Jump to content

Back when men were tough.


Recommended Posts

Someone hand dug this well and stone lined the sides.  Picture doesn't do it justice.  I moved the cover back just  a little to get a peak in.  It is probably 6ft across.  Water level is at 17ft down and rushing in.  I ran my 30ft tape down it today and didn't hit bottom.  I'm guessing this was done some time in the mid 1800s?  If anyone can dispute the timeline I would love to hear.  My understanding is they would bail water as they dug until the water came in fast enough that they couldn't bail it.  Anyone have any pics of theirs?KIMG1404.thumb.JPG.b58bb1838477840e1b188428edf384ff.JPG

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was out Jeeping around here on some property slated for a reservoir that never happened.

There we found and old field stone foundation and we were looking around for treasures and ran across one like that with no cap!!

We found a big flat rock in the foundation and caped it.

 

   

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had one up in Nebraska. I think it’s nearly 70 feet deep. Hopefully Arron capped it. The wind had blown all the dirt from around it. Top of it was probably 4 feet above the ground when they sold that part of the ranch. Maybe 5 feet across. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, hobbyfarm said:

Someone hand dug this well and stone lined the sides.  Picture doesn't do it justice.  I moved the cover back just  a little to get a peak in.  It is probably 6ft across.  Water level is at 17ft down and rushing in.  I ran my 30ft tape down it today and didn't hit bottom.  I'm guessing this was done some time in the mid 1800s?  If anyone can dispute the timeline I would love to hear.  My understanding is they would bail water as they dug until the water came in fast enough that they couldn't bail it.  Anyone have any pics of theirs?KIMG1404.thumb.JPG.b58bb1838477840e1b188428edf384ff.JPG

Lots of hand dug wells still in use around here. I've been in a lot of them installing pumps or suction lines. Most around here are about 20' or less. Now you understand the true meaning of "lower than well digger's shoes". We have lots of dug wells that are about 3' in diameter and cased in pre-cast concrete casings. These were dug by machine and lined with the casing so no one had to go down deep into them uncased. The danger and risk of a cave in is apparent. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, 12_Guy said:

We have lots of dug wells that are about 3' in diameter and cased in pre-cast concrete casings. These were dug by machine and lined with the casing so no one had to go down deep into them uncased.

I have done one by hand with those pre-cast concrete casings.

We had small compact back hoe at the time it only had a 7.5 foot reach we did the last two sections by hand down to 20ft 

You dig around the bottom and they will slide down with pressure from the loader bucket 

What a PIA 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My brother and I fell into a hand dug well sledding. Along with our dog.

It was about 5-6 feet down from the top with water. Total depth 18-20’ 

We had one piece snowmobile suits, maybe Christmas presents (?), these kept us afloat.

I was able to climb out after a couple attempts and then ran back to the house to get help. 
I don’t ever want to see the inside of a hand dug well again 😖

  • Sad 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My water came from a hand dug well/spring as the water flowed over the 100 year old cement casing. I was down in it once or twice. It was 15 or 16 feet deep. A centrical gas engine pump would loose the suction to pump it dry. So we lowered pump on a rope to get it empty. The bottom had old redwood boards. But the billionaire vineyards drilled deep wells around us and dry as bone since 14 or 15. Had never failed since the Spanish Franciscan Missionary's developed it as a camping place on there trips over the Santa Lucia mountains to get supplies at the coast for Mission San Miguel founded in the 1870's.  

A uncle rented a place with a hand dug well that was over 100 feet deep. It is surely gone as ranch was subdivided for very high end house on 1 and 2 acre lots.

Another uncle on my grandparent place had 15 to 20 foot hand dug well he cleaned out in the 80's and used the concrete casing pieces. He had well drilled 150 yards away to provide water for a mobile home as the hand dug was always just enough for one house. Since he died I would suspect the grandkids just use the drilled well. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This reminds me of the real life turned tv movie about the little girl in the 80s who had fallen down a well. Dont remember now if she was rescued...i do remember my mom being glued to the tv and pretty upset over the whole situation.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I helped hand dig one for a buddy once. Built a tripod and took out dirt 5 gal bucket at a time. Set a 36” diameter casing in it to keep from cave ins. Got down to about 18’ deep and water was coming in faster than we could dig. It wasn’t the most fun I ever had but he needed help so I lived “colder than a well digger’s behind”  for a short amount of time. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you going to call Rick and Marty Lagina? Maybe they can drill 10,000 holes around and get all excited about some BS they find laying around. 

