Westmoreland's Historical Hand Dug Well

Westmoreland's Historical Hand Dug Well (HM1JEH)

Location: Westmoreland, KS 66549 Pottawatomie County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 23.77', W 96° 24.483'

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29' Wide - 38' Deep

Working without the benefit of modern machinery, using only hand tools of pick and shovel, as many as forty men labored through the winter months and early spring of 1914 on the construction of the Westmoreland city water well, reputed to be the second largest hand-dug well in the world.
After nearly three quarters of a century of neglect and abuse, the well, and about one acre of land surrounding it, was transferred to the Rock Creek Valley Historical Society by Charles Duncan, the owner, for the token price of one dollar. The well has now been restored by the Historical Society as a two-year PRIDE project. During those years of abuse and neglect, the well was used as a trash dump. In cleaning the well, a dozen junked automobiles were removed, as well as many other dump truck loads of refuse.
Of particular interest is the wall of the well, or casing. While one might suppose the w[e]ll was first dug, and the wall then constructed, such was not the case. The wall was laid at ground level, with a steel shoe for a base, and the wall lowered into the well by its own weight, until it is supported by a four-foot-thick limestone strata at the bottom of the well. The first, or bottom ten feet of the wall, or well casing, is of brick, and the remainder laid up by native limestone.
A unique feature of this well are the two-inch pipes, spaced at two foot intervals around the perimeter of the well, and visible below the water surface. These pipes extend through the wall to the water-bearing strata of gravel, and are the source of water to fill the basin.
Rededicated May 28, 1988
Year Placed1988
Placed ByRock Creek Valley Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, March 2nd, 2015 at 9:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14S E 723199 N 4363946
Decimal Degrees39.39616667, -96.40805000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 23.77', W 96° 24.483'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 23' 46.2" N, 96° 24' 28.98" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)785
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 401 Rd to Oz Hwy, Westmoreland KS 66549, US
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