The Big Duck and Eastern Long Island's Duck Farming Industry

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Registration for this event will close on September 24, 2024 @ 7:00pm.
There are 69 seats remaining.

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When it comes to iconic roadside attractions on Long Island, few are more recognizable than the Big Duck located on Route 24 in Flanders.  Yet while many Long Islanders have likely visited the Big Duck (and posed for a picture or two in front of it), few may be aware of the structure’s fascinating history.  Conceived by Riverhead duck farmer Martin Maurer in 1931 to attract customers, the Big Duck was originally used as a store that sold poultry and duck eggs, thereby inspiring the term “duck” architecture.  Additionally, the building stood as a larger-than-life symbol of the immense duck farming industry that exploded in eastern Long Island during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  At its height in 1940, nearly 100 duck farms were concentrated on Long Island’s east end.  Today, only one survives, but many influences of the industry, like the Big Duck itself, remain.  Find out more as Susan Van Scoy, author and professor of art history at St. Joseph’s University, details the history of Long Island’s iconic Big Duck and the industry that gave rise to it.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.


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