Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Meeting of June 8, 2018

 Fairfield Inn, New Paris, OH during 2018 Annual Safari


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 8:04 p.m. welcoming members and guests to the 2018 Annual Safari in Preble and Greene counties Ohio.  He has planned a nice safari.  We have a smaller group this year which will make it easier for parking and turning around at bridges.

New Members and Guests:  All members introduced themselves.  It was nice to see some who don’t get to attend our regular meetings like Greg McDuffee and Andy Rebman from Indiana, and Donna and Harold Scutter from Michigan.

Tom reminded everyone that copies of the May minutes were passed out prior to the meeting. Approval would be sought later in the meeting. 

Treasurer Bob Kuether read the monthly treasurer’s report.  We have 4 new members: Robert Miller of Whitehall PA, Old Mill Village Museum of New Milford PA, Andrew Weaver of Lancaster PA, and  Dave Houseal & Bonnie Housel of Palmyra PA.  We have 288 renewed for 2017-2018.  His report was approved by the membership and will be filed for audit.



Pat Cook visited Parker (OH-88-03) where they were working.  She says one side is done.  She also saw 12 romantic shelters.

Connie McLaughlin reported that Sheeder-Hall (PA-15-12) has been hit again by a teenager with a medical condition.  It will be closed indefinitely until it can be inspected for damage.  Connie attended the Breakfast on the Bridge at Mary Ann Pyle (PA-15-06) two weeks ago.


President Tom Walczak reported on information he found on the internet.  In Michigan a storm caused a large tree to fall on Fallasburg Bridge (MI-41-02).  There was no damage to the bridge.  In Parke County Indiana the Mansfield Bridge (IN-61-20) is closed for repairs.  The Cedar Bridge (IA-61-02 #2) arsonist, Alexander Hoff, the individual of three who actually struck the match, was given 5 years probation and no jail time.  During SPCBW he saw one PA bridge, Sawhill (PA-63-34) which he found in good shape.

First Vice President, Jim Smedley:  He and Gloria visited 30 bridges in Vermont in May.  Most of the farther north bridges were in bad shape, especially in Lyndonville.  The Montpelier area bridges were in better shape.  The highlight of the trip was a stop at Blenheim (NY-48-01 #2) which is almost finished.  They’ve done a great job!  Jim mentioned the upcoming Pine Valley Bridge (PA-09-12) 175th Anniversary lighting event on June 23rd.  Our society will have a booth at the event.

The deadline for the summer issue of PA Crossings is Sunday.  He expects to have it in the mail to members Wednesday.

Second Vice President, Ray Finkelstein:  Ray made a trip out to Ohio with Tom to help plan the route.  He visited several bridges on the way back in Washington County PA.  He prepared and manned a display at the I-78 Welcome Center for SPCBW and attended the Kreidersville Festival last weekend.

Third Vice President, Steve Wolfhope: Steve and Gloria could not attend the safari as they were out of town at the graduation of their first granddaughter from high school.  They sent their regards.

Fourth Vice President, Tim McLaughlin and Connie visited many bridges prior to the safari.  They saw all the bridges in Parke County, IN.  Bridgeton (IN-61-04 #2) was a highlight with its waterfalls and mill.  They found Mansfield Bridge (IN-61-20) open although it was previously reported to be closed.  In all they saw 44 bridges in 3 days prior to the safari.  They also noted that Gibson’s (PA-15-10) is to be closed for a couple of months to do work on it.

Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley – Gloria and Jim prepared and manned a display for SPCBW at the I-83N Welcome Center near Shrewsbury, PA.  They spend a few days there greeting visitors and talking about our covered bridges.

Corresponding Secretary / Program Chair Pamela A. Heisey – Pam was not able to attend the safari.  No report.

Treasurer Bob Kuether took the country store to a yard sale and the Kreidersville Festival.  He thanked Gloria and Jim for their work on eBay sales and scanning and selling slides for the society.  He and Judy visited Zhenders Bridge (MI-73-02) last week and spent some time in Michigan on vacation.

Historian Fred J. Moll – No report.

REPORTS OF ILLNESSES OR DEATHS – Connie and Tim McLaughlin visited Arne Alexander in the nursing home.  He is in bad shape.  He said to say hi to everyone and that he misses being able to attend the meetings.

OLD BUSINESS – Our October meeting will be held at Hoss’s Steak House in Lititz, PA.  We will get 20% of all proceeds if we exceed $300 in sales.  More details to follow in PA Crossings.  Linda Finkelstein has raffle tickets for the 2019 anniversary quilt.  The drawing for the quilt will take place at our 60th anniversary dinner on May 4, 2019.

NEW BUSINESS – Our 2019 calendars are available at $10 each.  Jim Crouse brought 9 boxes of items to donate to the country store.  Tom announced the Breakfast for the Bridge in Columbia County coming up on June 23rd.  Bob announced plans to paint Davis (PA-19-16) on August 11, 2018.  Volunteers are welcomed to participate or observe.  Bob noted that our society previously approved giving Columbia County $1000 to help with painting of Stillwater (PA-19-21).  However, Columbia County received a grant to support the painting so they did not need our contribution.

COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS – Katie Helm found a nice size quilt panel with two bridges on it.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Minutes were approved as presented.

Tom reviewed the plans for this weekend’s safari in detail.  The group picture will be taken Saturday at Roberts (OH-68-05).

NEXT MEETING: Our Next Meeting will be held on Sunday, July 1st at Historic Poole Forge and Covered Bridge Park during our annual picnic. Gather at 12:00 noon lunch with meeting afterwards.

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted by Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley, June 19, 2018