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 Summer 2018

Brooks Estate 75th Anniversary LogoOn the land - The trees are just about fully leafed-out and the greening of the landscape is underway. The spring bird migration has rewarded early risers (and then some) with sightings of warblers, waterfowl, wrens, redstarts, and much more. Owls and hawks have been spotted, too.

Brooks Pond - The water level of Brooks Pond is up nicely and we hope it stays near there for the summer.

At the Manor - The Caretakers enjoyed the winter and you'll likely see them puttering in the Manor Yard. Do say hello! Parlor shades have been installed, but we're still looking for the right lighting fixture there and for drapes for the Dining Room (interior decorating is very complicated.) We recently received a donation of two fine Victorian upholstered chairs -- thank you, Ms. Jones!

Carriage House stabilization - Work has begun and will proceed through late June/early July. This is a critical part of our long-planned vision for the Carriage House, as we seek capital funding for the full restoration of the historic building for public benefit.

Medford CPA - We have applied and received three grants in the first round of 2018 CPA funding; Japanese Knotweed Removal; design of the access drive; and restoration work on the East entrances to the Manor. Thank you, Medford Community Preservation Commission! We added our own funds to each project, too. Rollout of the projects will occur in the coming months, starting with the Japanese Knotweed removal.

Save the Date for the Picnic - The 2018 Picnic (the 20th Annual Picnic!) will be July 14 (Saturday) from noon to 3 p.m. All are welcome, including sponsors and volunteers.

Another new Board member - We are delighted to welcome Jen Keenan to the M-BELT Board. She is the appointee of the Medford Historical Commission, and has a keen interest in both open space and residential architecture. Jen lives near the Estate and walks the family dog almost daily on the grounds.

WalkMedford - We hope to continue with additional walks in the coming months.

Upcoming Events - Please see Events.

Need a Walking Map? Questions? -Send an e-mail to Cloaking

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.