*Amos Bronson Alcott, teacher, writer and Transcendentalist, Fruitlands founder
*Louisa May Alcott, novelist, daughter of Amos Alcott
*Tabitha Babbitt, tool maker
*Toni Chandler, voice actress
*Charles Lane, Transcendentalist, Fruitlands founder
*Keir O'Donnell, Australian actor
*Ted Sizer, Educational reform leader
*William Channing Whitney, architect


Further reading

*"History of the Town of Harvard Massachusetts 1732-1893" by Henry S. Nourse (1894)
*"Directions of a Town: A History of Harvard Massachusetts" by Robert C. Anderson (1976)

External links

* [http://harvard.ma.us/ Official town website]
* [http://www.psharvard.org/ Harvard Public Schools]
* [http://www.harvardpubliclibrary.org/ Harvard Public Library]
* [http://fruitlands.org Fruitlands Museum]
* [http://www.harvardpress.com Harvard Press, the town's only locally-owned weekly newspaper]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Harvard (Massachusetts) — Harvard Pueblo de los Estados Unidos Ayuntamiento de Harvard …   Wikipedia Español

  • Massachusetts General Hospital — Partners HealthCare …   Wikipedia

  • Harvard (disambiguation) — Harvard University is a university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.Harvard may also refer to:People *Jack Harvard, American politician *John Harvard (clergyman) (1607 ndash;1638), a clergyman after whom Harvard University is named *John Harvard… …   Wikipedia

  • Harvard (Begriffsklärung) — Harvard steht für: Harvard University, eine US amerikanische Universität in Cambridge, Massachusetts, gegründet 1636 Harvard College Observatorium Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Harvard Architektur, ein Schaltungskonzept zur… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Harvard University — the oldest US university and usually considered the best. Harvard is one of the Ivy League universities. It was established as a college in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Two years later, it was named after John Harvard, a Puritan born in… …   Universalium

  • Harvard Center Historic District — Infobox nrhp | name =Harvard Center Historic District nrhp type = hd caption = location= Harvard, Massachusetts lat degrees = 42 lat minutes = 29 lat seconds = 52 lat direction = N long degrees = 71 long minutes = 35 long seconds = 1 long… …   Wikipedia

  • Harvard Shaker Village Historic District — Infobox nrhp | name =Harvard Shaker Village Historic District nrhp type = hd caption = location= Harvard, Massachusetts lat degrees = 42 lat minutes = 31 lat seconds = 57 lat direction = N long degrees = 71 long minutes = 33 long seconds = 33… …   Wikipedia

  • Massachusetts High School Drama Guild — The Massachusetts High School Drama Guild is usually known in common parlance as the MHSDG. According to their website, the MHSDG exists for the charitable and educational purpose of promoting and strengthening excellence, access, and education… …   Wikipedia

  • Harvard Bridge — crossing the frozen Charles River from Cambridge to Boston, Massachusetts Carries Route 2A Crosses …   Wikipedia

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Motto Mens et Manus Motto in English Mind and Hand[1] …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.