Laurel Hill Park, Stockbridge, MA
Laurel Hill Park, Stockbridge, MA



United States

Laurel Hill Park

This six-acre park in the village center comprises a wooded hillock that has served as a town meeting place since the early 19th century. The knoll was purchased by Theodore Sedgwick, Jr., in 1834, who wished to preserve it as a public park. In 1853, local resident Mary Hopkins Goodrich formed the Laurel Hill Association, which used the site as a meeting place. One of the earliest civic beautification society’s in the nation, the organization took its name from the parkland, which it vowed to protect in perpetuity. The society built a trail, carved a clearing in the woods, and made a grass-covered berm against a large rock that functioned as a rostrum. The Sedgwick family transferred ownership of the land to the association in 1878.

Today characterized by dense thickets of native hemlocks, white pines, and oaks, the land was once covered in mountain laurel. A narrow trail winds through rugged rock outcroppings up to the summit. At the base of a massive, vertical rock projection is a grassy lawn area and a rectangular, rustic stone rostrum, designed by sculptor Daniel Chester French in 1905 and dedicated to Henry Dwight Sedgwick. The Prescott Butler Memorial, erected on the summit in 1928, is a semi-circular granite bench with a carved garland on the back, nestled in a grove.

Laurel Hill Park was listed within Stockbridge’s Main Street Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

Location and Nearby Landscapes

Nearby Landscapes