Get Inside New York’s Big Duck
Why is there a giant cement re-enforced duck located on the east end of Long Island? Well, for one reason, less than 60 years ago the southeast extension of New York State was one of the top Pekin Duck producers in the world.
"The Big Duck" was a marketing brain-child of a local duck farmer, Martin Mauer. He constructed the twenty-foot high quacking monument in 1931.
Before the Hamptons became the playground for the rich and famous, and potato farms were turned into wine vineyards, the east end of Long Island was pumping out 7.5 million ducks per year to the poultry market.
In an article by Kaila Stang on newsday.com, Janice Jay Young, who has worked in the shop inside the big duck for the past thirteen years told the story of Mauer and how the giant water fowl came to life.
Martin Maurer worked on one of the local duck farms, according to Young. The duck farmer "had gone on a road trip to California, and saw a giant coffee pot there. He was inspired. That gave him the idea, ‘if people could have coffee out of a coffee pot, then maybe they would buy duck out of a duck." So Martin constructed the "The Big Duck" as retail store for his ducks and eggs. Over the years it became a must-see landmark for people from around the world. "The Big Duck" is entered into the National Register of Historic Places.
"We’ve had people from New Zealand, Australia and Newfoundland,” Young told newsday.com. “At one point I guessed we had about 10,000 visitors a year." Below is a video of "The Big Duck" to check it out. They don't sell live ducks nor eggs anymore, but if you are ever out on Route 24 in Flanders, New York, the gift shop & museum is worth the stop. You're almost guaranteed a smile and a few quacks.