Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Meeting of May 7, 2016

57th Anniversary Dinner

Dutch-Way Restaurant, Gap, PA


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m. welcoming members and guests to our 57th Anniversary Dinner. 

New Members and Guests - Marty Kohlass (Linda Finkelstein’s mother), Lena Danka (Candy’s daughter), John and Beverly Bechtel.

Tom reminded everyone that copies of the April minutes were circulating for review.  Approval would be sought later in the meeting. 

Treasurer Bob Kuether read the monthly treasurer’s report.  There were no additions/corrections to the minutes.  It was approved as read by the membership.  We have 371 renewed members for 2015-16, 3 more than last year.  Last month’s bake sale brought in $197, more than any other previous bake sale.

Tom thanked Bob and Judy Kuether and Ed Myers for their work in arranging today’s dinner and for making the favors and door prize centerpieces.


Joe McCarthy: His business is bidding on repair work to be done on Bitzers Mill (PA-36-04).

Pat Cook:  Pat and Ken Cook attended the opening ceremony at Jericho Covered Bridge (MD-03-02 & MD-12-01) on April 25, 2016.  There were 6 Theodore Burr Members in attendance with over 150 total attendees – nice turnout!

Michael Chorazy attended the New York State Covered Bridge Society’s 50th Anniversary dinner and passed along well wishes from our society..


President Tom Walczak was in Harrisburg, PA yesterday to film a short live segment promoting See Pennsylvania’s Covered Bridges Week (May 7-15).  The interview aired on channel ABC27 yesterday and was highlighted with photos of PA bridges provided by Tom.  He visited McConnell’s Mill (PA-37-01) but found no work had started yet. On April 24th he visited three bridges in Columbiana County Ohio, McClellan (OH-15-02), Church Hill Road (OH-15-08) and Teegarden/Centennial (OH-15-06).

First Vice President, Jim Smedley saw the ABC27 interview and complimented Tom on a great segment.  Jim will email out the link for members to view of the interview.

The deadline for PA Crossings Newsletter is June 5th, the day of our meeting at Kreidersville.

Second Vice President, Ray Finkelstein reminded members of the Bogert’s (PA-39-01) celebration coming up on June 12th.  He participated in his local Community Night in Macungie promoting our bridges and society.

Third Vice President, Steve Wolfhope visited Perrine (NY-56-01) on his way to a model railroad event in New York.  He has placed his SPCBW display at the King of Prussia Welcome Center.

Fourth Vice President, Tim Cohen visited Knox (PA-38-15-15#2) which has been redone and says it looks awesome!

Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley - no report.

Corresponding Secretary / Program Chair Pamela A. Heisey – no report.

Treasurer Bob Kuether made another trip to NH/VT with Jim Smedley and Ray Finkelstein to further prepare for the upcoming safari.  He reminded safari attendees to bring their C.B. if they have one.  Also, our 2017 calendars are available for sale today.  We purchased 300 this year.  Bob and Judy have placed SPCBW displays at four Welcome Centers, the Hershey Library and the Lancaster Visitor Center.  He and Jim Smedley stopped by Herr’s Mill (PA-36-21) wondering how it is still even standing.  Bob noted that the ornament favors at each table and name badges are pictures of the six bridges the society has painted.

Historian Fred J. Moll – On Tuesday night April 4, Fred was on Berks Cable TV at 9PM on a program called “Wheels along the Road.”  He had 20 minutes to talk about covered bridges.  His first topic was “See Pennsylvania’s Covered Bridges Week” where he mentioned how many covered bridges PA has and invited people to visit a covered bridge and walk in the footsteps of their ancestors.  This message was repeated by the host of the program as well as our web site at the end of the program.  It was good exposure for our Society. 

He mentioned an article that was found in an old Reading newspaper the Weekly Advisor, April 8, 1815.  “Schuylkill Navigation – We understand  the celebrated engineer, Theodore Burr, has given his opinion decidedly in favor of the mode of navigation for the Schuylkill Canal, planned by the law lately passed for its improvement.”

Another article he shared was found in the Reading Eagle, April 28, 2016 read Special Program “Covered Bridges of Berks County” presented by local author Theodore Burr and historian Fred Moll at 2 p.m.  Of course, Fred was the sole presenter of this program.

REPORTS OF ILLNESSES OR DEATHS – Janet Corby passed away.



Bob and Judy Kuether prepared certificates for each dinner attendee with the member(s) name, date they became members and the total years of membership.  Tom read each certificate as Jim Smedley passed them out to members.  Judy reminded all that we still have 4 charter members.

Bob Kuether announced to safari attendees that there will be a brief meeting Monday night at the motel, the evening before the safari, at 7pm to review plans for the start of the safari next morning.  We will travel 145 miles that first day so we’re planning to leave at 7:30 a.m.  He asked that everyone wear their safari T shirt the first day as we plan to take the group photo at Stark (NH-04-05)

COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS – The society’s 2017 calendar is available for sale.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Minutes were approved as presented.


Our Next Meeting will be held on Sunday June 5th at 11:00 a.m. at the Kreidersville festival under the circus tent.


Tickets were drawn for 50/50 raffle and table centerpieces.


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

Respectfully Submitted by Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley

Revised May 28, 2016