Workers unearth undiscovered well in Dealey Plaza

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by BYRON HARRIS

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WFAA

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 10 at 10:50 AM

Dealey Plaza

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DALLAS — Workers at Dealey Plaza uncovered what appeared to be a well on Tuesday. Now the city and archaeologist Tim Dalbey are trying to decide what it is.

"It might not be a 'well' in the sense that we know wells, or a cistern," Dalbey said.

It's known that John Neely Bryan, the founder of Dallas, lived somewhere near Dealey Plaza in 1839, even though a copy of his tiny cabin is now located at Founders Plaza a block away.

But Bryan wasn't the area's first resident. There were native Americans before him, and residents before them.

;"You've had a progression of occupation here for about 3,000 years," Dalbey said. "And in the historic time, this was the center of of the beginning of Dallas, right here in these few blocks."

Early in the 20th century, the Trinity River came close to Dealey Plaza. There were warehouses, railroads and boat landings nearby.

"Early in the 1900s, the area resolved itself into a gateway for Dallas," said Trent Williams of the City of Dallas. "What was private property became public space."

It was as a gateway that Dealey Plaza made modern history, the infamous spot where President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed.

Now, with the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination looming, the two swells of history are smashing together: The assassination and the well.

The city is under a tough deadline to finish work on an updated Dealey Plaza by August. And the well is in the middle of the project. So the city is documenting the well and its location and protecting it from damage.

But as work goes forward, city officials say the waters of history will likely be recorded... and then preserved under a layer of concrete.

E-mail bharris@wfaa.com

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