444 Green St

Gardner, MA

Heywood Farm

Est. 1771

One of Gardner’s first settlers, Ephraim Temple, settled on top of Beaman Hill in 1771. Ephraim started his farm on the very top, but the farm soon grew, coming down farther on the hill. The farm was inhabited and run by four generations of the Temple family. It wasn’t until the fourth generation that it was named Heywood farm, when Martha Temple married Henry Heywood. Martha and Henry spent the majority of their money working to improve the family farm. They cleared more land for their livestock and improved the machinery. The Heywoods only bought the best cattle that they could afford and during the 1900’s Heywood Farm was the best working farm in the country.

On August 6th 1939 a fire destroyed Heywood farm burning down the two barns that held the hay, firewood, and most of the farming equipment. The Heywoods weren’t at the farm when the barns went up in flames and the first person to call the fire department was Robert Tappin who was returning from a trip to Camp Collier. The first firefighter to respond to the fire with a firetruck was Clarke Stedman. The fire was so big that people who lived in Groton MA could see the flames lighting up the night sky.

Mount Wachusett Community College is now located on the property where Heywood farm existed. The rock ramp in front of the college used to run to the barn and is the only part of Heywood farm that still remains. Henry Heywood Memorial Hospital was named after Henry Heywood after his late wife, Martha donated $800,000 to the building of the hospital in 1907.

Research Contributed by Lizzie M. of Troop 7006, Gardner