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Iowa Oil Well
I'm proud to own the only oil well in Iowa. After retiring from farming a couple of years ago, I finally took time to build a fake well out of wood. Our farm is located along Interstate 80 in western Iowa so my oil well gets noticed a lot. Occasionally someone will stop and ask if it really pumps oil.
  The pump is about 12 ft. long and 8 ft. high and is operated by an electric motor that runs on a time clock. The electric gear motor drives a rod that is attached to a big 12-ft. long "arm" that goes up and down at about 10 strokes per minute, which is about the same speed as a real oil well. The arm is made from a 2 by 12 plank and the counterweight wheel is made from plywood. The entire well is mounted on skids so I can pull it around with my tractor.
  Normally I operate the well only during the day, but throughout the past Christmas season I put lights on it and also operated it at night. The well is located at the edge of our building site, with a large sign placed much closer to the Interstate. The sign reads "Oil Leases Available, 1 800 Dry Hole". (Eugene Sornsen, 45398 York Rd., Avoca, Iowa 51521 ph

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2001 - Volume #25, Issue #3