Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting

Saint Paul Episcopal Church, Columbia, PA

Sunday, March 5, 2023 at 2:00 pm


Bob Kuether, President is absent due to his recent back surgery and rehab stay.  Vice-President Jim Smedley called the meeting to order at 2:00 pm, welcomed everyone and led the Pledge of Allegiance.


NEW MEMBERS AND GUESTS: Attending their first meeting are Homer and Cindy Beard; Wanda Boon; Pat Richard and Bruce Saylor; Cindy Garland and Ken Slippey; Mike and Mindy Ross.


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


TREASURER’S REPORT: Judy Kuether reported there were 2 new members in February, giving a total of 374 members paid for 2022-2023 (9 less than a year ago).



Connie McLaughlin – Connie saw Gibson’s Bridge multiple times, Mercer’s Mill, Speakman No.1 (no graffiti), Hunsecker’s Mill and Pine Valley Bridges.


Pat Cook – Pat saw Meiserville Bridge and reported it needs painted.


Joe McCarthy – Joe saw his favorite bridge, Speakman’s.  He visited Hassenplug and said it looks good but has graffiti there.  Joe shared that the contract for repairs to Zimmerman’s Bridge in Pine Grove went to Eckman’s Construction.  Money is allocated for an engineering study of Bartram’s Bridge to determine what needs replaced; Joe can then bid on the contract giving an estimate for repairs.



President Bob Kuether – No report.


First Vice-President Jim Smedley – Jim and Gloria saw 3 bridges in Bedford County: Turner’s, Herline and Claycomb, which now has a separate pedestrian bridge alongside it.  All looked nice.


Second Vice-President Ray Finkelstein – No report.

Third Vice-President Frank Mailey – No report. 


Fourth Vice-President Tony Abramo – Tony and Jim Smedley did a preliminary run through for the May 20th Mini-Safari to Perry and Juniata Counties.  It will start at Academia Bridge (longest bridge in PA, double span) and end at Fort Hunter Bridge, stopping for lunch at a restaurant in Newport.  Tony and Karen also visited Schenk’s Mill which needs painted, Siegrist’s Mill, and Forry’s Mill Bridges.


Recording Secretary Pam Mailey – No report.


Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey – Not present.

Treasurer Judy Kuether – Judy thanked everyone for cards/calls for Bob during his hospital and rehab stay.  She also thanked everyone for cards/condolences in the loss of her son-in-law, John Klucker.


Historian Fred Moll – Fred shared a February 9, 2023 article from the Reading Eagle reporting a driver hit a fire truck as part of his 90mph high speed chase through 3 municipalities and a covered bridge.  Fred went to Pleasantville Bridge and found no damage. He reported Greisemer’s Mill Bridge really needs painted (the Society painted it 10 years ago).  Fred also took a picture of Wertz’s (Red) Bridge since it has a sewer grate at one end.  He is working on a Program of how Covered Bridges are dismantled and rebuilt to last longer.


NEWSLETTER EDITORS: Jim Smedley reported the deadline to submit information for the Summer edition of PA Crossings Newsletter is Sunday May 28th.



(1) Bob Kuether had back surgery on February 20th and came home 2 days ago after a short stay in a rehab facility.

(2)  Carol Wright was in the hospital after passing out; diagnosed as a ruptured blood vessel in her brain and she is now home.

(3)  Anita Ford is still recovering from her heart surgery and was back in the hospital a couple weeks ago; a very slow recovery process for her.

(4) Tom Walczak had a recurrence of his illness but is getting better.

(5) Dave Evans’ wife, Darlene, has been in Jefferson Hospital for 3 weeks now, with a serious bacterial infection.  



(1) John Klucker, Diane’s husband, passed away on January 30, 2023 (Diane is Bob and Judy Kuether’s daughter). The Society expresses our deepest sympathy to the Klucker, Dickson and Kuether families.

(2) Charlie Elflein passed away September 12, 2022 after having a heart attack.

(3) Russell Funk passed away November 29, 2020.


OLD BUSINESS:  The deadline to submit photos for the 2024 Calendar is March 16th; please send to Jim Smedley via email. The Committee will review and select photos for the calendar which should be available May 1st.



(1) Pam Mailey has chocolate Easter eggs and pretzels for sale today as a fundraiser for the Society (made by Fishing Creek Salem United Methodist Church).  Cost is $2/egg and $3/bag of chocolate covered pretzels.  Pam is also taking orders for pick-up at the April meeting.

(2) The 64th Anniversary Dinner is scheduled for Sunday, May 7th at Yoder’s Restaurant/Buffet in New Holland.  Yoder’s is currently closed on Sundays but hopes to re-open by April 9th (Easter).  If they will not be open for Sunday, May 7th, members will be notified through emails, website, phone calls, etc. of an alternate plan to celebrate the Society’s Anniversary. Registration forms are on the front table to register and pay Judy Kuether for the meal.

(3) “See PA Covered Bridges Week” is May 13th-21st with “National Travel and Tourism Week” May 7th through May 13th.  We provide the PA Welcome Centers with displays on Covered Bridges on a tri-fold board.  Volunteers are needed to set-up these displays at the 14 Welcome Centers; see Judy Kuether.  Tim McLaughlin volunteered to do Welcome Centers in Erie and Delaware County. 


(4) Jim Smedley updated us on the Vermont Safari in September.  There are 74 members from TBCBSP and/or The National Society now registered to attend.  Connie McLaughlin is working on the T-shirt design and patch.

(5) The Bloomsburg Covered Bridge Arts Festival is October 5-8, 2023.  Hours are 9-5 Wednesday through Saturday and 9-4 Sunday.  Volunteers are needed for set-up, tear down and to work each day.  (Please see Judy Kuether).

(6) The current Officer’s term expires September 30, 2023.  Joe and Joanne McCarthy have agreed to be the Nominating Committee.  Please see them if you are interested in any position, including nominating yourself or another person.


COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS: Pam Mailey shared a 3-D handmade picture she found at an antique shop of a farm and covered bridge with a horse and buggy exiting the bridge (made by Lambert’s Crafts in Quakertown).


SHOW-AND-TELL: As part of our meeting, we will have a member volunteer for a “Show and Tell” to talk about 5 minutes on their collection or an item/hobby important to them.  Gloria Smedley talked about her patch collection and shared one binder of patches.  She asked for volunteers for future meetings. 


NEXT MEETING: Our next meeting is April 2nd.  This is our bake sale fundraiser with canned/boxed food donations for this church’s food pantry.  The Program will be “PA’s Covered Bridges” by Pam Mailey.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The December 2022 minutes were approved with one correction (change Cynthia Beard to Cindy Beard).

PROGRAM TODAY:  “Patches and Portals” by Gloria Smedley.


ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 4:10 pm.



Respectfully Submitted by Pam Mailey, Recording Secretary, March 28, 2023