The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Manheim, PA

Sunday, September 8, 2019, 2:00 p.m.


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 2:07 p.m. welcoming everyone to our annual meeting.  He led us in the pledge of allegiance


NEW MEMBERS AND GUESTS:  Members Ted and Beth Smith from Annapolis, MD attended their first meeting today.


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 no new members since the last meeting with 392 members renewed for 2018-19.



Joe McCarthy reported that Dreibelbis was moved this past Wednesday.  It took hours of preparation but only 15 minutes to move to the shore and 15 minutes to set it down in place.  Disassembly has begun and should take two weeks to complete.  Work tearing out the existing abutments will start tomorrow.  They hope to have all work completed by June 2020.


Michael Chorazy congratulated Ray on an outstanding job leading the Lehigh mini-safari.


George Rothlingshofer recently took a 1000 mile road trip on his motorcycle.  He saw four covered bridges in New York including Newfield, Blenheim and Fox Creek, and lots of mills.  He also visited the Oxford Memorial Library and the Theodore Burr Resource Center there where he met and chatted with Trish Kane.  He also discovered a new romantic shelter on private property.


Tim Cohen received a letter from member Olive Jones.  She thanked everyone for the many birthday cards and get well cards.  She is undergoing a lot of rehab right now.


Connie McLaughlin apologized for missing some mini-safaris due to Tim’s recent health issues. They are still on their quest to see all 210 PA bridges this year.




President Tom Walczak visited two bridges on August 25thHerline in Bedford County and Glessner in Somerset County.  Herline could use some paint but Glessner is in good shape.


First Vice President Jim Smedley – Last month he and Gloria visited Rowell Bridge and Contoocook in New Hampshire and the Green River Bridge in Vermont, one of Jim’s favorite bridges.  All three look very good.  On September 4th they saw the lifting of Dreibelbis Bridge from its abutments to the river banks.  Yesterday he and Gloria helped with the scraping of Red Bridge in preparation for this coining Saturday’s painting of the bridge.


The deadline for PA Crossings is October 6th, the Sunday before our meeting at Hoss’s.

Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein saw all the bridges in Lehigh County as he prepared for and lead the mini-safari.  He received a call from Bill Wilson of the Bucks County Covered Bridge Society who said seven bridges will get new siding and minor repairs to portals.  He attended the Lancaster Bike Event with Bob and Judy Kuether.  Bogart’s is raising money for restoration of the bridge.  They have received grants but need to raise $150,000.


Third Vice President Steve Wolfhope and Gloria enjoyed another visit by Ruth Wilson.  They toured Philadelphia; drove through Rapp’s Dam and went to see Blenheim Bridge in New York (beautiful).  They also visited Fox Creek Bridge in NY.  Steve had some pictures from Ruth’s dad’s collection available for anyone who wants them.  Last Sunday Steve got a call from member Ben Evans.  Ben had been in the hospital for a week and is home now with a visiting nurse daily.  His wife, June Evans, slammed her pointer finger in the bathroom door.  They hope to make a meeting soon if June is up to driving.  A couple members offered to reach out to them to offer them a ride to a future meeting.


Fourth Vice President Tim McLaughlin – Tim has been struggling with heart issues and has been hospitalized a couple times for it.  He is working through these and hopes to be back to normal soon.  He thanked everyone for the many cards, emails, texts.  He and Connie recently took a trip to New York helping his son relocate.  They visited St. Mary’s and 10 bridges in Perry County on the way.  They also saw Saville – both portals have been hit and there is lots of damage.  On Wednesday they went to see the Dreibelbis move – mind boggling!  They participated in the scraping of Red Bridge although Tim could not do much.  Afterwards they visited Lehman’s, Academia, and Fleisher’s (one portal had been hit).  He was told the person who hit Flescher’s was supposed to come back to fix it.  They also saw Clay which could use work and Dellville which is finished.  They drove across it.


