The Pearsall Collection at Hofstra University Special Collections contains the collected documents, photographs and diaries of Louis Pearsall. The focus of the collection is local life on Long Island in the early-to-mid-20th century. When Pearsall worked as a carpenter, shipbuilder, and bay man.
Boat building on Long Island is one of the main topics of the collection. There are papers and photographs documenting the construction of boats, which were used by baymen who fished, clammed, crabbed and harvested sedge to make a living. Bay houses were constructed both as year-round dwellings and as outposts during the busy season and as easily accessible shelter in bad weather.
The documents in the collection cover many topics relevant to life on Long Island’s south shore including the community garden and high school in Oceanside. There is also a short oral history of Oceanside, as well as materials related to a proposed sewage treatment plan.
The collection also contains an oral history with Oscar Terrell and a short history of the Pearsalls. The Pearsalls’ history mentions each of the eight generations of Pearsalls who were baymen on Pearsall’s Hassock, an area off the south shore of Long Island. There is also an oral history about Oceanside that mentions “Mister Pearsall’s Ice Station.”