North Central West Virginia Antique Power Assn.

By Staff
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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.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines