Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Meeting of June 2, 2017, 8 pm

Quality Inn in Bedford, PA during 2017 Annual Safari


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m. welcoming members and guests to the 2017 Annual Safari in Bedford and Somerset counties.

New Members and Guests:  Although members for the past 5 years this is the first meeting Rebecca and David Kierski have attended.  Judy Talmonti and her daughter Stacey were present.

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

Treasurer Bob Kuether read the monthly treasurer’s report.  We have 382 renewed members for 2016-17, 6 more than last year.  There were no additions/corrections to the report.  It was approved as read by the membership. 


Joe McCarthy:  His crew is busy working on Sheeder-Hall (PA-15-12).  He had pictures available of the ongoing work.  They expect the work to be done by end of June.  Fire retardant and paint will be applied.  He will keep us posted regarding an opening ceremony date.

Pat Cook saw four romantic shelters and stopped by Claycomb (PA-05-12) during her travels today.

Connie McLaughlin attended Breakfast on the bridges at the Brandywine Conservancy.


President Tom Walczak put up a display for See PA’s Covered Bridges Week (SPCBW) at the I-80 Welcome Center.  He made trips to Kidd’s Mill (PA-43-01) in Mercer County and found that work has begun.  The covered bridge and bypass bridge are both closed to traffic. 

First Vice President, Jim Smedley:  He and Gloria visited the four most northern bridges in New Hampshire and 4 in western Maine last month and also stopped by Wright Railroad Bridge and Pier Railroad Bridge near Concord, New Hampshire.   Bridges in Maine were generally in nice condition especially Babb’s Bridge but Sunday River Bridge needs repair to a lot of the siding.  New Hampshire’s bridges all looked very nice.

The deadline for the summer issue of PA Crossings is this weekend.

Second Vice President, Ray Finkelstein:  Ray has been busy preparing for the safari.

Third Vice President, Steve Wolfhope: He and Gloria and Jim and Gloria Smedley visited a few bridges together last week – Rapps (PA-15-14), Sheeder-Hall, Knox (PA-15-15 #2) and Kennedy (PA-15-13 #2) which had damage to one portal.  While visiting Sheeder-Hall they saw Joe McCarthy who was on site and shared some details about the ongoing work.


Fourth Vice President, Tim McLaughlin stopped by Sheeder-Hall to check out the progress, Mercer’s Mill (PA-15-19/PA-36-38) where he found they had planted flowers along the wingwall, Speakman #1 (PA-15-05) and Gibson’s (PA-15-10) where work is ongoing – one portal was done and about 1/3 of the floor boards in place and graffiti had been cleaned up.  He and Connie stopped by Sachs (PA-01-01) on the way to the meeting today – great day for beautiful pictures.

Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley – She and Jim Smedley had a display at the I-83N Welcome Center near Shrewsbury, PA during National Tourism Week and SPCBW.  They spend several days each week greeting visitors and promoting PA’s bridges.

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

Treasurer Bob Kuether and Judy stopped by Delville (PA-50-16) and said that it looks like they are removing the charred wood. He mentioned that the State has requested more rack cards for their distribution center.  To make them available to the various welcome centers Bob delivered three boxes of cards (5400).

Historian Fred J. Moll – No report.

REPORTS OF ILLNESSES OR DEATHS – Tom relayed regards from Tim Cohen who was unable to attend safari due to a back problem.


NEW BUSINESS – Congratulations to Charlene and Bill Haag who are on safari and will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary with us tomorrow.

Suggestions for next year’s safari included Washington County and Southeastern Ohio where there are some newly renovated bridges; Vermont; New York (although we have explored this in the past and found accommodations a challenge); and Western Ohio/Eastern Indiana.

Bob announced he has some new hats available with different bridges embroidered on them.  He asks for comments and suggestions on them.  Sales at the Lancaster Visitor Center are going great!

COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS – Katie Helm stopped in Donegal Rest Stop and found they had various PA covered bridge mugs for sale.

Tom thanked all who had helped to coordinate this weekend’s safari.

Ray went over details of our 3 day safari.  He thanked those who had been helpful in planning the safari, his wife Linda, Bob Kuether, Jim Smedley, Steve Wolfhope, and Dave Green.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Minutes were approved as presented.

NEXT MEETING: Our Next Meeting will be held on Saturday, July 2nd at Historic Poole Forge and Covered Bridge Park during our annual picnic. Gather at 12:00 noon lunch with meeting afterwards.

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted by Recording Secretary, Gloria Smedley

June 7, 2017