The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting and Annual Holiday Dinner

Sunday, December 12, 2021


The TBCBSP Annual Holiday Dinner was held at Yoder’s Restaurant/Buffet in New Holland, beginning at 11:30am; 54 people were in attendance for a brunch buffet followed by the monthly meeting.


President Bob Kuether called the meeting to order at 1:05pm, welcoming everyone. Bob led the Pledge of Allegiance. 




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


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Judy Kuether reported there are currently 273 members for 2021-2022.  Over 100 dues reminder cards were sent out and many responded with payment.



Joe McCarthy repaired Rapp’s Dam Bridge and reported it is open.  He saw Sheeder Hall Bridge which had some trim damage and Knox Bridge looked “green”, not white (needs pressure washed).  He said Speakman’s Bridge looks good.  Kauffman’s Distillery Bridge was damaged, broken knee braces with 3 main ties and diagonals damaged.


Tim Cohen reported nothing has been done to start repairs at Gibson’s/Harmony Hill Bridge.


Tom Walczak could not attend the dinner/meeting but emailed a report. (1) Bank’s Bridge was reopened to traffic on November 22nd after being closed since May for rehabilitation.  Repairs were made to I-beams, arch ends were replaced, and stone abutments were repointed and completely repainted inside and outside.  (2) McConnell’s Mill Bridge is going to appear in a Netflix movie, “The Pale Blue Eye”, which is based on a 2006 novel by Louis Bayard about an 1830 murder investigation at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  Filming is currently underway at the bridge and Westminster College Campus in New Wilmington, PA.  The bridge is closed to traffic through December 13th. 



President Bob Kuether – Bob didn’t see any bridges; was getting ready for the Christmas Craft Show at the Farm Show Building in Harrisburg.


First Vice President Jim Smedley - (1) Jim and Gloria visited 3 covered bridges in Frederick County, MD with Bill and Jenn Caswell from the National Society.  Utica Mills Bridge still showed some damage from the accident in June, but was recently repaired and reopened.  They also stopped by Sachs and Jack’s Mountain Bridges in Adams County.  There appears to be a surveillance camera system installed at both ends of Sachs Bridge. (2) Jim shared that 5 large lighted wreaths are now on the side of the Poole Forge Covered Bridge for the holiday season.


Second Vice President Ray Finkelstein – Ray outreached to find out about the grants planned for Bogert’s Bridge; more information is to be provided to him in January.

Third Vice President Frank Mailey – No report.


Fourth Vice President Tony Abramo – Tony regularly drives through Kauffman’s Distillery Bridge.  He also reported that Shenk’s Mill Bridge needs painted.


Recording Secretary Pam Mailey – The County Store had a stand at the Christmas Show at the Harrisburg Farm Show Building from December 1st -5th.  Over 500 vendors were advertised and we sold a record of over $1400.  Thanks to those who volunteered:  Judy and Desi Kuether, Gloria Smedley, Kyle and Austin (Bob’s grandsons) and Pam Mailey.


Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey - No report


Treasurer Judy Kuether – No report.


Historian Fred Moll – (1) Fred reported there was an article in the Reading Eagle on December 10, 2021 about the local school Athletes of the Year with 2 of the photos taken in front of Wertz’s Red Bridge in Berks County. (2) Fred will be presenting about the Restoration of Dreibelbis Station Bridge to the Fleetwood Historical Society on December 13th at 7pm.


NEWSLETTER: Jim Smedley reported the deadline to submit information is Sunday, February 6, 2022.


ILLNESS/DEATH of MEMBERS: (1) Tom Walczak’s dad, Anthony, had surgery to remove gallstones, was later moved to ICU after an episode where his heart stopped (reason unknown).  (2) Connie McLaughlin is in Paoli Hospital for sepsis and repeat Hip Replacement surgery tomorrow.  Her rotator-cuff surgery is delayed until February/March.  (3) Frank Mailey will be having surgery on December 15th to place a graft to bypass the blocked arteries in his leg.


OLD BUSINESS: Bob reported that 400 calendars for 2022 were ordered, then another 100 due to sales.  There are currently 48 left to sell.


NEW BUSINESS: (1) Judy reported we need a new place to meet; the church that meets before us at the Manheim Farm Show/Community Center wants to stay until 2:00pm on Sundays. Please talk to Judy if you have any other suggestions for a meeting location.

(2) Ray Finkelstein has volunteered to be the Editor of the Wooden Covered Spans.  The next publication will be ready to handout at the May Anniversary Dinner/Meeting.

(3) At the Annual Officers’ Meting, the proposal was made to change the Officers’ Term from one to two years.  The members voted and agreed to this.  A change to the By-Laws will be made.

(4) Jim Smedley explained a change to the signing of checks.  TBCBSP requires two signers to sign a check, however with the President and Treasurer in the same household and being husband and wife, a change was made to avoid any perception of a conflict.  There are now 4 approved signers: Bob Kuether, President, Jim Smedley, 1st Vice-President, Judy Kuether, Treasurer, and Pam Mailey, Recording Secretary.  Bob and Judy cannot be the two required signers on the same check.  An addition will be made to the By-Laws to document this.

(5) Bob Kuether is planning a Silent Auction for the March 2022 meeting.

(6) Tony Abramo shared that he is tentatively planning a Mini-Safari to Northwestern Lancaster County for mid-May 2022.

(7) Tim McLaughlin reported the Annual Safari will tentatively be in mid-September 2022. When they did a “dry-run”, there were a lot of road closures and debris on the roads from the storms.  Hopefully repairs will be made by September.

(8) Jim Smedley suggested some bridges that TCBSP could paint in 2022. South Perkasie Bridge was damaged in storm; money is being raised to repair and possibly a grant that may or may not include painting.  We can paint Kintersburg Bridge in Indiana County if the grant does not come through and some repairs are completed first.  Jim will also look into Shenk’s Mill Bridge to possibly paint.

(9) The Officers’ approved a fundraiser for the March & April meetings to sell chocolate covered Easter Eggs, made by Fishing Creek Salem United Methodist Church in Lewisberry (Pam Mailey’s Church).  Flavors are Peanut Butter, Vanilla Crème, Coconut Cream and Double Coconut coated in milk or dark chocolate and cost $2 each.  You can try them in March and order for April/Easter.

(10) The Officers’ suggested a $1,000 donation to assist with repairs to Barrackville Bridge, WV since there are little federal funds available. The members voted and approved this donation.

(11) The Officers approved to move the July 3rd Meeting to July 10th due to the holiday.

(12) Judy Kuether has reserved Yoders Restaurant/Buffet for the May 2022 Anniversary dinner and December 2022 Christmas Dinner.  The members voiced no objections to this; will plan on having a microphone available next time.


NEW COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS:  The Country Store has new puzzles, flags and boxes of covered bridge Christmas or Birthday cards for sale.


NEXT MEETING: Next meeting will be held on March 6, 2021, location TBD. Joe McCarthy will present “The Rehabilitation of Dreibelbis Station Bridge”.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The November meeting minutes were approved as presented. 

NO PROGRAM TODAY:  Happy Holidays!

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 2:20pm.



Respectfully Submitted by Pamela Mailey, Recording Secretary, January 22, 2022.