THE SPRAGUE WELL
This is one of many Artesian Wells that grace the shores of Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior between Ashland and Washburn. This well is believed to be the first drilled artesian well in Bayfield County and was completed at a depth of 119 feet 8 inches in April of 1903 by Monroe H. Sprague of the Akeley-Sprague Lumber Co. that once graced this very site which is now Thompson’s West End Park.
An aquifer provides the water source for this artesian well. Porous stone is sandwiched between a top and bottom layer of an impermeable substance like clay or rock. The artesian water pressure is kept high due to porous stone being crushed between impermeable rocks along with the water’s density, and elevation of recharge zone (gravity). When you get to a point below the entryway of the flow, there is enough pressure (artesian pressure) to bring the water up. The water in the aquifer is also under enough pressure that, when the aquifer is tapped by a well such as this, the water rises up the well bore to a level that is above the top of the aquifer called the potentiometric surface.
Flow from the original 4 inch casing was rated at 224 gal. min. – “So free of minerals it was piped directly to the saw mill boilers.” In 1956 the flow was measured at 54 gal. min. from a 1 inch pipe and tested 104 PPM total mineral content.
Long a freshwater treat for Washburn residents, it remains a landmark of early lumbering days on Chequamegon Bay.
** Artesian Well and Confined Aquifer Animation**
TO LOG THIS CACHE:
1) Determine the output of the well in gallons per minute (gpm) and compare that to the original and 1956 flow measurements.
E-mail me the answer(s) HERE.