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Harvard is a well preserved rural community with an interesting history extending back to 1732 when the town was incorporated. It has an open town meeting form of government and a five member Board of Selectmen. The population as of January 1, 2007 was 5,785 (includes 212 Devens residents). Situated in Worcester County, Harvard is 32 miles west of Boston, and 22 miles northeast of Worcester. The town is bordered by Ayer, Bolton, Boxboro, Lancaster, Littleton, Shirley, and Stow. Routes 2 and 495 run through the town, and the Nashua River forms its western boundary.
Through its zoning and other town bylaws, conservation land purchases and historic preservation efforts, Harvard has long been dedicated to maintaining its historical, small town environment and open spaces.