Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sittin Pretty

Next time you're headed to Long Island's East End, and you're driving on Route 24, drive by the big duck. Located in Flanders, this bird is famous. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and featured in the book Roadside Giants, the duck is worth a visit, especially for the children! 

The store inside the duck sells Long Island souvenirs including postcards, books and other items. The structure has even influenced the field of architecture. Because of The Big Duck, any building shaped like the product it sells, is referred to as a "duck."

With the goal of selling more of their Peking ducks, Riverhead resident and farmer Martin Mauer and his wife, Jeule, built the giant duck in 1931. Originally known as The Big Duck Ranch because duck farms were referred to as "duck ranches" in the 1930's, the duck rested at The Big Duck Ranch on West Main Street until 1936. It was later relocated (when the owners moved) to Route 24 in Flanders.  

In 1987, when development was to take place on the land where the duck rested (or should we say nested), the community came together to save it. Kia and Puran Eshghi, the owners at that time, donated the the landmark to Suffolk County in December of 1987. It was eventually placed in Sears Bellows County Park. Approximately seven months ago, the duck was moved back to it's former home on Route 24 to roost in peace (we hope).

Route 24, Flanders
Suffolk County NY



borix said...

Learning from Long Island.
I always thought that the duck came from Las Vegas because it was documented, and discussed in the Robert Venturi book, Learning from Las Vegas.

Ciambellina said...

I did not know the poor duck was going to be moved back to its original location.

I am really glad you included the duck in your blog. It's a special little treat on the eastern end. Kind of like the big peach in South Carolina except the duck's location is heckuva lot more scenic (the big peach is best seen from Interstate 85).

Yay Flanders!