The Harvard Historical Commission welcomes you to its website where you can learn more about the rich history of our town, and where you can work with us in our historical preservation effort by joining our conversation here on our ‘BLOG’.  We are fortunate to live in a town that has retained so much of its traditional New England character, from our picturesque villages, to our farmsteads and landscapes and our many landmark buildings.



One of the roles of the Commission is to preserve and protect the historic assets of the town and its Harvard Center and Shaker Village historic districts.  If you live in one of these districts, please familiarize yourself with our LIBRARY, where you will find our Design Guidelines, and Harvard’s Historic Preservation Bylaw. If you would like to know where the historic districts are located, click the HISTORIC ASSETS /DISTRICTS tab at the top of this page to see the maps. You are welcome to browse other sections of our website including our BLOG by selecting the appropriate tab shown at the top of this page.

wanted ad4Another role of the Commission is to advocate for the preservation of all historic assets throughout our entire town.  The Commission can help as a historical and design resource to property owners who are remodeling their historic properties. Check out our “HISTORIC HOUSE MARKER PROGRAM” to see an example of a Marker that is available right now.  Our projects typically begin with our planning discussions some of which will occur here on our “Harvard Historical Commission” website.  Look at our list of ‘RECENT POSTS’ in the right sidebar to see which discussion in ourBLOG you would like to join. Commissioner Joe Theriault is our web publisher.  He will help us with all aspects of our website.

Harvard has a rich history to be told, and we welcome anyone to help us by telling the stories of Harvard on our historical walks around town. Please visit our HARVARD HISTORY /HISTORIC WALKS‘ page.
We encourage you to join us at our monthly meetings at 7PM on the first Wednesday of each month and other meetings shown on OUR WORK / ‘CALENDARpage.  There, we will formulate our plans, make our decisions and execute our programs. While you browse our ‘LIBRARY, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the MEETING AGENDA  in the COMMISSIONERS’ NOTEBOOK for our next meeting.

Finally, we are here to serve the people of Harvard. So we hope to hear from you. Please leave us a note or question below in the ‘LEAVE A REPLY’ box.

Yours truly,

Ken Swanton
Chair, Harvard Historical Commission

ps… Please consider joining us in our work. Read our posting “Our Historical Commission Needs Your Help” and checkout our JOB OPENINGS page.


11 thoughts on “FRONT PAGE

  1. Requesting a mailing address. I have a line drawing print of ‘The Square House’ by Harvard resident Bayard Underwood. It was printed in the early 70’s and was a gift to Father Donn Brown of St Andrew’s in Ayer (my father). I’d like to gift the print (less the frame) to the Harvard Historical Commission, for archiving or display. It is print number 6 of 200. I can send a photo of it if you provide an email address.

    • Thank you very much, Mr. Brown for your consideration. I will present your message to the Historical Commission at our next meeting on 2 July. I will communicate their response immediately after the meeting. Alternatively, you certainly are invited to join us at the meeting where you can convey your message personally if that were possible.

      The Commission is authorized by law to receive gifts. Although we do not have the facilities to store or display any historic artifacts, we have relationships with the Historical Society and Fruitlands that would allow us to loan an artifact to either.

      We will be in touch with you by e-mail. Thank you.

  2. Thanks so much. I will look forward to hearing from you. A trip to Harvard this summer would be great if I can work it out. Ralph Houghton

  3. My name is Ralph Houghton and I live in Northern Michigan [removed for privacy]. I am interested in genealogy and have run across some information which indicates that my great great great great grandfather, Elijah Houghton born 1739 in Harvard was involved in founding the town and may have been its first Clerk. Do you have any historical records or genealogical library that might help me verify this information? Apparently I had several relatives in the area and I am wondering if there are any cemetery records I might review. I am looking forward to a possible trip to Harvard this coming summer and wanted to find out ahead of time what type of information might be available. I gave you my E-mail address above and my street address is (removed for privacy). I would appreciate any information you might have. Harvard looks like a beautiful little town. Thank you for your help!. Ralph Houghton

    • Thank you for touching base with your ancestral village, Ralph. We certainly are very familiar with your family. It was one of the founding families of Harvard and of neighboring Lancaster. We will organize some references for you that I think you will find helpful when you visit Harvard this summer. We will be in touch. I will send you an e-mail now to establish our correspondence by e-mail.

  4. Hmm, “Book Shelf” doesn’t seem like an intuitive label for what it contains. Maybe a new tab for “Forms” would be better. Also, why not create hyperlinks for each of the sections in the text, so rather than telling people to click on something above, they can click on the word itself…. just as you did for “Meeting Agenda”.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks, Marc. Will definitely follow-up on your thought regarding hyperlinks. Great idea! The Application form is actually the only form we have, but I think that we will create a new tab for the Application process which will include the form of course. In any case, we’re working on it. Appreciate your thought, Marc.

    • Okay, Mark. The form is on our ‘Book Shelf’ under Commissioners Tools but it sounds like it is buried a little too deep and is difficult to find. We’re going to run with this thought and see if we can move it up in visibility since the application process is one of our key functions. We also like your idea of an online version that could be completed and submitted online.

      Stay tuned. We are following up on your comment, Mark. Thanks!

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