Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Annual Picnic at Poole Forge Park

Meeting of July 5, 2015


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 2:13 p.m. As this is 4th of July weekend he opened with the Pledge of Allegiance to salute our country and independence.

He thanked Judy Kuether and Betty Martin for their help in setting up the kitchen for the food and all those who brought food to share.  He thanked Jerry Martin for allowing us use of the area in the shade near the bridge.

New Members and Guests: There were many guests at today’s picnic including Bill & Mary Winters, friends of Ginny who have been a big support to her since Bill passed away, long time member Ortha Klischer and her daughters Darlene and Ortha, Mary Rothlingshofer, George’s mom, and Tim McLaughlin brought his son Connor.

Tom reminded everyone that copies of the June minutes were available for review.  Approval would be sought later in the meeting. 

Treasurer Bob Kuether read the treasurer’s report for the month of June.  We have one new Life member, Wesley Foltz from Blair, PA.  Member total as of end of June is 367, 30 less than one year ago. There were no corrections or additions to the report and it was approved as read.


Michael Chorazy stopped by Rapp’s Dam (PA-15-14) and reported that no work has been done yet.  There is no equipment on site.  Work is to start in August now.

Tina Conn:  On June 20th she and Donna Talak attended a covered bridge festival in Patrick County, VA.  It is held the 3rd Saturday in June each year.  Although they didn’t ride, they had a hayride that traveled between the two bridges, Jack’s Mountain (VA-68-02) and Bob White (VA-68-01).  There was music and vendors at both bridges, but the bigger site was at Jack’s Mountain.  At the festival Tina met the owner of a romantic shelter next to Jack’s Mountain, Clifford Wood (VA-68-A) and he said that we were welcome to visit it and take pictures.  It was located right before we turned in to see Jack’s Mountain and the Festival there.  Of course she took him up on his offer. He had many old signs and antique items in his garage.  They spent time looking at the assortment of items he owned.  She and Donna also visited Fairystone State Park also located in Patrick County.  It was a busy weekend, but they enjoyed the 941 mile round trip in 49 hours.

Pat Cook – In June she and Bonnie Shultz attended the National Covered Bridge Society meeting on Contoocook Railroad covered Bridge (NH-07-07).  They also visited 9 romantic shelters and 8 covered bridges – Squam River (NH-05-112), Smith (NH-05-60#2), Jack O’Lantern (29-05-18) which is now red, Blair (NH-02-08) which is closed because a truck broke off at least two top braces, New England Bible College (NH-02-12) and of course Contoocook (NH-02-07#2).  They tried to find Goffe’s Covered Bridge (NH-06-b) which is going to go to Wentworth, NH from Bedford NH, but no one knew where it was.  In Bedford it was attached to the motel and Pat had seen it twice, it is a Pratt truss.   They went to visit Turkey Jim’s (NH-05-07 #2) but the lady at the gate said it would be $8 per person just to take pictures in pouring rain, then they offered $3 per person but Pat and Bonnie declined.


President Tom Walczak – On June 20, 2015 17 members participated in the painting of Esther Furnace (PA-19-20).  It was a very nice time.  Thanks to all who participated.  The weather cooperated and we were done by noon.  Professional painters had painted the outside and inside days before.  Members painted portals and white side boards inside the bridge.  Then we were all treated to a pizza lunch by the Columbia County Commissioners Office.  Earlier that morning members had attended the Breakfast for the Bridge at the Orangeville Masonic Lodge.  On the way to the painting Tom visited Parr’s Mill (PA-19-29) which had been rehabilitated and is beautiful.  After the painting he visited Rupert (PA-19-33) and Hollingshead (PA-19-34) in Columbia County, Old Keefers (PA-47-03) in Montour County which was just rehabilitated last year.  Trees had been removed around the bridge clearing the way for taking better pictures of it.  He also visited Sam Wagner (PA-47-01/49-11) (Columbia/Montour Co.) which could use painting.  Tom nominated it for Society painting next year.  Yesterday he visited Jericho (MD-03-02 & MD-12-01) on the Baltimore/Harford county line in MD with his girlfriend JoAnn.  It has been removed from over the water and is sitting on Jericho Road.  It stands high off the road with lots of cribbing under it where they used rollers to remove it from the water.  Both ends of the Burr arch were cut off to replace bad wood.  There was a front page article in the Baltimore Sunpapers on June 30 about the rehabilitation of the bridge with quotes by our First Vice President, Jim Smedley.  Tim Andrews team of Barns and Bridges of New England is doing the work on the bridge.

