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THIS town was taken from Lancaster, Stow, and Groton, principally from the two former. It was incorporated in
1732, and named Harvard, in memory of Rev. John Harvard, founder of Harvard College. At that time it contained
about 50 families.
The first church was formed in 1733, and Rev. John Seccomb was ordained. He eoutuiued with the people till 1757,
when he was dismissed, and succeeded by Rev. Joseph Wheeler, ordained in 1759. He was dismissed in 1768, and the
next year Rev. Daniel Johnson was ordained. He died in 1777, and in 1782 Rev. Ebenezer Grosvenor was installed
pastor. In 1788, he died; and Rev. William Emerson succeeded him in the pastoral office, in 1792. Rev. Stephen
Bemis, the next pastor, was ordained in 1801 he was succeeded by Rev. Warren Fay, D. D., who was installed in 1814.
Dr. Fay was succeeded by Rev. Ira H. T. Blanchard, in 1823, and by Rev. Washing. Ion Gilbert, in 1831. Rev. George
Fisher was ordained pastor of the second church in 1821. The Baptist society in this town was formed in 1778, when
Elder Isaac Parker (also a physician) was ordaiued their pastor.
Harvard is a hilly, uneven township. but the soil is productive. There are about 1,000 acres of interval land in
the town, though, perhaps, half of it may more properly be denominated meadow. This town is well watered. by springs
and rivulets, which mostly run into the Nashua river, which flows along on the west side of the township. There
are 3 ponds in the town, and also 3 hills, which deserve a passing notice. The first, Pin Hill, so called from
its pyramidical form, rises to the height of nearly 200 feet. In this hill are valuable quarries of slate. The
other two are Bear hill and Oak hill. In the last mentioned hill a shaft was sunk, about 1783, for the purpose
of finding silver ore. From the color of the earth in this place, and from the working of the mineral rod, it was
believed that the precious metal might be obtained not far beneath the surface. But this, like many other excavations
made at that day for a similar purpose, rests a deserted monument of successless toil. In this town are 2 Congregational
meeting houses, (one of them Unitarian,) and a Baptist meeting-house in the western part. There is also a society
of Shakers in the north-eastern part of the town, where they have a neat village and a tract of finely cultivated
and productive lands. Population, 1,566. Distance, 22 miles from Worcester, and 30 from Boston. In 1837 there were
3 paper mills; value of paper manufactured, $12,750.
Historical Collections Relateing to the
History and Antiquities of
Every town in Massachusetts with
By John Warner Barber.
Published by Warren Lazell.