This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An old silo

Many years ago Saint Joseph's College had extensive farm buildings behind Drexel Hall. The farm provided food that was served to the priests and students. Now all that is left are ruins, such as this foundation.
Here is another one, with one of the buildings along Drexel Drive in the background.
The most visible remnant of the old farm is a silo that is slowly deteriorating. According to the map from 1921 shown below, it was part of a dairy barn. I wonder if it was still a dairy barn in 1921 because in 1900 the college built a dairy barn where the present Halleck Center stands. It was supposedly the largest dairy barn in Indiana when it was built.  It was demolished in 1953 when the dairy operations were moved further west to where the employee gardens were until a few years ago.

Why are decaying buildings so interesting?
Below is the foundation for the old dairy barn next to the silo.
You can peek into the silo and look up.
Below is the insurance map of the site from 1921. The blue building was enlarged after this map was published, and old part is  still standing and the new part collapsed. It may be featured in some future post.
This map is only of limited use in trying to understand the site. The foundations around the dairy barn at the top are bigger than what is shown, which suggests that additional building took place after 1921. Foundations of the two hen houses south of the blue building can be found, but not those of the other small buildings. However, there is a cement floor to the left of the hen houses that is not indicated on this map.

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