By William “Skip” Deegans
“West Virginia, That’ll Win Ya” was a slogan for many years for Huntington’s West Virginia Brewing Company’s beer. Michael Fesenmeier learned to make beer in Germany, and after the Civil War he started a small brewery on his farm in western Maryland. He died in 1893 leaving four sons and two daughters. In 1899, the sons and a brother-in-law bought the American Brewing Company in Huntington. Family lore has it that they bought the brewery with their winnings from the Irish Sweepstakes. The family operated the brewery until they could no longer compete with the large national breweries. They sold it in 1968, and two years later it was liquidated.
The Pope-Waverley electric truck shown in this week’s photo dates from the early 1900s. It was manufactured in Indianapolis by the Pope Motor Car Company. In 1905, electric vehicles outsold those powered by steam or gas. Although few women were drivers then, Pope aimed much of their advertising at women because electric vehicles were clean and could be easily started with a flip of a switch. Sales of electric vehicles peaked, however, in 1913 when they were overtaken by the Ford Model T that sold for $490 and could go 200 miles on a tank of gas.
Photo: Courtesy of West Virginia State Archives.
Sources: Goldenseal, The Horseless Age 1905, www.secondgarage.com.