1600 - 1699



1717 - Shrewsbury Settled

[[{"fid":"146016","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"100","width":"169","style":"float: left;","alt":"Shrewsbury","title":"Shrewsbury","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]In response to a petition, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony allowed settlement to the west of the town of Marlboro. This new town was to be incorporated as 'Shrewsbury' after 40 families and a minister settled there. One of the petitioners was the 32-year-old Nahum Ward, who settled in the area with his wife Martha Howe.

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1727 - Town of Shrewsbuy Incorporated

[[{"fid":"146021","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"100","width":"76","style":"float: left;","alt":"Church","title":"Church","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Nahum Ward helped draw up the application for incorporation. After the town was incorporated, he was quickly elected to town offices and regularly reelected in the subsequent years.


1720 - House Built

[[{"fid":"146031","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"79","width":"100","style":"float: left;","alt":"House Built","title":"House Built","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]A very small, saltbox style house was built, possibly for use by tenants on the Ward farm. The family lived across the street in a large two-story farmhouse.

1727 - Artemas Ward Born

[[{"fid":"146036","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"100","width":"86","style":"float: left;","alt":"Artemas Ward","title":"Artemas Ward","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]November 26, 1727 - Artemas was the sixth child born to Nahum and Martha Ward. At this time, the family was already prominent in the new community of Shrewsbury.


1750 - Artemas Returned to Shrewsbury

[[{"fid":"146041","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"100","width":"80","style":"float: left;","alt":"Desk","title":"Desk","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]After receiving his degree at Harvard College, Artemas taught school for a time in Groton MA. He married Sarah Trowbridge and returned to Shrewsbury. The newlyweds started a family, ran a General Store in the center of town and became respected members of the community.

1755 - Artemas Commissioned Major

[[{"fid":"146066","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"100","width":"122","style":"float: left;","alt":"Major Ward","title":"Major Ward","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Artemas began his military career when he was commissioned as a major on January 28, 1755. He did not see active service for two and a half years after his appointment, but instead carried out his duties in the Worcester militia and continued to serve in several political offices. Artemas had no prior military experience, so his commission as a major was likely due to his family's position and his education at Harvard.

1758 - Artemas Engaged in Combat

[[{"fid":"146076","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"100","width":"116","style":"float: left;","alt":"Combat","title":"Combat","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]By this time a lieutenant colonel, Artemas had his first taste of combat in the failed British assault on French-held Fort Ticonderoga. Even though the campaign did not succeed, Ward gained valuable experience as a provincial officer serving under seasoned commanders.


1763 - Artemas and His Family Move into the House

[[{"fid":"146081","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"79","width":"100","style":"float: left;","alt":"House","title":"House","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Artemas Ward took ownership of the saltbox house and moved in with his family. Prior to this point they had been living in a different house in the center of town.


1775 - Artemas fought in the Revolutionary War

[[{"fid":"152981","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"100","width":"62","style":"float: left;","alt":"Artemas Revolutionary War","title":"Artemas Revolutionary War","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Major General Artemas Ward took the oath as commander-in-chief of the patriot army around Boston on May 20, 1775. Though initially the commander-in-chief, he relinquished command to General Washington on July 7, 1775 and served directly below him.

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1776 - Evacuation Days

Gen. Howe ordered British evacuation of Boston; Loyalists who had not already left the city fled with the British to Nova Scotia; Siege of Boston ended.


1785 - House expanded

[[{"fid":"159496","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"100","width":"127","style":"float: left;","alt":"Front of House","title":"Front of House","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]The house was doubled and the roof raised two stories. Artemas Ward and his family lived in the new part, while his son Thomas Walter Ward lived in the old part. The expansion made the house suitable for either double- or single-family occupancy. The house was used in both arrangements over the years, as family members aged and grown children returned home to operate the farm.

1785 - Shays' Rebellion

Artemas Ward, serving as a circuit judge, faced down the rebels at the Worcester Courthouse. The defeat of Shays' Rebellion was a landmark event for the stability of the young nation.




1816 - Barn built

[[{"fid":"159501","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"100","width":"91","style":"float: left;","alt":"Barn","title":"Barn","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Thomas Ward paid Moses Cloughlin to build a New England style barn,  but it was probably not on the Ward farm; instead, it may have been on the Henshaw farm, an adjacent tenant farm he owned.


1828 - Free masonry

Henry Dana Ward wrote Free masonry: its pretensions exposed in faithful extracts of its standard authors.



1843 - Tenant farming ended at Henshaw farm

[[{"fid":"159616","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"100","width":"168","style":"float: left;","alt":"Henshaw Farm","title":"Henshaw Farm","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]The Henshaw farm, which was adjacent to the Ward farm, had been leased to tenants who paid the Wards with a share of the produce. In 1843 this arrangement ended and the main farm took over all agricultural production.





1890 - House rescued from foreclosure

[[{"fid":"159651","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"100","width":"79","style":"float: left;","alt":"Henry Ward","title":"Henry Ward","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Thomas Walter Ward II died heavily in debt, and the Worcester County Institution for Savings foreclosed on the Ward farm. Henry Galbraith Ward, a relative who had summered at the house as a child, bought the 135 acre farm and its buildings for $4500. He neither lived at the house nor planned to farm the land, but his purchase kept the property in the family.




1975 - House restored to 1830 period

[[{"fid":"159696","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":"100","width":"163","style":"float: left;","alt":"House Restored","title":"House Restored","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]The house was restored according to museum practices of the day. For instance, custom carpets with period-appropriate designs were produced and installed. The inside of the house has changed very little since this restoration, as it is no longer accepted practice to restore houses as part of the interpretation.

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