Silo history speaks volumes

Published 9:36 pm Monday, March 30, 2009

In 1929 the Kent family of Kent Dairy Farms in Oak Grove (near Homewood area) bought more than 700 acres of land out 119 South past Alabaster and Siluria.

It took the better part of three years to build a house, two silos and two barns. The biggest obstacle was having electricity run through the woods out back from the old Wilmay Company.

Wilmay employees built the silo from concrete and iron bars. Silos hold tons of cut green corn that is blown up a chute to create silage. Nina Kent said that sometimes the silage made a bad smell, but Doug Kent said it smelled like money to him.

Kent Dairy was in continuous operation for 58 years.

At one time they were milking over 300 cows. Routes included but were not limited to Siluria, Pea Ridge, Montevallo, Mountain Brook, Homewood and many restaurants.

Now think, for 77 years a house on a hill, cows and silos have been a landmark. Perhaps horses and wagons, Model As and Model Ts have made their way to Kent Dairy or on down the road to Elliottsville Crossroads or Montevallo hinged on directions like this, “Just get off Highway 31 onto 119 South and go until you see silos and cows. Can’t miss ‘um.”

Original owner Roy Kent, sons Doug, John and Warren, grandson Mike and about a dozen members of the Green family labored and loved the Kent land for decades.

Local developer Kenneth Carter bought the property on which the one remaining silo rests. It has been deemed safe and I hope the zoning board, Carter and anyone else involved will preserve our landmark. Perhaps a small landscaped area, a plaque about the dairy farm, maybe even a bench or small strolling path would be appropriate.

After all, if this silo could talk … whew, the stories it would tell.

Save our silo.