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Harvard, Massachusetts is locally known for apple orchards and riding stables in a town of rolling hills and homes nestled
throughout. A drive through town will reveal views overlooking the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge, community owned open
space, and working apple, blueberry and Christmas tree farms. Residents enjoy the intimacy of a small town, with its
Fourth of July Parade, Apple Blossom Festival and other town events, the majority of which take place in the vicinity of
the historic town common. The school system in Harvard, which is an individual not a regional school district, has the
rating in Worcester County and is considered one of the reasons families with young children choose to live in
There are over 2,000 acres of conservation land, much of it is interconnected and offers walking trails. Home to Bare
Hill Pond, 330-acres, where swimming, sailing and canoeing lessons are offered in the summer, cross country skiing and
skating in the winter.
Harvard, Ma was settled in 1658 and incorporated in 1732.
The town is known for a series of sociological and religious
experiments, as Mother Ann Lee, founded a Shaker Village, a utopian religious sect, known for simple architecture and
furniture in 1781. The Shaker village reached its peak membership in the 1840s but, employment opportunities introduced
by the Industrial Revolution eventually lured away some potential and practicing Shaker members and others became
dissatisfied with the church's insistence on celibacy, self-abnegation and communal ownership of property. Over
time the membership dwindled, and the Harvard Shaker Village closed. Today, only one church "society" remains open and
is located in New Gloucester, Maine. Amos Bronson Alcott, father of Louisa May Alcott, also relocated his family to
Harvard in 1843 and carried out a transcendental living experiment. The inhabitants, Alcott’s family and friends, hoped
to live off the fruits of the land, purchasing nothing from the outside world.
Friends that visited included Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson but the community only lasted 7 months and closed in January 1844.
Louisa May Alcott used her experience at Fruitlands as an inspiration for her novel Little Women. Later, Clara Endicott Sears, whose summer
estate was also situated on Prospect Hill restored Fruitlands and opened it as a museum in 1914. On the grounds of
Fruitlands Museum there is also a Shaker house, that was relocated there from Harvard's Shaker Village. Sears became
interested in Native Americans after Nipmuck arrowheads, which the Nipmuck Indians called Makamacheckamucks, were found
on the property and later she opened a gallery dedicated to Native American History.
Approximately 30 miles from Boston this 27 square mile town is bordered by Ayer, Shirley, Littleton, Boxborough,
Stow, Bolton and Lancaster. The town design remains largely intact from 1734 and therefore Harvard is a rural town with
winding streets leading to the main common where a general store, library and town hall sit. The master plan has been
recently updated and much of the original vision for the town continues to be the guiding principles of the updated version.
Harvard, Ma also continues to be a “dry town” and therefore, no liquor may be purchased.
The Harvard, Ma real estate market primarily offers single-family home options however, close to the town common there
are some multi-family developments. Anyone considering Harvard real estate needs to ask: Is the neighborhood the right fit?
Neighborhoods in Harvard, Ma
Since 1734, the town was considered to have five districts or villages. These were Oak Hill, Bare Hill, Still River,
Old Mill and Shabikin and today these neighborhoods remain with the exception Shabikin as this area was absorbed by
Commuting from Harvard, Ma
Typically people who reside in Harvard rely on the automobile for commuting purposes. The convenient public transportation
systems, such as the MBTA Commuter Rail run through the neighboring towns of Ayer, Littleton and Acton. The town of Harvard is
bifurcated by Route 2 so, depending upon which side you live on depends upon the distance to this transportation corridor
however, in most cases the Interstate is approximately 3 miles. Interstate 495 is adjacent to the town and access is close by
depending on the origination within the town.
Population of Harvard, Ma
According to the Census of 2010 there were:
Approximately 6,520 people an 9.01% increase from 2000
Approximately 1,941 housing units per the American Fact Finder – US Census Bureau 2006-2008.
Government of Harvard Ma
Harvard uses the Town Meeting form of government and town-elected selectmen serve as the presiding government officials.
Anyone may attend Town Meeting but only registered voters (Ma property owners and renters alike) may vote.
The town services are primarily funded through the residential property tax and the tax rate may be raised however, taxes may
not be raised more than 2½% (locally known as State "Proposition 2½”) unless approved by the voters at Town Meeting. If real
estate taxes are to be raised a separate budget line item must be delineated in the budget as opposed to wrapping all the taxes
into an overall budget proposal. More information is available at
Water Supply and Sewage Treatment of Harvard, Ma
Harvard, Ma rooted in rural development since inception, the town does not supply a public water or sewage delivery system
therefore, each property provides a well for potable water and a private septic system for sewage.
