The building at 88 Shaker Road in Harvard was built c. 1800 by the Center Church Family of the Harvard Shakers as a workshop. The building was originally on the site of the New Office, built in 1840. Sometime before then it was moved to its current location and it then became the Tailor Shop, where clothing was made for the Shaker Brethren and Sisters. It is now a residence. The current owners built a rear addition in 2001.
The second house or dormitory to be built by the Shakers of Harvard was constructed in 1795. The Harvard Shakers divided their community into separate complexes: the Church, North, South, and East Families. Located at 79 Shaker Road, the Second House is the only surviving Church Family dwelling house. About 1860/1870, it was enlarged from a gambrel to a gable roof structure. The Shaker Second House was later owned by Dr. Benjamin Woodbury, who divided it into rental apartments during the Second World War. The house remains a private residence today.
The Meetinghouse at the former Harvard Shaker Village, which existed from 1791 to 1917, is one of ten built by the Enfield Shaker Moses Johnson (for instance, he also built the Shirley Shaker Meeting House, now located at Hancock Shaker Village). The frame of the Meetinghouse was raised on June 8, 1791 and the first Sabbath meeting was held inside on January 22, 1792. The Shakers moved the building southwards to its present site (82 Shaker Road) in 1857. At that time, they enlarged the original gambrel roof to a gable roof and added a stairway ell on each end of the building. The building is now a private residence.
The town of Harvard was once home to the second Shaker community in the United States and the first in Massachusetts. Religious dissenters in the town had built the structure known as the “Square House” in 1769. They were followers of Shadrach Ireland, a “New Light” Baptist preacher who died in 1778 (an event that astounded his followers, who believed him to be immortal!). Mother Ann Lee, founder of the Shakers, visited this dissenting community in 1781-1782 and brought them into the United Society of Believers (Shakers). The Square House then became her base for two years as she went on missionary trips to establish other Shaker communities in New England. The house was used for various purposes by the Shakers until the community closed in 1917. The building‘s original hipped roof was replaced by a gable roof in 1845, at which time the Shakers also added a porch, a third floor and an addition. The house (94 Shaker Road) is now a private residence. The picture above is not a good view, but I have used it due to the building’s great historical and religious importance.