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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Ashland in Clark County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Big Basin

 
 
Big Basin Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Gary D. Carter, June 2006
1. Big Basin Marker
Inscription.  This marker stands within a geologic feature known as the Big Basin, which is a sinkhole or "sink" about a mile in diameter and more than a hundred feet deep. Although it has the appearance of a valley, it is entirely surrounded by higher ground. Like several other smaller sinks in this section of Kansas, Big Basin was formed thousands of years ago by the dissolving and collapse of massive gypsum and salt formations lying several hundred feet below the surface.

Just beyond the east rim of Big Basin is a smaller sink known as Little Basin. It contains "St. Jacob's Well," a pool of water never known to have gone dry. Archeological finds indicate that St. Jacob's Well has attracted visitors for many centuries, beginning with prehistoric peoples and continuing into the early days of European settlement.

Although located on the eastern edge of the High Plains, Big Basin and Little Basin exhibit the physical characteristics of the Red Hills region located a short distance to the south and east, where rock formations of white gypsum and gray dolomite alternate with brick-red shales, siltstones, and sandstones to create a visually
Big Basin Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Gary D. Carter, June 2006
2. Big Basin Marker
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striking butte-and-mesa topography unlike any other in Kansas.
 
Erected by Kansas State Historical Society and Kansas Deptartment of Transportation. (Marker Number 77.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: LandmarksNatural Features. In addition, it is included in the Kansas Historical Society series list.
 
Location. 37° 14.376′ N, 100° 0.026′ W. Marker is near Ashland, Kansas, in Clark County. Marker is on U.S. 160 at milepost 138, on the left when traveling south. Marker is located between milemarkers 138 and 139 on US 160. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Englewood KS 67840, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Big Basin Prairie Preserve (approx. 0.6 miles away); Fowler Veterans Memorial (approx. 14½ miles away); Fowler Cemetery Veterans Memorial (approx. 14½ miles away).
 
Regarding Big Basin. Big Basin and Little Basin are mentioned on this marker. Little Basin contains St. Jacobs Well and is accessible by a dirt road a short distance south of this marker. The road makes its way around the eastern edge of Big Basin for about two miles to Little Basin.
 
Also see . . .  Big Basin Prairie Preserve Wildlife Area
On eastern edge of Big Basin image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Gary D. Carter, June 2006
3. On eastern edge of Big Basin
Looking west across Big Basin
. In December of 1978, the preserve was designated as a National Natural Landmark and was added to the National Registry of Natural Landmarks. (Submitted on September 18, 2008.) 
 
Little Basin and St. Jacobs Well image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Gary D. Carter, June 2006
4. Little Basin and St. Jacobs Well
St. Jacob's Well image. Click for full size.
August 29, 2008
5. St. Jacob's Well
Road to Little Basin image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Gary D. Carter, March 23, 2006
6. Road to Little Basin
This is the view visitors see on the way to visit St. Jacobs Well.
Living Waters Monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Gary D. Carter, June 1, 2006
7. Living Waters Monument
The rock cairn at the center of the picture is the Living Waters Monument.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 20, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 17, 2008, by Gary D. Carter of King George, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,891 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 17, 2008, by Gary D. Carter of King George, Virginia.   5. submitted on September 18, 2008.   6, 7. submitted on September 19, 2008, by Gary D. Carter of King George, Virginia. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Closeup picture of the Living Waters Monument, located on the route to St. Jacob's Well. • Can you help?

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Feb. 4, 2023