HARVARD TOWN CENTER WALK

perambulation walk 2011

Description of Points of Interest

Town Common
Dates to founding 1732, originally 30 acres before areas were removed (like Cemetery, Bromfield site), 1782 was 16.5A, now 9A

Library
1880 fire took Elm House/ Weatherbee Tavern + next door (poor house 1753-97).  Before it was built, “social library in Harrod (1805  140 yrs) house for 18 years.  Library had been built in 1886 with money donated to the town, and expanded to the right in 1902 with a second gift  (there’s no more room for expansion), now community and Arts center that has made a very promising start in creating a self-funded building.

Civil War Monument
Beautiful and unusual – Voted $300 in 1864, originally for all 35 veterans, -à Built 1880 for $1208, only dead listed


Shops
3 Fairbank/1 Littleton – Goes back 150 years, there were lots of shops: Boot, shoe, blacksmith, and carpenter. One remains, the antique shop, built early 1800s was many shops – side-ways windows were removed from the old meetinghouse that was taken down in 1840.


Church – 5th on site
Combined church and town hall 1732: 48×35  then increased to 1770-65×45 , 1840  smaller church since church split and Gov tent elsewhere, it then burned, 1885 Victorian burned in 1966, modern

Old Town Hall
1828 Greek/Ital. last town meeting here 1871 – then moved slightly North – 2 family 1920’s, reverted to single family
(only other 1st century: the right side of #18 (2 to the left) is pre 1831, and 1 Fairbank Young cottage (1825-1985) pre-1825)

Town Hall
1872 Italianate style, modeled after Westford, MA, originally had a tower on top.  not white – old paintings show ? with top, not white, looks like off-white, with darker trim Expanded to rear in 1899

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Town Pound

Helped control and recover stray live stock.  “Horse high, bull strong and pig tight”, First pound corner Congo 37x37x7 rails (3.5X)  Since “at least” 1870, 20x20x4 stone.

Powder House
Prior to that, from 1774 the town’s ammunition was stored in the attic of the meetinghouse/church (dry, centrally located, accessible, low risk of fire since the building was not heated).  War of 1812 – so much ammo, that built this power house $87.  (Hildreth 1895)


Merriam Tavern
Back portion 1737?.  Tavern for 120 years (tap room still exists, uses only candlelight.  During this tavern period the brick portion was built in 1807, in classic Federal style.  In 1850’s parsonage for Congo church, was underground railroad.  Then doctor’s home and office, and since been home.  Current owner’s Jared Wollaston/John Cunney – complete renovation of home, barn 1792 (Underground Railroad stop) and gardens.

Congo. Church
1821, raised 1882 lower story, few years ago (HHC ruled that use of modern materials for clapboards was OK)

General Store
Gale & Dickson 1896, 3rd store to stand on this spot, 1st burned, 2nd store moved around the corner to where PO (Cleaners).   Next in empty lot is where old 1851 center school, 1905 sold and moved to Ayer


Grave Yard
1733, first grave 1734 unmarked, here is one from 1746 notice artwork, slate – quarry from Pin Hill

Methodist Church

Part of the spread of churches. (1 to 2, Baptist, now Methodist).  Building was originally across the street when it was used as a church, moved to this location in 1857, eventually became 2 family, now single.  (House next door was originally Pollard barn).


Library
Site of 1st minister’s house 1754.   Then Bromfield Mansion, wealthy Boston Merchant, but burned in 1855.  His grand-daughter donated money to build Bromfield Academy in 1878.  Became library, and got award winning addition in last decade


Old Manse
Built in mid 1700s for 2nd minister 1759-68, 3rd,4th,5th  Then Captain Savage – Civil War (wounded Gettysburg)


Little Common
Largest collection of first century houses – almost every house you see – which three are from 1700’s ? (saltbox, yellow one at end, and red one).   Common looked very different in 1938 pre-hurricane – It was a forest, but all came down.

Historic district goes another ½ mile to big pretty house on left, 1850, which Blanchard, descendant of Bromfield donated the money to the school in his name.


Pollard House
1806 – 4 generations of Pollard’s lived here for 150 years.  Federal house, brick, hip roof, tall windows, and windows around the doors, wood parts are additions. It brick contraction is probably why is it still here as a fire in 1892 destroyed two house on the left, and another fire in 1917 destroyed two houses on the right.

Old Inn
1825, shops and offices, 1895 finest houses, murals, 1945 Harvard Inn, now 4 units, future uncertain

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