Dave Malark and Steve Chilton load metal from the Glaude barn that burned down March 5. Chilton brought his tractor to help with the cleanup, and said the community comes together in times of crisis.
After flare-ups finished claiming some remaining barn structure, and smoldering supports led to the oldest silo on the property being torn down, clean-up at the Glaude farm is a long a careful process.
On top of the list of priorities was burying the around 100 cows that died in fast-burning barn fire March 5. Aided by a pair of neighbor-lent tractors, family and friends picked through the still-burning hay just a few dozen yards from the farmhouse to pull out the blackened metal.
To take care of that top priority, they had to pull all that debris from the fallen barn to make room for an excavator brought over by fireman Robbie Hogan. They tugged and dragged the metal with a tractor borrowed from Stacy “Boots” Manor, a corrections officer at Dannemora and a localfarmer.
From just down the road, Steve Chilton, retired from Northern Adirondack Central, had Dave Malark drive his tractor while he loaded it up.
“The community has been so wonderful,” said Kim Kaufman, step-daughter of Derrick Glaude, farm owner. “It’s a great community to be in. It really shows what the North Country can do.”
Chilton said that’s just how things are in Ellenburg.
“If we have a flood in town or anything, we live in such a rural area we’ve got to take care of ourselves. We’re a long way from big cities,” said Chilton.
Support wasn’t only coming from other local farmers. Rose and Derrick both drive bus for NAC, and Rose’s kids on bus 74 gave them handmade cards, many drawn in crayon, to cheer up the farm owners. One girl baked a loaf of banana bread.
“I know that when we had our farm, we loved our cows like they were family,” wrote bus rider Ashton Wright.
That’s just why burying the cows was so important to Derrick, said Kaufman. They weren’t simply the farm’s livelihood, but an important part of his life.
Adding to the grief of losing the barn and silo Derrick took over from his father and the death of his cows is hate mail the family’s received since the fire at their barn was covered by media outlets.
A detail in news stories notes that lowing of the cows alerted the family to the fire. That’s led to hate mail blaming the Glaudes for the cows’ deaths.
It didn’t happen that way, said Kaufman. Rose and Derrick declined to go on the record with the North Countryman because of the angry messages they got following the news stories. According to Kaufman, a passer-by saw flames in the barn about 6:30 p.m., then ran to the farmhouse and banged on the doors and windows. Rose was home and saw that Derrick’s truck was gone. She figured he was safe at the milking barn, but the old barn at the homestead went up in 20 or 25 minutes. She never heard the cows, and the flames spread too fast for a rescue.
The cows there were young cows being raised to produce milk,and older cows that had dried up and would be bred. They’re cycled to the milking barn once they freshen, and taken back to the home farm when they’ve made their last milk.
Hay for the animals and extra hay for the milking barn were kept there, and Kaufman said the family’s had many offers from other farmers to drop off hay if needed.
A large tractor and smaller Ford tractor were destroyed inthe blaze along with many smaller tools. As Chilton was sifting through the hay, he found a blackened set of bolt cutters that seemed to still work.
There were so many small tools in the barn, “We won’t know what’s gone until we go to get them,” said Kaufman.
Though their home is within yards of where the barn stood, there was no heat or smoke damage. Their attached garage was fine, too.
The farm was taken over in 1956 by Derrick’s father, and along with the death of his animals, that history has made for significant emotional fallout.
“This was definitely a family legacy, and it's hitting him pretty hard,” said Kaufman.