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Newton Park and Conservation Lands

  Brook Farm Historic Site

LOCATION: West Roxbury

Fall leaves

Newton Conservators trail map   (Buy a copy of our trail guide)

Location and driving directions on Google Maps for entrance at:

Baker Street  

MBTA: Route 52   Directions from Green Line

Other maps and aerial photos:    Bing   

Connects to: Millennium Park  Helen Heyn Riverway

SIZE: 179 acres


3 miles, on this walk that includes Helen Heyn Riverway and Millennium Park

A 6-mile walk from the Charles River to Newton Centre




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.


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.


DCR website and brochure for the park

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





Wikipedia entry

Birding reports

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

A blogger visits Brook Farm

The Gardens at Gethsemane cemetery is adjacent to Brook Farm.

2011 proposal for a community farm at Brook Farm

Historic Newton highlights Brook Farm's transcendentalist roots Newton Tab, July 5, 2017 (PDF)

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

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