Just Chillin Since 1880
Owned and operated by William Sweezy, the company would first harvest ice out of ponds and the Forge River for delivery to home “ice boxes” by horse-drawn wagons. Ice would be stored in massive storage buildings and packed in sawdust and hay for preservation because no refrigeration was available. The tremendous amount of ice would have to last all summer. A sign would be hung outside of a house indicating how many pounds of ice to deliver.
During the ensuing years as block ice slowly began to diminish, other products were added such as beer, coal, motor oils and petroleum products. One by one, as the block business continued to slide, the plants were closed down with the final plant in operation being Riverhead and the Huntington plant, which was sold. Riverhead plant was able to continue its partial operation due to the high concentration of farmers and commercial fishing on the east end of Long Island.
Soon after WWII, the third generation entered into the block ice business. Duane “Skip” Conklin who got his nickname from skipping school to ride on the railroad freight trains started in the business. Skip guided the fledgling business through a stagnant period that preceded the transition from block ice to what we now recognize as packaged ice or ice cubes. Skip incorporated the business in 1960 to what still serves as our name today, Long Island Ice & Fuel Corporation. Skip stayed active in the business until 1972, when he sold the business to his son, William D. Conklin.
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All packaged ice product supplied by Long Island Ice & Fuel are premium quality and independently tested for consumer safety.
William (Chilly and Iceman to his friends) has been part of the company since 1944. He saw the potential that existed with the packaged ice business and immediately invested in the company’s ability to produce additional ice cubes. The company was transformed from almost exclusively producing block ice to one of Long Island’s leading suppliers of packaged ice cubes. After the constant growth and reinvesting in the company, William, along with his 2 sons, Kyle and Chris (5th generation) have grown the company into Suffolk county’s largest supplier of packaged ice cubes.
We have the ability to produce 150 tons of premium ice per day with storage for another 1000 tons. We have had the pleasure of not only consistently serving Suffolk county, we also have supplied packaged ice for TWA Flight 800 Red Cross, 3 U.S. Golf Opens, Yankee Stadium, snow for several major motion pictures and were host to creating the ice sculptures used as the backdrop for the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002 for NBC.
We have also had the opportunity of giving back and supporting our Long Island community, donating to hundreds of causes, fundraisers and charitable events. In 2006, Long Island Ice & Fuel saw the introduction of the 6th generation, Andrew W. Conklin (Son of Kyle) into the business. Although the block business has dwindled, Long Island Ice & Fuel Corp. still handles the blocks and has relied on them during extreme periods and also produces perfectly clear Cline bell blocks for ice sculptures and luges. Through all the business cycles of the ice business, the fuel business has provided winter work and the ability to remain as Riverhead’s oldest fuel supplier. In 2008 we were recognized by the IPIA (International Packaged Ice Association) as being the second oldest family owned and operated ice business in the country. It is a fact we’re very proud of – the oldest, 1872 by eight years is York Ice in Pennsylvania.
The one constant that has been handed down from generation to generation is to provide the finest service available at competitive prices. The ice and fuel business is definitely not a 9-to-5 business with free weekends. It is 7 days a week in each of its respective seasons.
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