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: Summer 2016

FREE Brooks Estate Picnic - 2016

We're back! The free Brooks Estate Picnic will be held on Saturday, July 16, 2016 from noon to 3 p.m. in the yard of the Shepherd Brooks Manor. We supply the hot dogs, burgers (and veggie burgers), and tonic (soda) and ask attendees to bring something from this list: junk food/snacks; salads; cookies; fruit; or other picnic food. (You do not have to bring food in order to attend). The event includes information about the Brooks Estate project, tours, our famous Raffle, and lots of fun.

For more information, including important parking rules, go to our Events Page or send an e-mail to: Cloaking . For ADA accommodations, call (781) 396-3001 or TDD 711.

General update

The Carriage House made it through the winter, but remains at serious risk. The Medford City Council did not fund its stabilization in late 2015; we have urged the City of Medford to fund this critical work before fall 2016 -- 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 parallels the Brooks Estate Master Plan.) The City of Medford's overall Capital Plan is in the works; we expect further discussion and refinements accordingly. Again, stay tuned!

Medford passed the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in 2015, which provides funds for community projects, including historic preservation and restoration. The CPA is funded by real estate tax monies and administered by a commission/committee that will decide on spending, based on applications from community entities. We intend to be active in requesting appropriate funding, but understand the wide range of community needs as the CPA ramps up.

Finally, work on the Manor, including repairing a roof leak and installing snowguards, is proceeding in phases. We have worked with the City of Medford on these items and they have moved ahead as quickly as possible. We'd like to thank them for their efforts.

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.