File this under "awesome."
There's a mineral water well in LaGrange, Mo., that has flowed nonstop for more than 125 years. Drillers looking for oil in 1887 hit on a mineral spring about 800 feet down. They were trying to find fuel for a steel mill. What they found was another resource that also proved valuable. In fact, entrepreneurs in LaGrange used to bottle the water and ship it across the country as a miracle cure.
Another site I found that mentions the well says "science stands amazed at the wondrous cures produced from the use of these waters where medical skill had failed." It says people used it in all sorts of ways, from colicky babies to colonics. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I do think it's interesting how long this well has run.
I've heard from drillers talking about wells going for 30, even 40, years. But this one's been going since Grover Cleveland was president (the first time). Ahh, the miracle of water.
Talk to me, drillers. Tell me about wells you know of that have stood the test of time. I'd love to hear about them by email or in the comments.
Update: I posted this to the National Ground Water Association's LinkedIn page, and a couple commenters replied. I thought these were interesting, so I'm passing them on.
One commenter mentioned and "artesian well at Sandfly Island in the barrier islands of Everglades National Park." She said it was drilled around 1908. I couldn't find any references to a well from that time, but I did find this document from the University of Miami, which says "In the early 1920's, Barron Collier also found freshwater which still flows today on Sand Fly Island." Not sure if the commenter and this document are talking about the same well.
Another commenter pointed me to historical postcards of other wells in Missouri. The site You Have Water Mail is a photo blog of old postcards of artesian and other water wells. It features wells from all over the country, as well as a few outside the United States.