Book Signings

We will be discussing and signing copies of our book Long Island Oddities at the following dates and locations:

10/23/13 7PM Carle Place, Barnes and Noble

10/24/13 7PM Bay Shore, Barnes and Noble

10/30/13 7PM Lake Grove, Barnes and Noble

DSC_0248.jpgMany structures of Brentwood's varied history still remain.  Brentwood started out as a community known as Modern Times in 1851. This was an isolated community of pioneers who believed in equitable trade and unbridled freedom. It lasted until 1864, and then became home to the rich and their mansions. It then went through a phase as a resort area with hotels and a health sanitarium. Today it exists as a thriving home to Long Island's hispanic community. Let's begin our tour and see what is left from these various layers of history. You'll be suprised!



DSC_0259.jpgWe begin our tour at the newest Brentwood train station, built in 1987 after the electrification of the Ronkonkoma Branch. Across Suffolk Avenue from this new station are the Abreola Apartments. This old Victorian house was built to serve as a recovery hotel for the Ross Sanitarium located next to it.  Dr. Peck, who originaly owned this land, used it as part of his experimental peach farm. The residents of Modern Times became very health-conscious, and wanted a health spa of sorts. In 1899, Dr. William H.  Ross built a sanitarium here. It was thought that the area had healthy air because of all the pine trees. Toda,y the Ross Health Center is named in honor of Dr Ross, since it sits on the grounds of the long-gone sanitarium.




DSC_0234.jpgProceeding west and crossing Brentwood Road, we come to 1st Ave.  Modern Times laid their streets in an 8 by 8 grid which still exists today. 1st Ave served as a main street. This avenue contains three links to the past.  The Solar Cafe was once Brentwood's second train station. It was built in 1904 after a freight depot caught fire.  The first station was Thompson Station, located about a half mile west. While abandoned, the station was burned and badly vandalized, yet the proprietors of the Solar Cafe did an excellent job of restoring it. The actual station is the center part of their current building, and serves as a bakery.


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 Second firehouse

Quanahassett Hotel

Across 1st Ave from the station we can see Brentwood's second Fire Department, now serving merely as a storage facility for the current building behind it.  The first fire station was mysteriously burned in 1928. It has been rumored that individuals who wanted a larger fire department may have set the fire. If so, they got their wish, because this building was constructed later that year.

 Next door to the old firehouse is the Quanahassett Hotel. It contained a post office on the west side and a general store on the other; upstairs were the hotel rooms. The Presbyterian Church held its first services in this building before their church was contructed.

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  Former Presbyterian church
 Brentwood's first church 

Going around the corner, onto Brentwood Road, we come to a Masonic Temple. This was the first Presbyterian church constructed in 1891. Going down Brentwood Road and east onto 3rd Ave, we come to Brentwood's oldest church. The Christ Episcopal Church was constructed in 1872. Today it looks as it did when it was first built.


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 The Dame House

 Academy of Saint Joseph

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 Brentwood Hotel today as the Cabana Restaurant

 Brentwood Hotel

Heading back west, we come to an original Modern Times house, the Dame House. William Upham Dame constructed his house as an octagon to allow more light in and to achieve greater space. It is amazing that a home from an 1851 short-lived community  still exists today. It is now home to the Sisters of St Joseph.  The Academy of Saint Joseph was opened in 1903. Prior to that, the land was a resort area which was home to the Austral Hotel. Even further in the past, it was the Pearsall Estate. Across the street from the Dame house is a restaurant that was once the Brentwood Hotel.

Heading further west on Third Ave, we come to Brentwood's second schoolhouse. It was contructed in 1906 to supply more student space. Today the building is connected to the Brentwood Public Library and is no longer a school.

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 Second school

 First school

Continuing west on 3rd Avenue we come to another octagonal building. However, this one was not a home. It's Brentwood's first public school. It was built in 1856 and served children who were and weren't part of Modern Times. Andrews, the original co-founder of Modern Times, wanted no outside government institutions in Modern Times. He offered his own trade school which tought many skills, all without profit. The people in the neighborhood met at the Thompson Station with town of Islip officials, and School District Number 12 was formed. This collapsing structure served as a school for 50 years before being abandoned. It was moved a couple of times,and was originally located at 4th St and 3rd Ave, near the second schoolhouse.


Comments (5)

    What a great site. Would love to see more histric pictures from this area. Lived in Brentwood from '57 to '72
    I was tracing some Historical homes and places in New York for an ancestry thing. I lived in Brentweood in the 1960's right by the old Brentwood Hotel on Brentwood Road.. I found and lo and behold your history of places and things in Brentwood. It brought back memories. Thank you for that enjoyment
    Curiosity from a dream brought me here. I'm very happy I found your website. It would be very nice seeing the first school getting restore to its original state during Modern Times.
    this is great, i would like to become active in Brentwood
    Love your blog and info!

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