First Vice President, Jim Smedley – As Tom said, Jericho has been removed from the stream and they are in the process of replacing bad timber and removing the old flooring so the steel beams can be cleaned and painted.  The bridge will likely be pulled back over the stream around mid-October with completion of the project by the end of the year.  Two weeks ago, while the bridge was being pulled off the water by a pulley system, Jim was permitted to work the pulley pulling the bridge about 4 feet in 10 minutes.

The deadline for the fall issue of PA Crossings Newsletter is October 4th, the date of our October meeting. 

Second Vice President, Ray Finkelstein - On Friday 6/26/2015 Ray wanted to make a trip to Bird-in-Hand Mud Sale in Lancaster to meet Dave but somehow got convinced to go to Lancaster and go Quilt Shop Hop that had some Covered Bridge Patterns.  He and Linda stopped by a few Bridges.  First Erbs (PA-36-34), then Eberly  (PA-36-04) (which has some damage to the portal and roof), Pinetown (PA-36-05 #2), Hunsecker’s Mill (PA-36-06 #2) and lastly Oregon Dairy (PA-36-o).  Not to take a bridge picture but did have some ice cream.  Never did get to the mud sale. On 6/29/2015 he took a ride over to Manassas Guth Bridge (PA-39-03) to see if any work has started and the answer is no.  Also he decided to take a ride to Tony Oswald Bridge (PA-39-m) and see it in summer.  Took some nice pictures and a walk thru the park (found another walking place).  Lastly they went to the Kutztown Fair and I took a few shots of Kutz Mill Covered Bridge (PA-36-05).

Third Vice President, Steve Wolfhope -  On June 25th Steve visited the two bridges in Schuylkill County, Rock Bridge (PA-54-02) which is in a very nice setting and Zimmerman’s Bridge (PA-54-01).

Fourth Vice President, Ed Myers announced several upcoming events. 

Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley – On our way to Columbia County on June 19th before attending the Breakfast for the Bridge and Esther Furnace Bridge painting her and Jim stopped by Zimmerman Bridge and Rock Bridge in Schuylkill County.  Also, Snyder (PA-19-14, Davis (PA-19-16), Parr’s Mill, Rupert, and Hollingshead in Columbia County.  Davis and Snyder appeared to be structurally strong but in need of paint.  Parr’s Mill has been recently painted.


Corresponding Secretary / Program Chair Pamela A. Heisey was not in attendance.

Treasurer Bob Kuether thanked all who came to paint Esther Furnace.  All the Commissioners were ecstatic with the completed job.  So much so that Bob received a call from Chris Young, Commissioner, stating that they would donate $1,000 towards the painting cost and reminded Bob they have 22 more bridge in the County.  This was the 6th bridge our Society has painted and Chris Young said he would let other counties know that our group paints bridges and does an excellent job.  Yesterday Bob and Judy set up a display at the Lancaster Visitor Center and talked to lots of folks about bridges from many different states during the day.  He went to Gettysburg and visited Sachs (PA-01-01) where he found at least 25 pegs missing and lots of graffiti on the bridge.  He plans to make a call to officials about the condition of the bridge.

Historian Fred J. Moll checked on Dreibelbis (PA-06-07) and found that no construction has begun.  He notices a Deeners Hardware ad inside the bridge – once one of the oldest Hardware stores in the area – he hopes that remains on the bridge.


Janet Orland’s husband, Herb, is recovering from a stay in the hospital for several issues but is recovering.



Tom announced that tomorrow is Ortha Klischer’s birthday – she will be 92 years old.  Her daughters were with her today at the picnic.  Tom mentioned how nice it is to see her there.

Members Pat Cook and Tina Conn have agreed to serve on the annual Nominating Committee.  If you are interested in running for office see either of them.  Thanks to both for serving on this committee.


Pat Cook showed a coin with Clark’s Ferry Covered Bridge on it.

Bob Kuether has many new items in the country store today including new covered bridge Christmas Cards.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Minutes were approved as presented.


Our Next Meeting will be held on Sunday, August 2nd and will be held at the Discover Lancaster Visitor Center, 501 Greenfield Road.  The Program will be “Pennsylvania’s Covered Bridges – Designs, Designers & Distribution” given by Ben and June Evans.   The program will be conducted first followed by our business meeting. 


ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting was adjourned at 3:20 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted by Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley

July 20, 2015