Title V is the State
law that requires an on-site septic system must meet certain standards and pass a test when a piece of property is sold.
Most banks require the septic system be functioning and a home habitable to fund a residential loan however, there are
exceptions to this rule. As for private well regulations, it is at the discretion of the property owner to insure the water
consumed from the property is potable however, both tests, the Title V test and the potable water test is the seller’s
responsibility and are required prior to a Harvard real estate sale.
Trash Pick-Up Harvard, Ma
Harvard provides a transfer station (dump) located on Depot Road however, if curbside pick and/or construction debris pick-up
there are several privates companies that provide this service.
Electric Service in Harvard, Ma
Electricity and natural gas is provided by National GridEducation in Harvard, Ma
The Harvard Ma Public Education System is among the top 5% in the state and more than
97% of high school graduates go on to college.
Hildreth Elementary (Pre-K-5th) and Bromfield School (6th-12) are both located in the center of town near the library.
Every year the State of Massachusetts requires public school districts to participate in Standardized Testing called the
Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). The test scores are published in the
Boston Globe and are also located
at the State of Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary
Massachusetts offers a program entitled “School Choice” which allows students from neighboring towns to attend the local public
school if there are spaces available and if the local School Committee decides this is in the best interest of the district.
If there are spaces available, a notice is published in the local paper. There has been some discussion as to parents of
children exercising this option to provide some compensation to the schools district. Each district is different so, please
check with administration officials for the current policy.
Another education option is the
The Francis W. Parker Charter School,technically located in Fort Devens. Admission is based on a
lottery system for grades 7th -12th. One of Massachusetts’ first charter schools, Parker was started in 1995 by area parents and
teachers committed to the principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools. According to the website, The Coalition of Essential
Schools, were established in 1984 by Theodore R. Sizer at Brown University, is a national network of over 1,200 schools and
Centers engaged in restructuring and redesigning schools to promote better student learning and achievement. Essential schools
share a common set of ideas known as the Ten Common Principles, which call for schools to set clear and simple goals about the
intellectual skills and knowledge to be mastered by all the school’s students; to lower teacher-student loads, personalize
teaching and curriculum, and make student work the center of classroom activity; to award diplomas based on students’ "exhibition"
of their mastery of the school’s program; to create an atmosphere of trust and respect for the school, faculty, students and
parents; and to model democratic practices and honor diversity.
Library System in Harvard, Ma
The Harvard Public Library opened in 1856 and is centrally located in the
center of town. The local library is part of the
Central West Massachusetts library system (C/W MRS) with access to over 65 local libraries and 12 academic libraries.
As a member of the network, library patrons have access to over one million items. The library hosts many activities
and programs conducted throughout the year and are worth exploring.
Terrain and Recreation of Harvard, Ma
The town is largely wooded with small rolling hills, fields and wetlands. In addition to the numerous streams and brooks
throughout Harvard, Bare Hill Pond is the largest body of water and offers swimming, and boating in the warmer months.
Many people enjoy biking throughout Harvard taking in the beautiful vistas.
Points of Interest in Harvard, Ma
Fruitlands Museum is a museum and a special events location at the former
site of the Transcendentalist movement
conducted by Bronson Alcott and then further expanded by Ms. Sears with her interest in Native American, Shaker and
American art. Originally, the Fruitlands property spanned 458 acres, but in 1939, 248 acres were seized by eminent
domain for the expansion of Fort Devens and now part of the
Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge
Shaker Village Cemetery was established around 1790, and is the final resting place of more than 300 members of the Harvard
community. Walking among the cast iron grave markers, visitors can follow chronologically the life and times of the people
of the Harvard Shaker Village and slowly piece together the past for themselves.
Communities We Serve That Have Massachusetts Homes For Sale
Known for a great school system that consistently ranks at the top of the "regional-school" rankings.
Acton Ma real estate offers both single-family and condo options.
Located on the bank of the Merrimac River this walkable town has a lot to offer with proximity to major highways,
resturants, many type of housing opportunities and close to several beaches.
