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Before there was a hamlet of Brentwood in the Town of Islip, NY, there was the Village
of Modern Times, the “free love” colony founded by Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl
Andrews. These two very remarkable gentlemen, late in the year of 1850, stepped off a
Long Island Railroad train at Thompsonʼs Station, about a mile west of the present
Brentwood train station. After inspecting the area, they arranged to purchase 750
acres. Ninety acres of this tract was set aside for the main settlement and was laid out
in 49 blocks of about four acres each. There were seven avenues, which ran east to
west, and seven streets, which ran north to south. In turn, the blocks were divided into
four building sites, each with a street frontage of 200 feet. In the center of each block,
for the convenience of pedestrians, was an alley about twelve feet wide, running in a
north to south direction. Some years later, these alleys became an inconvenience to
residents and, through legal proceedings, were incorporated into their adjacent lots.

Stephen Pearl Andrews & Josiah Warren

Stephen Pearl Andrews & Josiah Warren

Today, the hamlet of Brentwood, which was named after the city of Brentwood (or
Burntwood) in England, is home to a diverse population of hard-working, civic-minded
families, who will become its future ʻhistoryʼ. The Brentwood Historical Society is
dedicated to preserving this history and to educating the community about the rich
culture that led us to these ʻmodern timesʼ.

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