The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

59th Anniversary Dinner and Monthly Meeting

Dutch-Way Farm Market Restaurant

Sunday, May 5, 2018


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 1:07 p.m..  He welcomed everyone to our 59th Anniversary Dinner asking that we remember those who worked to preserve bridges that have gone before us.


NEW MEMBERS AND GUESTS:  New member Christine Weaver from Lancaster Visitor Center introduced herself.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Tom reminded everyone the minutes were available for review and he will ask for approval later in the meeting.


TREASURER’S REPORT:    We have one new member, Robert Miller of Whitehall PA from Ray Finkelstein.  We have 391 members renewed for 2017-2018, 10 more than one year ago.


Tom thanked Bob and Judy Kuether for organizing today’s event.




Mike Rudnick visited Humpback (VA-03-01).  It looks great!


Joe McCarthy was in the Adirondacks for a project.  While heading from there to Blenheim he came across Salisbury Center (NY-22-01).  He reported that a BBC film crew was on site at Blenheim.  The bridge was to be moved the next day across the river.  It will be jacked up on roller plates then lowered down.  The last steps will be adding the roofing and siding.  It will be the longest covered bridge in the world.  Joe stopped by Rapp’s Dam (PA-15-14) which has been hit again and examined it.  There is no structural damage.  A local carpenter fixed it.  He also stopped by Speakman #1 (PA-15-05) where he found black spray painted graffiti throughout the inside of the bridge.  It will be sanded off.  The bid to rebuild Neff’s Mill (PA-36-22 #2) went to a local company.  It will be taken down completely and rebuilt.




President Tom Walczak had no bridge report.  He saw a couple PA bridges from a distance on the ride in today.


First Vice President Jim Smedley – No bridge report.


The deadline for PA Crossings is Sunday June 10th.

Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein and Linda visited several bridges in Georgia.  Their first stop was Elder’s Mill (GA-108-01) in Oconee County, then Big Clouds Creek (GA-109-01) in Oglethorpe County, Watson Mill (GA-97-01/109-02) an inter county bridge from Madison to Oglethorpe counties, then Comer’s Mill (GA-59-01) in Franklin County.  Watson’s Mill was nice and in very good shape.  They intended to see more Georgia bridges but the weather didn’t cooperate so they moved on to South Carolina where they saw Campbell Bridge (SC-23-02) in Greenville County.  About the time they got there the rain had stopped but there was a crowd of people arriving to have graduation pictures taken at the bridge.  In March, they had friends visit from Maine and took them to see all the Lehigh Valley bridges.  Ray had a great time at the Annual Community Night in Macungie.  Hopefully we will pick up a new member from that event.


Third Vice President Steve Wolfhope had no bridge report.  He took his SPCBW display to the Valley Forge Welcome Center for Tourism Week.  They won’t allow it to remain up for SPCBW.


Fourth Vice President Tim McLaughlin was not present but sent his report to Jim Smedley to read today.  Tim and Connie traveled to State College for the graduation ceremony of Tim’s nephew taking a route to bridges that took 11 hours to get there instead of 3 because they wanted to visit some bridges.  On the way they stopped by Dellville Bridge (PA-50-16) but not much was happening there.  There were lots of piles of new wood on the ground.  Rice’s Bridge (PA-50-10) looked real nice with a deep rich red color.  Waggoner’s (PA-50-15) had a large chain from the bottom of the bridge to a tree stump.  Ramp’s Bridge (PA-21-11) could use a fresh coat of paint.  Martin’s Mill PA-28-01) looked good and its trusses were painted tan.  Witherspoon (PA-28-02) is in excellent shape, looks freshly painted.  Hewitt (PA-05-26) is in nice condition with very nice stone work.  Palo Alto (PA-05-21) had a couple of American flags hanging from the portal.

Historian Fred J. Moll thanked everyone for the get well cards. They meant a lot to him.  He visited the five Berks County covered bridges.  Pleasantville  (PA-06-01) - the bridge seems in good shape, but both height restriction devices apparently were hit.  They are being propped up temporarily until they can be fixed.  Griesemer’s Mill (PA-06-03) -the paint that we painted the bridge with five years ago is holding up well except for one or two small areas but the bridge still has its bright red appearance. The roof could be painted.  Kutz Mill  (PA-06-05) is in fairly good shape.  Dreibelbis Station (PA- 06-07) is in bad shape.  There is a giant pot hole right before you enter the bridge from route 143.  The work is open for bid with a due date of October 4, 2018.  The estimated cost of construction $2,204,000.  Wertz  (PA-06-06)  is in good shape.


Recording Secretary Gloria Smedley- No report.


Corresponding Secretary/Program Chair Pam Heisey – No report.


Treasurer Robert Kuether visited two bridges in Columbia County last month with the painter to get estimates on cost to paint them – Davis (PA-19-16) and Snyder (PA-19-14).  Davis needs painting entirely but Snyder just needs the portals painted.  The cost to paint both is about $3,500.  A motion was made and seconded and it was unanimously approved to paint both bridges.


Bob and Judy also went to Altoona to pick up a donation for the society, to Greene County, Claysville Welcome Center, Tioga Welcome Center and Lancaster Visitors Center to put up displays for SPCBW.


REPORTS OF ILLNESSES OR DEATHS – Former member Dick Leich passed away.


OLD BUSINESS –  Bob talked about donating $1,000 to the painting of Stillwater (PA-19-21) in Columbia County as they didn’t get one of the grants they had applied for.  A motion was made and seconded and unanimously approved. 


NEW BUSINESS – May 12-20 is See Pennsylvania’s Covered Bridges Week.  Tom was able to get the proclamation corrected and asked Jim Smedley to read it to the group.  Christine Weaver from Lancaster Visitors Center explained their discount coupon books while Bob passed them out to everyone.


The 2019 calendars are available for sale today.


Bob Kuether announced that we have received official approval for state tax exemption.


Tom made a presentation to Fred Moll for his 50 years of membership, service and dedication to the preservation of covered bridges.  Fred was given a Life Membership and a plaque which was an Award of Appreciation for his 50 years of service and membership.  Fred was speechless and very grateful.




APPROVAL OF MINUTES – April minutes were approved as presented.

Door prizes and raffles were awarded.


ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 2:04.



NEXT MEETING - Our Next Meeting will be held during the safari, on June 8th, in the lobby of the Fairfield Inn in Ohio.



Respectfully Submitted by Gloria Smedley, Recording Secretary

May 10, 2018