The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting

Manheim Farm Show Building/Community Center

Sunday, May 2, 2021 2:00 p.m.


Vice-President Jim Smedley called the meeting to order at 3:05PM, welcoming everyone.  A pizza luncheon was held prior to the meeting in celebration of the Society’s 62nd Anniversary.  Thank you to Bob and Judy Kuether for organizing the pizza party. 


Jim reminded all of the need to continue social distancing/wearing a mask. Jim led the Pledge of Allegiance. 


Jim reported that Tom Walczak, President, would not be at the meeting due to the declining health of his dad, Anthony, who is in a rehab facility and not showing signs of improvement. 


NEW MEMBERS AND GUESTS:  Jack and Fran Krecek are attending their first meeting.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Jim reminded everyone the April 2021 Meeting Minutes are available for review on the back table; he will ask for approval later in the meeting.


TREASURER’S REPORT:  There are currently 378 members with 2 new members, Suzanne Manna and Martin Pardys and 1 deceased, Olive Jones.



Steve Wolfhope:  He and Gloria drove round trip to TX to visit their son in Oct-Nov 2020.  Saw a number of bridges: Beech Fork Covered Bridge in KY (arson/destroyed); Emerson E. Parks Covered Bridge and Moonshine Distillery in TN; Bridge in Troy, TN (unnamed); Alamuchee Covered Bridge in AL and Coheelee Creek Covered Bridge (significant in Civil War) in GA; Andersonville Civil War Cemetery and Parrish Mill Covered Bridge in GA.  Also saw Charleston Lighthouse.


Connie McLaughlin:  Saw Smith’s Covered Bridge in New Castle; heavily traveled and damage to portal boards and cross beam from tractor trailer truck, but structurally sound. Gibson’s Bridge looks fine.


Joe McCarthy: Ed Patterson of Indiana County, PA contacted Joe about Kintersburg Covered Bridge, one of only a couple Howe truss bridges left in PA.  It is in very bad shape, dire need of repairs, main trusses are completely broken.  Joe submitted proposal to totally take down and rebuild the bridge (awaiting acceptance). Saw damage at Smith’s Bridge in DE.  Repairs are scheduled to start mid-June on Hassenplug Bridge.



President Tom Walczak: Not present


First Vice President Jim Smedley:  Ramp’s Covered Bridge in Cumberland County is currently being rehabilitated.  Pictures by George Rothlingshofer on Facebook show siding, roof and flooring have been removed on one end; bridge has been stabilized underneath with cribbing.

A Penske truck struck the headache bar on Little Gap Bridge in Carbon County on March 25thsaving the bridge from damage.  Repairs are estimated at $8,000.

Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein – Not present

Third Vice President Frank Mailey – He and Pam helped Bob, Judy, and Desi Kuether to sort/count 800 handouts for the PA Welcome Centers.  Traveled to PA Welcome Centers with Bob and Judy to place displays at I-70 E, I-79 N, I-70 N, I-81 N, Rt. 15 S, I-84 E and I-80 W.  Also saw 3 covered bridges:  Buttonwood (roof tiles lifting, paint fair), Coganhouse (newer paint job) and Knecht’s (newly painted).


Fourth Vice President Bob Griner – Not present.


Treasurer Bob Kuether – Traveled to 7 PA Welcome Centers to set-up covered bridge displays and handouts for SEE PA’s COVERED BRIDGES WEEK.  Saw the 3 bridges Frank mentioned.


Historian Fred Moll  - He was asked “When was the clearance sign on Kutz’s Mill Bridge in Greenwich Twp, Berks County changed from 9’6” to 8’3”?  From old photographs, narrowed the date down to between September 7th and November 6th of 2017.  Take away is to always photograph a bridge that you visit, something may have changed since last time you visited.

Daughter Heather visited to install covered bridge bird feeder she got her dad for Christmas. She also helped to empty stuff from attic including some wooden siding from Pleasantville Covered Bridge and his childhood old-fashioned wooden sled with “Freddie” written on the bottom.


Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey – No report


Recording Secretary Pam Mailey – Spent 3 days traveling to PA Welcome Centers.  Tioga and DE Water Gap are the 2 largest in PA.  Tioga is wooden building with deck, rocking chairs, beautiful view.



Jim Smedley reported the deadline to submit information is Sunday, June 6, 2021.



- Linda Finkelstein is coming home from rehab facility today.

- Tim Cohen spoke with June Evans but couldn’t find out what their status is.

- Olive Jones passed away April 19th at the age of 101.  Jim and Gloria Smedley attended the viewing and spoke with her daughter, Janet Orland, previous member, who hopes to rejoin.

- Marianne Calabrese had heart surgery to repair her mitral valve on April 5th.

- Gene Ross’ wife, Jeannine, had knee replacement surgery; is rehabilitating at home.

- Tom Bechtel’s wife is home from the hospital; had COVID.



Bob Kuether picked up 2022 calendars from the printer; 400 ordered and they are available for $10.

Connie McLaughlin:  PA Welcome Centers are so thrilled to have the covered bridge displays.  She delivered to Erie and Philadelphia areas (I-90 W and I-95 N).





See PA Covered Bridges Week (SPCBW) May 8th – 16th.  Judy Kuether contacted Welcome Center Supervisor in Harrisburg to coordinate.  Jim Smedley read the Proclamation from the Governor’s Office that Tom Walczak obtained. Tom also provided the annual SPCBW poster; Jim will email it this week.


Mini-Safari is scheduled for June 19ththrough Northern Lancaster County, led by Tony Abramo.  Plan to meet at 9:00AM at Sheetz off Rt. 222, Brownstone Exit.  See Tony for any questions.


Future Meetings: 

- June 6th meeting is as scheduled at Manheim Community Center.

-  July 4th meeting is changed to July 11th at the Manheim Community Center. 

-  August 1st meeting at Manheim Community Center.

-  September 12th is the annual picnic at Poole Forge.


Jim Smedley and Gloria are going to drive the route again for the August Safari to SE Ohio, scheduled for August 28-30th (Saturday, Sunday and ½ day Monday). They will check with the motel in Marrieta for rates.  Flyer will be in the June newsletter to order Safari T-shirt (grey) and information to register.



Judy Kuether showed a sample of the red car flags used for Safari which she embroidered with the Society’s logo. The group liked the sample; Judy will embroider 20-30 flags to be ready for June safari.


Gloria shared a wooden covered bridge, hand-crafted by Bob Flory.


Connie McLaughlin shared a pewter plate with covered bridge picture.


Twins Covered Bridge puzzles, models and calendars are for sale on back table.


Used covered bridge puzzles also available on back table.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: April’s meeting minutes were approved as presented. 

NEXT MEETING: June 6th at Manheim Community Center at 2:00PM.  Bob Kuether will present the program, “Covered Bridges of Cumberland County, Part 2”.


ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 4:14PM





Respectfully Submitted by Pam Mailey, Recording Secretary, May 27, 2021.