West Virginia Oil & Gas Festival


Big engine

Here's a big engine that was the type used to pump oil from the ground starting in the 1890s and is still used today in some areas. There are two on display year round at the Oil Well site in Sistersville.

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Executive Director P.O. Box 25 Sistersville, West Virginia 26175

The 1986 'Old Gas Engine Show' and event of the 18th Annual West Virginia Oil & Gas Festival, held September 11-14 in Sistersville at the Sistersville City Park along the Ohio River has been termed a great success by the host of this event.

Arthur Shreves, Event Chairman and Director for the festival stated, 'This year's Old Gas Engine Show was a success in every way. We had more exhibitors from more states with more engines than ever before in the eighteen year history of the festival.'

The 'Old Gas Engine Show' was started the first year the festival was held when a pick-up load of engines showed up from Wheeling, West Virginia. The people in the Sistersville area didn't even know that people collected engines, let alone have clubs all over the United States and Canada! From the first the engines were a big hit and have been ever since that first year. Now they feel that they have the biggest show of its type for gas engines in West Virginia. Shreves stated, 'We feel that the engines are part of our festival, they have always been here and we hope that they will keep coming back each year.'

When one engine owner from Ohio was asked why he was there, he said, 'I've been coming to this show for over ten years now, wouldn't miss it. They have more going on for the whole family than any other show I've been to.' When asked if that was the only reason he comes back year after year he stated, 'We enjoy the people and the way we are treated. We all pitch in and help make the show a success. We have made many friends here and look forward to coming back each year.'

There were over fifty events being held at this year's festival; some of them were: Grand Oil & Gas Trophy Parade, Gib Morgan Liar's Contest, Talent Contest, Craft Sales, Country Store, Antique Auto Show, Custom Rod and Van Show, Oil & Gas Exhibits, Daily Entertainment, West Virginia Arm Wrestling Championships, Gib Morgan Wrench Throwing Contest, Art Exhibit, Photo Exhibit, Craft Exhibit, Silent Auction, Canoe Races on the Ohio River, West Virginia Marble Shooting Contest, Craft Demonstrations, Oil Give-a-way, Game Booths, Good Booth booths, Oil & Gas Band-a-Rama, Gas Hog Mud Bog, Camp Fire Sing, Stamp & Coin Show, Derrick Building Contest, Children Games, Sr. Citizens Program and Contest, Jr. & Sr. Oil Bowl Games, Horse Shoe Pitching Contest, Mipex Station, and much much more. Plans are already underway for an even better festival in 1987.

Following are the numbers on this year's Old Gas Engine Show. There were 182 exhibitors with engines. Of these, 63 were there for the first time. They brought with them 363 engines of all types and sizes. They came from ten different states. States represented were: New York, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Shreves stated, 'Due to the interest in this year's show, our Board of Directors have already voted to hold next year's Old Gas Engine Show all four days of the festival. In the past it has been only held the last two days of the festival. Also the Board of Directors have set aside more area for next year's show. The dates for the 1987 show and festival are September 17, 18, 19, 20. We invite engine owners to join us. There are no charges for admission, camping, or gas for the engines, and we will give each exhibitor a brass plate for taking part in the show. The only thing we ask is that all campers be self contained and that no large pets be brought, due to the number of small children.'

The West Virginia Oil & Gas Festival wishes to thank two men for their help in making the 1986 Old Gas Engine Show a big success. They are Harry Horner of Dayton, Ohio, and Robert Moore, of Louisville, Kentucky. Both of these men worked during the festival, not only on the engine show, but helping to run the exhibit oil well, seeing that everyone was welcomed to the show and helping engine owners find what they needed.