Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Kansas Landmark

When we took Son and the Grands to see Tow Tater in Galena, Kansas the other day, we were also fairly close to where Big Brutus resides just outside of West Mineral, Kansas.

Daughter and her husband had taken G1 and G2 to see this humongous piece of equipment a few years ago and we thought Son's kiddos, especially the boys, would enjoy seeing it too.

For those who aren't familiar with Big Brutus, I dare say he is the biggest attraction in southeast Kansas. While his working days are long past he stands as a tribute to the mining heritage in this part of Kansas.

He is the second largest electric shovel in the world.

L-R: G3, G4, Girlie and G5 standing in the dipper.

His dipper capacity is 90 cubic yards. If that's about as clear as mud for you like it was for me,  that's roughly 150 tons! In ONE scoop!

According to the brochure Big Brutus stands 16 stories (160 feet) tall and weighs in at a mere 11 million pounds. His maximum speed is/was .22 miles per hour.

He didn't actually dig the coal but removed the dirt and rocks covering the coal seams. Then other equipment was brought in to remove the coal. Eventually the high cost surrounding the use of Big Brutus forced him into retirement.

Today the land has been reclaimed and returned to a useful purpose. The mining company donated 10,000 acres of land surrounding Big Brutus to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.


  1. What a fun informative post. I love road trips like this!

  2. That cost somebody a big chunk of change!

  3. I absolutely love the photo of the kids in the big scoop! SO adorable!

  4. Christine, According to the brochure, in 1962 Big Brutus was purchased by the Pittsburg & Midway Coal Mining Company out of Pittsburg, KS from the Bucyrus Erie Company of Milwaukee for $6.5 million. The last electric bill for 1 month of operation in 1974 was $27,000.

  5. oh my goodness!!! brutus is huge!

  6. That is some machine!!! Very cool!!
    Should we get Mickey to run it???

  7. I have a new entry on my bucket list.

  8. Yup,
    my kids have stood in it too!!!
    only they were college students then...

  9. Love this post! Thanks for sharing!!! Sometimes the simplest outings make the best adventures. I am sure your grandkids will always remember Big Brutus!

  10. A great tribute to the brave miners, it really is a remarkle piece of engineering. Thanks for sharing Brutus with us granny.

  11. how fun! I've never heard of big Brutus but I know our grandson would flip over it. he loves tractors and anything that digs.
    thanks for the info

  12. That was very interesting and it is one big piece of equipment.
    Great photos of the grands standing in the bucket.

  13. I've never heard of "Big Brutus" and at first thought he was another character from the Cars movies. That is one massive sized piece of equipment. I will share this with the little man!

    Your Friend,

  14. Hi Sweetie...
    Oh my gosh. I love this. All these years I lived in Oklahoma, growing up, and all the visits, and I have never heard of Big Brutus. I can't wait to ask my Daddy if he has. This would be a fun excursion to go on. Especially seeing as how my husband works with miners every single day. He would love this.

    You go to so many interesting places. I love seeing what the heck you all are up to. Thanks for taking me along today. I so enjoyed myself.

    This is the Miracle Weekend makeover. I am one of the hosting sites. For every comment left, Guideposts magazine will pay a dollar, to the next cancer makeover patient. Please stop by and read the story about 9 year old Charlie, and bless me with a comment. Out goal between the 4 or 5 blogs is 5,000. I know we can do it. I would appreciate it, if you pass the word around to as many friends as possible.

    Thank you sweetie for a wonderful post. I love it. Have a glorious weekend. Country hugs from Phoenix, Sherry

  15. That is one big piece of equipment!
    I'll bet the kids loved seeing it.
    I know my kids(big and small) would love seeing it also.

  16. Wow. Big Brutus was interesting!

    Thanks for the welcome back to my blog. I realized I took an extended break from my blog. The summer became rather hectic and blogging became more of a chore than a pleasure. It's starting to come back though :)