The Town of Harvard Massachusetts


Harvard is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, located 25 miles west-northwest of Boston. A farming community settled in 1658 and incorporated in 1732, it has been home to several non-traditional communities, such as Harvard Shaker Village and the utopian Transcendentalist center Fruitlands. Today it is an affluent residential town noted for its excellent public schools, with its students consistently ranking in the state’s top ten test results in English and math.

Europeans first settled in what later became Harvard in the 17th century, along a road connecting Lancaster with Groton, formally laid out in 1658. There were few inhabitants until after “King Philip’s War,” in which Groton and Lancaster were attacked and substantially destroyed. Over the next 50 years the population grew until it had reached a point adequate to support a church. It is uncertain how the town obtained its name, though the Willard family, among the first settlers and the largest proprietors in the new town, had several connections to Harvard College.

In 1734, the town was considered to have five districts or villages: Oak Hill, Bare Hill, Still River, Old Mill and Shabikin (present-day Devens). The Fruitlands community was visited by Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Louisa May Alcott used her experience growing up at Fruitlands as an inspiration for her famous novel Little Women.


From Our Blog

J. Butler Property Management, LLC. : Harvard, Massachusetts

Before 9/11, if you had a large property spread out over a certain area, you’d probably have a guy in a golf cart and you’d hope he was driving around. Today, the guy in the golf cart has to punch in and out at various points on the property, so you know he’s roaming and you know where he is at any given time. Luxury accomplishes security, in other words. If choosing between two apartments, renting for the same amount, a tenant will probably go for the one with better security, like a camera showing you who’s at the door. One of the most popular high-tech features for residential buildings today is the virtual doorman, which provides efficient surveillance of multiple buildings from a central location. This is especially suitable for small luxury buildings of no more than 60 doors. Using this system, when a visitor buzzes the main entrance, the call goes to a central station. From there, personnel can open the door and watch the person walk into the building. If he tries to enter an unauthorized area, personnel can advise the visitor, via loudspeaker, that he is going the wrong way. The visitor delivering a package, for example, could be advised by loudspeaker to leave the package at a particular location, after which the visitor could be monitored as he exits the building. Any experienced property manager will tell you that thieves and others intent on making mischief will seek out buildings with little or no security. With precautions in place, troublemakers will be likely to go elsewhere.