Duryea's Original Logo
Montauk Bluffs, Montauk, NY &
The Docks at Duryea's
The history of Duryea’s is directly linked to the history of Montauk itself, and the early days of the original Montauk fishing village. The buildings that comprise the Duryea’s commercial business date back to the 1920s, when what was then considered the village of Montauk was located on Fort Pond Bay.
The predecessor to the Duryea & Son wholesale seafood business in Montauk was Capt. Ed Tuthill, who in the early 1900s ran a fresh fish operation at the site, relying on local product. Large pound nets scattered along the shore of Fort Pond Bay near the present Duryea site were the source for many of the fish shipped by Capt. Ed via rail car to Fulton Market in New York City.
In the 1930s Perry Duryea Sr. purchased the fish supply unit from Capt. Ed, and while the production aspect of the business diminished, it was gradually replaced with seafood distribution, and the manufacture of block and packaged ice. Perry Duryea Jr. entered the business full-time after World War II, and in the late 1940s introduced the concept of bringing live lobsters via boat from Maine and the Canadian Maritimes to Montauk.
Over the last 70 years, the distribution network has emphasized live lobsters and fresh fish and shellfish, some sourced from northern waters and other items locally. Up until the mid 1960’s, lobsters would come to the Duryea plant in Montauk on company-owned “lobster smacks,” boats that navigated the North Atlantic waters carrying upwards of 20,000 pounds per trip. With the advent of commercial ferry service between Portland, Maine and Nova Scotia, overland trucking became the preferred method of transport.
In the early days, winter ice would be harvested from Tuthill Pond alongside the Duryea facility, and stored in huge icehouses run by the Duryea family. As the demand for ice grew for the Montauk fishing fleet, the Duryeas went to a raw water ice manufacturing plant, capable of producing 10 tons of block ice per day. In addition, packaged ice production units were installed in the early 1970’s capable of making 6 tons of ice cubes per day for summer demands of marinas, food stores and taverns. The Atlas Diesel powering the block ice production operation ran until the end of 1996, when the building it housed was converted to commercial retail space. The Duryeas still provide all of the packaged ice for Montauk year-round.