Newton Park and Conservation Lands
Brook Farm Historic Site
LOCATION: West Roxbury
Newton Conservators trail map (Buy a copy of our trail guide)
and driving directions on Google Maps for entrance at:
MBTA: Route 52 Directions from Green Line
Other maps and aerial
Connects to: Millennium Park Helen Heyn Riverway
3 miles, on this walk that includes Helen Heyn Riverway and Millennium Park
A 6-mile walk from the Charles River to Newton Centre
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: DCR
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.
Friends at Brook Farm by John Van Der Zee Sears is published
online by Project
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.
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