The Brooks Estate: A Gift from the Past, a Legacy for the Future

House

History and Architecture

The Brooks Estate was first settled in about 1660, and was transformed into a Victorian summer retreat by Peter Chardon and Shepherd Brooks. It is graced by two fine Victorian buildings: the Shepherd Brooks Manor and Carriage House (1880), both slated for adaptive re-use as community assets. More information.

Brooks pond

Open Space, Landscape, Habitat

The Brooks Estate offers acres of open space, walking trails, Brooks Pond and a unique historic landscape. It is also critical habitat for birds and small mammals. Visitors are welcome to walk the paths and enjoy the quiet and beautiful outdoors. More information.

Manor House detail

Preserving the Past / Restoring for the Future

Owned since 1942 by the City of Medford, the Brooks Estate was permanently protected in late 1998. Restoration of the landscape and historic buildings has been underway since then. For more on the restoration: Restoration update. Please support us: How you can help.

Brooks Estate Update: Fall 2017

Brooks Estate 75th Anniversary LogoA special year for your Brooks Estate - As the logo shows, 2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of public ownership of the Brooks Estate. Every Medford resident is an owner-in-common of the land, water, and buildings that make up this unique and cherished property. The Brooks Estate was neglected (and worse) for decades. M-BELT has been working for almost 20 years on the preservation and restoration of this invaluable community and environmental asset. We're moving in the right direction with your help --- but much remains to be done!

On the land - Informal reports over the summer from our birder friends include sightings of a variety of warblers, herons, ducks, thrushes, tanagers, and the usual array of hawks. More recently, wood ducks, kingfishers and mergansers have been spotted enjoying Brooks Pond.

At the Manor - The Kitchen renovation is virtually complete. The alarm system is being upgraded. New shades and blinds are being installed in the Parlor and Kitchen. Additional work on the Main Hall has been planned.

Carriage House stabilization - There has been little progress here as the City of Medford has not yet put funding in place.

Capital Plan - We submitted a draft Capital Plan for the final restoration of the Brooks Estate in spring, 2016, at the request of the Mayor. We have not been apprised as to the next steps.

Partnership with Medford arts community - Our initial event with MACI (Medford Arts Center, Inc.) took place on June 22 and we are working to build on this important partnership.

WalkMedford - We did a guided Walk of the Brooks Estate in August for WalkMedford in August and 33 people showed up! An additional Walk is scheduled for November 11. See Events.

Medford CPA - We look forward to applying for historic preservation funding from this important new source of support in their initial round of grant-making.

Come Visit Your Estate

Any time is a great time to visit -- the landscape changes with the seasons -- but the Brooks Estate is a perfect place to enjoy nature (and get a little exercise). For a Walking Map and Visitor Guide, please send an e-mail to Cloaking .

Thank you, Cummings Foundation!

We're on our final year of our 3-year Cummings Foundation grant and want to say "Thank you" again! Their support has been critical.

Cummings Foundation

For more information about the Cummings Foundation: www.cummingsfoundation.org

 

A New Brooks Estate Feature for Your Enjoyment!

Brooks Family Medford Heritage Trail

Doug Carr of M-BELT created (and premiered) the fabulous Brooks Family Heritage Trail in Medford, showing 15 sites connected to the Brooks family and their three century history in Medford. You may walk, bike or drive the Trail, starting at the Salem Street Burial Ground (Medford Square) and ending at the Brooks Estate on Grove Street. A handy Map accompanies each Guide.

Download the Trail Guide (long version) (PDF, 5.3 MB)

Download the Trail Guide (short version) (PDF 1.3 MB)

Map

Getting There

The Brooks Estate is located on Grove Street in Medford, MA, about 5 miles North of Boston, 0.8 mile north of High Street (Route 60). Park off Grove Street and walk in at green gate just north of Cemetery. (Do not park in the cemetery.) Detailed map.

On Foot -- accessible from Grove Street (green gate) or through Oak Grove Cemetery (from Playstead Road side.)

By Public Transit -- take 80 or 94 bus from Davis Square (Somerville) or 94 bus from Medford Square (Medford) to corner of Boston Avenue and High Street. Walk up Grove Street.

All Historic Photos on this site (except 1946 Santa) taken by Sarah Lawrence Brooks in the 1880s.