Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting - Historic Poole Forge, Narvon, PA

Sunday, September 10, 2023 at 12:00pm


President Bob Kuether called the meeting to order at 1:00pm, after our annual picnic lunch at Historic Poole Forge Park (the picnic was held inside the Mansion due to rainy weather).  Bob welcomed everyone and recognized our guest, Alex (Ted/Beth Smith’s great-grandson). He stated the August Meeting Minutes are available for review on the podium; he will ask for approval later in the meeting.


TREASURER’S REPORT: Judy Kuether reported 380 members for 2022-2023 with one new life member (Michael Rudnick #108), and four new members (John/Sharon Adcock, Ronald/Judith Inskeep).



Tim McLaughlin – Tim and Connie saw the following Bridges: Hayes Clark, Speakman No.1 and Mary Pyle that was recently rebuilt.


Joe McCarthy – Joe has more copies of the Timber Framing booklet that highlights the rehabilitation of Dreibelbis Station Bridge for anyone that wants. He started the bidding process for repairs of Bogert’s Bridge. Joe had planned to rehabilitate the Waterford Bridge in Erie.  After red-tape with the contract, it has been awarded to another bidder; he is waiting to hear about his involvement with the rehabilitation.



President Bob Kuether – Bob is busy getting ready for the Bloomsburg Covered Bridge & Arts Festival. 


First Vice-President Jim Smedley – Jim/Gloria only visited Sachs Bridge. A September 9th news article announced a plan to rehabilitate Millmont Bridge in Union County at a cost of $1.7 million. It stated the previous rehabilitation project in 2010 was incorrectly done, putting too much of the weight load on the Burr truss causing it to lean. The bridge was closed again in 2016. The design aspect of the project will be sometime in 2024. Good news that Rudolph & Arthur Bridge will be rebuilt; plans are just starting so no date has been set to start construction.


Second Vice-President Ray Finkelstein – Ray sees Bogert’s Bridge weekly and said it looks bad. The 2024 time-line for repairs per Penn DOT is: advertise bids for construction in January; open for bids in February; begin construction in May.

Third Vice-President Frank Mailey – Frank/Pam assisted with the spraying of No-Char at Sach’s Bridge.


Fourth Vice-President Tony Abramo – Not present.


Recording Secretary Pam Mailey – Pam reminded Officers that their 2022-2023 yearly report is due to her (e-mail and hard copy) by next meeting, October 1st.


Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey – Not present.


Treasurer Judy Kuether – No report.


Historian Fred Moll – Fred visited Griesemer’s Bridge in Oley, Pa. and found the bridge fixed from an accident but it still has not been painted.  Fred & Shirley spent five day in Iowa and visited The Bridges of Madison County (all in good shape). The highlight of the day was visiting the Covered Bridge Winery.


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) Joe Calabrese reported Tim Cohen is hospitalized due to a stroke.  (2) Connie McLaughlin just had her surgery and reconstruction on September 5th. (3) Judy Kuether thanked everyone for the cards and prayers on the loss of her sister, Donna Neff.


OLD BUSINESS: Gloria Smedley reported that on August 25th, she/Jim, Tony/Karen Abramo and Frank/Pam Mailey assisted Adams County work crew in applying the No-Char at Sach’s Bridge.  Although we ran short of material, the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges (NSPCB) provided additional No-Char at no cost which the County workers applied during the week of August 28th. The total cost for all repairs was about $16,000 which included NSPCB’s donation of $5,000 for new boards and $1,300 for the No-Char.  Frank Mailey suggested signage to denote the contributions in repairing this bridge.  Gloria researched, drafted and obtained approval from the County Commissioners to post a sign inside each portal acknowledging the contributions of the TBCBSP and NSPCB.


BLOOMSBURG COVERED BRIDGE & ARTS FESTIVAL: The Country Store has a stand at the Festival on October 5th-8th, 2023 with set-up on Wednesday October 4th.  Volunteers are still needed to assist.

VERMONT SAFARI: Gloria/Jim Smedley traveled to VT 3 weeks ago to run through the planned routes and see if any of the Bridges were damaged from the recent storm. A couple of the bridges were damaged but only one was closed (Cambridge Junction), but we can still visit it.  Jim provided further updates on the planned routes and stated parking is the hardest part.  Currently, 83 plan to attend the Safari.  We will see 30 bridges over the three days. T-shirts and patches have arrived.


NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF OFFICERS: Joe/Joanne McCarthy comprised the Nominating Committee for the 2023-2025 Election of Officers. With only one name per position, Joe read the elected Officers:  President Bob Kuether; 1st Vice-President Jim Smedley; 2nd Vice-President Ray Finkelstein; 3rd Vice-President Frank Mailey; 4th Vice-President Tony Abramo; Recording Secretary Pam Mailey; Corresponding Secretary/Program Director Pam Heisey; Treasurer Judy Kuether; Historian Fred Moll.


NEW BUSINESS: Bob Kuether reported that the Society will decorate the Poole Forge Bridge, Gazebo and Mansion on Saturday, November 18th, starting at 9:00am.


COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS: (1) Connie McLaughlin showed a heavy metal holder with 2 pockets to possibly hold mail. (2) A book of the life of Theodore Burr and his bridges is coming out soon.  It was written by Rick Knapp and Terry Miller and is over 500 pages. It is now available on Kindle for $10.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The August 2023 minutes were approved as presented.

NEXT MEETING: Sunday, October 1, 2023 at Saint Paul Episcopal Church, Columbia PA.  The Program will be “Our Society’s Year in Review” by President Bob Kuether. 


ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 2:10pm. The group moved to the Covered Bridge to recite and record the Pledge of Allegiance for submission to ABC-27 News for airing at an 11:58am segment.


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