Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Annual Picnic at Poole Forge Park

Meeting of July 3, 2016


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m. welcoming all to our annual picnic.  The turnout of almost 50 people is one of the largest this year.

New Members and Guests: Members we don’t see often included David Hoke and his niece and Annette and Rich Fillmore and their two children.  Guests were Greg William’s sister Pam Mailey and Betty Miller’s daughter Tiera.

Tom reminded everyone that copies of the June minutes are available for review.  Approval would be sought later in the meeting. 

Treasurer Bob Kuether read the treasurer’s report for the month of June.  We have no new members.  Member total as of end of June is 377 renewed for 2015-2016, 10 more than a year ago.  There are 108 members renewed for 2016-2017.


Tina Chandler, unfortunately, made a trip to the ER and was wearing a covered bridge T-shirt.  She gave the nurse who asked about her shirt our society’s website.

Joe McCarthy thanked all who were involved with the recent NH/VT safari.  It was his first and he had a blast.  The first load of lumber has been delivered for rehabilitation of Speakman #1 (PA-15-05).  Two more are expected before work can start.

Olive Jones’s son-in-law shared information with her on the damage to Roddy Road (MD-10-02) where a box truck exceeding height limit traveled through the bridge causing considerable damage.  He was chased by several local citizens and stopped by police with pieces of the bridge still hanging from his truck.


President Tom Walczak reiterated Joe’s compliments on the safari.  40 some gathered in VT/NH, good weather, good accommodations, enjoyable safari with many great bridges he had not seen in many years,  and he saw his first moose.  He thanked Bob Kuether, Ray Finkelstein and Jim Smedley for their work in planning the safari.

On June 18th 14 members gathered at Sam Wagner (PA-47-01 & PA-49-11) to paint the bridge. Tom thanked Bob for making the arrangements.  It was a nice time.  The painting made a tremendous impact on the appearance of the bridge!  He and Time Cohen visited Rishel (PA-49-05#2) on the way home.

First Vice President, Jim Smedley added comments regarding the safari that Bob and Judy Kuether did the majority of the work and made it a flawless safari!

The deadline for the fall issue of PA Crossings Newsletter is October 2th, the date of our October meeting and Lasagna Fundraiser Dinner.  

Second Vice President, Ray Finkelstein – Ray said it was a pleasure to help in planning the safari but Bob was the main guy!  He thanked all who attended the Bogert’s (PA-39-01) 175th Anniversary Celebration on June 12th.  The turnout was good.  There is a Facebook Page for Allentown Parks to donate funds for Bogert’s Bridge restoration.

Third Vice President, Steve Wolfhope -  Congrats to the group that ran a fantastic safari.  He saw 39 new bridges, a total of 39 in NH and 2 in Maine. He enjoyed helping paint Sam Wagner Bridge.

Fourth Vice President, Tim Cohen – It was an ‘awesome’ safari!

Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley – No report.

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

Treasurer Bob Kuether thanked all who helped with the safari.  He learned a lot about covered bridges hanging with Joe McCarthy.  He participated in Kreidersville Festival and Bogert’s Celebration, the painting of Sam Wagner and spent two days at the Lancaster Visitor Center promoting our bridges.  He has new T-shirts in new colors in the country store and showed several shirts and a hat that can be ordered with our logo on it.  These items will not be stock items in the store but made upon request.  He announced two raffles for today – the 50/50 and 2 free dinners to the Christmas dinner.  The cost of 10 tickets was donated.  There will be 5 drawings for 2 free dinners at the remaining meetings leading up to the Christmas Dinner.

Historian Fred J. Moll – No report.




Details of our Lasagna Fundraiser Dinner to be held at the October 2nd meeting have appeared in PA Crossings.  The cost is $15/person.  Space is limited so sign up!

The Nominating Committee of Pat Cook and Greg Williams have assembled the slate of officers for next year.  Pat Cook read the list as follows:

President - Tom Walczak

1st VP – Jim Smedley

2nd VP – Ray Finkelstein

3rd VP - Steve Wolfhope

4th VP – Tim McLaughlin

Treasurer – Bob Kuether

Recording Secretary - Gloria Smedley

Corresponding Secretary - Pam Heisey

Historian - Fred Moll


Tom thanked Pat and Greg for serving on the Nominating Committee.

Jim Smedley reported that yesterday the committee met to review and discuss possible changes to the bylaws. The suggested changes include some rewordings and amendments.  The committee will wait till we have word on 501(c)(3) status so that can be added.  Then a proposal will be presented to the membership for approval.

Tom asked for 2017 safari ideas.  Ray suggested Bedford/Somerset Counties (24 bridges) and volunteered to lead it.  Katie Helm asked about NY but that option had been explored by Steve Wolfhope and found to be logistically difficult with very few options for reasonably priced lodging and rest stops.  Jim offered the suggestion of upper NY northeast bridges combined with bridges in VT (Bennington/Rutland counties).  He also suggested southeast Ohio and Washington/Greene counties PA.  It was agreed that the 2017 safari should be in PA with every other year being out of state going forward.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Minutes were approved as presented.


Our Next Meeting will be held on Sunday, August 7th at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.  The Program will be “Covered Bridges of Kentucky and Tennessee” by Jim Smedley.

ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m.  Everyone gathered at the bridge for the group photo.

Respectfully Submitted by Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley

July 13, 2016