If you’re looking for something different to do in Buffalo, NY and you enjoy local history check out the great tours offered by Explore Buffalo. Jim and I and our friend Bill went on their Silo City Vertical tour a couple weeks ago and we have nothing but good things to say about it.
Buffalo has a very rich history. Because of its location on Lake Erie, Buffalo was important in industry and transportation. The Buffalo River, which runs off Lake Erie and goes through the southern part of the city, has many grain silos along its banks. Some are still working silos, but sadly, many are abandoned. Ships would carry the grain from the farms so it could be stored and made into the food products that we buy.
A large conveyor belt with scoops would take the grain from the ship to the top of the silo. From there, conveyor belts on the top floor on the inside would move the grain along and fill each of the silo sections with the grain.
There was a hatch for each silo segment. This is the machine that would move along the conveyor belt putting the grain into the silo sections.
How would you like to be the person who sits on this swing, gets lowered into a silo section, and scrubs the inside of the silo? (I’m hoping the swing didn’t break while someone was on it!)
One of the silos is used for an art show at least once a year. This was left over from last year’s art show. (Do any of my fellow quilters see inspiration here? If you are an art quilter, then you probably see inspiration everywhere.)
We walked to the top of the silo on the left in the photo below. Then we walked the length of the silo, went through the walkway at the top of the silo to the next silo over. We came down through that silo and went into the malt house in the next building.
After the tour, a buffet style dinner was served next to the river on picnic tables covered with red and white checkered tablecloths. The table were set up under the awning under the walkway between the two silos in the picture above.
So, check out www.explorebuffalo.org for something different to do this summer! They have a great variety of tours, from historical to architectural to garden. Many are walking tours, but there are also bus tours. If you dread the idea of walking up a small staircase to the top of a silo, there’s a Silo City Grounded tour that looks really interesting too.
Things that make me smile:
- The smell of Cocoa Puffs when driving home from work on the I-190.
Let’s go spread some sunshine!