THE PEARSALL'S BAY AND SHANTY RECORDS
The Pearsall history reverts back to the year of 750 of the Norman records of
Denmark, also reverts to the year 1,000 of the English records.
The Pearsall's arrived in America in the year 1609, and returned to England
and came back to America in 1620, and landed along the shores of Connecticut
and Plymouth Rock.
In the year of about 1635, two families of the Pearsall's arrived on Long
Island. One family stayed on the north shore, the other family went to
The Indians signed deeds conveying land over to the white people, known as
Hempstead. The Indians were never satisfied with the deal. Another meeting
between the Indians and the settlers held the year of 1677, to settle the
deal a bit better. This copy was signed by Nathaniel Pearsall.
The following describes the Pearsall's known in East Rockaway and elsewhere.
Epaniah Pearsall born during 1775 at Washington Square, (now known as West
Hempstead). Epaniah farmed his land; also fished for a living. Cut salt hay on
meadows know as Pearsall's Hassock, (southerly of East Rockaway) to bring hay
to his farm for his cattle. Epaniah built a hut on Pearsall's Hassock, with
a grass roof on the hut. This hut used as a shelter while cutting salt hay and
Cornell Pearsall, son of Epaniah, born March 3, 1800 and died February 15, 1866,
also followed his father's way of life and work. Cornell's farm was located on
Rocklyn Avenue, Pearsall's; (known as Lynbrook now,) One exception as to certain
work his Dad did not do, was that Cornell did tailoring work during the
winter months. He carried his sewing machine with him for making suits of
clothes for men. He would stay at the home of whoever hired him as a tailor;
for the sum of $1.00 per day, including meals.
Lewis Pearsall, son of Cornell Pearsall; born December 25, 1820 and died on
April 21, 1897. Lewis also worked in the bay and during the summer months
farmed his land. A large net reel, used for drying fish net was built on
Pearsall Hassock eaterly of shanty there. He did a large scale business Of
net fishing. Lewis Pearsall also planted oysters in the bay; his sons Seaman T
and Townsend also in the oyster business with their Dad. Lewis built one of
the first Bay Shanties in the Bay, located on Pearsall's Hassock, on the east-
early side about midway of length of island on East Rockaway Channel. Lewis had
his own oyster house southerly side of Ocean Avenue; from where he delivered
his oysters by horse and wagon to Brooklyn, N.Y. Lewis dug out a pond in rear of
his property on Ocean Avenue. This pond held fresh water. The oysters; after being
taken from the bay, were placed in this pond to fatten up before shipping
Oyster Floats along East Rockaway waterfront had fresh water springs flowing,
the oysters lowered beneath these floats to fatten up from the fresh water of
the springs, before being shipped.
Seaman T, and Townsend Pearsall; sons of Lewis Pearsall also followed the bay,
and planted oysters. Seaman T. Pearsall built the second Bay Shanty on Pearsall
Hassock. This was built over water, so the scow or sharpie load of oysters in
the boat could be placed inside out of wind and cold to cull the oyster load
in the boat. Culling is to process the oysters by knocking the shell or stone
attached from growth, also oysters growing together knocked apart. The residue of shells
and etc. would be used for filling in behind bulkhead in front of shanty.
The lower part of this bulkhead still exists, posts and planks protruding a
bit out of shells, showing at low water. Lou Pearsall has pictures showing
the remaining bulkhead. Picture taken at low tide.
During the later years, Seaman T. Pearsall gave up following the Bay and put full
time into carpenter work and boat building.
Seaman T. Pearsall had three sons; Worthington, Arthur W. and Pine L. Worthington
and Arthur W. also planted oysters in the bay waters. Worthington also
had a shanty on Pearsall's Hassock. It was always painted red. It became known
as the Red Shanty, a landmark for many years to baymen, boatmen and fishermen;
along East Rockaway Channel. The Red Shanty was demolished by a severe storm
--wind and tide during the early 1950's. This shanty was the third shanty built
on the Hassock by a Pearsall. The original piles that the shanty was built
upon still exist, where the shanty stood for those long years.
Worthington Pearsall at one time owned the party fishing boat "Neelie Bly". He
had it enlarged and also had a motor placed in the boat; being the first
motorized party fishing boat in East Rockaway. Arthur W., joined the U.S.
Life Saving Service during the last part of the 1890's. He served at the Coney
Island Life Saving Station, situated on Coney Island, and became decommission
about the turn of the century. He was then enlisted at the Arverne Station,
known as the Rockaway Station No. 35 in the Life Saving Service. During 1915
the U.S. Life Saving Service and the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service were united
into one service; the United States Coast Guard, Rockaway Station No. 35, at
that time became U.S. Coast Guard Station No. 91. Arthur @. was retired fro the
service about 1921.
Pine L. Pearsall, middle name Lewis after his grandfather. Pine worked in the
drug business for about 4 years; then going into the grocery business of his
great grandfather Lewis; but the name was misspelled due to an error in the
birth record. Louis, a carpenter and boat builder, spends most all the
weekends at his Bay Shanty, summer, fall, winter and spring. Louis, happens
to be know all over as Lou to his many friends and neighbors.
Arthur Louis Pearsall, with his father's middle name. Know as Art to his many
friends. Also a carpenter by trade. Arthur can be seen many weekends at his
father's Bay Shanty, along with his wife Audrey and their two children.
Russel born 1946, and Lawrence born 1948, both sons of Arthur L. Pearsall, can
be seen on many weekends at their grandfathers Bay Shanty. Each has his
own flat bottomed sharpie for many years. Small cut-board motors for both boys.
One sharpie has center board with a sprite rigged sail.
Last mentioned names make the eighth generation enjoying much time on
Pearsall's Hassock, East Rockaway Channel, New York.
written by the late Pine L. Pearsall of East Rockaway, L.I., N.Y.
article supplied by Jim Pearsall
notes*Epaniah may have been Hezekiah.
A hand drawn map by Pine of the