Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Meeting of 30 May 2014

Baymont Inn & Suites, Lancaster, Ohio – on Safari


First Vice President James B. Smedley opened the meeting by greeting all members and guests, then leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Treasurer Robert J. Kuether delivered his report for May 2014.  At month’s end, the Society had 397 members, 23 less than a year ago.  The Treasurer’s report was approved as presented.


Connie Francis reported that work is well underway on the Brandywine Conservancy bridges:  Chester County’s Hayes Clark (PA-15-07) and Speakman #2 (PA-15-06).   Connie expects both bridges to be finished very soon.

Meanwhile, there is some controversy over the siding to be replaced on Chester County’s Speakman #1 Bridge (PA-15-05).  Connie expects the work to be completed and that bridge to reopen in 2015.

Ray Finkelstein visited Lehigh County’s Schlicher Bridge (PA-39-06), presently closed and under reconstruction.  There are now steel I-beams under the deck, which would render the bridge inauthentic if they remain.   Ray expects work to be complete by September.

Donna Talak visited the four bridges of Indiana County, PA and found them in great shape.

Clyde Schieb reported that he was at Chester County’s Rapp’s Dam Bridge (PA-15-14) 10 minutes after a too—tall truck passed through it, ripping out virtually all of the roofing support beams as it went.  He reported that the driver was from New Jersey, unfamiliar with the area, and had had his commercial license for only a week and a half at the time of the accident.

Pat Cook reported on a visit to Muskingum County, Ohio’s Salt Creek Bridge (OH-60-31) as well as two romantic shelters on her way to the Safari.


Jim reported that because of travel restrictions, President Joyce L. Soroka would unfortunately not be joining us for Safari this year.

Jim reported that he and Gloria, en route to Safari, visited Cincinnati, western Michigan, and Cleveland, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  They visited 28 bridges, including Ohio’s newest, the Richard P. Eastman Hyde Road Bridge in Yellow Springs, Greene County, on a bike trail near Dayton.  Smolen Engineering of Ashtabula designed the bridge.

Second Vice President Gregory R. Williams had no report.

Third Vice President Thomas E. Walczak reported visiting Belmont County, Ohio’s Shaeffer / Campbell Bridge (PA-07-05), as well as Morgan County’s Helmick Mill / Island Run Bridge (OH-58-35).  Tom recalled visiting the latter bridge before its rehabilitation in 2008.  It then was a rather ramshackle affair, with sheet metal siding and a mid-stream brace.  Today there is wood siding, and an added arch.  As beautiful as the bridge is, the problem is that the abutments below the bridge in the scenic waterway are literally covered in graffiti.

Fourth Vice President Tina K. Conn was absent.  Tina’s mother passed away last Friday.   Tina is with us in spirit.

Recording Secretary Heather Watkins was absent.

Corresponding Secretary / Program Chair Pamela A. Heisey was absent.

Treasurer Bob Kuether visited Lancaster County’s Herr’s Mill Bridge (PA-36-21), and was distressed by its condition.  Bob said that the bridge is falling apart.

Jim informed us that Bob and Judy put on several displays and presentations for See Pennsylvania’s Covered Bridges Week.

Historian Fred J. Moll was absent.

Jim mentioned that the deadline for the next edition of Pennsylvania Crossings is this Sunday, 1 June 2014.  He hopes to have it to the printer by Wednesday.


Bob Taylor, Doris Taylor’s brother, passed away on 11 May 2014.

Wendell Thomas passed away on 14 May 2014.

Charles “Rock” Davis died on 24 April 2014.


Several members created and developed displays for See Pennsylvania’s Covered Bridges Week, 10—18 May 2014, and put them up at various welcome and visitors’ centers.




Four officers have decided not to run for reelection.  The Nominating Committee is in the process of recruiting candidates for these positions.  Jim advised anyone interested in becoming an officer to speak to one of the Committee members:  Ray Finklestein, Steve Wolfhope, or Bonnie Shultz.    Jim emphasized that this process will not be complete until the elections at the September meeting.

Northampton County’s Kreidersville Bridge (PA-48-01) Festival is this weekend.   We had planned our Safari weekend date based on earlier information from Kreidersville.  After we set the Safari date, Kreidersville changed their festival date.

Next Saturday, 7 June 2014, Bucks County’s Mood’s Bridge (PA-09-07 #2) will celebrate the 140th anniversary of the building of the original bridge.   The event is 11:00 am to 2:30 p.m. at the bridge.

The Society’s Annual Picnic is Independence weekend, 6 July 2014, at Lancaster County’s Poole Forge Bridge (PA-36-01).

This year’s meeting at the bridge will be at Lancaster County’s Shearer’s Bridge (PA-36-31) on Sunday, 3 August 2014.  Members are invited to bring their own picnic lunch to enjoy at the bridge.

On Sunday, 27 July 2014, the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges will hold its meeting at Washington County’s Wyit Sprowl’s Bridge (PA-63-29).  Tom will lead a mini-safari of Washington County bridges following the meeting.

For the first time in at least 15 years, our October meeting will not be held at Knoebel’s Grove.  We will instead meet at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Manheim, on 12 October 2014, for an auction of items from the estate of Margaret Moore.  Bob Kuether will still be setting up the Country Store on October 2-5 at Knoebel’s and the Columbia−Montour Counties Covered Bridge Festival.   Jim encouraged anyone with plans to visit the Festival to volunteer some time to help out by staffing the Society’s booth.

Harold Scudder said that he had a collection of covered bridge postcards from the Mussers, and offered them to anyone who wanted them.  He also displayed a framed poster of many of the old covered bridges of Fairfield County, Ohio.   Safari Co-Leader Janis T. Ford pointed out that sharp-eyed Safarians would see that same poster inside our Saturday lunch stop at Marcy Diner.

Jim pointed out that we have Safarians from eight States, more than he could remember for any other Safari.

Michael W. Chorazy praised Safari Leaders Janis Ford and Pat Hoffmannbeck for their efforts in putting this together.  Our Leaders received a well-deserved round of applause.  Michael outlined the procedure to pick up snacks, teased the idea of where we go on next year’s Safari, and concluding by relating an anecdote from the 2011 West Virginia Safari, when Janis and Pat gently and good-naturedly teased him that he didn’t think that women could plan and run a Safari.   Michael strongly disagreed, saying, don’t just listen to him−the proof is in the pudding, and he has every confidence that Janis and Pat will clearly demonstrate that they are completely up to the challenge.  Michael said the pudding will be quite good, and thanked Janis and Pat again.

The minutes of the May 2014 meeting were approved as presented, with one correction.

Both Jim and Janis talked about Safari procedures for Saturday and the weekend.



Sunday, 6 July 2014, gather at noon, Historic Poole Forge, the Annual Picnic.

                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                /s/  Michael W. Chorazy

                                                                                         for  Heather Watkins                                                   

                                                                                                Recording Secretary