The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Manheim, PA

Saturday, November 4, 2018, 2:00 p.m.


First Vice President Jim Smedley called the meeting to order at 2:12 p.m.  (President Tom was running late.) He welcomed everyone and led us in the pledge of allegiance.


NEW MEMBERS AND GUESTS:  New members Gordon and Jeannie Wirth were present and this was only the second meeting for Richard and Gale Toland.


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


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Bob Kuether announced new members Peggy Baurer (from the calendar) and  Barbara MacBride & Stephen Boyce (from the website).   We have 252 members renewed for 2018-2019, 36 less than 1 year ago.



Michael Chorazy and his wife Sharon recently took a trip to the West Coast.  While there they saw Wawona Covered Bridge in Yosemite National Park.


Joe McCarthy:  Local police told Joe they recently arrested four teenagers for trespassing on Sheeder-Hall Bridge.  His company will be doing the repairs to Loux Bridge where a truck with a backhoe on the back damaged the bridge.  Repairs will take 3 days.  His company is working with Lobar Site Development Corporation who won the bid for Dreibilbis Bridge. 

Connie McLaughlin visited Harmony Hill and drives through Speakman #1 often.  She noted that the headache bars at Schenk’s Mill are way too close for taking pictures of the bridge.

Richard Toland recently visited Jackson Sawmill which he noted is in nice condition and well cared for.

President Tom arrived during the members bridge reports and took over the meeting from there.


President Tom Walczak thanked Jim for taking over in his absence.  Tom has not visited any bridges specifically but passes by Diehl’s or Turner’s and Herline often.  He shared items discussed with the board at yesterday’s annual planning meeting.  The board met from 10 a.m. to about 3:00 p.m. and discussed many topics including fundraising, meeting dates and programs, and budget.  One way they thought to save a little money would be to eliminate membership cards.  Tom asked the group for a show of hands for those who would like to continue to get cards and those who don’t care.  Only a few wanted cards (out of over 40 in attendance).  The group suggested members request a card when they renew if wanted.  It was suggested to put a checkbox on our application if the member wants to receive a card.


Tom also asked the group for feedback on the timing of the June meeting which will be held during our annual safari May 31 – June 2.  It was agreed to hold the meeting on Saturday evening June 1st.  Bob will plan the safari so that day will be a light day giving attendees plenty of time for dinner before the meeting.  There will still be a brief pre-safari meeting on Thursday evening May 30th.


Tom shared that changes to the bylaws have been reviewed and approved by the board and will be rolled out to the members over two meetings in 2019.  Changes were necessary due to our newly obtained 501(c)3 status and various other outdated matters.


He announced that the board agreed to hold the Hoss’s Fundraiser Event again in 2019.  It was a big success this year and we raised $150 just for having dinner there.  Plans will be to eat dinner first at about 12 noon and then hold our meeting. 


Tom thanked all those who participated in today’s Bake Sale by bringing in baked goods and/or purchasing them.


First Vice President Jim Smedley and Gloria visited Blenheim in Schoharie County, New York.  The bridge appears to be finished but they are still working on the approach to the bridge.  Joe McCarthy confirmed that they are trying to get funding for a timber frame stairway and walkways from the other side of the bridge.


The deadline for PA Crossings is February 3rd (even though there is no meeting in February).


Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein was not present.  He was in a car accident yesterday on his way to the annual board meeting and is in the hospital.  Ray sent via Judy a message to say he did see Hangman’s Bridge in Germany while he and Linda were on a recent cruise.


Third Vice President Steve Wolfhope.  In October he visited Henry Echo Farm Hunt Club Bridge in Monroe County where he met the owner and builder of the bridge.  He and Gloria took a trip to Ohio where they saw 31 bridges in southern Ohio.  He noted that Barkhurst Mill and Johnson Road bridges were very hard to get to and Blackwood Bridge was covered with graffiti inside and out.  He has been asked to do a covered bridge presentation at Lansdale Camera Club.


Fourth Vice President Tim McLaughlin and his wife Connie attended a car show at Poole Forge and set up a booth and display for our society.  They visited over a dozen bridges since our last meeting.  In particular he noted that Sheeder-Hall looks great and you can get some excellent reflection shots there.  Loux has some portal damage.  There was flooding at Cabin Run due to recent rains.  They saw the Box Pony Truss at Pipersville that used to be covered, and the Tohickon Aqueduct.  They found the gate at Schofield Ford is closed permanently.  They gave our rack cards at several bridges and mentioned that it is good to have these in your back pocket when visiting bridges. 


Treasurer Bob Kuether is still recuperating from the Knoebel’s Festival event where the Country Store did $6,000 in sales, more than any other year.  He thanked Bonnie Shultz and Pam Mailey for meeting at his house and checking the garland and lights to put up at Poole Forge.  He made several announcements:

·         Christmas Show will be November 28 – December 2.

·         The 3rd weekend in March will be our first mini-safari.  Michael Chorazy will lead us to Thomas Mill Bridge.  This will be the first of 6 mini safaris in 2019.  Michael mentioned that it is a healthy walk to this bridge so attendees should be aware of it.

·         Bob had damaged models available for free and plates for just $3.

·         Pam Mailey is taking orders for a handmade covered bridge bird feeder on display for only $35.

·         On December 2nd Pam Mailey and Judy Kuether will take the Country Store to Christmas on the Bridge at the Twins while he is at Knoebels.

·         He asked for volunteers who may have nursing home nearby to take used puzzles and give them to the homes.


Historian Fred Moll reported that the Pleasantville Covered Bridge in Berks County has once again been damaged by a high-profile truck.  Even though there are signs along the road warning of low clearance and a drawing of a covered bridge on the sign, trucks still do not pay attention to them and keep hitting the height restriction device.  Because the height restriction devices are bolted to iron bars in the wing walls and abutments, the stone work has been damaged and the bridge has been closed indefinitely according to the Reading Eagle.   


Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey: No report.

Recording Secretary Gloria Smedley:  No report.


ILLNESSES/DEATHS of MEMBERS:  Ray Finkelstein suffered multiple fractured ribs and vertebrate in his car accident and is in Lancaster General Hospital.


OLD BUSINESS:  Joe McCarthy enjoyed the Hoss’s Fundraiser but asked that we be sure to have use of the larger room for the next event.


NEW BUSINESS:   Pam Mailey showed a large black and white charcoal original painting of McConnell’s Mill Bridge that is being auctioned off in support of our 60th anniversary dinner.  For raffle tickets see Pam.  She also mentioned that we will be decorating Poole Forge Bridge on Saturday, November 17th starting at 10:00 a.m.


NEW COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS:  Connie McLaughlin shared two newsletters where covered bridges were pictured on the front and throughout.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – October minutes were approved as presented.

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m. followed by the presentation “Susquehanna & Tidewater Canal” by Pam Heisey.

NEXT MEETING - Our Next Meeting will be held at Dutch-Way Family Restaurant on Saturday December 8th and will be our Annual Christmas Dinner


Respectfully Submitted, Gloria Smedley, Recording Secretary

November 5, 2018