  • Like 2
  • Haha 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

Are you going to call Rick and Marty Lagina? Maybe they can drill 10,000 holes around and get all excited about some BS they find laying around. 

Then sell it to discovery….

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Twolines said:

This reminds me of the real life turned tv movie about the little girl in the 80s who had fallen down a well. Dont remember now if she was rescued...i do remember my mom being glued to the tv and pretty upset over the whole situation.

Baby Jessica?

I remember that sorta.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hand dug but not a well.

We have an old small dam (pond) here which was silted up.  So I attacked with the Fiat Allis 10 expecting bottom at around six feet.  The usual batter slope on them is 3:1.  One side of this one was more like 2:1 - the dozer would barely make it up the slope in reverse.  The bottom came up at about 12 feet and wasn't flat - there was a sort of berm in it. And the excavation was around 1000 cu yards.

I asked an older neighbour about it.  The story is that it was dug by hand and the earth taken out with a tip dray.  I'm glad I wasn't on that project.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sandhiller, i do believe you're correct. Sad story.

I still think the rock lined hand dug wells are an amzing thing. Such basic engineering and such an important necessity.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, I don't have a well. I do have a half scale windmill that I just stood up yesterday. I'll be dismantling it and moving it to the house in the next week or so.

 

Yard art at it's finest.

IMG_3248.JPG

IMG_3250.JPG

IMG_3252.JPG

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not really in the line of wells but the rock lining and the work that goes into them reminds me of several of the stone bridges around here. My great grandfather was one of the masons who build the last hand made bridge in the area

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I WANT a wind mill! Someone start a thread on windmills! Not the greeny crap either... i want to see some mills that pump and run stuff!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cant beat hand made stuff 1466ih.. hard for me to explain but even the site of a solid brick stone and timber building is impressive. The facade cookie cutter buildings of today just look weak..cheap. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Twolines said:

I WANT a wind mill! Someone start a thread on windmills! Not the greeny crap either... i want to see some mills that pump and run stuff!

You can build your own as I did. You will need a welder, lathe and mill as a minimum. Wouldn't hurt to have a jump shear and slip roll for the blades.

Vintage Windmill and Generator Forum - Projects

 

Also, I am retired. Labor hours don't count.

Build really starts on page 2. Before that I am just asking some questions.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

the 1923 side of our house has a hand dug well. Story goes that there was a drought in the 1930s and the farmer told his hired hand to start digging in gravel in the basement, while he went to town for plumbing necessities (a 5 mile trip). When the farmer got back, the hand was sitting down, waiting. He had struck lots of water in just that short a time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was a very wet period in this area in the early 1890's which may have had some bearing on the early wells around here.  There is a sand strata 30 - 50 feet down but no water these days.

Our house had one for the garden even.  Traces of others.  And in the 1915 drought a grandfather watered 10,000 sheep for a neighbour on a spring in the creek and one well.  These were mostly along the creek but story has it that there were two of about 90 feet well away.  I have a vague recollection of Dad filling them in because all the wells here were done with wood slabs and potentially dangerous.

Now a real hard luck story from another area.  There was a potential irrigation project that needed 30,000 gallons an hour,  So they dug a well and, tough luck, there was only 25,000 gallons available.

The well was 3 feet deep.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Twolines said:

This reminds me of the real life turned tv movie about the little girl in the 80s who had fallen down a well. Dont remember now if she was rescued...i do remember my mom being glued to the tv and pretty upset over the whole situation.

Jessica  something if i remember correctly didn't they did a second shaft along side and tunnel over too her ?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Years ago we rented a house with a old hand dug well, it was in town on the banks of the yellowstone River. Water level was about 10 feet down or River level. The "cap" was rotten 2x6s and plywood. I was glad the kids were 2 and infant when we lived there so they didn't play much outside. 

Neat but kinda scary. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...