The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Manheim, PA

Sunday, August 6, 2017


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 2:03 p.m. and led us in the pledge of allegiance.


Tom reminded members the minutes are in the box in the back for review and approval later.

TREASURER’S REPORT:  We have no new members this month.  We have 385 members renewed for 2016-17, 2 more than 1 year ago.


Barbara McCauley did a Columbia County mini trip and saw Stillwater (PA-19-21) which is undergoing major repairs.

Bonnie Shultz saw Colemanville (PA-36-55) and reported that there are many holes in the roof with daylight showing through.

Michael Rudnick went to Kentucky recently and saw ½ dozen bridges including Goddard (KY-35-06).  Most were in good shape.  He also saw 3 bridges in West Virginia – all in good shape.  In Westmoreland County PA he visited Bell’s Mills (PA-65-01) and in Cumberland County he visited Ramp’s (PA-21-11) and found both in good shape.

Clyde Scheib reported that work has started on Kennedy (PA-15-13 #2).  This will be a 3 week long project.  He specifically requested the workmen put up a nail and hook to make it easier for the school to hang the holiday wreath each year. 

Joe McCarthy reported that 7 of the 20 truckloads of wood have been shipped to Blenheim (NY-48-01 #2).  He heard of two couples taking wedding pictures at Speakman #1 (PA-15-05).  It has become a popular spot for that.  He announced that the work on Sheeder-Hall (PA-15-12) is completed and it is open to traffic.  The state just needs to remove the work platform that remains under the bridge.

Ben & June Evans took a trip through Columbia County and saw all but 1 of the 10 bridges north of Bloomsburg.  All are in good shape except for Stillwater which is currently being worked on.


President Tom Walczak – Tom saw an internet article that Loux Bridge (PA-09-11) has been closed due to truck damage.  He and Tim Cohen visited Bitzer’s Mill (PA-36-04) which now has a higher clearance and has been stained brown.  It has a very different appearance than before.  On July 9th he visited Kidd’s Mill (PA-43-01) where work is now complete.  Steel rods have been added anchoring the bridge to the abutments which helps to eliminate sway.  Nochar Fire Retardant has been applied to the bridge.

Tom announced that in mid-July he received news from the IRS that our society has been classified as a 501(c)(3) public charity.  He thanked several who have been involved in this process, Joyce Soroka, Michael Chorazy, Bob and Judy Kuether and Linda Havens.  This status gives credibility to our society and allows us to accept tax-deductible donations and apply for grants.

First Vice President Jim Smedley  Jim and Gloria completed the sessions for the State of PA Migrant Program ESL (English as a Second Language) students.  The last one on July 25 included about 90 students in 3 consecutive sessions of 30 each.  Jim gave a 20 minute talk at the pavilion with visual aids and Gloria led the groups down to Kurtz’s Mill Covered Bridge (PA-36-03) for a tour and further discussion.  Jim thanked Bob and Judy Kuether and Anita and Bob Ford for coming out on the last day to help with the groups.

The deadline for PA Crossings is October 1st, the day of our Pasta Dinner Fundraiser.

Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein  - Last month Ray visited Lehigh Valley Bridges Schlicher’s  (PA- 39-06 #2), Geiger’s (PA-39-05) and Bogert’s (PA-39-01). All but Bogert’s are in good shape.   On July 31st he went to Sheeder-Hall Bridge which looks great (thanks to Joe McCarthy and crew).  There was lots of traffic going across bridge!  He also visited Kennedy Bridge which had a sign up closed as of 8/1.  It has some portal damage. He visited Rapp’s (PA-15-14) which was looking good.  Ray helped Bob at the Churchtown Days street fair near Poole Forge Bridge.  After leaving the fair he visited Bitzer’s Mill, Zook’s Mill (PA-36-14) and Keller’s (PA-36-13) and found all in nice shape.

