The Big Well is a large historic water well in Greensburg, Kansas, United States. It was built in 1887 at a cost of $45,000 to provide water for the Santa Fe and Rock Island railroads, and it served as the municipal water supply until 1932.It is billed as the world's largest hand-dug well, at 109ft deep and 32ft in diameter.The Well of Joseph in the Cairo Citadel at 280ft deep and the Pozzo di S. Patrizio (St. Patrick's Well) built in 1527 in Orvieto, Italy, at 61m deep by 13m wide are both actually larger.It was designated a National Museum in 1972; in 1973 it was awarded an American Water Landmark by the American Water Works Association. Under the name of "Greensburg Well," it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) since 1972.Visitors entered the well for a small fee, descending an illuminated stairway to the bottom of the well.Visitor centerThe well had a visitor's center detailing the history of the well's construction. On May 4, 2007, a tornado hit Greensburg, destroying the center. The well reopened on May 26, 2012.The visitor's center also displayed a Brenham half-ton (1,000 lb, 450 kg) pallasite meteorite recovered from the area. The meteorite was billed as the world's largest single-piece pallasite, but that title is held by other samples. It was reported that the Big Well visitor center was destroyed, and the meteorite was missing on May 7, after an EF5 tornado destroyed the town. The meteorite, which was insured for $1 million, was later located underneath a collapsed wall and was displayed temporarily at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays, Kansas. It has returned to the reconstructed museum site.
“World's Largest Hand Dug Well”
A self guided tour that lets you read all about the history of the well. There are great pictures of how it and the town looked at different times. There is a lot of focus on the tornado. You get to go down into the well and there is also a outlook so you can see the surrounding area.
Great town to visit. The Well and museum is a great site to see. The memorabilia from the tragic tornado that hit Greensburg is heart-tugging.
Stop at the Big Well! Enjoy it, and also be amazed that this little town not only survived and EF5 tornado, it rebuilt from the ground up to be modern and green! A really good stop on US-54.
Really big well? Yeah I'll check it out. But it ended up being quite a bit more than just a well. It was a mini museum focusing on the changes of the small town of Greensburg has gone through. Very interesting to see old footage of the live weather report before the huge tornado in 2007. I was particularly interested in the old newspapers. The graduating class of 2007 was featured in one of the papers and I just wanted to know where they had ended up today. For a small town this stop is definitely something different and interesting.
Great stop!! Friendly ladies at the front desk. Kids enjoyed and learned a lot.
Great stop. Very friendly ladies at the front desk. My kids enjoyed and learned a lot from the museum and memorabilia.
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- Mon - Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Sun: 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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