Cherokee Lowlands—Places to Visit

drawing of outline of this region on Kansas map

Cherokee Lowlands--Intro | Cherokee Lowlands--Rocks and Minerals
Cherokee Lowlands--Places to Visit | Other regions

Download fact sheet on the rocks and minerals of the Cherokee Lowlands.

Big Brutus. A relic from an earlier period in coal mining, Big Brutus was the world's second largest electric mining shovel. It stood 160 feet high and could scoop up to 150 tons (30,000 pounds) of rock and soil in a single scoop. Big Brutus was used to remove the overburden--soil and rocks covering the coal seam--which was sometimes as thick as 69 feet. Smaller shovels were then used to remove the coal. A combination of economic and environmental factors led to its abandonment in the mid 1970's. In 1985 it was converted to a museum "dedicated to the rich coal mining history in southeast Kansas." Big Brutus is located one mile southwest of the town of West Mineral in Cherokee County (316) 827-6177.

color photo of large coal shovel, Big Brutus

Big Brutus, Cherokee County.

Crawford County Historical Museum. This museum has exhibits featuring coal mining in the region. Located in Pittsburg, between Atkinson Road and 20th Street on Kansas Highway 69, the hours of the Crawford County Historical Museum vary throughout the year. Please call for information (316) 231-1440.

Mined Land Wildlife Areas. A good place to see the effects of strip mining on the landscape is in the Mined Land Wildlife Areas in Cherokee, Crawford, and Labette counties. This land was donated to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks by the Pittsburg and Midway Mining Company of Pittsburg, Kansas. Abandoned strips pits have filled with water and a nature trail is located in one of the areas.

Sources

Buchanan, Rex C., and McCauley, James R., 1987, Roadside Kansas--A Traveler's Guide to Its Geology and Landmarks: Lawrence, Kansas, University Press of Kansas, 365 p.

Evans, Catherine S., 1988, From Sea to Prairie--A Primer of Kansas Geology: Kansas Geological Survey, Educational Series 6, 60 p.

Schoewe, Walter H., 1949, The Geography of Kansas: Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, v. 52, no. 3, p. 261-333.

Wilson, Frank W., 1978, Kansas Landscapes--A Geologic Diary: Kansas Geological Survey, Educational Series 5, 50 p.

Cherokee Lowlands--Intro | Cherokee Lowlands--Rocks and Minerals
Cherokee Lowlands--Places to Visit | Other regions