Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Annual Christmas Dinner and Meeting

December 13, 2014


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 1.00 p.m. stating how nice it is to see everyone at the Annual Christmas Dinner.  He acknowledged several guests and members that we hadn’t seen in awhile (Mary & Gene Darrenkamp, Edie & Emerson Flurkey, Arleen and Clyde Bradley, and the Haag family).

Treasurer Bob Kuether read the monthly treasurer’s report.  No new members since last month. As of November 30th we have 302 renewed members, 12 less than one year ago.  There were no additions or corrections and the report was approved as read by the membership.

Tom reminded everyone that donations were being accepted today for our Bridge Preservation Fund.  Donations can be placed in the covered bridge model on the table.


Clyde and Alda Sheib stopped by Rapp’s Dam (PA-15-14) and reported that half of the roof has been replaced.  Clyde announced the luminaries at Kennedy Bridge (PA-15-13 #2) would be held Friday/Saturday evenings, December 19-20th at dusk.  They will have over 300 candles thanks to the generosity of people in the vicinity.

Michael Chorazy attended the New York State Covered Bridge Society (NYSCBS) dinner on November 9th in Oxford, NY along with a number of other TBCBSPA members.  He noted that Terry Miller and co-authors attended the meeting and signed copies of their new book.  Michael visited the 3 Sullivan County bridges and found them all in great shape.  He also visited bridges in Lycoming County.  In Tompkins County, NY he visited Newfield Covered Bridge (NY-55-01) where fire retardant work is to be done.

Tim McLaughlin helped with clean up work at the Laurels bridges and had the privilege of driving one of the Conservatory trucks through both bridges.

Tim Cohen visited Bartram’s Bridge (PA-15-17 & PA-23-02) last night that was decorated in all blue lights and said it was “Awesome!”

Pat Cook and Bonnie Shultz attended the NYSCBS Society Dinner and Meeting on November 9th.  They stopped at Livingston Manner (NY-53-03), Hall’s Mill (NY-53-01) (looks nice after they fixed the pier), the Gramsville romantic shelter and one other new romantic shelter they hadn’t seen before.  Pat thanked everyone for the cards received and concerns expressed during hers and Ken’s recent health issues.

Edie Flurkey took two bus trip tours of covered bridges – one included a stop at Dellville (PA-50-16) after it had been burned.  She showed a picture of the charred remains of the bridge and expressed hopes that they will rebuild it.  She encouraged all to continue to support rebuilding/rehabilitation of our covered bridges.

(Tom thanked Bob Kuether for the photo exhibit on display today of Dellville Bridge noting that it was burned the day after our last meeting and that Herr’s Mill Bridge (PA-36-21) suffered some damage from an electrical fire the following day.)

Greg Williams showed a copy of the Harrisburg paper containing pictures of the burned Dellville Bridge.  He left several copies on the table for members to take.



President Tom Walczak had no covered bridge report. He was busy finalizing the issue of Wooden Covered Spans which he distributed to members today.  He wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

First Vice President, Jim Smedley and Gloria Smedley visited six covered bridges in NY with Bob and Judy Kuether on their way home from the NYSCBS dinner in early November.  They also stopped by Dellville to see the fire damage to the bridge.

The deadline for PA Crossings Newsletter is February 1st the day of our first meeting next year. 

Second Vice President, Ray Finkelstein gave a presentation to his community group about Bucks County Covered Bridges on November 18th.  There was a little snow that night so he was surprised that about 12 residents attended.  He will work on seeing if he can pick up some new members from his community group.   He visited Schlicher’s Bridge (PA-39-06 #2) and Rex’s Bridge (PA-39-04) to take some snow pictures.  As Chairman of our new Membership Committee he sent a few emails to past members as dues reminders and will send out some notices via snail mail to members we haven’t seen at meetings for awhile.  He and Linda helped out at our society’s booth at the Harrisburg Christmas Show on December 3rd.

Third Vice President, Steve Wolfhope had no bridge report.  He enjoyed helping out at the Poole Forge decorating event!

Fourth Vice President, Ed Myers thanked all those who helped at our booth at the Harrisburg Christmas Show.  We sold over $1,100 in merchandise, distributed a lot of society rack cards, and had many conversations with shoppers about covered bridges.

Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley had nothing more to add to Jim’s report of their covered bridge visits after the NYSCBS dinner last month.

Corresponding Secretary / Program Chair Pamela A. Heisey had no bridge report.

Treasurer Bob Kuether thanked everyone who helped out at the Poole Forge decorating event.  Of the 86 reminder cards prepared that day and mailed out he received 31 dues renewals. He visited Dellville Bridge the day after the fire and mentioned the Herr’s Mill electrical fire.  He and Judy also attended the NYSCBS Dinner last month and found it enjoyable and informative.  The day after the dinner he, Judy, Jim and Gloria visited 6 NY bridges:  Downsville (NY-13-01), Fitch’s (NY-13-02#2), Hamden (NY-13-03#2), Lower Shavertown (NY-13-07), Beaverkill (NY-53-02), Livingston Manor (NY-53-03), and stopped again at Dellville so Gloria and Jim could see the fire damage.

Historian Fred J. Moll saw three bridges since the last meeting - on his birthday cake made by his wife Shirley, on a Goods Store at Shady Maple plus card, and in the December 12th issue of the Reading Eagle which had a photo of the Berks County Girl’s and the Boy’s All Star Cross Country Teams in front of Wertz Bridge (PA-06-06).  He showed a 1963 See Pennsylvania Covered Bridges Week poster.  He also noted that if you made a check out today to our Covered Bridge Restoration Fund the date you should put on the check is a sequential number 12-13-14 which is the last sequential date until 1-2-34.



Condolences to Tina Conn whose dad passed away on December 11th and to George Rothlingshofer who also lost his dad that same day.

Janet Orland’s husband, Herb, is in the hospital.

Martha Groves broke her hip on October 7th, spent 6 weeks in rehab, and is home but still in pain.




At our February meeting there will be a silent auction book sale.  Bob has copies of the books and starting bids that will be available at the auction for anyone who would like a copy.  The auction will be set up in the vestibule area of the church and will be held beginning at 12:30 until the start of the meeting and during the break.  Each person participating will be given a number to use when placing their bid.  It is best not to share the number with other members to keep the bids anonymous.  Bob thanked Jim and Fred for their help in sorting and pricing the books.  Pricing was based on researching the books on eBay/Amazon then setting the price below the currently available market price. 

President Tom Walczak recognized Joyce Soroka for her many years of service to the society.  She was unable to attend today’s dinner.  He showed a plaque that will be given to her listing her contributions over the past 20 years.  The plaque includes our Society’s logo. The plaque reads:

Award of Appreciation

Presented To


For Your Dedicated Service To


President 2009-2014

First VP 1999-2005

Recording Secretary 1994-1999

First LIFE Member


Tom mentioned that when the society first offered life memberships Joyce was the first to renew as a life member and was always proud to be our first life member!  Along with the plaque is a gift card.  A round of applause was given in recognition of Joyce’s long term service to our society.  (The plaque will be hand delivered to Joyce by member Pat Cook.)


Arleen Bradley ordered her first cardboard covered bridge from Big Lots – looks very realistic.

Bill Haag shared the Elk Visitors Center PA Cook Book that has hand drawn pictures of bridges and birds that can be removed and framed.

Tim McLaughlin said the Gibson’s/Harmony Hill Bridge (PA-15-10) appears on their local phone book and that Wal-Mart has a tin of popcorn with a covered bridge on it.

Ed Myers found a health plan book that has the Twins (PA-19-11 & PA-19-12 #2) on the cover of its gold plan.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Minutes were approved as presented.

Various raffle items and door prizes were distributed.

Tom reminded everyone to pick up their card bags on the table at the front of the room.  He thanked Judy for her efforts in coordinating and organizing today’s event and for her and Ed’s work on the favors and raffle items.  One raffle item was donated by Joyce Soroka.



Our Next Meeting will be held on Sunday, February 1st at St Paul’s Episcopal Church.  Book silent auction will be conducted.  The program will be given by Bob Kuether - “Covered Bridges of Columbia County.”





The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted by Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley

December 18, 2014

Revised February 26, 2015