Historic Hand-Dug Well
At 29' Wide and 38' Deep, the Hand Dug Well in Westmoreland is the second largest hand-dug well in the world!
Working without the benefit of modern machinery, using only hand tools of pick and shovels, as many as fort 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 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 in the wall of the well, or casing. While one might suppose the well was first dug and the wall then constructed, such as not the case. The wall was laid at ground level with a steel shoe for a base and the wall lowered into a well by its own weight, until it is support by a four foot think limestone strata at the bottom of the well. The first, or bottom ten feet of the well, or casing, is of brick and the remainder laid up by native stones.
A unique feature of this well are the two-inch pipes spaced at two-foot intervals around the perimeter of the well and visible below the water surface. These pipes extended through the wall to the water-bearing strata of gravel and are the source of water to fill the basin.