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LYNBROOK
THE BOROUGHS OF BROOKLYN AND QUEENS
COUNTIES OF NASSAU AND SUFFOLK, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
1609-1924 by HENRY ISHAM HAZELTON

LYNBROOK was known as Bloomfield until recent years. In 1785 there were about forty scattered houses and the Old Sand Hole Church on the Merrick Road near Ocean Avenue. The old church was the first one outside of Jamaica and the third on Long Island. The preacher rode about 300 miles on horseback to cover his charges. In 1850 stages ran from Bloomfield, which had become Pearsall's Corners, over the Jamaica Plank Road into Brooklyn. Jack Curtis was the first owner of the stage. He sold out to John Clouds, and Clouds sold to H.F. Johnson. This stage met another from East Rockaway. The toll gate stood just west of the Blossom Health Inn. Pearsall owned what is called the Five Corners. The post office was in Hubbard Smith's general store at Merrick Road and Ocean Avenue, Where Finlayson's Hotel stands today. The railroad came in in 1865 and 1866, and the soldiers who set out for the Civil War by stage returned home by rail. The station was on the north side of the tracks where the west bound waiting shed has been erected.

A general store was opened at Pearsall's Corners by Wright Pearsall & Son, the son being H.W. Pearsall. It occupied the Elk Inn of later days, now owned by Mr. Botty. When a postoffice was opened H.W. Pearsall became the first postmaster.

In 1872 the St. James Methodist Episcopal Church was organized and the building it occupies was erected. The first school was opened in the Bennett property on Atlantic Avenue opposite the high school. A fire company was organized in 1879, the Rescue Hook, Ladder and Bucket Company No. 1. In 1880 when the Long Beach branch of the railroad was built to reach a large 500-room hotel, the name of the place was changed to Pearsall's, and the word was visible on the station until about 1915, when it was covered by cement, although the town was called Lynbrook about 1895-- Brooklyn reversed. Arc lights were introduced and abandoned owing to the expense. The frame school in Union Avenue was built with eight front rooms, the four in the rear having been added ten years later. In 1900 the Lynbrook Engine Company was organized and a hand engine was brought to town. Two wells were built to supply water. The Lynbrook Hose Company followed, and now has a home on Blake Avenue. The Chemical Engine and Hose Company came into exisence to take care of the northeastern part of Lynbrook. All the apparatus was drawn by hand.

At the time the important roads were Hempstead Avenue, Merrick Road, Broadway, Atlantic Avenue and Union Avenue, the last being called Petticoat Lane. Scranton Avenue was laid out about this time.

Water pipes were laid in 1905 and a brick building was erected, the first in the village outside of the railroad freight house. In spite of the panic affecting all business, 1907 saw the organization of the Lynbrook National Bank, opened for business on November 2, with Hamilton W. Pearsall as its president. Gas was introduced and Lynbrook thrived. The Episcopal Church, already strongly organized, was holding services in the building opposite the high school. Land was purchased and the building since was erected on the Merrick Road. The Catholic Church was built soon after at Roosevelt and Atlantic Avenues. The Christian Science Church came next. It was followed by the Lutherans, who built on Blake Avenue. The Baptists erected their edifice on Earle Avenue.

In 1910 the first electric train on the Long Beach division of the Long Island Railroad arrived in Lynbrook, and the event was celebrated with a parade and elaborate ceremonies in which the school children took a foremost part. Commuting time was thus reduced from one and one-half hours to forty-five minutes.

Lynbrook was incorporated in 1911 and A. D. Kelsey was elected first village president. The trustees were W. B. T. Ronalds and Remsen H. Shipway. William H. O'Brien was elected village clerk. Lights were installed, fire districts mapped out and improvements of many kinds carried through.

The People's National Bank of Lynbrook was opened for business on April 12, 1920, in the north half of the new Stephany Building on Atlantic Avenue. The postoffice took the south side of the building.

Favorably situated twenty miles out of New York City on the South Shore, Lynbrook in 1923 was one of the most progressive towns on Long Island. Seventy trains a day and a trolley to the city provide ample service for its communters. With Long Beach five miles away it is practically a seaside resort. It has fifty stores, adequate fire and police departments, while its schools were rated among the best in the State. A high school costing $350,000 was added after the war, with every modern appliance. Charles D. Vosburgh was principal of the schools and Charles E. Schweitzer president of the Board of Education.

The Lynbrook Free Library received its charter from the Regents of the University of the State of New York on February 26, 1924, and it was opened to the public in March in a room in the Pearsall Building. It contains about 5,000 volumes with a circulation of 20,000 a year. The work of the library has been done by twelve women, composing the Founder's Committee, and is entirely voluntary. The committee was organized in September, 1913, by G. I. Hancock and Mrs. James P. Nieman was its first president. The library is open three days each week.

The Friday Club was the first to contribute to the library. It turned over a fund of about $100 to the Founders' Committee. A building was purchased and occupied late in 1921.

The American Legion organized the Lynbrook Post, No. 335, in August, 1919. Captain W. A. Ronald was the first commander. The post prepared a souvenir booklet giving the history of the village.

A reason for the phenomenal growth of Lynbrook is found in the attractive location of the place, the character of the people who have located there and its numerous advantages. There are no assessments and taxes are low. The money which would ordinarily go to pay burdensome assessments and taxes is invested by the Lynbrook dweller in beautiful cottages which are the envy of every visitor. Great South Bay bringing it in touch with the great host of yachtsmen, there are untold resources in the way of recreation.

Being the junction point of trains of Long Beach, Lynbrook enjoys, besides trains of the Montauk division, the excellent service of the Long Beach branch, making it accessible. It is also on the trolley line which connects it with a number of villages.

There are the following churches: Methodist, Episcopal, Baptist, and Roman Catholic; as well as social and athletic clubs, a chapter of the I. O. O. F., high and grammer school, hotels, stores, banks, fire and police protection, gas and electric light, two newspapers, sidewalks of concrete, the finest filtered water, and an active Civic Association and Board of Trade.

To the south, and really part of Lynbrook, is an attractive section of about 300 houses, known as South Lynbrook. This section has a station of its own and is served by trains of the Long Beach branch. Its civic matters are ably handled by the South Lynbrook Association.

Lynbrook is 19.5 miles from New York. In 1923 the population was 8,550. Number of trains: Week days, 71; Sundays, 67; additional Saturday, 7. Latest train from New York, 1:30 a.m. Running time: Local, 43 minutes; express, 31 minutes.


Pictures from times past The old photographs here are courtesy of James Pearsall (NJ)
Some of the people in these photos need to be indentified. Perhaps someone is one of your ancestors?


~Links~

THE VILLAGE OF LYNBROOK-This is a new site, pleas visit.

LYNBROOK Historical & Preservation Society's Web Site

Lynbrook Fire Department

Lynbrook Police PBA

Pictures of Old Lynbrook


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