A Brief History
The original Brook Farm was a short-lived but influential Transcendentalist utopian agrarian community, founded by George Ripley, a former Unitarian minister. Many luminaries of the Transcendentalist movement were a part of the Brook Farm experiment or came as visitors, sharing ideas and striving to put those ideas into practice.
A frequent guest at Brook Farm, Margaret Fuller was a social reformer and author of particular brilliance with a passion for women’s rights, especially the rights to education and employment. She was considered one of the most important individuals of the Transcendental movement.
Theodore Parker was a Unitarian minister serving the Second Parish in West Roxbury during the period of the Brook Farm experiment. An abolitionist, transcendentalist, and social progressive, his radical views had a powerful influence on reform movements of the day. His affection for George Ripley and his love of nature made him a frequent visitor to Brook Farm.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was the author of The Scarlet Letter, The House of Seven Gables, The Marble Faun, and many other works of fiction and non-fiction. His satire, The Blithedale Romance, is based upon his dubious experience at Brook Farm, where he stayed between April and November of 1841.