Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Gardens at Bamboo Brook

Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund
Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund
Capital Level II
Historic Site Management
Grant Award: $750,000 (2002); $50,000 (2019)
Grant Recipient: Morris County Park Commission
County: Morris
Municipality: Chester

Merchiston Farm is listed on the NJ and National Registers of Historic Places for its associations with Martha Brookes Hutcheson, the second professional female landscape architect in the United States. Hutcheson lived at the property, comprised of an 18th century farmhouse (expanded by Hutcheson and her husband into a Colonial Revival residence) and farmyard, from 1912 until 1959.  The house is surrounded by Hutcheson's designed landscape, which includes informal gardens, a tennis court, swimming pool and orchard, streams, and axes, with viewsheds framed by allees and arbors.  The landscape is considered a representative example of the "country place era" of landscape design. The Morris County Park Commission (MCPC) acquired the property in 1972.    

The 2019 Trust grant helped fund the preparation of design and construction documents for the tennis court (including the arbor and playhouse), orchard, and the ha-ha wall feature at Merchiston Farm. The 2002 Trust grant helped fund the first phase of restoration of the gardens to their ca. 1944 appearance. Areas of the garden that were restored include: the Coffee Terrace, East Lawn, Orchard, and water areas. 

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