Projects
In Other Times
Inquire About The Brentwood Historical Society

Next meeting May 20

Our next meeting will be on Monday, May 20 at 4:00, at the Brentwood American Legion Hall, 198 1st Street, Brentwood. Our speaker will be Dr. Melissa Shapiro.

Melissa Shapiro, DVM, is a small-animal veterinarian, author, and speaker/advocate for pets and people with disabilities. She is also the driving force behind the social media phenomenon Piglet, the deaf blind pink puppy (@pinkpigletpuppy). In addition to her work as a veterinarian, Dr. Shapiro creates and publishes all content for her popular social media pages that feature Piglet, her deaf blind pink dog. In 2017, Dr. Shapiro co-created the Piglet Mindset® educational outreach program, which uses Piglet’s story to teach growth mindset, resilience, and inclusion lessons in classrooms across the United States and the world.

Thank you S. Joan

We were very fortunate to have a tour of the beautiful Sacred Heart Chapel on the grounds of the Sisters of St. Joseph with a very informative presentation by S. Joan Gallagher.

IMG_2582
IMG_2587
IMG_2583

Thanks Rick Feingold

Fascinating presentation by Rick Feingold on Barbie:An American Icon. At a time when most women were homemakers, Ruth Handler was a savvy and forward-thinking business woman who created a doll with adult features that became a best-selling toy.IMG_2449

Thank you Claire Bellerjeau

On February 19, we had a wonderful presentation by Claire Bellerjeau, founder of Remember Liss, an organization whose mission is to educate the community about the founding of America through the eyes of a woman of color.Bellerjeau

Happy holidays!

Another successful year has ended and we look forward to making an impact in 2024! Thanks to all who have supported us this year.
IMG_2150 IMG_2152

Thank you Gary Brown!

What an inspiring presentation from one of Brentwood’s own!

IMG_2039 copy IMG_2041

Press Release – Brentwood’s Endangered Historic Places

July 27, 2023
The Brentwood NY Historical Society, dedicated to the preservation of historic landmarks in the hamlet of Brentwood, NY, has designated the first historic structure on its 2023 Endangered Historic Places list, declaring the “Shutt House” at 1785 Brentwood Road a site of “special historic importance” and in “immediate danger.”
In November 2022, when plans were announced to demolish the structure, Society Historian Peter Ward spoke at a Town of Islip Planning Board meeting to voice his concerns and those of the Historical Society membership about the demolition as well as present research attesting to the structure’s historic importance. At this time Ward also conveyed the Society’s offer to work with the owners and Town to explore beneficial historic alternatives to demolition. In the intervening months, the Town Planning Board gave permission to continue with demolition, permission which has, as of this release, been tabled for imminent reconsideration.
Constructed in the mid-19th century, the Shutt House is marked on nineteenth century maps, profiled in a 1975 Town of Islip historic inventory, and included in plans for historic districts in the area through the 1990’s. The original owners of the home were prominent participants in the social movements of the mid-19th century which found expression at the Utopian village of Modern Times (which evolved into today’s Brentwood). The Shutts were also heavily involved in the development of Brentwood through the mid-twentieth century. Several published histories note the importance of both the home and its early residents.
While the danger to the structure developed over the past months, the necessity for the endangered places list became apparent over the last year following the Historical Society’s review of historic buildings in the area. Brentwood is not only home to an unusual number of unique historic buildings but also finds its landmarks in neglect because of a trend of linguistic, demographic, and economic isolation. This project aims to remedy this geographic discrimination and encourage the Brentwood community to engage with its invaluable historic heritage.
“Brentwood’s historic properties are as meaningful to our shared heritage as those located in Setauket or the Hamptons,” Sarah Kautz, a preservationist volunteering on the project remarked, “Many thanks to the Brentwood Historical Society for their efforts to encourage greater care and investment in preserving the community’s irreplaceable historic and cultural resources.” The list is modeled on Preservation Long Island’s yearly endangered places list, which focuses on Long Island as a whole. According to Society president Ellen Edelstein, a list dedicated to the Brentwood area was deemed necessary owing to the large concentration of surviving historic buildings in the area, rapid development, and the impossibility of a regional organization to quickly address developing concerns without the personal familiarity, institutional expertise, and research tools available to the Historical Society. Among a number of interested supporters, Islip town historian George Munkenbeck is assisting the Society in exploring preservation alternatives for the Shutt House, and has endorsed the inclusion of the structure as one of Brentwood and the town of Islip’s historic locales worthy of preservation.
In the coming months, the Endangered Places of Brentwood List project endeavors to publish a 2023 list of endangered places. Besides those places in imminent danger of being lost, the list will serve as a guide to those landmarks that have been successfully preserved. Additionally, the project aims to:
• Educate property owners about the historical importance of their properties and assist them in exploring opportunities to engage in historic preservation, creative reuse, and commemoration.
• Introduce Brentwood residents to the history of their neighborhoods and empower them to become involved in preservation.
• Work with the Brentwood Library’s Landmark Tour project to develop digital maps, virtual preservation projects, and print publications highlighting Brentwood’s historic places and informal historic district.
Since re-establishing in 2012, the Brentwood Historical Society has successfully worked to preserve and mark “sites and structures which have inherent historical value or which are associatively tied to the history and development of the community.” The Society’s historic lecture series has featured more than a hundred talks on places and people relating to the community’s history. In 2017, the Society placed a marker at the former site of the Hermitage of the Red Owl and supported an Eagle Scout project to place informational signage at the location. In 2018, the Society added three Brentwood locales to the Islip Suffrage trail, commemorating the importance of the Brentwood in the history of women’s rights.
Most notably, in 2016, the Society succeeded in saving Brentwood’s Octagon School which was then on the verge of imminent collapse. In fall of 2023, thanks to a grant from the Gardiner Foundation, member contributions, and school district support, the restored school will reopen as a public museum. With the Endangered Historic Places project, it is the Society’s wish that the Shutt house and other landmarks will one day join the ranks of the Octagon school to serve as living commemorations of Brentwood’s unique history for future generations to enjoy.
More information about Brentwood history, historic structures, and this developing project are available on the Society website. If you have questions about Brentwood’s historic places or would like to become involved in this project, please contact the Historical Society by email at:
president@brentwoodhis.org.

Screenshot 2023-07-27 at 12.27.09 PMScreenshot 2023-07-27 at 12.28.09 PMScreenshot 2023-07-27 at 12.28.46 PM

Congratulations Mollie!

Our September presenter, Mollie Sebor, earned her Girl Scout Gold Award and was honored at a ceremony on July 15. Congratulations Mollie!
IMG_1575IMG_1567

Thanks Jeanne!

Great memories shared by Jeanne at her presentation on June 19. We love Charlie’s Hot Dogs!!IMG_1546

Divalicious!

If you missed the concert on May 7, or would like to hear it again, click here. It is also available on our Videos page.
Divalicious flyer