Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Discover Lancaster Visitors Center

Meeting of August 2, 2015


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m. Guests in attendance were Jay and Barb Weaver of Lancaster. Tom announced before our Business Meeting we will first have our Program Presentation by Ben and June Evans titled “Pennsylvania’s Covered Bridges: Design, Designers and Distribution.” Tom reminded everyone that copies of the July minutes are available for review.  Approval would be sought later in the meeting. 

Our Business Meeting formally started at 3:03 p.m. with President Tom leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Treasurer Bob Kuether read the treasurer’s report for the month of July.  Member total as of end of July is 367, 30 less than one year ago. There were no corrections or additions to the report and it was approved as read.


George Rothlingshofer took a trip to New England encompassing over 2,000 miles where he visited 65 covered bridges.  A couple of highlights from his trip included Pumping Station Bridge (MA-06-02 #2), recently rehabilitated after damage from the storms a few years ago and Comstock Bridge (CT-04-01 #2).

Tim McLaughlin stopped by Speakman #1 Bridge (PA-15-05) and noted no rehabilitation work has started.

Clyde and Alda Scheib stopped by Knox Bridge (PA-15-15 #2) and said the damage was extensive to the bridge and the wingwall.  They still have no leads on who did the damage. Tina Conn and Steve Wolfhope shared their concerns about Knox Bridge.


President Tom Walczak – On July 13, 2015 Tom attended a meeting about Kidd’s Mill (PA-43-01) structural problems with Mercer County officials, PennDOT and John Smolen. A Federal grant was applied for last year for $120,000. John Smolen did a preliminary study on what is needed to repair the bridge.  Smolen also noted problems that will require scaffolding to protect the environment and water mussels that need to be protected.  There is currently no money for design engineering and environmental protection. Bids will go out in spring 2016 so work can start by the summer. Tom also stopped by Siegrist Mill (PA-36-37 #2) and Forry’s Mill (PA-36-28) and both were in good condition.  He also stopped by Jericho Bridge (MD-03-02 & MD-12-01) to see the progress of its extensive rehabilitation, noting some truss work has been completed.

First Vice President Jim Smedley – Jim stops by Jericho Bridge often during the rehabilitation project but felt it not necessary to repeat what Tom reported.  Jim only added that more problems have been discovered and there is no money in the funding to fix them.

The deadline for the fall issue of PA Crossings Newsletter is October 4th, the date of our October meeting. 

Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein – Ray discovered a new non-authentic bridge in Oley, Berks County, that appears to be recently built on a farm. Ray also noted there has been no progress on Manassas Guths (PA-39-03).

Third Vice President Steve Wolfhope - Steve and Gloria visited 7 covered bridges in NC, SC and TN in July including the only covered bridge on the NC Outer Banks-Kitty Hawk/Woods (NC-28-A). The other bridges they saw were Bunker Hill Bridge (NC-18-01) in reasonably good condition, Campbell Bridge (SC-23-02), the only

remaining authentic covered bridge in South Carolina and in good condition, Will Henry Stevens Bridge (NC-57-02) at the Bascom Art Center in Highlands, NC, a bridge originally in New Hampshire and moved to NC by Arnold Graton in 2008-09, Harrisburg/Pigeon Bridge (TN-78-01) in good condition, Bible Bridge (TN-30-01) although in good condition had a lot of overgrowth and graffiti, and Elizabethton Bridge (TN-10-01), in very good condition showing its unique roof shape.

Historian Fred J. Moll said he and Shirley just returned from a two week trip to Alaska.  He showed a PA magnet displaying a covered bridge but the bridge is actually Flume Bridge in New Hampshire.


Greg Williams’ dad is not doing well.  Tony Warren, our Canadian friend is also having some difficulty lately.  Gloria Smedley is recovering well from full hip replacement surgery on July 28th.  Joyce Soroka thanked everyone for their well wishes and cards for her mother Carolina.


Tina Conn announced the Nominating Committee’s report as of today’s meeting. All current officers remain in place with the exception of a need for a 4th Vice President.

Bob Kuether reported he has received a check from the Columbia County Commissioners for $1,000 as a thank you for the Society painting Esther Furnace Bridge (PA-19-20) in June.


Jim Smedley reported a group of engineers from Iowa will be testing live load limits on four covered bridges in Lancaster County in early September.  The bridges to be tested are tentatively Eshleman’s (PA-36-20 #2), Hunsecker’s Mill (PA-36-06 #2), Zook’s Mill (PA-36-14) and Jackson’s Mill (PA-36-33 #2).

Tom Walczak asked if anyone knew of any work yet on Rapp’s Dam Bridge (PA-15-14).  Alda Scheib said she and Clyde visited the bridge recently and nothing has been started. Tim McLaughlin asked if we plan on painting another bridge this year.  Bob Kuether responded that we are taking a look at possibly painting Sam Wagner Bridge (PA-47-01 & PA-49-11) next year, but no more this year.

Bob Kuether reported on next year’s planned safari.  The safari will likely be the second week in August in New Hampshire and Vermont.  It will be a 4 day safari (Wednesday through Saturday) not including traveling time to get to the safari headquarters and return home after the safari.  Tentative plans are to visit about 42 bridges. He is currently looking at motels and restaurants and hopes to include visits to the Vermont Covered Bridge Museum in Bennington, the oldest country store in the US, and an old 1950s style diner.


Tom Walczak also mentioned he saw a new book in the Visitors Center titled “Bridges of Lancaster County” by Bruce M. Waters.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES -  July Minutes were approved as presented.


Our Next Meeting will be held on Sunday, September 13, 2015 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Manheim at  2 p.m.  The Program will be “Covered Bridges of New York State” by Steve Wolfhope.

 ADJOURNMENT  The meeting was adjourned at 3:48 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted by Jim Smedley for Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley

August 10, 2015