West Virginia Oil & Gas Festival

By Staff
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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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Exhibits were plenty at this year's festival. Here are some of the different oil derricks displayed. They are all scaled down. In the background is a Nitro Wagon.

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

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

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

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

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.

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