The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting and Annual Picnic

Manheim Farm Show Building

Sunday, October 4, 2020 2:00 p.m.


President Tom Walczak called the meeting to order at 2:10 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.  He welcomed everyone to our first meeting at this location.  The church in Manheim is not available for meetings at least through the end of 2020.  Tom welcomed Pam Mailey as the new Recording Secretary.




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


TREASURER’S REPORT:  There are 220 members renewed for 2020-2021, including four new members from the calendar insert.  Balance on hand for all four accounts is $20,945.54.  The report was approved as read and will be filed for audit



Connie McLaughlin reported Harmony Hill looks good and is now one-way to drive through. 


Pat Cook reported Kauffman’s Distillery looks good.



President Tom Walczak visited 3 bridges yesterday:  Walter’s Mill (Cox Creek); Glessner which had a lot of people around; and New Baltimore Bridge where he saw two bald eagles.  Today he saw Siegrist’s Mill, Forry’s Mill and Shearer’s.


First Vice President Jim Smedley and Gloria went to Dreibelbis Station to see the finished bridge and saw four other bridges in Berks County.  Greisemer’s Mill is ready for painting again. The deadline for PA Crossings is today. You should receive the Newsletter around October 12th.

Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein – No report.

Third Vice President Frank Mailey – No report.


Fourth Vice President Rob Griner – Not present.


Treasurer Bob Kuether – No report.


Historian Fred Moll  - Fred is finalizing his program for the November meeting, “In the Beginning-Slides of Vera Wagner”.  The Berks Heritage Center, where Wertz’s Red Bridge is located, will be closed from October 8-21 for a paving project; you can still visit the bridge. Fred visited five bridges in Berks County:  Kutz’s Mill, Wertz’s and Pleasantville are in good condition; Greisemer’s Mill has some rust and peeling paint, but solid and the new Dreibelbis Bridge.  Fred will bring his collection of over 200 pictures of the reconstruction of Dreibelbis to upcoming meetings.


Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey - No report


Recording Secretary Pam Mailey - Thank you for well wishes and support as I take on this position.



Condolences go out to Bill Caswell, President of the National Society, on the death of his father.  Condolences also to Martha Grove from Maryland on the death of her long-term companion, Charlie Whitmore.  Tom received a message from Ortha Klischer’s daughter that she says hello and misses all. Ortha is 97y.o and at Assisted Living Home Twin Cedars, 122 Gregory Circle, Milford, PA 18337.  Send card or email to attention of her daughter, Ortha Sosiewicz (  Gloria Wolfhope spoke to Olive Jones who says hello and reports health is about the same.



Jim Smedley discussed plans for next year’s safari.  The 2021 Safari is tentatively planned for May 22-24 to southeastern Ohio (same as originally planned this year).  He has to contact the motel to see if those dates are available and get new pricing.  General information will appear in the October Newsletter with more details provided in the February 2021 Newsletter.



Tom Walczak announced all major covered bridge associated festivals have been cancelled this year due to COVID-19:  Washington-Greene County, Ashtabula Ohio, Parke City Indiana, Madison County Iowa, Knoebels Covered Bridge Festival and Harrisburg PA Christmas Show.


Gloria Smedley is selling covered bridge items on Ebay, and sold over $1000 in the last few months.  Since the Society is set-up as non-profit, there are no fees.  Search for The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society, of PA, Inc. to view items for sale.  Gloria is going to check into Amazon Smile for TBCBSP to receive percentage of purchases (National Society does this).


Tony Abramo discussed plans for the one day safari he will lead on October 17, 2020 to see 7 Lancaster County bridges (one is a drive-through only due to lack of parking).  Meet at Sheetz off of Columbia Exit of Rt. 30 to leave at 8:45am.  His vehicle will have a large American flag on the back.  Fliers are available on the back table.


Connie McLaughlin talked with the owner of Cat’s Meow Village Figurines, who wants to make more figurines of covered bridges and needs photos.  See Connie for a list of the requested National Bridges  (some are PA).  TBCBS will receive a percentage of the sales if she uses our photo and puts TBCBSP and bridge history on the back. 


Connie McLaughlin reported the Poole Forge Car show/fundraiser is October 18th; cost is $10 per car.


Judy Kuether located this building for our monthly meetings since the church is not available at least for the remainder of 2020.  Discussion was held about this meeting location at Manheim Farm Show Building. Although the cost is $100 per meeting, can ensure social distancing since a larger building, do not have to move tables and chairs around, has ample parking, is handicap accessible, has a kitchen and separate meeting room, and the room can be darkened for presentations.  Jim Smedley proposed to reserve this building for 2020 and 2021 which would be approximately six meetings with occupancy from 1:30pm– 4:30pm.  A motion was made by Gloria Wolfhope, seconded by Tina Chandler and carried to continue meeting here through 2021.  There will be future discussion for meeting location of the March 2021 Board Meeting. 


The idea of holding the traditional bake sale at November’s meeting was discussed. Profit is usually $160-$180.  A motion was made by Connie McLaughlin, seconded by Tina Chandler, and motion carried to hold the bake sale.  Participation is voluntary and all items should be individually wrapped, ready for purchase.  Tina has access to large coffee urns if needed.


November 21st will be decorating the Poole Forge covered bridge and gazebo.  We will not need to prepare bags for the Christmas Cards or dues reminders; also no luncheon/snacks.  We will only have access to the Tenant House to warm-up or use the restroom.


December 6th Meeting will be at Manheim Farm Show Building.  A motion was made with all in favor, to cancel our holiday dinner at Shady Maple Smorgasbord due to Covid-19 restrictions.  This meeting will include a program by Bob Kuether and the Christmas Card Exchange.  Donations may also be made to the Preservation Fund.



Pam Heisey conducted the service to remember our deceased members and their years in the TBCBSP.   Rex Crandall(4), Donna Freeland(10), Rose Giannattasio(19), Martha Heist(23), Rudy Katrencik(15), Gertrude Kneil(10-LIFE), Curtis Miller(37), Herbert Orland(15), June Roy(48) and Donald Yeager(8).



Tom presented his annual report and concluded that the Society is in good hands with a good core of members attending and officers keeping an interesting, active and viable society.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: September minutes were approved as presented. 

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 3:33 p.m.

NEXT MEETING: Next meeting will be held on November 1, 2020 2:00 p.m. at Manheim Farm Show Building. 




Respectfully Submitted: Pam Mailey, Recording Secretary, November 2, 2020.