Treasurer Bob Kuether attended the Lehigh County mini-safari.  He has also helped Pam Mailey in preparing for the upcoming Adams County mini-safari.  He took the county store to the Lancaster Bike Event and he and his family went to Gloria and Jim’s to sort out and band rack cards into groups of 100.  Bob and Judy went to New Jersey and picked up many boxes of items from Jersey Joe’s collection.  Joe’s wife Rose has moved into assisted living and the family is downsizing.  Bob thanked all those who came out yesterday to help scrape Red Bridge.  He announced we will be there again on Saturday to paint the bridge.


Historian Fred Moll gave his annual report on the Berk’s County covered bridges.


·         Wertz’s Bridge is in good condition.

·         Pleasantville Bridge still in good shape.  Oh, the headache bars come down and are placed back up over and over again, but the bridge itself is in good condition.

·         Kutz’s Mill Bridge is in good shape.

·         Griesemer’s Bridge –Since last year the bridge has had some paint peel off of the bridge at various places, but for the most part the bridge is ok.

·         Dreibelbis Bridge is finally being restored.  Joe McCarthy and the Lancaster County Timber Framers, Inc. group have taken the bridge off of its abutments and are in the process of disassembling the bridge.  The timber will then be transported to his company’s site in York to be worked on.  So far I have taken 330 photographs of the Dreibelbis Covered Bridge Restoration.   



Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey: No report.

Recording Secretary Gloria Smedley:  No report.


ILLNESSES/DEATHS of MEMBERS:  It was good to see Tim McLaughlin in the meeting today.  Bob Ford was in the meeting with his arm in a cast from an accident he had with a table saw.  Pam Mailey announced it had been 6 weeks since her husband Frank’s open heart surgery.  Frank sent thanks for all the cards and well wishes.  Bob Griner recently took a fall breaking his nose and splitting his lip after passing out.  Janet Orland’s husband, Herb, is not doing well and is under hospice care.


OLD BUSINESS:  Painting of Red Bridge is scheduled for Saturday.  Adams County mini-safari is September 22nd.  Pam Mailey has handouts with updated information for those interested.  Pam will be taking the country store to Redland Community Library flea market on September 21st. 


NEW BUSINESS:   Tom will be attending the White Covered Bridge Festival September 21-22.  He will be giving a 10-15 minute talk for the opening of the event and will have a table set up to sell items for the society.  They will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of White Covered Bridge.  Next year’s safari is tentatively planned for Eastern New Hampshire.


Earlier today the Executive Board met and approved a pledge of $1,000 towards the renovations of Bogert’s bridge.  Tom brought this before the membership and asked for a vote of approval.  The vote was unanimous in favor of offering a pledge of $1,000 to Bogert’s.


Judy Kuether has tickets for next month’s fundraiser at Hoss’s.  We will meet at 12:00 to eat with plans to start the meeting at 2:00pm. 




A unanimous vote was cast for the officers listed below:

President:  Tom Walczak

First Vice President:  Jim Smedley

Treasurer:  Robert J. Kuether

Second Vice President:  Ray Finkelstein

Recording Secretary:  Gloria Smedley

Third Vice President:  Steve Wolfhope

Corresponding Secretary/ Program Chairperson:  Pamela Heisey

Fourth Vice President:  Bob Griner

Historian:  Fred J. Moll


Tom thanked those who have served as officers and will continue to serve.



MEMORIAL SERVICE – Pam Heisey conducted the memorial service for those members we lost since last year.


Name                                      Date of Death                             Years Member


Edward G. Fox, III                      05./07/18                               4

Genevieve Harshbarger             01/24/19                              16

Kathy Hetzendorf                        04/11/19                              19

Elinor K. Pierce                           08/14/18                              59

Steven P. Shenk                         05/06/18                                7



NEW COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS:  Tom left brochures for Knoebel’s Covered Bridge Festival on the table for those interested.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – August minutes were approved as presented.  

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m. followed by the presentation “Our Society’s Year in Review” by Tom Walczak.

NEXT MEETING - Our Next Meeting will be our annual fundraiser held on October 13th at Hoss’s Sea and Steak House in Lititz beginning at noon. 


Respectfully Submitted, Gloria Smedley, Recording Secretary, September 17, 2019