Walter Whitten Shutt one of the pioneers of Modern Times was born in Stonebridge, England in 1820. His first wife died leaving him with two sons; Walter W. and Herbert H. and one daughter; Susan. He traveled to America with his children. There he met and married Ellen L. who was originally from Wilmington, N.C. His second wife gave birth to five children; William, George M., Ellen G., Alfred M., and Gertrude. Prior to moving to New York City in 1879, they lived in Modern Times, a socialist community, and helped establish Christ Episcopal Church and the school in the community. They moved to New York City because they felt that the children would have a better opportunity for education. They returned to the community in 1890. Susan Shutt married Joseph Purcell and moved to Allentown PA. The Library has the original letters written by William P. Shutt to his sister Susan concerning their new home and news about the family.
Brentwood's Austral Hotel officially opened to the public on April 1, 1888. By 1895 it had been joined by the Brentwood Hotel and Brentwood Park, a speculative venture north of the Long Island Rail Road. BP's slogan was "there is health in Brentwood pines."