A history of the square
The neighborhood was distinctive during its development in the 1630s for the orderly grid-like layout of streets and plots of land.
Though the village was called Newtowne for a time, most of the local clergy and leadership were graduates of Cambridge.
In 1638, the Legislature formally recognized the town's new name as Cambridge. A year later, John Harvard of Charlestown, dying, bequeathed his library and other endowment to a new college and the Legislature named it after him.
Pictured: Horse-car rides from Harvard Square to Boston cost 5 cents shortly after the Civil War.