Flanders Historical Society and Friends of Big Duck
Host Book Launch Party for New LI Duck Farming Book
The Big Duck and Eastern Long Island’s Duck Farming Industry
Residents of Flanders and fans of The Big Duck all over the world are eagerly awaiting a new book, “The Big Duck and Eastern Long Island’s Duck Farming Industry.” As part of its “Images of America” series, Arcadia Publishing is releasing the book on March 25. The Flanders Village Historical Society and Friends of The Big Duck are hosting the first author talk and book signing for the author, Dr. Susan Van Scoy, at the David W. Crohan Community Center, 655 Flanders Road (Route 24), Flanders, on Tuesday, April 2, 7:30 PM. Refreshments will be served.
After Dr. Van Scoy speaks and answers questions from the audience, she will remain on hand to greet individuals and sign copies of her book, which will be available for purchase. The retail price is $21.99. The author has committed to donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book to the Friends of The Big Duck. It is also expected that in the future the book will be available for purchase at The Big Duck museum store.
“The Big Duck and Eastern Long Island’s Duck Farming Industry” traces the fascinating and largely unknown history of the “Long Island Duck”—a fixture on the menus of fine dining establishments around the world. The first duck farm, Atlantic Duck Farm, opened on Long Island in Speonk in 1858; however, raising ducks did not take hold until the Pekin duck breed arrived from China in 1873,” according to Van Scoy.Van Scoy points out that: “By 1940, nearly 100 duck farms were concentrated mainly between Eastport and Riverhead. Today, due to environmental regulations and soaring costs, only one Long Island duck farm survives—Corwin’s Crescent Duck Farm in Aquebogue. However, many influences of the Long Island duck industry remain, such as the Big Duck, a duck-shaped building conceived by Martin Maurer in 1931 that was used to sell poultry and duck eggs, inspiring the famous term ‘duck’ architecture.”
Susan Van Scoy, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Art History at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue and specializes in the history of photography and public, site-specific art. Images in the book are drawn from the photography collections of the National Archives, Suffolk County Division of Historic Services and The Post-Morrow Foundation, as well as numerous local families’ private collections.
Dr. Van Scoy is a family member of the Flanders Village Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) organization that encourages, promotes and disseminates an understanding and appreciation among the public of the historical and cultural heritage of the hamlet of Flanders and surrounding area in the Town of Southampton. For more information, email jyoung@
flandersvillagehistoricalsocie ty.org or visit flandersvillageh istoricalsociety.org.
Friends of The Big Duck, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to preserving the history of this important landmark. The group was appointed steward of Big Duck Ranch by the Town of Southampton. Friends of The Big Duck meets on the first Tuesday of the month at the David W. Crohan Community Center. For more information, visit bigduck.org
Flanders Village Historical Society