Third Vice President Steve Wolfhope and Gloria took a trip to Georgia and Alabama and saw 13 of 14 authentic bridges in GA and 7 of 8 authentic bridges in Alabama.  He found Stone Mountain impressive as it is a massive single piece of rock.  Last weekend he visited Sheeder-Hall and commented that it is a nice refurbish job.  He also visited Kennedy which will be closed for repairs and Rapp’s which still looks good.

Fourth Vice President Tim McLaughlin made several visits to Sheeder-Hall.  He noted there are several construction signs that need to be removed in addition to the work platform underneath the bridge.  He visited Speakman which is ‘still red’ and Smith (DE-02-01 #2) where he found scrapes on the NE end of the arch inside.  He and Connie enjoyed taking a Swedish exchange student to Wertz Bridge (PA -06-06).

Historian Fred J. Moll -  No report.

 Recording Secretary Gloria Smedley – No report.

Corresponding Secretary/Program Chair Pam Heisey - No report.

Treasurer Robert Kuether helped with the ESL student sessions on July 25th.  He thanked Ray Finkelstein for his help at the Churchtown Days street fair.  He and Judy visited Himmel’s Church (PA-49-06 #2) and Henninger Farm (PA-22-11-#2) and found both in good shape.  They also visited Dellville (PA-50-16) where they are removing the charred wood.  (Joe McCarthy added that they will determine if Dellville can be saved once the charred wood is removed.)

REPORTS OF ILLNESSES OR DEATHS –  Judy Talmonti passed away on July 20th.  Joseph Conwill of the National Society also passed away as did John Siegrist of the Indiana State Covered Bridge Society.



NEW BUSINESS – Greg Williams read the slate of officers for next month’s meeting.

President……………………Tom Walczak            First Vice President…………. Jim Smedley

Treasurer……………………Robert J. Kuether       Second Vice President……... Ray Finkelstein

Recording Secretary…........Gloria Smedley        Third Vice President………… Steve Wolfhope

Corresponding Secretary/                                  Fourth Vice President………. Tim McLaughlin

Program Chairperson…….. Pamela Heisey          Historian ……………….......... Fred J. Moll

Additional nominations will be solicited during next month’s meeting.

Tom reminded the Officers that their written annual reports are due at the next meeting.

Gloria announced our October 1st Pasta Dinner Fundraiser.  She encouraged members to sign up and bring a friend.  She thanked Linda Finkelstein and Gloria Wolfhope for bringing in snacks for today’s refreshments and encouraged others to volunteer to bring refreshments for future meetings at the church.

Bob is holding a silent auction today of 100 items that were donated to the Society by a woman in NY.  He mentioned that Fred brought in a collection of items that Ginny Eyrich has donated to the society.

There was much discussion about plans for our 2018 safari.  Tom Walczak volunteered to lead a safari to Western Ohio.  Society members agreed this would be a good location for our safari.  Tom will provide more details for the safari at a later date and it will be included in the October issue of PA Crossings.


·         Tom shared the new Greene County Guide which has a nice picture of King Bridge (PA-30-24) what he picked up at the I-83 Welcome Center.

·         Connie McLaughlin finally found the Buck Run bridge painting she had been searching for and showed it to the group.

·         Tina Chandler shared a painting of a bridge done by Jason’s cousin.

·         Barb McCauley bought a TBCBSPA plate of Knox bridge at an antique shop.  It commemorated the first bridge the society helped to restore.

·         Mike Rudnick shared a painting of Sachs Bridge he purchased in a restaurant in Gettysburg.

·         Greg Williams shows a marble plate with a covered bridge on it he picked up at a flea market.

Refreshments were served during intermission.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES – July minutes were approved as presented.

NEXT MEETING - Our Next Meeting will be our Annual Election of Officers Meeting on Sunday, September 10th, 2017 here at the church.  The presentation will be ‘Our Society’s Year in Review’ by Tom Walczak.


 ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p.m. following a presentation by Michael Rudnick, ““Covered Bridges & Sightseeing West of the Mississippi”.


Respectfully Submitted by Gloria Smedley, Recording Secretary

August 15, 2017