NEWS

Dairy barn completely destroyed

Lisa Depies
A dairy barn and silo owned by Peter and Linda Gillet of Geneseo was completely destroyed in the July 21 storm.

As a fierce storm — complete with 90 mile-an-hour straight-line winds — blasted  the rural Geneseo homestead of Peter and Linda Gillet, driving rain obscured the couple’s visibility.

Though they tried to peer into their yard, the rain prohibited the Gillets from seeing if anything on their property was damaged.

When the storm finally cleared, the family discovered their dairy barn and adjoining concrete silo were in ruins.

The barn’s north and east walls are almost completely collapsed. Curved beams and a metal roof tossed in among the barn’s wreckage are all that remains of the silo.

Seeing the damaged barn is “very emotional” said Linda.

Not only did she and her siblings spend many hours playing in the barn — Linda recalls first learning to ride a bicycle down the building’s concrete ramp  — but the barn also served as the source of her father’s livelihood.

Her dad, Clarence Wiese, operated Wiese Dairy and the barn was where he’d milk his dairy cattle. Wiese raised Holstein, Guernsey and Brown Swiss dairy cattle.

Linda said the barn was used for dairy  “from approximately 1930 to 1976.” In the beginning, her father would deliver milk to Geneseo customers in a horse-drawn wagon.

Since the July 21 storm, Linda said she’s had several of her father’s former customers stop by the farm to view the wreckage.

Though much of the dairy barn is a mangled mess of lumber and concrete, the barn’s metal dairy stanchions remain standing, a reminder of its former purpose. 

The dairy barn and concrete silo, center, that were destroyed in a July 21 storm are shown in this undated photo. The barn was home to the former Wiese Dairy.