1600 - 1699



1717 - Shrewsbury Settled

ShrewsburyIn 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...

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1727 - Town of Shrewsbuy Incorporated

ChurchNahum 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

House BuiltA 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

Artemas WardNovember 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

DeskAfter 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

Major WardArtemas 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

CombatBy 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.



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

Front of HouseThe 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...

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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

BarnThomas 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

Henshaw FarmThe 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.


1850 - Barn expanded

BarnA slaughterhouse and shop were joined together and added to the barn to create a back ell.