MOST RESIDENTS OF OUR VILLAGE know that Lynbrook is an anagram for Brooklyn, with syllables transposed, but few know our village was once named after one of Long Island's oldest and most distinguished families, the Pearsall's, and that it has an interesting history dating to before the American Revolution.
A historical marker in front of Lynbrook Village Hall proclaims: "Lynbrook - Established 1785". The date comes from a 19th Century Methodist Prayer Book which indicates a small community of 40 houses had been established near Merrick Road and Ocean Avenue, close to where the Rockville, or Sand Hole Cemetery is today. In 1790 a 20 x 30 foot Methodist meeting house was built on land donated by Isaac Denton. Benjamin Abbot, the first preacher, rode a 300 mile circuit on horseback to reach his widely spread Long Island parishioners. The intersection became known as Parson's Corner's.
The land to the west of Parson's Corners, near what is today the center of Lynbrook, was called Bloomfield. Much of the land was owned by one family, the Pearsalls. The Pearsalls had been among the first European settlers to come to Long Island. They arrived in 1639, only 30 years after Henry Hudson explored the Hudson River. The Pearsalls were Englishmen who had sailed up from their Virginia tobacco farms and took a liking to the free economic climate offered by the Dutch on "Lange Eylandt" (Long Island). They were among the founders of Hemstead, Flushing and other settlements.
By the time our village got its start in 1785, the Pearsalls had already been on Long Island for almost 150 years. But unlike families such as the Baldwins and the Hewletts, they had not had a place named after them. They had tried, naming the Hell Gate area (in Queens County) Pearsall's, but the name did not stick. In about 1830, Wright Pearsall purchased some land at Hemstead Avenue and Merrick Road, at the intersection we today call The Five Corners. An historical marker marks the spot where Pearsall opened a general county store. Wright Pearsall's store became so widely known that the corners and the surrounding community soon became known as Pearsall's Corner's. The name Pearsall's Corners stuck for about 40 years until just after the Civil War. At that time, a post office and a railroad station were built and the simpler name Pearsall's came into use on postmarks and train schedules.
A special thanks to Art Mattson, Lynbrook Historian