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Brook Farm, the most famous utopian experimental community established in the United States, was founded in West Roxbury in April 1841 by the transcendentalists George and Sophia Ripley. Josiah Wolcott's contemporary view of Brook Farm captures the entrance to the community, along with the various buildings-the Hive, Shop, Eyrie, Cottage, and Pilgrim House-and the foundations for the new building, the phalanstery, which was begun in 1844 and burned to the ground in March 1846, prior to its completion.
The Massachusetts Historical Society holds the extant records of Brook Farm which include letters written primarily by Marianne Dwight and Anna Q. T. Parsons; the constitution and minutes (1843-1847); a ledger containing the daily purchases and sales for the community (1845-1847); and another ledger containing daily statements of profit and loss (November 1844-October 1846).