Big Well

Greensburg, Kansas

United States of America


Greensburg, Kansas





The Big Well is known as the worlds largest hand-dug well and used to serve as municipal water to the railroads. It is now a Museum where visitors can descend an small illuminated stairway down to the bottom of the 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 109 feet (33 m) deep and 32 feet (9.8 m) in diameter. The Well of Joseph in the Cairo Citadel at 280 feet (85 m) deep and the Pozzo di S. Patrizio (St. Patrick's Well) built in 1527 in Orvieto, Italy, at 61 metres (200 ft) deep by 13 metres (43 ft) 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.

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