Colonel Henry Bromfield

The Colonel’s “picturesque figure and strong individuality made him a notable feature of the town’s life.”

Eleanor Willard Merrifield

Born in Still River in 1864, Eleanor created hand-colored photographs documenting buildings of the Harvard Shaker Village.

The Creation of the Wachusett Reservoir

Ed Sterling from Bolton has had a lifelong interest in history, especially that of trains and railroads. He has studied the history of the Central Mass Railroad extensively and the role it played in the building of the Wachusett Reservoir.

Clara Endicott Sears

Clara Endicott Sears was born in Boston, Mass., on December 16, 1862, the daughter of Knyvet Winthrop and Mary Crowninshield Sears.

Warren Hapgood

Warren Hapgood was born in the Old Mill district of Harvard. He was a major benefactor of the Harvard Public Library.

Amos Bronson Alcott

Amos Bronson Alcott was an American teacher, writer, philosopher, and reformer. Alcott founded Fruitlands, a transcendental experiment in communal living.

Discover the 1870 Organ with Gavin Klein

Bolton resident Gavin Klein demonstrates the workings of the 1870 George Stephens organ at the Harvard Historical Society in a video filmed by Patrick Vallaeys. The organ was recently restored to better working order in a community-funded campaign led by the Harvard Historical Society.

The 1870 George Stevens Pipe Organ

“What began as stewardship led to the discovery of a historic gem that should be restored and preserved.”
— Denis Wagner, former president and current board member of the Harvard Historical Society.

William Bowles Willard

In 1870, William Bowles Willard (1801-1891), lifelong resident of Still River, donated a pipe organ to the Still River Baptist Church.

Margaret B. Blanchard

Margaret Bromfield Pearson Blanchard is best remembered as the founder of a secondary school in Harvard, a school that encouraged education for young women as well as young men.

William Henry Savage

Born November 21, 1830, William Henry Savage was an adventurer and enlistee in the Union Army. When the Civil War began in 1861, Savage was among the first from Harvard to enlist.

Harvard Churches

Harvard’s first meetinghouse, for civil as well as religious purposes, was built near the top of the Common in 1733. It was followed by a second meetinghouse and three Unitarian church buildings, all on the same approximate site.


We are inviting musicians to play the organ. Contact the Curator to schedule your own experience with this unique and historic instrument.

Harvard History

The town of Harvard, Massachusetts, incorporated in 1732, has a rich history of social and religious experimental communities.

Harvard Buildings

Learn about the town of Harvard, Massachusetts, through its many historic buildings and the people who were involved in their construction.

The Organ

In 1966, The Harvard Historical Society purchased the Still River Baptist Church. With the purchase of the building came a pipe organ that dominates the western wall of the sanctuary.

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott lived in the town of Harvard, for a short time. She moved from Concord, Mass., to Harvard in 1843 where she lived with her family until 1844.

People from Harvard

Over the years, the town of Harvard has been home to a number of notable historical figures, including Louisa Alcott, Peter Atherton, and William Bowles Willard. Learn more about the people who have called Harvard home.

Carlene Philips

Carlene Phillips has lived in Harvard, Massachusetts since 1975. Her three children and their children have grown up in town. She has been a writer for the Harvard Press and is the co-author of two historical biographies for young adults.

Joe Theriault

Joe Theriault has been an invaluable member of the Harvard community as a historian, preservation activist, author, editor, and speaker

Firefighting, Past and Present

The Harvard Historical Society hosted the Harvard Fire Department to clebrate the department’s 100th anniversary. The program featured a film created by Harvard resident, producer/filmmaker, and firefighter, Robert Curran. The evening opened with the arrival of “Antiquey,” driven by Lt. Tony Shaw, and Engine 1 at the front of the Meetinghouse.

Shaker Open House

Open House at the Harvard Historical Society featuring our permanent Shaker Collection and a unique Shaker desk on loan to the society. The members prepared a few Shaker Recipes that could be tasted during this event.

Shaker Hidden Treasure

People were invited to admire a newly arrived Shaker Desk, on loan to the society, and learn about two special Shakers who might have used it.

Organ Recital by Gavin Klein

Gavin Klein was artist-in-residence at the society from 2020 to 2022, keeping the newly restored 1870 Stevens organ in tune and in use.

Autoneers Frostbite Tour

On Sunday, October 17, the Autoneers Frostbite Tour went through Harvard, and drivers stopped briefly at the Historical Society to view the building and collections. Their antique cars parked outside the meetinghouse created an authentic scene from the early 20th century.


Joe Theriault’s talk related the story of Acadia, the first French colony to be settled in North America, and the unwilling role that the Lancaster militia, with some Harvard members, played in Acadian history.

A Common History Day

On September 25, 2021, we celebrated the unique history of the Harvard Common: the people, places, and events that help tell the story of Harvard’s identity. The program took place on the Common.

150 years of social distancing in Harvard

When the Covid 19 pandemic hit us in early 2020, observing social distancing became a way to protect against the virus. But, as Doug Cregar humorously depicts in this video with pictures from the Historical Society’s archives, social distancing had long been observed by town residents.

The Baptists of Still River

A history of the Still River Baptist Church, 215 Still River Road, now home of the Harvard Historical Society. This account was written in 1993.