143 North First Avenue Paden City, West Virginia 26159
In the early 19th century, Charles Wells settled here and named this area Sistersville in honor of his two daughters, Sarah and Deliah. Sistersville started out as a quiet farming and trade community ideally situated on the Ohio River. However, with the discovery of oil on a local farm it was quickly transformed into a booming oil town.
To accommodate the influx of workers, boarding houses and hotels were built. The Wells Inn was one of the most elaborate. A prosperous business district sprang up which included saloons and a movie theater. The oil boom ended in 1915, but the historic landmarks of this era remain.
The West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival is an annual event held in honor of this important time in our area's history. The city park in Sistersville is the site for this four-day celebration with demonstrations, music, games, food and fun for the entire family to enjoy.
Each year people travel hundreds of miles to view the historical sites and to participate in the festivities. Last year, for example, 202 exhibitors from Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, New Jersey, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Kentucky brought with them 508 engines, 36 models, and 11 tractors. Others brought oil can displays, an oiler, a derrick, old parts and tools. Also, Bill and Georgianna Locker from Magnolia, Ohio, brought along their DingALing Railroad for the children to ride.
Larry Thomas of Nashville, Tennessee, returns to the local area to bring back a Pattin 20 HP engine to the area where it was made in Marietta, Ohio. Photo by Lara Sewinski of Paden City.
Leroy and Becky Templeton (center) from St. Mary's, West Virginia, were honored for their years of dedication to the Oil and Gas Festival. Pictured with Mr. and Mrs. Templeton are their niece, Gladys Ferrebee, and nephew, Wade Ferrebee.
We appreciate the time and effort involved in bringing and displaying these items. Thanks everyone! We look forward to seeing you this year on September 14, 15, 16 and 17 during the 32nd Annual West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival.