A corncrib saga

A corncrib saga. A disappearing corncrib, or is it? This corncrib in Guthrie County, built by William Sheeder around 1900, was a most unusual corncrib, as it was a drive in/back out design. Otherwise, it would be like driving off a second story.

It IS a corncrib with storage on each side of the drive, with the open slats still visible, despite some color deterioration in the slide. It was not in use in 1980 when this photo was taken.

It got a new look when steel siding was added some years ago, which explains why it doesn’t look like a corncrib anymore. It was used for a few years for pigs and chickens, but when this photo was taken in 2013, it was being used for storage.

Great news! When driving past the farm in the fall of 2020 I noted that there is a new fence and it is again in use for calves. The location is west of Guthrie Center at 1769 Highway 44.

A silo story

It’s an ornament? A huge tube with a roof, call it a silo, has sometimes been described as an “ornament” on a farm, but crucial to profitable livestock raising and dairying. Wood stave silos were once common in Iowa but very few exist today. This wood stave silo in Floyd County, photographed in 1980, is gone. 

However, even in 1977, wood silos were still quite numerous, although mostly in the eastern states. The Unadilla Silo Company from New York claimed that using wood for a silo sealed in the juices making them “sweeter,” had good insulating qualities, and could be used for various types of silage.

Silos built since wood was common are concrete, clay tile, or glass-fused steel. On August 2, 2015, a tornado on the Blazek farm at Williamson in Adams County destroyed these two Harvestore silos. They are now in the process of being dismantled. Harvestore silos are still in use, however, and some are over 60 years old.

The clay tile silo below in Marshall County is a tall vase of greens and is being saved for photographers.