The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting and Bake Sale

Saint Paulís Episcopal Church, Manheim, PA

Sunday, November 3, 2019, 2:00 p.m.


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 2:07 p.m. encouraging everyone to do their civic duty and vote this week.He led us in the pledge of allegiance ††He reminded everyone that today is one of our semi-annual bake sales.




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


TREASURERíS REPORT: We have two new members since last meeting:Donna King of York Springs, PA (Facebook) and William Bowser of Cincinnati, OH (Website Ė Trish Kane).




Tina Chandler visited White Rock which was hit by a truck.She posted pictures on Facebook.Several beams were damaged.


Tim McLaughlin visited Rampís this morning.It is in need of a lot of work with lots of debris in the bridge.He also visited Martinís Mill which looks good and Witherspoon.He and Connie have seen 156 of the PA bridges so far this year.


Joe McCarthy surveyed the damage at White Rock.An Amish outfit won the bid as they were the cheapest bidder (not always best to go with cheapest).The person who damaged the bridge has been arrested.An engineering outfit has looked over all the timbers from Dreibelbis.Timbers have been sent out for fumigation and should arrive back during the winter.Dreibelbis will get a new roof, rafters and siding.About 20-30% will be new timbers.His group will try to piece in timbers where they can to preserve original wood used.


George Rothlingshofer saw East Oriental and spoke with the father of the son who bought the property.He plans to do work on the bridge and mill.


Pat Cook and husband Ken went on the Perry County mini safari Ė nice!They were also on 2 others.They thought it was great that Bob coordinated all the mini safaris.




President Tom Walczak visited Erbís Mill (good shape) and Buck Hill Farm (a little sagging but nice pictures over pond) after the Hossís event.The next day he went to Frederick County, MD and saw the three bridges there: Utica Mills, Loy's Station and Roddy Road.Loyís was recently hit and has damage on one corner and the wingwall.Roddy Road is in beautiful condition.Nice signage to the bridges!He also saw Sachs and was surprised at the new parking lot and all the trees that had been removed. Two weeks ago he visited McConnelís Mill, beautiful weather and leaves were at peak.



First Vice President Jim Smedley Ė On October 17 he and Gloria attended the book launch for the new book by the National Park Service.About 50 people attended the event and about 25 people went on a bus tour to see Frederick County, MDís three covered bridges.The tour was led by Dean Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Heavy Timber Construction.Last Monday, Jim took off to visit 10 bridges generally in the northern area of Lancaster County.All of them looked pretty good except for Red or Oberholtzerís bridge at the campground which was missing a lot of its siding and also Bitzerís Mill Bridge.Bitzerís Mill was just rehabilitated in 2017 but it appears to be leaning in at the bottom on one side and maybe twisted a little.

The deadline for PA Crossings is February 2, 2020 the first Sunday in February.

Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein went on the Perry County mini safari. Bob again did a great job.He enjoyed seeing Dellville Bridge looking great. Our rest top at Fetter House was a surprise experience and enjoyed by all.Last month he went to a Bucks County covered bridge event and then visited a few bridges: South Perkasie, Moodís, Pine Valley. Last week he visited Knechtís and as usual is in good shape and Sheardís Mill Bridge. To him this bridge always seems to be looking sad. But no boards are missing like the last time he went but the flooring especially near the portals is rotting out.Seven bridges in Bucks County are going to get a face lift:Frankenfield, Moodís, Van Sant, Pine Valley, Knechtís, Cabin Run and Uhlerstown . Yesterday on the way home from our Executive board meeting he stopped by to see Pinetown, Hunseckerís, and Zookís .He visited Bogertís several times.

Third Vice President Steve Wolfhopeís family was in town for his 80th birthday celebration and he took his granddaughter through Rappís Dam, her first covered bridge ever.


Fourth Vice President Rob Griner plans to visit some bridges this month.He visited Thomas Ford Bridge this month.It was very nice and would be easy to photograph when snow falls.


Treasurer Bob Kuether reported that we made $167 from the Hossís Fundraiser last month ($10 more than last year).He led the Perry County mini safari.Last night he attended the Perry County Historical Society Annual Dinner and was presented with a plaque in appreciation of our societyís work on Red Bridge.On November 23rd members can meet at Poole Forge to help decorate the bridge. (We will return to Poole Forge on January 2nd to remove the decorations.) December 4-8 our society will have a booth at the Christmas Show in Harrisburg.


