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Old farm silo removed from Weitkamp Park

The silo is still standing in this May 2005 photo. The water tower in the background was under construction.

The last vestige of the farmstead once located on what is now Weitkamp Park has been removed.

Following a Sept. 8 decision by the City Council, Boumeester & Sons Excavating Contractors demolished a concrete silo that stood on the site for most of the 20th century. The cost of the demolition was $2,240.

The Park Board on an earlier 4-1 vote had recommended the demolition, saying an opening at the bottom of the silo made it a hazard to children who play in the park. Park Board member Suzy Fallon disagreed with the removal of what she considered a significant historical structure.

An 1897 St. Croix County plat book shows Catherine Donahue as owner of the farm that was then in the town of Hudson. A 1949 plat book lists Elouise Bringgold-Sweeney as owner. In 1979 the property was purchased by a group headed by Robert Lee.

A year earlier, the Park Board had looked into painting and closing the opening at the bottom of the silo.

Mayor Dean Knudson said at the Sept. 8 City Council meeting that removing the silo was the best option considering what it would cost to repair and maintain it.

Alderperson Lee Wyland disagreed. He called the demolition "a waste of a good structure" and said the silo could be repaired and converted for some use.

Alderperson Scot O'Malley was sympathetic to Wyland's view, but nevertheless voted with the majority to have the silo removed.

"I hate to tear it down, but I think it is unsafe standing," O'Malley said.

Knudson said the silo was becoming an "attractive nuisance."

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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