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


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: Early Fall 2016

A continuing drought this summer has shrunk Brooks Pond to it lowest level in a long time. We can only hope for increased rainfall!

Despite the drought, the Estate continues as a quiet (and cooler) refuge for people and wildlife alike. Among other wildlife, a number of interesting raptors have been spotted at or near the property.

Work on the Manor, including repairing a suspected roof leak and installing snowguards, is proceeding in phases. One phase has been completed, and we hope the City of Medford will complete these critical tasks in the near future.

The Carriage House made it through the winter, spring and summer, but remains at serious risk as another winter approaches. The Medford City Council did not fund its stabilization in late 2015; we have urged the City of Medford to fund this critical work soon -- stay tuned! (2017 will mark the 75th anniversary of the City of Medford's ownership of the Brooks Estate...)

More broadly, at the request of Mayor Stephanie Muccini Burke, we submitted a draft Capital Plan for the final restoration of the Brooks Estate this spring. (This parallels the Brooks Estate Master Plan.) We believe the City of Medford's overall Capital Plan is in the works, but have not been apprised of the overall schedule. We anticpate further discussion and refinements accordingly. Again, stay tuned!

Medford's adoption of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) is proceeding apace, thanks to excellent work by volunteers and the Medford City Council. Historic preservation is one of the funding focuses of the CPA. As noted earlier, we intend to be active in requesting appropriate funding, but understand the wide range of community needs as the CPA ramps up over the next year.

Finally, we are ramping up our arts and cultural programming to introduce more people to this wonderful place (see Events).

Enjoy your Brooks Estate this fall (and visualize lots of rain!)

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:


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)


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.