Westmoreland's Historical Hand Dug Well
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
Rededicated May 28, 1988
Erected 1988 by Rock Creek Valley Historical Society.
Location. 39° 23.77′ N, 96° 24.483′ W. Marker is in Westmoreland, Kansas, in Pottawatomie County. Marker is on The Road to Oz Highway (State Highway 99) south of the Oregon Trail RV Park and Campground, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Westmoreland KS 66549, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Westmoreland, Kansas (approx. 0.4 miles away); War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); World War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Korea and Vietnam Wars Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); World War II Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Pottawatomie County Court House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Wagons Fording Rock Creek (approx. 0.9 miles away); Burial Site of Oregon Trail Traveler (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Westmoreland.
Also see . . . Rock Creek Valley Historical Society.
Categories. • Environment • Man-Made Features • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 2, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 226 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 2, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.