Brown-Trump Homestead

In May 2022, Medina County Park District (MCPD) and its nonprofit partner, Friends of Medina County Parks, Inc. (FOTP), were chosen by executors of the Brown-Trump estate to become the stewards of a well-known but, perhaps, misunderstood ‘farm in the city’ on State Route 18. The property, which includes three houses—most notable of which is a Victorian-era home—plus several outbuildings, was owned by Mr. Edson J. Brown and Mr. Ross M. Trump, both prominent antique dealers. Located at 4092 Medina Road, next to Medina Hospital, the land is protected by a restrictive conservation easement, a legal document held by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Most of the property has to remain open space or be farmed. It cannot host walking trails or be used for any commercial purposes.

It was Brown and Trump’s wishes that their Medina Township property be preserved as a working farm for cultural, educational, and aesthetic purposes; as a green gateway to the city of Medina and a way to balance encroaching commercial development; as a museum and historical site; and as a community space that inspires future generations.

In 2023, MCPD entered into a ten-year lease with Cathy’s House, a Medina-based nonprofit that provides recovery housing for men with substance use disorder. The document’s execution was 11 months in the making, but it signified the unofficial start of the Brown-Trump Homestead—a unique collaborative partnership with both Cathy’s House and Hope Recovery Community—that established a first-of-its-kind recovery farm unlike anything else in the Midwest, perhaps even the country. Both partners receive funding from Medina ADAMH Board.

In place of rent, Cathy’s House is responsible for maintaining the house, which increased the organization’s housing program by nearly 43 percent. Hope Recovery Community leads the agricultural programming on the grounds and also develops several workforce tracts for the residents of the house and local recovery community. Eventually, food that is produced on the property will benefit the recovery community as well as Feeding Medina County, a local non-profit combating food insecurity in Medina County.

Although the Brown-Trump Homestead is not open daily to the general public, there will be opportunities for special events and tours in the future. With funds from the estate, FOTP and MCPD are in the process of restoring the Victorian, which was built in 1874. Once restored, the historic brick home will include display space for the Medina County Historical Society as well as offices for FOTP and a meeting space for local nonprofits.