Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.
Monthly Business Meeting
Saint Paul Episcopal Church, Columbia, PA
Sunday, August 6, 2023 at 2:00pm
Bob Kuether, President called the meeting to order at 2:00pm, welcomed everyone and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Ray Finkelstein had a guest/driver with him, also named Ray. Bob Kuether reminded everyone the July Meeting Minutes were available for review at the back table for approval later in the meeting.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Judy Kuether reported 374 members with one new member, Lee Marks from IL.
MEMBERS’ BRIDGE REPORTS:
Pat Cook – Harrisburg Patriot News reported a hit & run w/damage to Kauffman’s Distillery Bridge, July 28th.
Tim McLaughlin – Connie continues to see Gibson’s/Harmony Hill Bridge almost daily and it looks good. Tim and Connie also visited Leaman Place Bridge and helped at the painting of Sach’s Bridge.
Joe McCarthy – Joe is going to look at Kauffman’s Distillery Bridge on August 8th to see what repairs are needed. He reported that the contract for repairs of Bitzer’s Mill Bridge was awarded to an Amish crew; there is extensive rot underneath this bridge. There is still ongoing red-tape before a contract can be awarded and work began at Bartram’s Bridge. Joe’s company had planned to rehabilitate the Waterford Bridge in Erie, however, they fell through due to more red tape; he will need to rebid on the contract. He also reported that the graffiti with curse words has been removed at Hassenplug Bridge.
Tina Chandler – Tina reported Jackson’s Mill Bridge looks good.
President Bob Kuether – There were 21 members and guests at Sach’s Bridge yesterday, for the painting of the portals and many visitors. Adams County workers still need to replace some boards before the painter can finish the sides.
First Vice-President Jim Smedley – Jim and Gloria visited Zimmerman’s Bridge in Schuylkill County; the bridge had been dismantled and unfortunately, about 75% of the heavy timber will be replaced. The work is to be completed by end of November. They stopped at Wright Bridge (Washington County) and said it looked newly painted and saw Bell’s Mill Bridge (Westmoreland County) and reported it looks nice. Jim and Gloria also helped to paint Sach’s Bridge.
Second Vice-President Ray Finkelstein – Ray thanked all for the well wishes during his illness/surgery. He also reported Linda fell recently and cracked a rib. Ray is seeking contributions for the December issue of Wooden Covered Spans. He also said Bogert’s Bridge looks “sadly, terrible”.
Third Vice-President Frank Mailey – No report.
Fourth Vice-President Tony Abramo – No report.
Recording Secretary Pam Mailey – Pam and Frank visited Pool Forge Bridge. They also helped to paint Sach’s Bridge. Pam handed out Rack Cards to visitors and explained what our Society was doing. She also spoke with Andrew from “Ghost-it-up Paranormal” about his experiences there. He shared a Polaroid photo that he took showing a ghostly image, resembling a soldier riding a horse, through the bridge.
Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey – Not present.
Treasurer Judy Kuether – No report.
Historian Fred Moll – Berks County Commissioners were to inform Fred of the plan to paint Griesemer’s Bridge, however he has not heard back. He recently visited the bridge, found Lobar Equipment setting there and it appeared that work was started on the highly damaged abutment wall. On July 16th, the Reading Eagle reported the Berks County Commissioner’s received a “state of bridges report” from PennDOT noting the potential for approval of future bridge improvement projects, including some covered bridges.
NEWSLETTER EDITORS: Jim Smedley reported the deadline to submit information for the Fall Edition of PA Crossings Newsletter is Sunday, October 1st.
ILLNESS/DEATH OF MEMBERS: (1) Tim Cohen reported Tom Walczak has COVID but is doing OK.
(2) Judy Kuether reported Noelle Greene passed away on July 16th.
OLD BUSINESS: (1) Judy Kuether reported July Hoss’s fundraiser netted $154.97 to the Society. (2) Bob Kuether reported the Bloomsburg Covered Bridge & Arts Festival is scheduled for October 5th-8th from 9am-5pm, and Sunday from 9am-4pm. The stand will be set-up on Wednesday, October 4th; volunteers are needed for all days. (3) Jim and Gloria Smedley provided updates on the September Safari. The routes for each group are finalized and Jim provided handouts of the Bridges for Groups A & B. They plan to go to Vermont mid-August to check if any bridges/roads were damaged from the floods. They ordered 90 Safari shirts and currently have 88 people attending. Shirts will be handed out at our next meeting/picnic or brought to the Safari. Connie McLaughlin is ordering patches (a printed design was shown). (4) Joe McCarthy read the current slate of Officers and asked for other nominees/volunteers from the floor (none). Names can be submitted to Joe/JoAnne McCarthy by the Sept. 10th meeting when elections will be held.
NEW BUSINESS: Pam Mailey reminded the Officers that their yearly report, as required by the Society’s By-Laws, is due to her by September 30th.
COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS: (1) Joe McCarthy showed the June 2023 Timber Framing Guild highlighting the rehabilitation of Dreibelbis Station Bridge; Joe provided copies to anyone wanting one. He also shared a picture his daughter drew of a covered bridge on a field-trip when she was 6 y.o. 2) Bob Kuether reported he is working on getting Rupert’s Bridge printed on future t-shirts/hoodies/sweatshirts. He shared that covered bridge plates and a few other items are free at the back table; also have 2024 Calendars for sale.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The July 2023 minutes were approved as presented.
NEXT MEETING: Sunday, September 10, 2023 for the Annual Picnic at Poole Forge Covered Bridge. Gathering will be at 12pm for a potluck picnic lunch followed by the meeting. We will record the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance at the Bridge to submit to ABC-27 News for airing at an 11:58am segment.
PROGRAM TODAY: Drawing & Painting Covered Bridges by Ted Smith.
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 3:45pm.
Respectfully Submitted by Pam Mailey, Recording Secretary, August 30, 2023