The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting

Safari Headquarters Motel 6, Bloomsburg, PA

Saturday, June 1, 7:30 p.m.


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 7:34 p.m. welcoming everyone to the safari and leading us in the pledge of allegiance.  He thanked Bob and Judy Kuether for all their behind the scenes work to organize the safari, Jim and Gloria Smedley for designing, taking orders and distributing the safari t-shirts and Bob and KC Griner for being the caboose of the safari.


NEW MEMBERS AND GUESTS: Members Anthony and Karen Abramo were welcomed.  This is their first meeting and first safari.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Tom reminded everyone the minutes were available for review and he will ask for approval later in the meeting.


TREASURER’S REPORT:  We have 6 new members:  Jim and Colleen McCauley of Jim Thorpe, PA, Chuck and Joy Shultz of Birdsboro, PA, and Theodore and Beth Smith of Edgewater, MD.

We have 387 renewed as of May; 9 more than 1 year ago.  The report was approved as read and will be filed for audit.



Bill Haag visited Sonestown which is closed.  There are side boards missing from both sides.

Pam Mailey saw Aline on Mother’s Day weekend.  It could use some rehabilitation.  Bob added that he pursued this but was turned down due to insurance liability issues.

Greg Williams visited Red Run at the campground and found they had replaced the abutments at the end facing the road.

Joe McCarthy said demolition work on Dreibelbis Station will start on June 10 and expected to take 3 weeks.  Moving the bridge to the causeway will take place on July 8 as long as there are no delays to the demolition work.  Visitors are not allowed during work hours.  You will be chased away. 


President Tom Walczak saw Kidd’s Mill in Mercer’s County and found it in good shape.  He put up a display at the I-80 Welcome Center for See Pennsylvania’s Covered Bridges Week (SPCBW).  He was told it generated lots of comments and discussions on bridges.  In celebration of this being our 50th year for SPCBW he mailed out postcards to members.  September 21-22 White Covered Bridge will host a festival celebrating their 100th Anniversary.  Tom will kick off the festival with a presentation and will have a booth set up for our society during the festival.  The booth is free of charge.


First Vice President Jim Smedley: No report.

The deadline for PA Crossings is the Sunday, October 6th, one week before our fundraiser at Hoss’s.


Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein reported that Bogert’s bridge has received a grant for rehabilitation with the requirement to provide $100,000 in matching funds.  They are looking for letters of commitment for funds to be donated.  The National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges has provided a letter committing $10,000 to the project.  Ray thought it would be nice for our society to provide a commitment for $1,000.  He visited all the bridges in Lehigh County preparing for the mini-safari he will lead on August 17th.


Third Vice President Steve Wolfhope put up a display at the Valley Forge Visitors Center.  Due to confined space he was only able to leave it up during Tourism Week.  He and Gloria visited a few bridges in New York and PA while member Ruth Wilson visited from NY.


Fourth Vice President Tim McLaughlin and Connie continue their adventure to visit all PA bridges during this our 60th anniversary year.  They are up to 121 PA bridges so far.  They transported a display to the Erie Welcome Center for SPCBW.


Treasurer Bob Kuether thanked all those that had a part in helping with today’s safari.  There is a card up front for everyone to sign thanking the Columbia-Montour organization for lunch today at the Twins.  He thanked all who participated in SPCBW.  Judy Kuether mentioned that 13 of the 14 welcome centers were covered this year.  All but one which was to be done by Mike Rudnick who unfortunately broke his arm requiring surgery so he was unable to get his display there.  Judy and Bob Kuether placed 9 display boards at different locations including Welcome Centers for SPCBW.


Historian Fred Moll: No report.
Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey: Absent.  No report.

Recording Secretary Gloria Smedley and Jim put up a display at the I-83 Welcome Center near Shrewsbury for Tourism Week and SPCBW.  They manned the display a couple days and spoke with travelers about bridges.


ILLNESSES/DEATHS of MEMBERS:  Ben and June Evans continue to have health issues.  They no longer can drive so may not be able to make it to future meetings.  Member Mike Rudnick took a fall and broke his arm which required surgery and many months of physical therapy.


OLD BUSINESS:  In April, Jim reviewed the first half of the proposed bylaw changes which were voted on and approved.  The remaining will be discussed at the August meeting. 


NEW BUSINESS:  Tom asked for suggestions for next year’s safari.  Connie McLaughlin would like to go back to Vermont.  Jim Smedley mentioned New Hampshire might be better as the bridges are nicer and not as many dirt roads.  Pat Cook mentioned southeast Ohio may be nice for a safari. Pam Mailey took the Country Store to the Twins on May 18th for their bus tour event.  They will have another tour on June 26th and expect twice as many people.  Pam will once again take the Country Store to the event.  May 8th Bob Kuether gave a presentation at the Redland Library and also took the Country Store there.


Tom announced the Nominating Committee for this year’s election of officers: Pam Mailey and Greg Williams.  He announced if anyone is interested in becoming an officer to see either Pam or Greg.

Gloria Smedley encouraged members to volunteer and become more involved as an officer.

NEW COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS:  Jim gave members a new book by the National Park Service titled Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Covered Bridges. Books were provided by Christopher Marston, architect for The National Park Service.  Tom distributed covered bridge safari patches to members.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – May minutes were approved as presented.

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned 8:30 pm.

NEXT MEETING - Our Next Meeting will be held on Sunday, July 7th at our annual picnic.  This year the picnic will be held at the pavilion next to Shearer’s Covered Bridge not far from our usual meeting place in Manheim.  Everyone will gather at noon with lunch shortly thereafter. 


Respectfully Submitted, Gloria Smedley, Recording Secretary

June 3, 2019