The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting and Fundraiser

Hoss’s Steak and Sea House, Lititz, PA

Sunday, October 13, 2019, 2:00 p.m.


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 2:16 p.m. after everyone had enjoyed a nice meal at the restaurant.  He welcomed everyone and mentioned we have a great turnout for this fundraiser.


NEW MEMBERS AND GUESTS:  No new members or guests.


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 one new member, CN Resources, LLC of Arizona.  We have 393 members renewed for 2018-19, 203 for 2019-20.



Joe McCarthy shared photos he brought of Dreibelbis Bridge. He also shared engineering drawings showing replacement timbers for Dreibelbis and an aerial view taken by a drone of the crane used to move the bridge.  The pieces of the bridge are going out for fumigation.  They hope to have the bridge up and replaced sometime in the spring. He recently attended a conference in Lancaster, New Hampshire and was able to see a few bridges ending up at Stark which was the nicest.  


George Rothlingshofer took 3 days off and visited 24 covered bridges on his motorcycle in several counties. 


Pam Mailey, Frank Mailey, Bob and Desi Kuether took the country store to the Red Land Community Flea Market on September 21st.  Sales were $66.  On September 22nd she and Frank led the Adams/Cumberland County Safari with help from Bob and Judy Kuether.  There was a great turnout of 22 people.  They saw Jack’s Mountain (needs painting), Sachs (some vandalism), Heike’s (newly painted and nothing stored inside), Bowmansdale at Messiah College and concluded with a picnic at Katie Helm’s house.  October 2nd – 6th she and Frank helped with the country store at Knoebel’s.  Our society sold a total of $5,516 in merchandise this year at the 4-day Knoebel’s festival.


Tim McLaughlin and Connie helped with scraping Red Bridge.  They attended the Adams County mini-safari and stopped to see Anderson Farm afterwards.  This morning they were at the Poole Forge car show.  They have seen 153 of the 210 bridges in PA with hopes to finish out all PA bridges by the end of the year.



President Tom Walczak represented our society at the White Covered Bridge Festival in Greene County September 21-22nd as they celebrated the 150 birthday of the bridge.  He was the keynote speaker opening the festival.  He spoke about our society, mission, activities, covered bridges and trusses, etc.  He set up the country store for the two days and sold $660.50 of merchandise.  He thanked Bill and Wayne Haag for helping him at the booth.  The following weekend he met Bob Kuether in Bedford County to return the unsold Country Store merchandise.  Afterwards he took time to visit seven bridges.  He was surprised that all firewood had been removed from inside of Cuppett’s so he could get good interior shots.  Yesterday he visited Glessner and New Baltimore in Somerset County which are both in good shape.


First Vice President Jim Smedley and Gloria attended the Stillwater Bridge rededication on September 9th which was very nice.  On September 14th he and Gloria and 13 more members went back to Red Bridge to apply a second coat of paint to the portals and touch up some of the siding paint and hang the Red Bridge signs on the portals.  On September 22nd they participated in a very successful mini safari to Adams County led by Frank and Pam Mailey followed by a nice lunch at Katie Helm’s house.  On October 4th he and Gloria helped out at Knoebel’s.  Tomorrow they are going back to Red Bridge to apply NoChar fire retardant to the bridge.  Anyone who would like to help out is welcomed to join them.

The deadline for PA Crossings is February 2, 2020 the first Sunday in February.

Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein attended the Bucks County Covered Bridge Festival on September 21st.  He received an email from Bill Wilson with good news that 7 bridges in Bucks County will be rehabilitated.  He and Linda also attended the Adams County mini-safari and congratulated Pam and Frank for doing such a good job.


Third Vice President Steve Wolfhope finally got out to Washington County to see the last 2 bridges there he had not seen – Pine Bank (fairly nice) and Ralston Freeman (private). 


Fourth Vice President Bob Griner thanked everyone for all the cards and well wishes he received from members because of his fall.  He has a new interest in GoPro videography and plans to take videos and pictures of bridges using it.  Bob saw four bridges in Indiana County (3 of the 4 are bypassed).  Thomas Bridge was very busy.  Trusal and Harmon are in the cattle field and you can see one from the other.  The County Commissioners have allowed funds to fix the bridges so they will get some needed rehabilitation.  Kintersburg seemed to be the most ignored needing a lot of work.  Others seem to be in good shape.  On a recent trip to Cleveland he stopped by Ashtabula County and saw six bridges.


Treasurer Bob Kuether thanked all who participated in painting Red Bridge.  The Historical Society paid for the paint ($600).  The original quote from our painter to paint the bridge was $1,600, but when it was done he gave us a huge discount and only charged the society $1,000.  Bob reminded everyone of the Perry County mini-safari this Saturday.  Bob was contacted by Matt Holliday, editor of PA Magazine, who will put our calendar advertisement in the magazine again this year.


Historian Fred Moll reported that at the Dreibelbis Covered Bridge both stone abutments have been demolished.  They are working on building the abutment on the south, or Dreibelbis Station side, of the shore.  The abutment area has been dug out and a layer of stones were put on the bottom.  Iron beams were inserted into the ground and a wooden wall was constructed between the house and the working area.  As of yesterday rebar bars have been inserted on top of the stones at the bottom of the abutment area, and a wooden form is being constructed on top of the rebar bars.  Not much has been done to the Rt. 143 abutment side except for iron beams that were inserted into the ground alongside of the roadway.  Fred’s talks went well in Wertz’s Red Bridge at the Heritage Festival on Sunday, October 6.  It rained for the second talk and people took shelter in the covered bridge.  Since they had nothing to do in the bridge, he had quite an audience for his second talk.  He talked about our Society and what we do and our Facebook page.



Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey: No report.


Recording Secretary Gloria Smedley and Jim visited Red Bridge to take measurements to determine the amount of fire retardant needed for the bridge.  Gloria emailed the measurements to Steve Sass, the manufacturer and requested a quote for the NoChar product.  After receiving the quote Gloria sent it on to the National Society for Preservation of Covered Bridges (NSPCB) for approval to cover the cost as they have a program in place for this.  The total cost for the product, $725, was approved and paid for by the NSPCB.  Gloria and Jim picked up the five 5-gallon containers saving the cost of shipping.  They will return to Red Bridge tomorrow to apply the fire retardant and welcomed anyone to join them.


ILLNESSES/DEATHS of MEMBERS:  Rex Crandall of Arizona passed away June 24th.


OLD BUSINESS:  Next year’s safari will be held the first weekend of June, 2020, in Southeastern Ohio and will be led by Gloria and Jim Smedley and Bob and Judy Kuether.


NEW BUSINESS:  The first week of November Gloria Smedley will host a jewelry fundraiser on Facebook.  All items are only $5 and $1 of each sale will be donated to our society.  She will bring a flyer with information to the next meeting.  Individuals can place orders via Facebook or online.


NEW COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS:  Jim Smedley shared a 50th Anniversary coin from the Madison County Iowa’s festival.  It has all 6 bridges around the edge of the coin.  It can be obtained from the Madison County Chamber of Commerce and costs $10 plus shipping.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – September minutes were approved as presented.  

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 3:20 p.m.

NEXT MEETING - Our Next Meeting will be November 3rd at 2:00pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Manheim.  The program will be “Covered Bridges of the Conestoga River” by Jim Smedley.  We will also hold our semi-annual Bake Sale at the meeting and Tom encouraged members to bring canned goods for the church food drive.


Respectfully Submitted, Gloria Smedley, Recording Secretary, October 21, 2019