Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Annual Meeting and Election of Officers

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Manheim, PA

Sunday, September 11, 2016


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 2:15 p.m.  He asked for a moment of silence for those lost in the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago then led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.


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

TREASURER’S REPORT 383 members renewed for 2015-2016 (15 more than 1 year ago). 130 members renewed for 2016-17.


Tim and Connie McLaughlin visited about 10 PA bridges since our last meeting.  He noted that Bitzer’s Mill (PA-36-04) is still closed and progress on Speakman 1 (PA-15-05) is ongoing.

Janet Orland drove through Jack’s Mountain (PA-01-08).  Nice!

Alda Scheib’s grandson was married at Poole Forge (PA-36-01) last month.

Pat Cook reported that the Maryland Cozy Inn romantic shelter has been moved to a housing development in Poolesville MD.  She also visited Roddy Road (MD-10-02) and road the historic Whites Ferry across the Potomac.

Greg Williams had an article about Speakman stating it should be “finished by end of year”.

Ben Evans took June back to the bridge where they were first interviewed after publication of their book, Zook’s Mill (PA-36-14).  It still looks the same as it did then.

Olive Jones brought in an article posted on the board about vandalism of Sachs Bridge (PA-01-01).



President Tom Walczak – On August 25th he visited Hewitt (PA-05-26) in south Bedford County – nice shape, great reflection.  Last Sunday he saw McClelland (OH-15-02) in Columbiana County Ohio which is to be rebuilt (damage was reported last month) – work has begun!  The superstructure is well along and it has been raised about a foot higher.  It will be a #2 bridge.  A picnic area will be added.  It remains closed during the rehabilitation.  Tom visited McConnell’s Mill (PA-37-01) which he found completely covered with non-transparent plastic.  It will be closed for about 60 days while being painted.

First Vice President Jim Smedley – No report.

The deadline for the fall issue of PA Crossings is October 2nd, the date of our meeting and lasagna dinner fundraiser here at the church.

Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein helped out at the Lancaster Bike Event which was partially rained out.  He visited Bogert’s (PA-39-01) where he often takes walks.  On Thursday September 1st he visited both Schlicher’s (PA-39-06#2) and Geiger’s (PA-39-05) during his walk between them.  As he started out he was stopped by a couple looking for directions to other Lehigh Valley Bridges.  He shared a laminated business card he made with society information that is easy to carry with you to give to people you meet.  He encouraged members to always have information on hand when traveling to bridges.  He visited some lost bridge sites in preparation for a presentation he is giving to the Emmaus Historical Society in November.  He was able to get a few pictures of what might be part of the abutments of the S. Lerch’s Bridge in Northampton County (PA-48-09x) off of Kreidersville Road.  He spoke to a man mowing the property who knew right where the bridge had been.


Third Vice President Steve Wolfhope – Steve and Gloria went back to New Hampshire to finish up the last 8 bridges he had not yet seen including the Sulphite Railroad (NH-07-09) upside down bridge. They also enjoyed a few train rides during the trip.  He mentioned the Vermont bridge, Salisbury Station (VT-01-01) was burned yesterday during the middle of the day – obvious arson.  They are having more problems fixing sewer lines at Knox (PA-15-15#2) so it will be closed at least another month.

Fourth Vice President Tim Cohen – no report.

Historian Fred J. Moll  - Fred gave his annual report of the covered bridges of Berks County.      

Wertz’s Bridge (PA-06-06) –Wertz’s Bridge is in good condition.

Pleasantville Bridge (PA-06-01) –Pleasantville Bridge in good condition except for the portals which could use another coat of white paint.  

Griesemer’s Mill Bridge (PA-06-03) –Griesemer’s Bridge is in good condition, since last year the clearance sign has been put back up at the bridge and the damage to the abutment wall on the mill side of the bridge has been repaired. 

Kutz’s Mill Bridge (PA-06-05) –Kutz’s Mill Bridge is in good shape.

