31ST ANNUAL West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival

By Staff
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Full set of Bessemers owned by Wib and Fred Anderson of New Martinsville, West Virginia.
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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

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.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines