Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Manheim, PA

Meeting of April 12, 2015


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 2:15 p.m. welcoming members and guests.  He then led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. 

New Members and Guests: Among the guests were Chris Young, today’s speaker and Columbia County Commissioner, and Ginny Eyrich’s daughter Patty.  New members Suzanna and George Lovas from Maryland introduced themselves.

Tom reminded everyone that copies of the December minutes were available for review.  Approval would be sought later in the meeting.  He thanked everyone for participating in today’s bake sale.

Treasurer Bob Kuether read the monthly treasurer’s report.  It was approved as read by the membership.  As of March 31st we have 367 renewed members.


Tim McLaughlin visited Herr’s Mills (PA-36-21)  – looks rough.

Alda Sheib said the luminaries’ event at Kennedy Bridge (PA-15-13#2) was the best ever, both nights were good.

Pat Cook  reported that while in Florida and Georgia in January she saw 3 romantic shelters.  In March they went to see the covered bridges of Perry County in the snow, Dellville (PA-50-16), Cisna Mill (PA-50-04#2), Book’s (PA-50-13#2), Saville (PA-50-07#2), Kochenderfer’s (PA-50-09), Waggoner’s (PA-50-15), Mt. Pleasant (PA-50-12), New Germantown (PA-50-11), and all looked good except Dellville of course.  Also in March she and her mother visited Dimmsville (PA-34-02).  She placed pictures on the front table for viewing.  They also saw Martin’s Mill (PA-28-01).  They are redoing it.

Katie Helm saw a TV ad for Knoebels with shots of the covered bridge at the entrance to the camp ground.

Bonnie Schultz and Gary Bartoo visited several bridges including Sonestown (PA-57-03), Forksville (PA-57-01), Siegrist’s Mill (PA-36-37) and Forry’s Mill (PA-36-28),

Bob Grier saw many covered bridges but didn’t give the names.

Connie Francis – Speakman 1 (PA-15-05) is still untouched.



President Tom Walczak received a newspaper clipping from Barbara McCauley about Little Gap (PA-13-02).  The headache bar was knocked over and may be replaced with a steel one.  He stopped by Jackson Mill (PA- 05-25) and reported that the grasshopper span has been replaced but it is still not open to traffic – remains closed.

First Vice President, Jim Smedley was absent but sent a report.  At the end of December he and Gloria visited 13 covered bridges in Ohio on their way back from a family visit in Cincinnati.  On January 24th while in Washington, PA on family matters, they stopped by 4 bridges in Greene County; King (PA-30-24), Neddie Woods (PA-30-26), Scott (PA-30-28), and Shriver (PA-30-29).  The snow covered trees they saw on the drive from Baltimore to Washington, PA was absolutely beautiful.  In early April he visited Mercer’s Bridge (PA-15-19/PA-36-38), Herr’s Mill (PA-36-21), Neff’s Mill (PA-36-22#2), Lime Valley (PA-36-23), Baumgardner (PA-36-25 #2) and Colemanville (PA-36-55).  All of the bridges are in excellent shape except for Herr’s Mill.

The 2016 calendar is at the printer’s.  We hope to have it available for members at the safari, but if not it will be available at the Anniversary Dinner next month.

The deadline for PA Crossings Newsletter is June 7th, the day of our June meeting.

Second Vice President, Ray Finkelstein.  The winter and his surgery kept him close to home until last week.  He still had a few Romantic Shelters that he had not seen in Lehigh County, one of which he just could not seem to find.  Linda spotted it while they drove along Route 309, Laubach Bridge, on private property.  After they figured out how to get to it the owner was outside and spoke with Ray and said it was fine for any Society members to visit and take pictures.  He did not have his camera so went back Tuesday with Dave Green and took pictures.  He also went to find Daumer Bridge to take pictures of it and found that it was not there anymore – only a cement slap existed (that crosses a small stream) and railings.

As Membership Committee Chairperson he presented a few ideas to the board.  He requested thoughts of members that would like to share their ideas on how to increase and retain our membership.  He offered to meet at a bridge, thru e-mail or phone and solicited volunteers for the membership committee.

Lastly, he thanked all those that baked (especially his wife) and for everyone that supported the baking and buying of goodies today.

Third Vice President, Steve Wolfhope did not see any bridges.  He mentioned a Facebook posting about a truck accident on Rt 252 near Knox Bridge (PA-15-15#2) but thankfully it did not damage it.  He will soon make a trip through MA and CT and will visit many bridges en route to a train event.

Fourth Vice President, Ed Myers provided an update on the SPCBW Proclamation.  He contacted the Governor’s Office to follow-up on the status and was told it is still in the early stages.  He reminded them that he needed it by the end of April.  He announced several upcoming events.

Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley had nothing more to add to Jim’s report of their covered bridge visits.  She mentioned that our Facebook page continues to do well and encouraged members to view it and share information on it.

Corresponding Secretary / Program Chair Pamela A. Heisey had no bridge report.  She announced that Katie Helm was resigning as the Bake Sale Coordinator and solicited a volunteer to replace her.  Pam prompted a round of applause in appreciation for Katie’s help throughout the years.

Treasurer Bob Kuether had no bridge report.  He has completed a list of donations the Society has made to restoration of bridges between 1962-2014.  $11,477 has been spent on bridge painting during that period.  We’ve painted 7 bridges since 2005.  He shared a graph that showed 68% of donations made were for PA bridges.

Historian Fred J. Moll mentioned that in the TV movie “A Christmas Card” a motorcycle is shown emerging out of the Bridgeport Covered Bridge (CA-29-01) in California.  In the Reading Eagle dated February 26, 2015 there was an article about touring Chester County’s covered bridges next month.  Griesemer’s Covered Bridge (PA-06-03) wooden frame work was up on one of the abutments to pour a concrete coping in the fall but as of this weekend no concrete has been poured.  Pleasantville Covered Bridge (PA-06-01) was closed on March 21, 2015 when a height barrier was damaged by a truck – again.  The bridge reopened with a large clearance sign stating 20 feet 5 inches.



Those who have passed away since our last meeting included Florine Strayer, Bill Eyrich, Jim Lockhart and Jim Lewis.


George Rothlingsofer, Michelle Jacobson, Tina Conn, and June Evans each thanked the group for the many cards they received upon the passing of their loved ones.




Tom showed the poster for the upcoming See Pennsylvania’s Covered Bridges Week which is included in the current edition of Wooden Covered Spans.  (Round of applause for Tom’s work on creating yet another fine poster.)  

Bob mentioned that we will have displays at about 11 sites throughout PA and asked that those creating and manning a display send him pictures of the displays.

New TBCBSPA business cards are available.

Jim has created CDs of our Society’s past publications which will be made available for sale ($4 each) at the Safari and Anniversary Dinner.

We will be painting Esther Furnace (PA-19-20) this year.  Possible dates are June 20th or 27th.


Tim McLaughlin showed a nice Eric Sloan print he found in an antique store and a covered bridge mat he found in Lancaster.

Greg Williams showed a plate his sister gave him of Nisley’s Mill bridge which is now gone – previously just outside of Middletown.  He also had coins that pictured covered bridges – one was Martin’s Mill (PA-28-01), the other unknown.

Michael Chorazy discussed the upcoming Safari.  We will see 10 bridges on Saturday including the two in the Brandywine Conservancy.  He is discussing with them the possibility of driving in to these bridges since walking would be a challenge for many.  There will be no business meeting on Saturday night of the safari.  Sunday we will see 5 bridges and conclude at Knox Bridge.  We will visit Rapp’s Dam (PA-15-14) – no work is being done yet.  Tina Conn has arranged for us to see the inside of Bartram’s (PA-15-17/PA-23-02).  Call the hotel for rooms – mention the TBCBSPA for discount.

Ben Evans requested the total amount our society has donated to preservation of bridges.

Connie Francis mentioned a new app she found called “bridges” to help find them.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Minutes were approved as presented.



Our Next Meeting will be held on Saturday, May 16th at Dutch-Way Restaurant for our Anniversary Dinner.




The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 p.m.


PROGRAM:  “Owning a Covered Bridge” by Chris Young, Columbia County Commissioner


Respectfully Submitted by Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley

May 7, 2015