Joe’s stories – old, new, mostly true

By on January 20, 2020

Silos Series #4

Joe Freitas proudly stands beside the silo he saved.

Joe Freitas proudly stands beside the silo he saved.

As readers may recall, when I first wrote something about farm silos I noted that in our area they were originally mostly built of wood. As time passed, that gave way to other materials, which would last longer, and wooden silos were hardly seen anymore.

Well, little did I realize until sometime last year (2019) there was one I had traveled past since childhood, probably thousands of times over the years. It is located on property at 2015 Spencerport Road in Gates. Growing up we knew that place as part of the Ostrom farm, which it was. However, for about three decades now it has been owned by Joe Freitas who lives there, in the farmhouse adjacent to the barn and silo.

While speaking to him I learned that the silo is several feet shorter than it was originally – no wonder I hadn’t thought if it earlier.

Some years ago, Joe noticed that the lower sections of the wooden staves were rotting and could eventually cause the collapse of the structure. So he devised a plan to correct that. The idea was to build up some cribbing to hold the silo up enough to cut off the rotted section, and then lower the remaining structure down onto the concrete foundation. When he told others about it, some had their doubts that he would succeed. That probably made him determined to go ahead with it.

Freitas did go ahead with the plan and was successful as the recent photograph verifies.