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Tornado Snatches Greensburg Treasure
AP ^ | 5/6/2007 | various

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.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Kansas
KEYWORDS: greensburg; kansas; thunderstorms; tornado
The World's Largest Hand-Dug Well The story of the World's Largest Hand-Dug Well began in the 1880's when both the Santa Fe and Rock Island railroads were laying tracks across the plains of Kansas. A large supply of water was needed for the steam locomotives and for the people of the area. The only dependable source of water was from a well. In 1887, the city granted a franchise for a water works system, to cost approximately $45,000, a huge sum of money in those days. The Santa Fe terminated its track at the west Kiowa County line and removed it eight years later. Construction of the well was a masterpiece of pioneer engineering. Hired on a day to day basis for fifty cents to a dollar a day, crews of twelve to fifteen farmers, cowboys, and other local men dug the well. Some of the men lived on location in a camp of tents while working on the well. Other crews quarried and hauled the native stone used for the casing of the well This stone was hauled in wagons from the Medicine River twelve miles south of Greensburg. Dirt from the well was hauled away by the same wagons which had slatted beds. By opening the slats and dumping the dirt in low spots, streets and roads to the quarry were leveled.

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.

1 posted on 05/06/2007 3:29:55 PM PDT by Mercat
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To: Mercat

Mr. Mercat thought that freepers should know about the hand dug well and the meteorite in Greensburg. Here it is.


2 posted on 05/06/2007 3:30:36 PM PDT by Mercat (I know my Redeemer Lives!)
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To: Mercat

Thank Mr. Mercat for us..


3 posted on 05/06/2007 3:36:42 PM PDT by Dog (Hey Ahmadinejad... Is that an IED in your pants or were you just glad to see her?)
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To: Mercat

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.


4 posted on 05/06/2007 3:39:42 PM PDT by aft_lizard (born conservative...I chose to be a republican)
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To: Mercat

5 posted on 05/06/2007 3:41:19 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Just say no to Brady Bunch Republicans.)
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To: Mercat

WOW! Using a tornado as a distraction to steal a rare meteorite.


6 posted on 05/06/2007 3:43:22 PM PDT by gotribe ( I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution... - Grover Cleveland.)
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To: Mercat

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.


7 posted on 05/06/2007 3:49:56 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici
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To: Mercat

Thanks for the additional info.

If the storm took the meteorite, it shouldn’t be too far downrange.


8 posted on 05/06/2007 3:51:12 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: Jet Jaguar

Algore’s brain displaced by tornado?

Tornado?

I can’t help my self.

Riiich Corinthian Leaaaather.

De plame boss, de plame!


9 posted on 05/06/2007 3:57:01 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: gotribe

10 posted on 05/06/2007 4:00:31 PM PDT by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Elections have consequences.)
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To: PAR35

They found a blank check 80 miles away from Greensburg. I doubt the tornado carried the meteor that far though.


11 posted on 05/06/2007 4:02:56 PM PDT by aft_lizard (born conservative...I chose to be a republican)
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To: gotribe

Lex Luthor?


12 posted on 05/06/2007 4:03:41 PM PDT by streetpreacher (What if you're wrong?)
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To: PAR35
If the storm took the meteorite, it shouldn’t be too far downrange.

That's probably correct. But it doesn't mean it will be easy to find.

I know of one fellow that had his combine (harvester) disappear from
his flat-land farm in the vicinity of Ponca City, OK (north -central OK),
after a big tornado passed through the area.

After weeks of searching, they still couldn't even find part of the
combine on the flat-land area around the farms.

Their best guess is that it probably ended up broken in sufficiently
small pieces and landed in the Arkansas River or one of the local lakes/ponds.
13 posted on 05/06/2007 4:09:00 PM PDT by VOA
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To: Jet Jaguar
What is happened is a great tragedy with the lives and home lost. However, I can’t help bu think that the UFO / Conspiracy folk will go nutz over this.
14 posted on 05/06/2007 4:30:36 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: tet68
Algore’s brain displaced by tornado?

I was thinking that this is where the Star Trek set designers got their idea for that epi with Angelique Pettijohn.

15 posted on 05/06/2007 4:30:53 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: aft_lizard

“They found a blank check 80 miles away from Greensburg.”


There’s a FEMA office that close?

.
.
.

/sarc


16 posted on 05/06/2007 4:33:25 PM PDT by The Spirit Of Allegiance (Public Employees: Honor Your Oaths! Defend the Constitution from Enemies--Foreign and Domestic!)
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