Unusual Destinations: Big Brutus

Jun 25, 2020 View Comments by

Big Brutus

A giant lurks near West Mineral, Kansas. Not far from town riders can catch first sight of him, towering above the surrounding tree line. His dimensions are massive: 16 stories tall, a boom that’s 150 feet long, and weighing in at 11 million pounds. He’s known simply as Big Brutus and you wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley. This brute, though, isn’t human or even superhuman, because he’s actually a massively proportioned Bucyrus-Erie electric shovel, which once ran around the clock, gouging out house-sized chunks of Kansas prairie in search of coal.

Brutus has been in retirement since 1974, but he was simply too large to move elsewhere and has become tourist attraction and centerpiece of a mining museum. Adventuresome visitors can climb up and inside of Butus’s warehouse-size cabin or climb on top of his “big dipper,” which has a carrying capacity of 90 cubic yards (large enough for 140 tons of coal). Find Brutus at 6509 NW 60th St, West Mineral, KS, (620) 827-6177.

 

 

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