We will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.

Architecture Critic Ada Louise Huxtable

Welcome to the FORUM for Historic Harvard

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FORUM for Historic Harvard

The FORUM team welcomes you to its work-space. Here, you can learn more about the rich history of our town, and you can join us in our historic preservation work by adding to our conversation on our ‘BLOG’. (See NAVIGATION TABS at top of page.)  We are fortunate to live in a town that has retained some of its traditional New England character; from our picturesque villages, to our farmsteads and landscapes and our many landmark buildings.

Come with us for a walk around our site…

title About Us

The role of the FORUM is to promote and advocate for the preservation and protection of the historic assets of the town including the Harvard Common,  Shaker Village, Still River and the Devens historic areas. Whether you live in one of these areas or not, you will find our ‘Walks through our Historic Areas’ pages (coming soon) informative and enjoyable. Of these areas, some are Local Historic Districts, some are National Historic Districts and some are neither. If you would like to know where the Local Historic Districts are located, click the HISTORIC ASSETS / DISTRICTS  to see the maps. You are welcome to browse other sections of our website including our BLOG by selecting the appropriate TAB shown at top of page.

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The new HHC HISTORIC HOUSE MARKERS.  Sign up for one!  The Zopher Wetherbee House is located at 3 Oak Hill Road. (click on marker for more info)

The FORUM makes itself available as an ‘extra hand’ to the historic preservation organizations of the town including the Harvard Historical Commission and the Harvard Historical Society. But much of our work is done on our own initiative. We are also a historic preservation resource to property owners and historic property managers who are remodeling or maintaining their historic properties. The FORUM works to increase and improve the educational materials that are essential to the training of our Historical Commissioners and for the public education of the adults and children of our town. Finally, the FORUM serves as the vigilant ‘eye’ on our beloved historic municipal properties to identify negligence as well as opportunities for preservation. Visit our HISTORIC MUNICIPAL PROPERTIES page.

The FORUM works to help you understand the details of the histories of your historic property and to appreciate the relationship of that history to the history of our town. Examples are our HISTORIC PLACES OF THE MONTH program and the HHC Historic House Marker program. Check out the “HISTORIC HOUSE MARKER PROGRAM” and read about the Historic House Marker (shown above) that is officially sanctioned by the Historical Commission.


Capt Thaddeus Pollard House, 1782; 327 Still River Road

Read the details on this Historic Place.   Photo courtesy Philip Wilson, Flintlock Farm.


(Click to enlarge)

Our projects typically begin with our planning discussions which you may read about right here on our  FORUM for Historic Harvard website.  To get a complete listing of all  of our blog postings, click on the ‘BLOG POSTS LIST’ in our ‘QUICK LINKS‘ in the right sidebar.

Harvard has a rich history and a wonderful story to tell, and we welcome anyone who may be interested to help us tell these stories on our historical walks around town. Please visit our HARVARD HISTORY / HISTORICAL WALKS page. Beyond that, please consider joining us in our work.

To complete our FORUM on the Internet, we dedicate a page to OUR PRESERVATIONISTS’. For those volunteers and dedicated preservationists who preceded us, we take time to acknowledge their work beginning in 1970 when the Town of Harvard Planning Board advocated for the formation of an Historic District Study Committee. This was followed with the town voting to enact a new Historic Districts Bylaw which formed the Historic Districts Commission and a year later, the Historical Commission.

A final note: please remember that the FORUM is wholly made up of volunteers, taxpayers of Harvard and your neighbors. 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.

J. R. T. Theriault,  FORUM for Historic Harvard Team

13 thoughts on “FRONT PAGE

  1. 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.


  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. 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.


  4. Good catch, Mary-Ellen! And its’ Nourse, not Nouse. I hope that was a typo. The full name is Henry S. Nourse, our Harvard historian. He wrote several books on local history but for us, his most important was ‘History of Harvard’ commissioned by Mr. Warren Hapgood and published in 1894. Our ‘other’ historian and a contemporary one is Robert C. Anderson, who wrote ‘Directions of a Town’ which was published by Harvard Common Press in 1976. There is actually one more historian between Nourse and Anderson, which is Ida Harris who was very active with the Historical Society and the Harvard Womans’ Club after the turn of the history. She wrote an update to Nourse’s history which has not yet been published and exists only in manuscript form which the Historical Society has in their Archive. Again, thanks for picking up this oversight.


  5. To Mr. Therriault: I enjoyed the Pollard online house tour immensely. Questions: Is that a giant beehive oven in the basement? How many rooms in the house – more than 11?
    You said it’s on the market, Any idea what the list price is? And finally, I couldn’t download the pictures, could you send me a couple?, say an exterior view and maybe a keeping room shot w/fireplace. Thanks, MEJones


  6. Thank you, Mr. Theriault for your thorough and illuminating reply – so prompt, too. Yes, it was a typo, I won’t spell it wrong in my story. BTW: Was Ida Harris related to Dr. Jeff Harris? I knew him well, served on first HES School Council with him and often used him as a go-to for pieces I was working on. I remember how dedicated he was to town history, particularly concerning the Hildreth family and the elementary school that now bears their name thanks to his efforts. He once proposed to the BOS that they back a project to create an historic trail w/markers all over town.
    Did that every get off the ground?
    Anyway,I digress. I have used both of the books you mention to research past articles – I used to write a RE feature that favored historic houses. I’ve seen hundreds over the years and fell in love with all of them- what fun!


    • Thanks for keeping me in the loop. I am doing much better with my Parkinson’s and hope to make that trip to Harvard this summer or fall with my wife. I really appreciate all the genealogical information on the Houghton family that was sent to me last year. Ralph Houghton.


  7. I may have missed it but I did not find our house listed on the registry – Priest House circa 1780? – 159 East Bare Hill Road.


    • You are correct, David. 159 East Bare Hill Road is not on our Local Register of Historic Places. The two past surveys, the first completed in 1970-72 focused on the properties associated with the two Local Historic Districts and when the survey was repeated in the early 1990’s, again, your house was not included. However, if you read our blog article on “OUR WORK: Surveying Harvard’s Historic Properties” (, the link to our Street Listing for the current survey will allow you to open the listing which does include your home. So, we will be coming by to begin the survey of all historic properties including yours. Be patient. We are just a few volunteers with a few ‘irons in the fire’. 🙂


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