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Brook Farm Historic Site

Overview

This National Historic Landmark is a diverse mix of terraces and knolls covered by fields, forest, and a cemetery whose adjacent marsh and wetlands include a small brook on the south and the Charles River on the west. Once farmland, trails now lead through a mix of wetlands, meadows, fields, and woodland.

 

Size: 179 acres    Longest Walk: 2 miles    Acquired: 1988

Maps

 

Located in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston

Get here by MBTA: Route 52 Directions from Green Line

Other maps and aerial photos:
Bing Maps bird’s-eye view

Connects to:
Helen Heyn Riverway
Millennium Park

Trail Map


Click map for larger image

GPS Enabled Trail Map

Access City of Newton GIS Map


To see your location, press the location icon while viewing the map on your smartphone.

Owner & Administrator Websites


Photo Gallery

History

This is the site of the 1840s Brook Farm experimental commune of Transcendentalists including Hawthorne, Dana, Greeley, Ripley, Margaret Fuller, and others. It was used briefly in the 1850s as a poor farm and in 1861 for training at Camp Andrew during the Civil War. A Lutheran orphanage occupied the farm from 1872 through 1943, with a treatment center on site from 1948 through 1974. Gethsemane Cemetery was established in 1873. Land was going to be developed into high-rises, before the state took over in 1988.

Features

Charles River Walk, Historic Site, Woods Trail
 

Additional Information

Newton Assessor’s Map ID: [not in Newton]

General Information:

DCR website and brochure for the park

Brook Farm in Wikipedia

Birding reports

A blogger visits Brook Farm

The Gardens at Gethsemane cemetery is adjacent to Brook Farm.

The trail along the river is part of the Blue Heron Trail

History:

The story of Brook Farm as reported on Mass Moments, from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1852 novel, The Blithedale Romance, is set in a utopian community and was written after he lived at Brook Farm.

Brook Farm: The Dark Side of Utopia, a history of Brook Farm by Sterling Delano, was published in 2004.

A Season in Utopia is an earlier book about Brook Farm.

My Friends at Brook Farm by John Van Der Zee Sears is published online by Project Gutenberg.

Brook Farm, by Josiah Wolcott, an 1846 painting in the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society

 

Brook Farm with Rainbow, by Josiah Wolcott, an 1845 painting in the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society

 

A letter about the history of the land, and the Shaw family.

Historic Newton highlights Brook Farm’s transcendentalist roots Newton Tab, July 5, 2017