PARKERSBURG - Getting a glimpse of the past and the tools used on the farm and during the oil boom was the focus of the fifth annual Memorial Day Weekend Mid-Ohio Valley Antique Engine Festival in Waverly.
Hundreds of people came out to Lions Field in Waverly on Saturday and Sunday to see antique engines running and to get a feel for what these kinds of devices were used for. Many also came out for the garden tractor pulls, four-wheeler ATV drag racing and more.
There were over 100 antique gas engines at the festival, several restored tractors on display and other restored equipment.
Photos by Brett Dunlap
In addition to the antique engines, people also came out to watch the ATV races during the Mid-Ohio Valley Antique Engine Festival in Waverly over the weekend.
"People have been really happy with what has been going on," said Barry Calebaugh, vice president of the Waverly Lions Club, one of the sponsors of the event along with the Waverly Volunteer Fire Department. "We've had a good turnout this year. It was as good, if not a little better than last year."
Many people come out for the engines and to watch the ATV races. Every year organizers also get a number of antique engine enthusiasts who come to show their engines and the public who comes out and enjoys seeing them.
"It is two good days of entertainment for the community," Calebaugh said.
Engines, like the ones on display at the festival, once provided much of the power used on farms and other operations from the early 1900s on, before electrical power became widely available. Engines were used for everything from pumping water and oil to grinding corn and more.
Many of those showing antique engines see each other regularly at shows and festivals throughout the season.
"It is a lot of the same people year after year," Calebaugh said. "It is like a big extended family. They all know each other."
One man, Gale Henderson, had a table of rare and unusual tools and invited people to try and guess what they were used for.
"You don't recognize any of them, but Galey can tell you what it did and what it was used for," Calebaugh said.
Ken Calebaugh, president of the Waverly Lions Club, said many of aspects of the show, from the engines to the tools, represent the history of the area.
"It is the history of what they have that a lot of people were not aware of being around this area during the oil boom back in the late 1800s and the early 1900s," he said. "These engines are what pumped the wells."
Each year the event has someone new with different engines which no one has seen before.
"You never know who will show up with what," Ken Calebaugh said. "People come in from Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and elsewhere.
"These guys all know each other. They are all pretty good friends. No one is in competition with anyone else."
Pete Nichols of Spencer brought out a number of old gas engines used in water and oil pumping. The water well pumper could pump water up from 200 feet, he said.
Nichols likes showing the engines to the public and other engine operators.
"I am amazed with how simple they are," he said of the engines. "The way they had to make them and the jobs they were able to accomplish with them."
Noah Berry, secretary for the Waverly Lions Club, said many engines and other devices were developed to address specific needs.
"I am amazed at the technology they had back then," he said. "It is just fascinating to me.
"They were really clever people."
In addition to the engine festival, the Waverly Lions Club is also holding another event this coming weekend
The first Waverly Lions Club Bluegrass Festival will be Friday and Saturday at Lions Club Field off West Virginia 2 in Waverly.
The festival will begin with an open stage evening from about 5 to 9 p.m. Friday. There is no cost for the Friday night program, which is for anyone who wants to come and play or sing.
The main program begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and will be held rain or shine. Admission is $10. There will be concessions and limited primitive camping available. The lineup of entertainers will be Blackwater Run, The Sheppard Brothers, Union Valley and No One You Know. An open jam will be from 6 to 9 p.m. after the performances.
Proceeds from the event will go towards the Lions Club's charities, primarily those assisting the sight-impaired.