ATTRACTIONS AND ODDITIES OF KANSAS TOURISM: THE BIG WELL OF GREENSBURG

Richard Moor - Feb 22, 2010
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A small town in Kansas, called Greensburg is proud do present the largest hand-dug well in the world. To attract more tourism, the town has just signed a contract with a major design firm to promote the Big Well by a $ 3 million museum.

 

Greensburg, Kansas, has made it to the world news several times. Not all highlights were positive, but they certainly prove it is not just an ordinary town. In 1887, a well was dug here by laborers who used only pickaxes and were paid just 50 cents a day.

Nevertheless, their efforts resulted in a major ‘wonder’ as many locals call it – the worlds’ largest hand-dug well, featuring a perfect circle of 32 feet and 109 feet deep. For more than a century, passers-by have been coming here to admire the well. While in the 1970s and 80s, approximately 75,000 visitors came to Greensburg, the numbers have been decreasing considerably in recent years.

Then, on 4th May 2007, a powerful tornado swept over the city, nearly destroying it. The citizens decided to rebuild their home with a green twist. In fact until today, they strive to be the greenest town on the prairie. The new City Hall, local hospital and school, even the John Deere tractor dealership – all have been built to top energy-efficient standard. Eco-tourists marvel over a composting toilet on display, solar powered shower or the dual flush toilets in businesses all over town.

To top this major achievement, citizens have also come up with another idea to honor their Big Well, after a popular vote online cast it among the Eight Wonders of Kansas. The council teamed up with a high profile design company, Ralph Appelbaum Associates Inc. of New York, who worked on projects such as the U.S. Holocaust Museum or the American Museum of Natural History. The goal is simple: create a $ 3 million Big Well Museum, to tell the story of Greensburg and its well.

Once finished, the museum shall be a tribute to the people of Greensburg and their unbeatable spirit and energy to move on for the better. It will tell the tale of Greensburg and its well, but will also feature some of local curiosities, including a 1000-pound meteorite, found at a local farm, a tornado-battered teddy bear, and an old-time fountain.

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Comments

  1. Ha, ha, this is really funny. But I have to admire the people in the city that are able to draw the attention of tourists with a "hole in the ground":) It is my experience that many towns here in Europe, although they have tens of fabulous sights, they are simply not able to market them properly and people don't know about them.

    (France)

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