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The Big Well, Greensburg

(70+ reviews on the web)
Specialty Museum Museum
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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This attraction is filled with the history of the founding of the town of Greensburg. Loved being able to walk the stairway to the bottom of the well. Also included in the history is the articles and ...  more »
  • Stopped here on my way to Marysville, KS for a reunion and was glad I did. The staff was friendly and informative. The Big Well is dog friendly, so we walked down to the bottom. The well itself is ver...  more »
  • As a kid, one a road trip to Colorado, we stopped at The Big Well .. so when making a similar trip with my own kids in tow, we stopped again. Little did we know the museum of today was NOT the museum ...  more »
Google
  • The well was crazy cool. And I liked how, on top of everything for the well, they also included loads of cool items and information about the Greensburg tornado. It doesn't take a lot of time to visit this museum. Depending on if you want to read everything or simply go up and down the spiral staircase in the well.
  • Very sad but informative inside. The workers sweet ladies. Worth to see and give a little to help.
  • Beautiful building. A lot of history and information. Friendly staff and neat gift shop. Free bike rentals for touring town.
  • Me and my family loved the big well museum becuz it was awesome. And may God bless all da survivors and people who lost their loved ones. Hopefully the people of the town Greensburg ks never experience da horrible night again.
  • The World's largest hand dug well! It's a pretty big hole in the ground. Kind of neat. The real treat is the horizon view above the well which lets you see all of Greensburg from a good height with etchings on the windows describing former historical locations before the tornado. There is a town history museum here that focuses on the tornado and also a meteorite that's pretty cool too. An interesting stop on a cross country tour.