Skip to comments.Tornado Snatches Greensburg Treasure
Posted on 05/06/2007 3:29:50 PM PDT by Mercat
Tornado Snatches Greensburg Treasure
1,000 pound Brenham pallasite meteorite comes up missing after tornado strikes Greensburg.
by The Associated Press
The tornado that razed the Kansas town of Greensburg also snatched one of its most valuable treasures. The thousand-pound Brenham pallasite meteorite is gone.
Greensburg has drawn world-class meteorite hunters for decades to this remote Kansas hamlet. Trooper Ronald Knoefel says even the town's own extensive meteorite collection is gone.
And the town's other claim to fame -- the world's largest hand dug well -- is buried under a mountain of debris.
The nearby gift shop for the attraction had housed the famous meteorite.
For many years it was accepted as fact that the stone casing was built on circular wood platform and lowered inch by inch using jackscrews, and that the stone masons worked at ground level.
Newspaper accounts of the well's construction describe exactly how it was dug, cribbed and cased. As the dirt was removed it was cribbed with wood to prevent caving in. Every eight feet it was braced from wall to wall with 2' x 12' planks. When the well was down to water, a ring was built, called a boot, constructed of heavy oak bridge timbers. The timbers were mortised and dovetailed together in such a way that no nails were used. When the boot was finished, the stone work was started on it and the weight forced it through the water and sand until it rested on solid footing. As the masonry progressed upward, the cribbing braces were sawed off after the stone was laid up around them. Some of these ends have rotted away leaving holes in the wall while others are still in place and are clearly visible.
When the well was completed in 1888, it was 109 feet deep and 32 feet in diameter. It served as the city's water supply until 1932. The well was covered and opened as a tourist attraction in 1939. Since then, over 3,000,000 people have visited the "Big Well."
People have been tossing money and other items into the Big Well since it's beginning. In 1990, the town hired divers to clean the bottom of the well A silver onyx crucifix, shoes, coins, and even a rubber snake and frog were found. These items are on display in the gift shop.
Visitors brave enough to walk the 105 steps to the bottom will be impressed with this century-old feat. The lights in the 15' of water enable one to see all the way to the bottom.
Mr. Mercat thought that freepers should know about the hand dug well and the meteorite in Greensburg. Here it is.
Thank Mr. Mercat for us..
Thanks. I hope they find the meteorites, especially the 1000 pound one as it is worth alot of money and is irreplaceable.
The well is something else, walkind down it is easy getting back out isnt. Really steap stairs.
WOW! Using a tornado as a distraction to steal a rare meteorite.
Imagine the wind speed of a tornado that can pickup and carry a 1,000 pound meteorite for more than a few yards.
Tornado hit my dad’s house 9 years ago. A stake from his picket fence was picked up and driven through an 100-year old oak tree. Looked like the Sword in the Stone.
Thanks for the additional info.
If the storm took the meteorite, it shouldn’t be too far downrange.
Algore’s brain displaced by tornado?
I can’t help my self.
Riiich Corinthian Leaaaather.
De plame boss, de plame!
They found a blank check 80 miles away from Greensburg. I doubt the tornado carried the meteor that far though.
I was thinking that this is where the Star Trek set designers got their idea for that epi with Angelique Pettijohn.
“They found a blank check 80 miles away from Greensburg.”
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.