4.4
79 votes

The Big Well

315 S. Sycamore, Greensburg, Kansas 67054 USA

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Closed Now
Opens Tue 9a
  • Independent
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“World's Largest Hand Dug Well”

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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Reviewed by
AppleSunday

  • 2 Reviews
  • 7 Helpful
July 09, 2014

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.

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
russoharkness

  • 2 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
May 26, 2014

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.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
aritchie13

  • 5 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 28, 2021
Rated 5.0

Super easy stop right off the 50. Clean, interesting, friendly staff. Good for whole family!

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Reviewed by
happytobehere434

  • 33 Reviews
  • 6 Helpful
January 22, 2021
Rated 4.0

The well is just a hole in the ground. The history of the tornado is quite sad and makes up for the disappointing hole in the ground. Rebuilding the town to be extra energy efficient was, well, boring.

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Reviewed by
Teumessian

  • 12 Reviews
  • 4 Helpful
April 14, 2019
Rated 4.0

Very interesting museum you can explore at your own pace. Half of the museum is about the well, and the other half is dedicated to the destruction the town suffered due to a tornado. The well is very impressive, and the information was very interesting to read about.

The woman working the desk had lived there many years and was able to share personal stories about the town which was really cool. I think it was $8/ person. We got there early and got to explore the whole place by ourselves which was pretty neat.

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Reviewed by
deb

  • 5 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
September 23, 2017

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.

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Reviewed by
Whit1001

  • 6 Reviews
  • 5 Helpful
March 04, 2017
Rated 3.0

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.

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Reviewed by
KarelCoraPlanadeball

  • 15 Reviews
  • 17 Helpful
January 04, 2017
Rated 5.0

Great stop!! Friendly ladies at the front desk. Kids enjoyed and learned a lot.

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Reviewed by
KarelCoraPlanadeball

  • 15 Reviews
  • 17 Helpful
January 04, 2017
Rated 5.0

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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The Big Well

315 S. Sycamore
Greensburg, Kansas
67054 USA

Hours

Closed Now
  • Mon - Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun: 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Season End
Year Round
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Year Round
  • Big Rigs
  • Dump Station
  • Water Hookup
  • Potable Water
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