Well drilling has been my life. We don’t usually think of it as exciting. However, we do run into some jobs that are unusual and memorable. This is a story of one of those memorable jobs that sticks in my mind.

In the ’70s, I was contracted to drill a well for a camping cabin in south Georgia. They only needed enough water for a pitcher pump to be mounted on the porch. No biggy, right? … Wrong!

We traveled to the cabin through trails not meant for drilling equipment. We set up the drill near the cabin and commenced drilling. At about 60 feet the hole went blind. We immediately pulled the drill stem out and you could feel cool air escaping from the borehole. It appeared to be a cave or cavern of some sort. There was no water in this cavern.

Gaming Hunting Lodge
One of columnist Porky Cutter’s more memorable jobs involved installing a well for a game hunting lodge in south Georgia. Source: iStock

Knowing that even if there was water in this cavern a pitcher pump wouldn’t be able to lift it, we loaded up and left with our equipment.

We had a meeting with the owners of the plantation and they advised us that hunters had to be able to pump water from the porch with a pitcher pump. They advised us that even if they had to deliver water to the pitcher pump, that was doable.

After considering their requirements, we proposed drilling a 24-inch hole to about 25 feet, installing a cap on the bottom of the casing with a 1¼-inch drop pipe and a filler pipe and cap at the top. This way the hunters could pump water using a pitcher pump on the porch. However, the owners would have to haul water to the enclosed well and be sure it was kept full for the hunters. It was agreed that this was doable.

This was a large plantation that contracted people to come, stay in the hunting cabins and be escorted by horses and a hunting wagon to shoot game birds from the hunting buggy. A convenient way for people to experience camping in an old cabin with a pitcher pump, an outhouse and no air conditioning. A kind of roughing it like the old timers did, but with a modern day-type hunting wagon.

Before traveling to this plantation, we were advised that there was a history attached in that many years before the Spanish or English (I don’t remember which) were traveling with a wagon load of gold and were attacked by an enemy. They buried the gold in the forks of the creek and it was never recovered.

Since we were drilling nearby I had my favorite dowser (Bess) see what she could find. She found nothing near the forks of the creek. However, in researching old and new maps we found that the creek forks had changed locations over the years.

We never had the opportunity to return and check this out further. Was the gold buried in the forks of the river on the original map or was it found, or possibly it was just a hoax? It kind of makes you wonder!

Over the years, we have experienced using a magnet to recover a metal cash box full of car keys stolen from a car dealer and dumped in a dug well.

We’ve hoisted a milk cow from a dug well and the cow survived. When she cleared the well we grabbed her tail and pulled her clear of the well. She landed on her feet and ran off to the other cows.

As I said at the beginning of this article, some jobs are unusual, a few are memorable and many are satisfying. 

For more Porky columns, visit www.thedriller.com/porky.