Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Manheim, PA

November 1, 2015


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 2:05 p.m. and lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

NEW MEMBERS AND GUESTS :  Albert Holiday (our speaker for today), David Allen, and Jason Chandler.

Minutes are available for review – approval obtained later in the meeting.

Treasurer’s Report as of October 31, 2015.  4 new members – Joe McCarthy, Betty and Robert Pauwels, Martie Williams.  271 Members, 22 more than 1 year ago.  Report was approved as read and will be filed for audit.



Bonnie Shultz visited Sonestown (PA-57-03), Forksville (PA-57-01), Red (PA-50-06) and Old Keefer’s (PA-47-03) with Pat Cook and reports that Old Keefer’s looks nice.

Pat Cook attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Martin’s Mill (PA-28-01) which was well attended.  She also visited Jericho (MD-03-02 & MD-12-01) where she watched them move the bridge back over the water.   She was allowed to participate in working the ratchet that moves the bridge.

Tim McLaughlin visits Rapp’s Damn (PA-15-14) and Knox (PA-15-15#2) regularly.  Rapp’s is finally reopened and looks nice.

Michael Chorazy is a representative for our society as a consulting party to the proposed project for Chester Count’s Rudolph & Arthur Bridge (PA-15-01) which involves disassembling the bridge, constructing new abutments, placing six steel I-beams under the deck, replacing damaged or deteriorated truss members in-kind, and replacing the deck and roof.  The project will not begin for several years yet, and in the meantime, several PennDOT contractors are preparing their reports.  The Society has received two reports, one from the cultural resources professionals for historic preservation, and one for archeology.  Both report that the proposed project will have no adverse effect on the bridge.  Both rely on the reconstruction plans calling for the bridge to retain its historical integrity, and for the requirement that the project meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Katie Helm left copies of a recent Harrisburg paper which had full color picture article on covered bridges.

Alda Sheib spotted a tombstone in a cemetery in the Pottstown area with a covered bridge on it.



President Tom Walczak pointed out a couple articles he posted on the bulletin board – Cuppetts Bridge (PA- 05-18) which is privately owned and has had self repairs done making it accessible for disabled individuals now, Frankenfield (PA-09-09) was damaged by truck but the truck driver did stop and the company will be paying $1,000 for the repairs to the bridge.  On October 13 he spoke at the rededication ceremony at Martin’s Mill (75-80 attended).  He visited Sachs (PA-01-01) and Jacks Mountain (PA-01-08) in Adams County which are both in good shape.  Also visited Red/Witherspoon (PA-28-02) - in a nice quiet setting.  Yesterday he visited Jericho in MD which they began moving over the water earlier in the week.

First Vice President Jim Smedley – Jericho should be finished the end of February/early March depending on the weather.  It will be lowered into place after the Burr arch truss end pieces are replaced.  They do intent to install headache bars a few hundred yards from the ends of the bridge.

The deadline for the next issue of PA Crossings Newsletter is February 7, the date of our meeting. 

Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein spent Friday-Sunday helping Bob set up our country store at the Knoebel’s festival.  During the past month he visited eight PA covered bridges taking some nice fall shots. 

Third Vice President Steve Wolfhope visited Rapps Damn Bridge to take a picture for PA Crossings.

Fourth Vice President Tim Cohen posted pictures of Rapps Dam and noted that Knox may not open until the New Year.

Historian Fred J. Moll will give a Powerpoint presentation to the Sinking Spring Historical Society on November 18 at 7:30 pm on Berks County Covered Bridges.  He visited five bridges in Columbia County and two in Berks County.  He reported that the clearance sign has been put back up at Griesemer’s.

Recording Secretary Gloria Smedley – No report

Corresponding Secretary/Program Chair Pam Heisey - No report.

Treasurer Robert Kuether – Bob thanked all who had helped at Knoebels where we set a record in sales of over $5,000 this year.


REPORTS OF ILLNESSES OR DEATHS – Pat Cook’s mom has moved in with Pat’s brother as she can no longer live alone.  Condolences went out to Greg Williams for the loss of his dad. Greg thanked all who sent cards to him and his sister.   Tina Conn requested prayers for her brother-in-law who has stage 4 cancer and not doing well.  June Evans thanked all who sent cards during her recent illness.


OLD BUSINESS – Jim Smedley is collecting photos for our 2017 calendar.


NEW BUSINESS – Tom reported on several items discussed at yesterday’s annual executive board planning meeting which included:


Clyde and Alda Sheib reported that the luminaries are planned at Kennedy (PA-15-13#2) the Friday-Saturday before Christmas if they get enough community volunteers.

Bob announced our annual decorating of Poole Forge event to be held on November 21st.  We will also prepare Christmas bags for the dinner and dues reminder cards to be sent out.

Safari update:  This year’s safari will require staying at two different hotels.  First two nights in Lincoln and third night in White River Junction at a Motel 8.  Let Bob know if you want to be on the list for a room the first two nights in Lincoln.  Make reservations yourself at the Motel 8.  Information is in PA Crossings.



Walmart carries a new covered bridge model in their Christmas Village Collection this year.

There are new items for sale in the country store today including sweatshirts, puzzles, Rupert crock and many free items.

A Covered Bridge Coke calendar is being sold at Park City Mall.

Christmas Tree Hill carries covered bridge models.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES -  October minutes were approved as presented.

Today’s program was given by Al Holliday, publisher of PA Magazine.


Our Next Meeting will be our Annual Christmas Dinner at Dutchway Restaurant.  See PA Crossings for details.



 The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted by Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley

November 29, 2015