Artesian wells have emerged as one of the most popular of the many topics I write about. That’s good news for me since they’re one of my favorite things to research! I found the bulk of the wells I’ve visited in 2020 and 2021, but I’m always on the lookout for more. 2023 has led me to several new ones, so to help both of us out, I’ve created an artesian well map of East-Central Indiana.
This map will have its own page on this blog. Similar to my schoolhouse index, I hope it serves as a repository for my progress. Part its purpose is to make it easier for people to find these flowing wells than it was for me.
Artesian wells flow without a pump because they tap a pressurized aquifer. In these parts, most date from around the turn of the twentieth century and were originally drilled to access natural gas. They differ from natural springs because they were intentionally drilled.
My map breaks the wells down by county. Those that I’ve been to and have personally seen myself are marked with green faucets. Wells that I believe to be extant but haven’t seen with my own eyes are marked by yellow faucets. Flowing wells that I believe no longer exist are marked with red faucets.
The other reason I made this map is to help organize my research: I get a lot of tips about possible artesian wells on Facebook after I share my posts there. Occasionally, someone’s directions point me right to a well! Other times, recollections are vague and I can’t easily confirm whether a well still exists or not. The general area of those wells are marked with gray circles. Hopefully the gray circles will someday become green, yellow, or red faucets as I continue to study them. The flowing well map displays my research in real time, and my goal is for all the icons to become green or red faucets as my research continues.
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to locating the artesian wells of East-Central Indiana. After the first one I accidentally bumbled past, I found several more through actual research. These days, the majority of the wells I “discover” come from crowdsourcing locations on history-minded Facebook groups or other social media channels. Although I began by driving around and trying to use imagery from Google Street View to confirm their locations, I’ve recently started using the Indiana Geological & Water Survey’s Petroleum Database Management System map to help out even more.
That map isn’t perfect. It takes forever to load, it features eighteen-year-old satellite imagery, and it doesn’t include every well I’ve been to. That said, it’s useful to confirm the existence of many old gas wells that may have water flowing out of them now.
I expect my artesian well map to be a big part of my blog moving forward. For now, it focuses on six arbitrary counties in northeastern Indiana- Delaware, Grant, Hancock, Henry, Madison, and Randolph. Eventually, I’d love to find some in Blackford, Jay, and Wayne Counties. If you have any tips about an artesian well I’ve missed, send me a message or a comment!