The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting and Bake Sale

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Manheim, PA

Sunday, November 5, 2017


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 2:08 p.m. welcoming everyone and reminding us of our civic duty to vote on Tuesday.  He led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.


NEW MEMBERS AND GUESTS:  Richard Toland has been a member for a year but today was the first meeting he’s attended.  Bill and Jenn Caswell from New Hampshire were with us today.  Bill is President of the National Society for Preservation of Covered Bridges and is today’s speaker.


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


TREASURER’S REPORT:  We have 4 new members – Rick Bartmas, Gregory and Emily Harvey, and Earl Maurer.   We have 288 members renewed for 2017-2018, 14 more than 1 year ago.



Barbara McCauley visited Stillwater (PA-19-21) which is still being worked on and Little Gap (PA-13-02) where a headache bar was hit and part of it ripped off.

Joe McCarthy took friends on a mini tour of the four bridges his company has repaired.  He reported that the wood for the body of Blenheim (NY-48-01 #2) has been shipped.  Soon hundreds of roof rafters will be shipped.  The bridge is being built on the banks.  They plan on late spring/early summer to move the bridge in place with a huge crane.  Wood is on the way for Loux (PA-09-11).  This will be a 3 week project and will start before Thanksgiving.  This is the first town truss his company has worked on.  Others were burr arches.

Pat Cook visited Forry’s Mill (PA-36-28) and Siegrist’s Mill (PA-36-37 #2) to take fall photos and both look good.

Pam Mailey visited Gettysburg and saw Sachs (PA-01-01), Jacks Mountain (PA-01-08) and Heikes (PA-01-14).  Jacks Mountain has loose board on the outside.



President Tom Walczak – Tom attended the Ashtabula County, Ohio covered bridge festival and visited six bridges.  There were festivals and info tables at each bridge.  They were offering helicopter rides over the bridges.

First Vice President Jim Smedley He and Gloria visited six covered bridges in Ohio in early October.  The most impressive bridge was Newton Falls Bridge (OH-78-01) in Trumbull County.  It was in excellent condition, had two signs for information about the history of the bridge and subsequent rehabilitations,  good interior and exterior lighting, good caution and clearance signs, a heat detector system, a surveillance system and a separate walkway for pedestrians.  Probably the best covered bridge they have seen in Ohio.  Newton Falls Town truss was built 1831 and is the oldest bridge still in service in Ohio.  The other impressive bridge they saw was the King’s Mill Bridge (OH-51-21), a modern covered bridge built in 2016. 

The PA Crossings is February 4, 2018, the date of our February meeting.

Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein visited Columbia County and saw a number of bridges, helped Bob and Judy at Knoebels, and took a bus tour of the Bucks County and Lehigh bridges.  On October 13th he attended the Knecht’s (PA-09-02) bridge celebration.  On November 2nd he gave a presentation at Country Meadows Retirement Community.

Third Vice President Steve Wolfhope – No report.

Fourth Vice President Tim McLaughlin – Tim visited many Columbia County bridges when he and Connie went to help Bob Kuether at Knoebels.  He noted that the sides of Snyder (PA-19-14) look great but portals could use some paint and that Esther Furnace (PA-19-20) was missing a few portal boards.

Historian Fred J. Moll brought a loose-leaf notebook of photos of the 150th Anniversary Celebration of Wertz’s Red Bridge on October 1, 2017.  He was asked to do a covered bridge program at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fleetwood on December 3rd.  It will be between church services from 9:15 to 10:15.  It is an informal coffee and conversation time in which he is supposed to show several local bridges and answer questions they might have on covered bridges.  He’s included several photos of our activities as an organization in his presentation as it seems like a good time to promote our Society. 


Recording Secretary Gloria Smedley thanked all who attended and participated in last month’s Pasta Dinner Fundraiser.  The event raised $375.

Corresponding Secretary/Program Chair Pam Heisey - No report.

Treasurer Robert Kuether – Bob thanked all those who helped at Knoebel’s this year.  He announced that our 990 EZ tax form has been submitted so we are now officially on record with the IRS as a 501(c)3 charitable organization.


REPORTS OF ILLNESSES OR DEATHS – Michael Chorazy thanked everyone for the many cards, emails, texts and calls he received after his open heart surgery. 


NEW BUSINESS – Saturday November 18th we will be decorating Poole Forge (PA-36-01) bridge and working on Christmas card bags and reminder cards in the tenant house starting at 9:00 a.m.  All are welcomed to come and help.


Jim Smedley reported on the recent audit he conducted.  All records match.  He commented that it is very impressive work Bob and Judy do maintaining the accounting books.  Our money is in good hands!  An audit will be conducted each year.


Tom reported that yesterday the Executive Board met for our annual planning meeting from 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p..m.  He thanked all the officers who attended.  The board discussed money issues.  To help raise money we will be conducting a 50/50 cash raffle with winner drawn at our picnic in July and possibly a bridge bus tour in the spring.  Profits at the Lancaster Visitor Center so far this year are $653.15.  Our calendar ad has appeared in PA Magazine.


Tom thanked all who participated in today’s Bake Sale. 



NEW COVERED BRIDGE ITEM -  Steve Wolfhope brought in this year’s Wal-Mart covered bridge ceramic model.  Pam Mailey shared a 1966 picture of Bentzel’s Mill Bridge she bought for just $3.00.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – October minutes were approved as presented.

NEXT MEETING - Our Next Meeting will be held at Dutch-way Farm Market Restaurant in Gap, PA at our annual Christmas Dinner on Saturday December 9th, 11:00am-3:00pm.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:25 p.m. following a presentation by Bill Caswell, President of the National Society for Preservation of Covered Bridges entitled “Reconstruction of the Moose Brook Bridge”.

Respectfully Submitted by Gloria Smedley, Recording Secretary

November 12, 2017