The town design is a combination of grid pattern neighborhoods near the historic downtown
and suburban cul-de-sac neighborhoods that take advantage of ponds and open space areas outside of downtown proper.
A rural feel with meandering roads & pockets of single-family neighborhoods.
Boxborough Ma real estate is highly coveted as the school system consistently ranks at the top of the "regional-school"
Boxford lovely suburban town to offer with proximity to I-93 and a short drive to Boston. A historic farming community refelects
rural modern-day suburb of the Greater Boston area. Close by are resturants and beaches.
Known for peaceful living and openspace preservation. Homes are situated on 2 acre lots with well water and septic systems
Home to Great Brook State Park which is enjoyable year round.
Chelmsford Ma has been voted by Money Magazine as one of the best places to live
for several years. Chelmsford offers many cul-de-sac neighborhoods
and a variety of condo options.
Concord Ma, is one of the most famous Boston suburbs. Distinctive neighborhoods, tourists, unique retail, recreation &
private school options.
In the face of urban sprawl, Dunstable has maintained a rural feel along with a 25 mile per hour center. Single family homes
galore & the Pheasant Lane Mall is about 10 minutes north but a world away.
Georgetown, more dense than Rowley of which it was orginally a part but this town offers small industry & residential.
Noted as a greater Boston suburb close to the beach and highways.
A quintessential New England town. Groton is a rural suburban living with 35%
preserved in open space, some neighborhood retail serving mostly single-family homes and is home
to the Groton School and Lawrence Academy.
A small 9 squre mile town abuting the hustle and busell of Haverhill. Downtown is framed by the gazebo and after the morning
commute returns to a quite residential town with local roads and neighborhood commercial.
Handsome Harvard~ Harvard Ma is known for apple orchards, beautiful vistas with meandering rural roads
and single-family homes, and excellent schools. Real Estate in Harvard Ma primarily offers single-family, suburban living.
Wandering coastline and famous for thier clams and Crane Beach. Ispswich is a destination town being walkable with resturants,
commercial stores, museums, and a Commuter Rail stop!
Town design is varied as Littleton developed from a rural community to a suburban destination. Part of the Boston "new" high-tech
corridor change is in the air with building both single-family homes and commercial.
A small community formerly known as Niptown because the town is comprised of
grazing lands of Concord Ma, Weston Ma and Lexington Ma. Lincoln is predominately single-family homes, a retail
center and a MBTA stop.
Merrimac is a small town community close to Newburyport and NH but in it's own right offers small commercial and a variety
of suburban neighborhoods. Great highway access too!
A more rural town than the surrounding communities, lots are larger here and distinctive neighborhoods exist. Excellent higway
access, the beach, open space and a stones throw to Newburyport for resturants and commercial needs.
Newburyport Ma is a destination as a wakable town, the beach, highway access and small scale regional shopping. There is a communter
rail stop as well regional bus services. Character and community are noticable here. A lovely place to call home.
The heartbeat of Pepperell seems to be at the intersection of Route 113, the Rail Trail
and the Town Clock where local retail and recreation activities merge. Pepperell real estate offers many types of single
family neighborhoods branching off Route 113.
Rooted in agricultural from 1698 wide open space and access to marsh lands, beach, I-95 and a Commuter Rail stop
postions Rowley as a desirable town for many.
Salisbury abutts NH and is a small town with strip commercial corridors along major transportation routes. A car is a must
have to get around in this town unless you like a nice walk to Salisbury Beach State Park.
Shirley Ma is a suburb with commuter train access, a regional school system, a library, and many recreational
opportunities. The town offers primarily single-family homes.
Townsend Ma made the transition from rural to residential with the population boom of the 1950's.
Real Estate in Townsend offers single-family neighborhoods and typical suburban amenities. Townsend Ma is also home to
Willard State Brook Forest.
Tyngsborough Ma hugs the banks of the Merrimack River. Mostly developed post 1960 with single-family
cul-de-sac neighborhoods & commercial strip malls. Public & private schools along with the
Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsborough Regional State Forest.
The town design, of Westford's agricultural past has continued to give way to rapidly expanding
high technology industries, suburban retail, and single-family homes. Known for having good schools, recreation and a great location.
West Newbury as self described by the town offers rolling hills with broad valleys, open fields, woodlands, ponds,
and historic homes. Working farms and a dairy, as well as extensive conservation land, characterize West Newbury.