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Lynbrook historical odds & ends


Editors note: Lynbrook historical odds and ends is a column that takes a look back at some interesting facts and events in the village from over the years.


Guarding chickens in 1895

On July 30, 1895, The Brooklyn Eagle reported the following:

“A large number of Lynbrook residents raise poultry, either for supplying local boarding houses or for private use. Lately, dogs on the prowl have killed a great number of chickens, usually in the early morning. The chicken owners have been up at daylight watching their coops, with a loaded shotgun.”


Lynbrook’s 1930 tong wars

Wat Son Eng was a Chinese laundryman with a store on Merrick Road. He was a member of the Hip Sing Tong. (“Tongs” were feuding Chinese American gangs.) 

In 1930, when his cousin in Newark was found with a hatchet buried in his skull, Eng got nervous and bought a shotgun. But he didn’t need it. When four members of a warring tong, the On Leong, drove repeatedly by his store, he simply dashed next door to the police station.

A detail of policemen stopped the car, searched the occupants, questioned them and ordered them out of town.


Murder in Lynbrook in 1906

Sadly, violence is not new to Lynbrook, as this article in the New York Times, dated June 18, 1906, reveals:

“Lockwood Pearsall, 74, one of the oldest residents of this village, was beaten and choked to death last night, and two young men who live nearby, are locked up, charged with his murder. 

It is charged that the men went on a spree in the afternoon, and by night were intoxicated and in an ugly mood. 

They called Pearsall to the door of his house and demanded a drink. When he refused, one man seized him by the throat and another rained blows on his head.  Pearsall died almost instantly.”


Mattson is the official Lynbrook village historian and a director of the Historical Society of East Rockaway and Lynbrook. Additionally, he is the author of “The History of Lynbrook,” which is available on Amazon.com and at local libraries.