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 under restoration. 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 is underway. For more on the restoration itself: Restoration update. Please support us: How you can help.

Please come to a critical meeting on April 1 about your Brooks Estate!

Medford City Council April 1 (Tuesday) - 7 p.m.

at Medford City Hall (2nd Floor) 85 George P. Hassett Drive, Medford (near I-93) (parking in front and back of the building)

There will be a pre-meeting (Committee of the Whole) from 5 to 7 p.m. on the same night, then we expect the Council to VOTE on the Brooks Estate Bond. . .at the 7 p.m. meeting. . .

Please come "stand up" for your Brooks Estate

We need to fill the City Council Chamber!

[We'll also need people to speak up on behalf of the Brooks Estate to show how important this is to you, to Medford, etc.]

BUT IN THE MEANTIME, here is what you can to do help us move ahead:

Please E-mail the City Councilors now - request a YES vote at the April 1 meeting and tell them why you are doing so (if you wish).

If you are pressed for time, there is a simple "canned / basic" message at the bottom of this box. . .

Here are the Councilor's e-mail addresses:

  • Michael Marks - Cloaking
  • Richard Caraviello - Cloaking
  • Breanna Lungo-Koehn - Cloaking
  • Frederick Dello Russo, Jr. - Cloaking
  • Adam Knight - Cloaking

Please copy Cloaking on Councilor e-mails.

If you want to share your e-mail with us, BLIND COPY (BCC) to Cloaking .

Basic message (easy to personalize, too):

Dear Medford City Councilors:

I/we are Medford residents and voters. I/we are writing to urge to vote "YES" on the Brooks Estate bond. The Brooks Estate has been owned by the City of Medford for 72 years -- it is one of the best things about Medford. After 15 years of community effort, the project deserves your support going forward. Community members have worked very hard to protect and restore this wonderful "jewel". A reasonable and self-funded plan has been in front of you for over two years: it is time to move ahead!

The clock is ticking -- it is time for action! Please continue your longtime partnership and support - please invest in Medford's future - by voting "YES" on the bond.

I/we look forward to your response.

Thank you.



The Brooks Estate Master Plan

The Brooks Estate Master Plan details the long-term vision for the Brooks Estate, including the further restoration of the Shepherd Brooks Manor, Carriage House and the natural and historic landscape. The central goal of the Plan is to complete the basic restoration of the property to:

  • maximize its community potential
  • ensure that it is financially self-sufficient
  • maintain its natural and historic values
  • provide funds for other improvements

The Brooks Estate Master Plan is a careful, professional and conservative roadmap to ensure public benefit and long-term sustainability for the beautiful Brooks Estate.

The Brooks Estate Master Plan was provided to the Medford City Council, the City of Medford, and the public in January, 2012. It is also available on this Web site (see below).

Overview of the Brooks Estate Master Plan Please click here: Master_Plan_Overview.pdf

Complete Brooks Estate Master Plan

This is a large document and has been broken into sections - click on any section to read/download in pdf format:

1 - Intro and Table of Contents (255 KB)
2 - Executive Summary (1.18 MB) (Overview, goals, etc.)
3 - History of the Brooks Estate (1.54 MB) (1660 to 2011)
4 / 4a - Landscape Restoration - Intro and Overall Landscape (6.36 MB)
4b / 4c - Landscape Restoration - Pond, Drive and Historic Core (3.3 MB)
5 - Manor Restoration (255 KB)
6 - Carriage House Restoration (4.29 MB)
7 - Business Plan (2.17 MB) Includes additional Charts provided in response to the Medford City Council (September, 2012)
8 - Conclusion (114 KB)
9 - Appendix: Documents and Photos (3.61 MB)

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.