Belle Plaine's 'Jumbo Well' was once considered the 'Eighth Wonder of the World'

June 19, 2019

When you think about the "Wonders of the World", the pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal in India, the Colosseum in Rome, or the Great Wall of China are probably what come to mind.

 

But what if I said...the "Jumbo Well" of Belle Plaine, Iowa?

 

No?  

 

Well, at one time...when this particular well was dug in 1886...the news of it's incredible scale drew visitors from all over and garnered newspaper coverage as far away as Europe. The Belle Plaine Historical Society has put together a very informative 10 minute video that is very well done. It would be worth checking out if you are interested in this kind of thing.

 

Today, the town is still proud of their hydrologic fame. They still boast about it on their welcome sign.

There's also a mural on the side of a building in town that points to this important history.

The site is now the intersection (8th Street and 8th Avenue) of a very quiet residential street.

In fact, if you didn't know that this is where the well was, you might very well miss the small rock with the attached engraving signifying the location. 

This is a great piece of Iowa history and if you ever get a trivia question about where Iowa's famous "jumbo well" was, you'll now know it was in Belle Plaine. I was in town for a fundraiser for the restoration and preservation of the historic Herring Hotel and this was a nice and quick stop after the event concluded. It probably won't take more than a minute and you can even leave the car running, but no trip to town is complete without paying a visit.

 

As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Benton County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this website.

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