50,000 gallons per minute – Old Jumbo Geyser in Belle Plaine

When the city of Belle Plaine, Iowa wanted a new water source, they put out a bid for the work. The award went to the lowest bid – Willy Weir, who had dug numerous wells. From the original two-foot hole, the water blasted 50 feet into the air, releasing up to 50,000 gallons per minute.

Numerous laborers and individuals assisted with trying to stop the geyser, but it continued to flow for 14 months! Eventually, local foundry owner, George Palmer, came up with a solution to finally silence the geyser. However, during the 14 months that the geyser flowed, the news traveled far and wide and it was nicknamed “the eighth wonder of the world”.

Address: 801 8th Ave, Belle Plaine, Iowa

This plaque is attached to a rock at the intersection of 8th Ave and 8th Street and reads “Old Jumbo well broke out in August 1886 at his intersection of eight avenue and eighth street. It was months before this gusher of artesian water was brought under control. Artesia Chapter Daughters of the America Revolution of Belle Plaine, Iowa commemorates this location December 1954.
In 1982, the US Geological Survey came back to drill a test – and it was still flowing and it took them 4 hours to stop the test drill.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply