Brook Farm Historic Site
Guidebook Section: South
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
A Bike Loop Around the Charles in Needham, Dedham, Boston, and Newton
From the Charles River to Newton Centre
The Charles River in South Newton and Boston: Blue Heron Trail to Millennium Park
Owner & Administrator Websites
First three photos shown here. Click a photo to view the complete slideshow or click here to browse the complete gallery.
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.
Brook Farm Historic Site Map
Charles River Walk, Historic Site, Woods Trail
Newton Assessor’s Map ID: [not in Newton]
The Gardens at Gethsemane cemetery is adjacent to Brook Farm.
The trail along the river is part of the Blue Heron Trail
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.
Historic Newton highlights Brook Farm’s transcendentalist roots Newton Tab, July 5, 2017