Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Harmony Grove

Harmony Grove was located on the shores of Farm Pond in the southern section of Framingham. It had boating facilities and areas for strolling, for playing games, and for holding large outdoor meetings, a combination making it a popular spot for gatherings of temperance, abolition, and other social reform societies active at the time. From 1846 to 1865 the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society celebrated the Fourth of July with a picnic and rally at this spot, also referred to as Island Grove and Framingham Grove.

Excerpt taken from Thoreau lecture 43.

William Garrison and Henry David Thoreau were pretty involved in the anti-slavery movement in Massachusetts and they both took part in a famous anti-slavery rally at Harmony Grove on July 8, 1854. You can find more information about that rally and Thoreau's involvement by reading Thoreau lecture 43.

Harmony Grove was supposed to be a natural amphitheater, so if you go there today and stroll down Beech Street toward Franklin Street from Union Avenue, you can kinda see (to your left) a depression.

Harmony Grove was located between Farm Pond and Union Avenue. Thanks to County Atlas of Middlesex, F. W. Beers, 1875.

Harmony Grove today. You can see the Memorial Building right above the 'm' of Framingham and straight down south, the intersection between Concord Street (Route 126) and Route 135. Thanks to googlemaps.

Harmony Grove today. Close-up on the trains. Thanks to googlemaps.

A plaque commemorating the anti-slavery rallies at Harmony Grove was placed at the corner of Henry and Franklin streets. Thanks to Images of America, Framingham.

Article on Harmony Grove published in the Gleason's Pictorial, June 12, 1852. Thanks to ebay.

Harmony Grove back then. It certainly doesn't look like that today. That's the "fine" picture the article above is referring to. Thanks to Images of America, Framingham.


  1. Framingham Downtown Renaissance -- a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing the center of town including Concord, Hollis, Irving, Franklin, Union and Waverly Streets -- celebrates Black History Month 2013 by reminding everyone that the gatherings in Downtown Framingham at Harmony Grove led to the abolition of slavery in our country -- and that this is part of our sense of place, to be honored with depth and pride. FDR wants to inspire everyone to learn about Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Sojourner Truth, Henry David Thoreau, James Brown, Harriet Beecher Stowe -- and so many more, whose lives were at stake as they fought slavery in profound and vastly different ways. Some peacefully, some with arms, some with writing and educating -- and all with such bravery and conviction that we can only stand in the wake of all they did with awe and deep gratitude. Our very own Harmony Grove was a place where people stood together to face the evils of slavery -- to feel strong in numbers and to cultivate a vision for a better humanity that would extend the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people.

  2. GREAT discovery, as I teach US History at Mass Bay's Framingham campus, no more than one mile from this very Historic sire

  3. i wonder what year the harmony grove was filled in? and why was it?
    it should have been kept as a park.

  4. Let's get the city to re-open the park. We need a trail all the way around Farm Pond the way it used to be. And get the hospital to donate the land of that vacant parking lot to the city, and turn it into an open grass park again. Farm Pond has been neglected for too long. It's time to bring it back to its rightful place as a gem of Framingham.