Long Island's Big Duck

Long Island’s duck farming origins date back to the 1870s, with the introduction of the Pekin duck to U.S. soil. It became a favored poultry in the 1900s, especially among restaurant chefs. By the early 1960s, Long Island farms were producing some 7.5 million ducks a year. At one time, there were over 90 duck farms supplying most of the needs of the country, today there is only one left.

The farming had a detrimental environmental impact due to waste runoff entering the waterways. Starting in the 1970s, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation set stricter regulations on land use. Skyrocketing Hampton real estate prices proved another combatant, as did suburban sprawl, especially owing to the pungent aroma that emanated from the holdouts.

The Big Duck, as it’s unoriginally named, was constructed by duck farming Martin Maurer in 1931 as a retail venue for his ducks and eggs, became a must-see U.S. landmark that was later entered into the National Register of Historic Places. Here is how it stands today…


Fun picture. I enjoy the back stories behind the image as well. Some say the picture should stand on its own but I like knowing a bit more.


My thoughts exactly.

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So neat and very cool image!

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Any local would know what this image is…someone from elsewhere might not have a clue. The structure is big enough to house a little store. Ducks are a big thing on LI…wild ones because of the migration, not to mention the natives. Even our baseball team bears the name, LI Ducks.

The area where the former duck farms were is near the vicinity of the Hamptons, favored vacation destination of the rich and famous.


What a cool looking building …super pp work Elle.

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