Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Manheim, PA

Sunday, April 3, 2016


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 2:07 p.m. and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

NEW MEMBERS AND GUESTS:  Michael (Mike) Rudnick from Reisterstown, MD.  Tim McLaughlin announced that he and Connie Francis were married on April 1, 2016 at Poole Forge Bridge (PA-36-01).  He introduced Connie as his wife.

Tom thanked all who participated in setup, baking, and buying for today’s bake sale, and those who contributed to the church’s food drive.  A basket is now available for monetary contributions to the church food drive.

Tom reminded members the minutes are in the box for review and approval later.

TREASURER’S REPORT (Bob Kuether).  We have one new member, Arnie Alexander.  We have 372 members for 2015-2016.


Mike Rudnick reported on progress at Jericho (MD-03-02 & MD-12-01) in Kingsville, MD.  The bridge will open on Monday April 25th with an opening ceremony starting at 11:00 a.m.  He also visited Loys Station (MD-10-03 #2) in Frederick County which looks good, Hunseckers (PA-36-06#2) and Turner’s (PA-05-19) which both had considerable graffiti in them.  He also noted a billboard on 79 traveling towards Bedford promoting Bedford County covered bridges.

Tim McLaughlin visited Red/Wertz (PA-06-06) noting side boards were missing.

Joe McCarthy announced that repairs to Knox (PA-15-15#2) have been completed but the bridge will not open until Labor Day due to problems with sewage system.  Rapps (PA-15-14) has a hole in the side and a few broken timbers where a tree floated downstream and hit the bridge. The lumber has been ordered for Speakman #1 (PA-15-05) which will arrive 2nd week of July.  The rebuild should be done by sometime late August.  Bitzer’s Mill (PA-36-04) has been closed as both portals were damaged by a truck or heavy farm equipment.

Pat Cook placed articles on the bulletin board about Dimmsville (PA-34-02).

Ginny Eyrich found two boxes of birthday cards with covered bridges on them, including Sachs (PA-01-01).


President Tom Walczak visited Jericho last evening and got some nice pictures of the finished bridge.  He noted that Hollingshead (PA-19-34) has a hole in the roof due to high winds.

First Vice President Jim Smedley – Jim discussed the headache bar with dangling chains and cans at Jericho.  The main reason is to protect the counties against liability.  These will alert a driver that their vehicle is too big to go through the bridge but not cause significant damage to the vehicle.  He mentioned the especially long guard rails, noting that they are meant to protect vehicles from going over the embankments and damaging the wing walls.

The deadline for the summer issue of PA Crossings is June 5th, the date of our meeting at Kreidersville.

Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein – Ray announced that on 6/12/2016 there will be a 175th Anniversary Celebration at Bogert’s Covered Bridge (PA-39-01) in Allentown – Restoration of Bogert’s Covered Bridge.

He received the following information from Karen El-Chaar of the Friends of the Allentown Parks.  “As regards the cost, the Allentown Parks Dept and I met with the engineering firm who restores covered bridges. It will cost approx. $1.5 million to restore the bridge; a Band-Aid fix which will cover perhaps 5 more years is about $200,000. The design plans for restoration are approximately $150,000.   P. Joseph Lehman, Inc. is the firm who did the inspection. The city would have to put out the project for bid. Our organization would try to raise the bulk of the funds and would look to grants primarily.”  The TBCBSP will take part in the celebration.  Ray put some info up front if anyone is interested.

In March he took a trip with Bob & Judy to help map out our Safari and realized that it is not easy to run a safari.   Last week he visited Knecht’s  (PA-09-02) which is good shape and Sheard’s  (PA-09-06) and found the floor boards in poor condition but the rest of the bridge looks good.  Yesterday he stopped by the Kutz’s Mill (PA-06-05) which is in good shape. 

Third Vice President Steve Wolfhope – Steve visited Herr’s Mill (PA-36-21) which continues to be in very sad shape with the sag in the middle seeming even worse.  He saw a small non-authentic bridge, Beaver View.  There was a plaque commemorating an Eagle Scout project which was likely for the park area around the bridge.  He mentioned a pleasant ride he and Gloria took on a Strasburg motor car.

Fourth Vice President Tim Cohen – Tim attended the McLaughlin wedding at Poole Forge which he says was ‘awesome’.

Historian Fred J. Moll – Fred has been doing a lot of research on covered bridges.  Last month while researching he held in his hands a bridge document that is 212 years old.  On Tuesday night, April 5th, he will be on Berks Cable TV at 9PM on a program called “Wheels along the Road.”  On Monday morning, April 25, at 10AM he will present his program on Berks County Covered Bridges to the Muhlenberg Senior Group.  Also on Sunday, May 1st at 2PM he will be at the Berks County Heritage Center giving a special program on Berks County Covered Bridges.  This program will feature the 1984 rehabilitation of Wertz’s Covered Bridge.  The program includes a rare photograph of Arnold Graton who was present at the bridge in 1984 to tell us how to save the bridge.  The program will be presented in the barn next to Wertz’s Bridge.

Recording Secretary Gloria Smedley – In March, Gloria and Jim stopped by Shaeffer-Campbell Bridge (OH-37-05) in Belmont County OH, and Hughes Bridge (PA-63-17) and Bailey Bridge (PA-63-08 #2) in Washington County, PA.

Corresponding Secretary/Program Chair Pam Heisey - No report.

Treasurer Robert Kuether – In March Bob and Judy and Ray and Linda Finkelstein traveled to New England to plan for the safari.  They saw 24 bridges during the trip.



OLD BUSINESS – Jim presented the following report on the 2017 Covered Bridge Calendar.

·         We had 152 photo submissions this year, more than any other year.

·         23 members submitted photos, far more than any other year.

·         Photos included in the calendar are from 12 photographers, including 3 who have never had a photo in the calendar and 2 who have not had one for a few years.

·         5 of the bridges in the calendar have never appeared in any of our previous 8 calendars.

·         Eight counties are represented.

·         Bonnie Shultz has the highest rated photo.

·         Calendars should be available at the May Anniversary Dinner.

This year’s calendar contest was very successful and he thanked everyone who supports our calendars by submitting photos, serving on the rating committee and those who will purchase the calendar.



See PA Covered Bridges Week May 7-15, 2016 – Tom contacted the Governor’s Office and has received the official proclamation.  Ray Finkelstein read the proclamation.  Tom will do a short ‘live’ interview on Channel 27 on May 6th promoting SPCBW.  The interview is a 3 minute segment which will air sometime between 12:30 and 1:00pm on a program called “Good Day PA.”


Bob presented an update on next month’s New England safari.  A fourth day will be offered to visit 7 more bridges and stay in Brattleboro, VT for those who are interested in extending the safari.



Judy Kuether mentioned that we have sold $27 worth of merchandise in our first month at the Lancaster Visitors Center store.  New member Mike Rudnick purchased one of our covered bridge steins at the center.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – March minutes were approved as presented.

Today’s program was given by Steve Wolfhope, entitled “Covered Bridges of Parke County, Indiana & Surrounding Counties”



Our Next Meeting will be our Fifty-Seventh Anniversary Dinner on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at Dutch-Way Farm Market Restaurant, Gap, PA, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


 ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted by Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley

April 7, 2016