Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Annual Christmas Dinner and Meeting

December 8, 2018


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 1:17 welcoming everyone to our Annual Christmas Dinner.

NEW MEMBERS AND GUESTS:  Guests included Pam Mailey’s son James; Pam & Rick Bradley, Arleen Bradley’s son and daughter-in-law; and Ellen, Bob Kuether’s sister.


Tom thanked Bob and Judy Kuether for their work to organize today’s dinner, Judy Kuether and Linda Havens for our favors and the Kuether family for the lighted covered bridge pictures given out as gifts to each couple as they came in today.


Tom mentioned that the minutes from our last meeting are available for review.  Approval will be sought later in the meeting.


Treasurer Bob Kuether read the monthly treasurer’s report.  We have one new member from the calendar insert, Clifford Gray.  We have 329 members renewed for 2018-19. The treasurer’s report was approved as read.



Joe McCarthy reported that the materials to repair Loux have arrived at his shop.  They expect to do the work next week.  It will take about 3 days then the bridge will reopen to traffic.  This week they have a meeting with the contractor for the repairs on Dreibelbis and hope to have the contract signed then.

Clyde Scheib announced the luminaries at Kennedy Bridge will be December 21-22 depending on weather.  Clyde has been doing these for 14 years.  He no longer actually does the work but serves as a consultant for the event.

Anita Ford stopped by Neff’s Mill recently and found the bridge completed but not open yet to traffic.  She has posted pictures on FaceBook.


President Tom Walczak visited two bridges since our last meeting and found both in good shape – Kauffman’s Distillery and Kidd’s Mill.

First Vice President, Jim Smedley – No report.

The deadline for PA Crossings Newsletter is February 3rd the day of what would have been our February meeting.  He reminded everyone that we will not be having a meeting in February any longer.

Second Vice President, Ray Finkelstein thanked everyone for their cards, emails and calls following his recent car accident.  He and Linda had a great vacation on a Viking Cruise in Europe where he also saw one covered bridge – Hangman’s Covered Bridge.  He and David Green went to Cooperstown, NY and saw Hyde Hall Covered Bridge while there and a few others on the way home.

Third Vice President, Steve Wolfhope gave a covered bridge presentation to the Lansdale PA Camera Club the Monday before Thanksgiving.  There were about 20 attendees with much interest in covered bridges.

Fourth Vice President, Tim McLaughlin visited Speakman #1 to check the water levels.

Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley and Jim Smedley attended the Poole Forge decorating event this year.  Gloria helped Tina Conn decorate a tree with covered bridge ornaments in the mansion while Jim helped to decorate the bridge.

Corresponding Secretary / Program Chair Pamela A. Heisey noted there are now three Pams in our group.  That hasn’t happened since grade school for her.

Treasurer Bob Kuether announced that we will have lots of raffles today and that he has many items for sale.  Pam Mailey helped at the Christmas Show in Harrisburg and reported sales of $1400.  She and her husband Frank and Judy Kuether also attended Christmas on the Bridges at the Twins and brought in $275 for the society. 


Historian Fred J. Moll drove through Dreibelbis and attended the Poole Forge decorating event.  He mentioned the movie Christmas in Evergreen which showed several shots of Poole Forge in it.


REPORTS OF ILLNESSES OR DEATHS:  JoAnne McCarthy could not attend today as she is down with bronchitis.  Bob Jacobson had a fall off a ladder and broke a hip and a wrist.  Clyde Bradley passed away in August.  Steven Shenk passed away in May.

Tom sent greetings from Olive Jones who thanks everyone one for the many cards, notes and calls as she is now housebound.   Tom sent greetings from his girlfriend Joanne Schmitz also.  Jim and Gloria Smedley recently visited Martha Grove who continues to donate items to the society.  She sent her greetings and best wishes to all.

OLD BUSINESS - Clyde Scheib circulated old photos of Kennedy from the early years when it was destroyed and rebuilt.  He noted that they were not going to rebuild the bridge but the community fought for it.  More bridges might be saved if communities would unite and support rebuilding a bridge.

Our 60th Anniversary Quilt is on display.  Tickets are available in the back.

NEW BUSINESS – Clifton Mills and the covered bridge won the Great Christmas Light Fight which aired on television.  They won $50,000.  It was an amazing display.

Bob Kuether reminded everyone we will be celebrating the society’s 60th year in 2019.  As part of the festivities there will be 6 one day safaris, the third week of each month starting in March.  Michael Chorazy will lead the March safari to visit Thomas Mill in Fairmount Park.  Michael noted that it is a healthy walk back to the bridge, an easy walk, and worth the time as it is one of five Howe truss bridges left in PA. 

Our big safari will be in Columbia County end of May – early June.

May 4th will be our 60th anniversary dinner and will be held at Shady Maples Smorgasbord. 


APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Minutes were approved as presented.


NEXT MEETING: Our Next Meeting will be held on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.  The program will be presented by Ray Finkelstein on his River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest.


ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m.  Various raffles with prizes were conducted.


Respectfully Submitted by Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley

December 17, 2018