Dreibelbis Bridge (PA-06-07) –The Dreibelbis Bridge is still out of shape it is in the need of some board replacement and a new coating of paint.  All this should be taken care starting in the fall of next year.

            On Saturday, October 1st, Fred will be giving tours inside Wertz’s Bridge at 1:00 and 2:30 during the Heritage Festival.  Stop by if you are in the area.  Next year Wertz’s Bridge will be 150 years old and they will be planning something special at the bridge. 


Recording Secretary Gloria Smedley –No report.

Corresponding Secretary/Program Chair Pam Heisey - No report.

Treasurer Robert Kuether – Bob thanked everyone for the calls, emails and cards he received after his hand surgery.  He also thanked Ray and Linda Finkelstein for their assistance at the Lancaster Bicycle Ride event and announced he’s always looking for help at the Knoebel’s and Christmas Show events coming up.


REPORTS OF ILLNESSES OR DEATHS – Tom had just learned that Jim Jones of Indianapolis, IN passed away on July 17, 2016.



Connie McLaughlin asked about status of rebuilding Dellville (PA-50-16).  Bob and Jim responded.  Bid has gone out.  It is official that it will be repaired.  They are considering using different wood than Pine since woodpeckers and carpenters bees love pine.

Connie noted that Herr’s Mill (PA-36-21) is being given away.  Problem is whoever takes it must rebuild it.




The 2017 Safari will be led by Ray Finkelstein and held in Bedford/Somerset counties.  It will be a 3 day safari, likely Friday-Sunday, and held in the fall if hotel costs are reasonable.  Ray will scope out the details while in Washington-Greene area for the festival this weekend and have more details at a future meeting.


Gloria reviewed the details of our Lasagna Fundraiser Dinner to be held at our next meeting, October 2nd. 


Jim Smedley announced availability of archived materials on C.D. for $5.  He has thousands of photos and news articles that have been scanned and archived.  Members can request materials by county/counties of interest.  Katie Helm and George Rothlingshofer expressed interest. 

Greg Williams shared a covered bridge pillow cushion and painting.

Ray Finkelstein shared a covered bridge painting on a rock.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – August minutes were approved as presented.



Our Next Meeting will be on October 2, 2016 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.   We will conduct our regular business meeting at 2:00pm followed by our Lasagna Fundraiser Dinner.



There was a short break before conducting the Annual Business Meeting.




Tom conducted the annual meeting.   He thanked Pat Cook and Greg Williams for serving on the Nominating Committee.

Pat announced the current slate of officers and conducted the election for the Nominating Committee:

President - Tom Walczak

1st VP – Jim Smedley

2nd VP – Ray Finkelstein

3rd VP - Steve Wolfhope

4th VP – Tim McLaughlin (replacing Tim Cohen)

Treasurer – Bob Kuether

Recording Secretary - Gloria Smedley

Corresponding Secretary - Pam Heisey

Historian - Fred Moll


As there were no other nominations the Recording Secretary cast a unanimous ballot.

Tom thanked Tim Cohen for his year of service as 4th VP and that he is looking forward to working with Tim McLaughlin.

Pam Heisey conducted the memorial service reading a passage and naming members who had passed during the year along with their date of death and years of membership.  There were 11 deceased members over the past year.  A moment of silence was held in memoriam.

Tom announced that the annual written reports of the officers are available to members for review in a folder at the front. They will be available for the next few meetings also.  The reports reflect what the officers have done over the past year in service to the society.  Tom encouraged members to review them.

Tom gave the Society’s Annual Report along with a power point presentation which highlighted the events of the year.  He thanked Jim Smedley for working with him to put the annual report into a PowerPoint presentation entitled – “Our Society’s Year in Review”.

Details of the presentation can be found in the president’s written annual report.

Tom closed the meeting by thanking all the officers and members who participated in events throughout the year.



 The meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted by Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley

September 19, 2016