About The Harvard Historical Society

Since its incorporation in 1897, the mission of the Harvard Historical Society has been to preserve Harvard’s past for Harvard’s future. In its early years, the society used the public library for storing and displaying its collections. In 1966, the Harvard Historical Society purchased the former Still River Baptist Church, and the Meetinghouse and later the Curator’s Quarters, a former garage, became home to the society and its collections. The society serves as a vital resource to the community, providing research opportunities and hosting a variety of educational programs and cultural events.

Our Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Harvard Historical Society to balance the twin goals of stewardship and outreach: to preserve and manage the collections for the future and to use those collections to actively engage the community in programs to “Discover Your Town.”


    • Maintaining the historical Still River Baptist Church according to the standards for National Register of Historic Properties
    • Preserving and maintaining the collections according to museum standards and best practices


    • Using the artifact and archive collections to tell the stories of industries, landscape, people, buildings, and events that shaped Harvard’s character
    • Making the collection available to the public for research

Historical Society or Historical Commission?

Harvard has two organizations concerned with history, the Harvard Historical Society and the Harvard Historical Commission. The essential difference between them is that the Society is a private, nonprofit organization whereas the Commission is a regulatory body, part of town government.

The Historical Society

The Historical Society, 215 Still River Road, has a broad scope to its mission: preserving papers and objects that help clarify the history of Harvard. and preserving its historical buildings. The meetinghouse holds collections such as furniture, artwork, domestic items, textiles, farm implements, fire-fighting apparatus, and artifacts of commercial enterprises. The Curator’s Quarters houses an office and the archives–letters, documents, records, and photographs.

The Historical Society presents educational programs for the public that use the collection and documents to help “discover “ the town’s history. It provides research opportunities to the public and offers community service hours to Bromfield seniors and a field trip for second-graders.

The Historical Society, run by a volunteer board of directors, depends entirely upon private donations, memberships, and fundraising efforts; it receives no  funding from the town..

The Historical Commission

The Historical Commission is a town board of appointed officials that oversees any modifications to the Town Center and Shaker Village historic districts. The commission is directed by law to prescribe specific preservation measures to the owner of a home within a historic district. A process is in place to review an owner’s proposal for the repair or preservation work and to accept, modify or reject the proposal.

Executive Board

President: Steve Abrams
First Vice President: Melissa Marteney
Second Vice President: Denis Wagner
Treasurer:  Don Siegrist
Secretary: Carlene Phillips
Corresponding Secretary: Jennie Purnell

Assistant to the Board: Judy Warner
Genealogist/Historian:  Susan Lee
Webmaster: Patrick Vallaeys


Ruthann Bakun
Theodore Maxant
David Marteney
Carol Landry
Patricia Jennings
Christie Glynn
Claire Rinderello
Joan Blue

The Harvard Historical Society is a private, non-profit organization. We rely on the generous contributions of members and donors to preserve the 1832 Still River Baptist Meetinghouse, collect historically significant artifacts and ephemera, present Discover Your Town programming and provide educational opportunities for local students. Your membership or donation will have an immediate impact on our continued success. Thank you for considering The Harvard Historical Society.