Discover the story and history of Long Island Ice & Fuel – the go-to destination for premium ice products and remarkable customer service that has been serving New Yorkers with pride since 1880.
1st Generation | William Sweezy
William Sweezy, the visionary founder of Riverhead Ice in 1880, was a prominent figure in the community. Hailing from a well-connected family, he was one of four siblings and the nephew of the affluent Perkins family – the wealthiest in Riverhead, NY, at the time. As a multifaceted entrepreneur, he not only established multiple ice plants across the East End but also ran a successful men's clothing store in town. William Sweezy's legacy lives on through his historic residence at 43 East Second Street, a testament to his enduring impact on the town of Riverhead.
2nd Generation | Albert William Conklin
3rd Generation | Duane “Skip” Conklin
4th Generation | William D. Conklin “Chilly”
5th Generation | Christopher M. Conklin & Kyle W. Conklin
Chris has successfully built and maintained a robust network of customers across Long Island, ranging from corporate contracts and wholesale ice clients to small mom-and-pop neighborhood stores. Chris and Kyle continue to play vital leadership roles in the business today, most notably by imparting their wisdom and guidance to the sixth generation as they further develop their roles within the company.
6th Generation | Andrew Conklin, Joshua Conklin, Megan Conklin
Though they have big shoes to fill in succeeding the fifth generation, we have no doubt that they will be fully prepared when Chris and Kyle pass the torch. Many aspects of the business have evolved throughout the ages, but one unwavering constant remains: our commitment to providing the finest service available on Long Island, now and always.
Founded In 1880 As Riverhead Ice
Established in 1880 by industry pioneer William Sweezy, Riverhead Ice specialized in harvesting fresh ice from nearby ponds and the Forge River on the South Shore of Long Island. Subsequently, the ice was packaged in “ice boxes” and dispatched to local households using horse-drawn wagons. Homes typically hung a sign outside their doors to indicate the amount of ice they would like delivered.
Due to a lack of refrigeration technology, the ice would be packed in sawdust and hay for insulation before being stored in large buildings. This technique allowed them to preserve the goods all summer long.
A Reimagined Business Venture
As block ice production rapidly declined, progressive businesses incorporated the sale of other goods such as beer, coal, petroleum and motor oils. Ultimately, only two plants remained in operation: Riverhead & Huntington. While the latter was sold off to an external entity — the Riverhead factory was able to continue operating thanks to the high concentration of farmers and commercial fishing industries on Long Island's east end.
How We Became Long Island Ice & Fuel
Soon after WWII, our family’s third generation took the reins of the block ice industry. Duane “Skip” Conklin, who got his nickname from skipping school to ride on the railroad freight trains, guided the emerging business through a stagnant period that preceded the transition from block ice to what we now recognize as packaged ice or ice cubes. In 1960, he renamed the company to what still serves as our name today, Long Island Ice & Fuel Corporation. Skip stayed active until 1972, when he sold the business to his son, William D. Conklin.
A Company Transformation
William (Chilly and Iceman to his friends) had been an active part of the Long Island Ice & Fuel since 1944. Realizing the potential that existed in the packaged ice industry, he invested in the company’s ability to produce additional ice cubes. We soon went from almost exclusively crafting block ice to becoming one of Long Island’s leading suppliers of packaged ice cubes.
Today, William’s sons Kyle and Chris take the helm as the 5th generation in this family-run business. William's vision of growth propelled the company to become Suffolk county’s largest provider of packaged ice cubes.
We Keep Growing
At Long Island Ice & Fuel, we have the ability to produce 150 tons of premium ice per day with storage for another 1000 tons. Over the years, we have been honored to serve communities across Suffolk county and partnered with the TWA Flight 800 Red Cross, 3 U.S. Golf Opens and Yankee Stadium. In addition, we have proudly provided snow for several major motion pictures and created the ice sculptures used as the backdrop for the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002 for NBC.
Our Commitment to The Community
We are committed to giving back and supporting our Long Island communities by donating to important causes, fundraisers and charitable events. Andrew W. Conklin, Kyle’s son, joined the business in 2006, introducing the sixth generation of the Long Island Ice & Fuel family into its ranks. Although the block business has dwindled, we are proud to continue handling block production and crafting perfectly clear Clinebell blocks for ice sculptures and luges. Moreover, as Riverhead’s oldest fuel supplier, we are committed to delivering fuel during the cold winter months.
A Multigenerational Business
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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“The staff are friendly and professional. They go out of their way for customers and the fuel prices are lower than their competitors. I have been using them for years and I always have a positive experience.”
“Aside from keeping my Beer cold, my wife has needed dry ice for medical reasons every 3 1/2 weeks and Josh and crew have come through like clockwork every time. Service at it's best. Thank you guys.”
“Excellent service. Friendly and professional. Great products. I highly recommend.”