Historian Fred Moll was interviewed for an article that appeared in the Reading Eagle newspaper of November 2, 2019.The title of the article was Shiver in the Timbers.They asked why a skull and cross bones were found on the ends of several timbers of the Dreibelbis Covered Bridge.He was puzzled at the appearance of the skull and crossbones.The only theory he could come up with is that the wood could have been covered with some kind of toxic protective covering such as mercury, copper, or lead.Since it was Halloween time, he was asked if there were any stories about the bridge being haunted.So he told them about the headless ghost of the Dreibelbis Covered Bridge.The ghost story that appeared in the newspaper was considerably white washed, but here is the real story as he told it to the reporter.On one cold and blistery winter night a man was traveling home in his horse drawn sleigh.A fresh layer of snow had just fallen and covered the hilly roadways.He carefully led his horse and carriage through the slippery and white glistening powered snow.As the man approached the covered bridge he turned his horse into the dark and dreary bridge.All of a sudden the carriage hit the dry wooden floor of the bridge and the carriage came to an abrupt stop.The horse became frightened and careened the sled out of control.The horse rose to his feet, tossing the owner from the sleigh.The man became entangled in the reins of the horse.The reins had wrapped around the neck of the man and the force of the horse tore off the manís head from his neck.It is said on dark dreary nights the manís ghost can be seen stumbling around the covered bridge looking for his head.


Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey: No report.


Recording Secretary Gloria Smedley:On October 14 Gloria and Jim Smedley, Bob and Judy Kuether and Pam and Frank Mailey returned to Red Bridge to apply NoChar fire retardant.Gloria worked with the Perry County Historical Society and the National Society for Preservation of Covered Bridges (NSPCB) to obtain funding from the NSPCB ($725) for the fire retardant product.Jim and Gloria drove to MD to pick up the product (five 5 gallon containers).It took about 6 hours to complete the job.She thanked those who participated.



ILLNESSES/DEATHS of MEMBERS:Member Rudy Katrencik passed away October 24th.Rudy often stopped by our booth at the Washington-Greene festival.




NEW BUSINESS: Bob announced he had many items laid out on the tables for free.A donation would be appreciated.Tom read the plaque presented to the society for our work at Red Bridge.Gloria Smedley has organized a Paparazzi Jewelry fundraiser that will begin tonight on Facebook.She had sheets available with information and a website to order from if members donít have Facebook.Each jewelry items is only $5 with $1 of each sale going to our society.


Tom presented a few items that were discussed at yesterdayís annual executive board planning meeting.††

         Yard sale:Members would be invited to participate in a yard sale of any items they would like to sell, including covered bridge items.It was suggested that Poole Forge would be a good location.The yard sale would be open to the public with 10% of sales going to the society.

         Membership cards:At the board meeting it was decided to reinstate issuing cards to members but Judy Kuether (membership person) asked that we continue as is.She had only a couple calls when people didnít get their cards.Itís just the first year of not sending cards and she thinks we should give it another year.

         Tom explained the process for making a motion.Motions should be made to a member of the Executive Board for consideration before being presented to the general membership.

         Jim completed the audit for 2017-2018 and presented his findings.Bob sent 2 months of paperwork to Jim who reviewed it in detail.Receipts and numbers matched up and he found no issues with anything.

         Change of schedule:The board suggested that we hold our annual picnic in September because July is typically hot.The proposed schedule would be:

o   July: Fundraiser at Hossís (because Hossís is indoor and cooler).

o   September:Annual picnic at Poole Forge with annual election of officers.

o   October: Meeting at the church with Societyís Year in Review presentation.(This makes sense since our year runs through September 30th)




Tom thanked those who participated in todayís bake sale by baking and/or buying.


NEW COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS:Tim McLaughlin shared an Eric Sloan crock and a Knechtís covered bridge picture.Joe McCarthy shared a wood picture created for the Timberís Guild of a New England bridge.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES Ė October minutes were approved as presented.

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 p.m. followed by the presentation ďCovered Bridges of the Conestoga RiverĒ by Jim Smedley.


NEXT MEETING - Our Next Meeting will be held on December 14th starting at 11:00 a.m., our annual Christmas Dinner at Dutch-Way Farm Market Restaurant in Gap PA.



Respectfully Submitted, Gloria Smedley, Recording Secretary, November 10, 2019