North Central West Virginia Antique Power Assn.

North Central West Virginia

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Sec./Treas P.O. Box 1754, Clarksburg, West Virginia 26302-1754.

Much has been written about the Domestic side-shaft, the Economy, the John Deere, etc. Each month GEM sends us a series of these articles that are full of information and are interesting to read. Often they contain an idea or a technical part on an engine that we may have overlooked or didn't know at all.

But, at this time I would like to flip off the oiler and kick the belt off the pulley. I would like to get upon a bucket or step upon the tailgate and take off my hat to you ladies. To the ladies who work in the background that help make our engine shows a great success! Hats off to ladies like Roxie Anderson, who crocheted an afghan for our raffle sales, and Willa Townsend, who took all of the telephone calls.

To Mrs. Totten and Mrs. Rinehart from Wood County Flywheelers who helped with their covered dish dinner. Hats off to the ladies like Mrs. Brad-dock, Mrs. Holmes and Mrs. Stoner from the Washington County, PA Show. They always have a smile for you regardless of the weather. To our president's wife, Linda Marshall, who volunteered her time to register the exhibitors at our show at Jackson's Mill, West Virginia.

There are hundreds of the ladies out there to take our hats off to. In 90 degree weather or mud up to their ears, they hang in there. I'm sure that some days they would rather be home. And last but not least, to my wife, Jeannine, who has helped me in the past years.

On behalf of the North Central West Virginia Power Association, I hope all of you and your families had the merriest of holidays, and best wishes for the upcoming year.

I have a question for you engineers out there. How far up in altitude can a steam engine run before it becomes useless? Will it be a factor of weight and power or the temperature that the water boils?

Fairview, West Virginia is a small town just north of Fairmont. If you turn right at the Dairy Queen, go through Punkin Center to the top of the hill and turn right, you will drop off into a hollow (valley) and find a little community once called 'Little Italy'. Here in 1890 laid some of the early oil fields. This was the home of the late Merle Eddy. In the center of town was a boiler house (see enclosed photo) with steam lines radiating out to drilling rigs near the top of the hill. Here the wells were drilled with steam until oil and gas was hit. Then the steam cylinder was taken off and a gas cylinder was installed to run on natural gas. Hence the name 'Half Breed' was coined. Merle stated by walking on the lines that he could walk from the head of the valley to the bottom without setting foot on the ground.

Mr. Eddy passed away in April, 1990. In 1988 he was presented with the Bi-Centennial Farm Award. This farm was given to the Eddy family over two hundred years ago by a land grant from England. Merle retired from the Hope Gas Company where he worked as a well tender. A member of several clubs in the area and a fine gentleman, he will be missed.