Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting

Saint Paul Episcopal Church, Columbia, PA

Sunday, October 1, 2023 at 2:00pm


Vice-President Jim Smedley called the meeting to order at 2:00pm, welcomed everyone and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Malissa Hilliard (Bonnie Shultz’s daughter-in-law) was introduced as a new life member (#109). 


SEPTEMBER MEETING MINUTES: Are at the back table; Jim will ask for approval later in the meeting.


TREASURER’S REPORT: Judy Kuether reported 380 members for 2022-2023 and 205 members for 2023-2024.



Tom Walczak: Tom saw Spellacy Bridge, a new covered bridge built in Holmes County, OH.  It opened September 1, 2023, has 2 spans and is 300’ long.  Tom also received notice of Ortha Klischer’s 100th birthday on July 7th; you can still send her a card.


Joe McCarthy – Joe stated Lancaster County has money to spend on rehabilitation of covered bridges and has contacted him to do repairs.  Millmont Bridge will be repaired again since it wasn’t done properly. Joe and his brother, Tim, had a fantastic time on Safari and expressed thanks to Jim/Gloria.


Paul Garber – Paul shared that Factory Bridge at New Columbia is being repaired.


Tim/Connie McLaughlin – Tim commended Jim/Gloria Smedley on a great Safari.  In addition, they saw the following bridges: in NY- Munson, Hyde Hall, Salisbury, Jay, Eagle Mills, Copeland Farms Bridges; in VT – Village, Sanderson, Gorham, Hammond, Depot, Cooley, East Shoreham Railroad, and Pulp Mills Bridges.  Their total of bridges was 43 (30 on Safari + 13 others).


Bonnie Shultz – In addition to the Safari, Bonnie and Malissa saw Chiselville and Arlington Bridges in VT, and Eagleville and Buskirk Bridges in NY.



President Bob Kuether – Not present


First Vice-President Jim Smedley – Jim/Gloria led the VT Safari.  They also saw Zimmerman Bridge in Schuylkill County.  It has been put back over the roadway with roofing, siding and portal boards being installed.  Work is to be completed by end of October or early November.


Second Vice-President Ray Finkelstein – Ray commended Jim/Gloria Smedley and Bill/Jenn Caswell on their leadership on Safari.

Third Vice-President Frank Mailey – Frank/Pam attended the Safari and saw some additional bridges (see Pam’s report).


Fourth Vice-President Tony Abramo – Tony/Karen attended the VT Safari and also saw Taftsville Bridge (VT).  They also saw a Vermont Covered Bridges Calendar at the Vermont Country Store.


Recording Secretary Pam Mailey – Pam and Jim Smedley will be presenting on the History of PA Covered Bridges at the New Cumberland Library’s Cultural Series on Sunday October 22nd at 3:00pm.  Pam Mailey will also present on Haunted Covered Bridges at the Littlestown Senior Center on October 26th at 10:00am and at the RedLand Senior Center on November 2nd at 10:30am. Pam and Frank enjoyed the VT Safari and also saw 5 Bridges in NH: Rowell, Contoocook Railroad, Dalton, Waterloo, and Packard Hill.  On their way home, they saw 5 more bridges in VT:  Cornish-Windsor, Worrall, Bartonsville, Hall and the Kissing Bridge at the VT Country Store.


Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey – No report.


Treasurer Judy Kuether – No report.



Historian Fred Moll – Fred will be doing a PowerPoint Presentation on Sunday, October 22nd at the Heritage Center in Berks County; the program is titled “Bridges across the Tulpehocken”, including concrete, iron, stone and 8 covered bridges.


NEWSLETTER EDITORS: Jim Smedley reported the deadline is today to submit information for the Fall Edition of PA Crossings Newsletter.


ILLNESS/DEATH OF MEMBERS: (1) Bob Kuether had a car accident and subsequent hand surgery to repair 3 ligaments.  (2) Jim wished Connie McLaughlin well in her continuing treatments and recovery.  (3) Tim Cohen is at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital after having a stroke.


MEMORIAL SERVICE:  Pam Heisey conducted a memorial service for members who were reported as deceased in the last year and ended with a moment of silence.  The members were: Russell S. Funk (11/29/2020 – member for 21 years); Charles W. Elflein (9/10/2022 – member 47 years); John Klucker (1/30/23 – member 9 years); Noelle Green (7/16/2023 – member 13 years).


OLD BUSINESS: Jim reported there were 77 people on the VT Safari and thanked everyone for following the guidelines to make it a successful Safari.


BLOOMSBURG COVERED BRIDGE & ARTS FESTIVAL: Judy Kuether reported the Festival is October 5th-8th, with set-up on October 4th.  With Bob’s accident, he is not able to go, so she is looking for someone to drive the van to and from the festival.



Bake Sale – Meeting on November 5th


Decorating Poole Forge Bridge, Gazebo & Tree - Saturday, November 18th starting at 9:00am.


Christmas Dinner Sunday, December 3rd at Yoder’s Family Restaurant and Buffet; gather at 12:00pm, brunch buffet at 12:30pm.  Cost is $23/person; reservation forms will be in your newsletter.


2024 Safari Options – Jim Smedley shared some options for the in-state 2024 Safari and asked for members’ input.  Ideas: Washington-Greene Counties (Judy volunteered she/Bob would lead); Chester County; Indiana/Clearfield Counties.  Will be discussed at the November Officers’ meeting.


PA Magazine – Judy was contacted to include information for ordering the Society’s 2024 Calendar.


COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS: (1) Joe McCarthy and Jim Smedley had copies of the book, “Theodore Burr and the Bridging of Early America”, which is available on Amazon for $58 softbound and $60 hardback. (2) Pam Mailey showed a laser-cut ornament in the shape of a maple leaf with a moose and covered bridge, that she bought in VT.


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

NEXT MEETING: Sunday, November 5, 2023 at Saint Paul Episcopal Church, Columbia PA.  This will also be our 2nd bake sale for the year.  The Program will be “Adams County Covered Bridge History” by President Bob Kuether.  NOTE: Officers Executive Board Annual Meeting, Saturday, November 4th at the church (watch for email of time)


PROGRAM: “Our Society’s Year in Review, October 2022-September 2023” by Gloria Smedley


ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 4:00.




Respectfully submitted by Pam Mailey, Recording Secretary, October 26, 2023