Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting

Saint Paul Episcopal Church, Columbia, PA

Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 2:00pm


President Bob Kuether called the meeting to order at 2:03pm, welcomed everyone and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Barry Martin, a new member, was present. 


OCTOBER MEETING MINUTES: At the back table; Bob will ask for approval later in meeting.


TREASURER’S REPORT: Judy Kuether reported 276 members for 2023-2024 with two new members, Ray Yohe from Macungie, PA and Malissa Hilliard from Wrightsville.



Tim McLaughlin – Tim and Connie ran the 2022 Safari and saw all the bridges in Bucks County.


Bonnie Shultz – Bonnie saw Glessner and New Baltimore Bridges in Somerset County.  She also saw bridges in Bedford County: Claycomb, Colvin, Cuppett’s, Felton’s Mill, Jackson’s Mill, Dr. Knisely, Ryot, Snook’s and Turner’s.  All were in good shape except Felton’s Mill.


Gloria Smedley – Gloria contacted a local vendor to make signs noting efforts of the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges and the TBCBSP for painting, repairs and NoChar spray at Sachs Bridge. Jim Smedley and Frank Mailey posted a sign inside each portal.


Joe McCarthy – Joe was contacted by a Railroad Museum in Hagerstown, MD to build a covered bridge over an existing train and track display for Western Maryland Railway.  Joe shared a drawing of the plans.  Joe also said the “Lancaster County Ramblers” are meeting him at Poole Forge when we decorate the bridge. They want to see the Burr arch and ask questions.



President Bob Kuether – No report.


First Vice-President Jim Smedley – Jim and Gloria took a couple day trips to see some bridges during the fall foliage season.  They saw 8 bridges in Perry County and Ramp Bridge in Cumberland County. Bistline Bridge was closed due to an accident in the bridge that took out 4 truss members and about 10 feet of siding. All of the bridges except Book’s were not in very good shape and all need painting except for Book’s, and Waggoner’s. It appears the cosmetic work touted by Perry County Commissioners may have only been replacing signage near and on the bridges. Some of the signage was very large, detracting from the bridges’ appearance.

They also traveled to Lancaster and Chester counties to visit 11 bridges plus Foxcatcher

Farms Bridge in MD, which has not been repaired since the damage from Hurricane Ida in 2021. All of the bridges visited in Lancaster & Chester counties were in very nice condition.


Second Vice-President Ray Finkelstein – No report.

Third Vice-President Frank Mailey – No report.


Fourth Vice-President Tony Abramo – No report.


Recording Secretary Pam Mailey – Pam stated the Officer’s Annual reports are available for members’ review, as required by the By-Laws. Pam and Jim Smedley presented a program on the “History of PA Covered Bridges” at the New Cumberland Library’s Cultural Series on October 22nd and received a donation of $100 (32 people in attendance).  Pam presented on “Haunted Covered Bridges” at the Littlestown Senior Center on October 26th and received a $25 donation and at the Red Land Senior Center on November 2nd.  Pam presented both checks to Judy Kuether, Treasurer, for the Preservation Fund.  Pam and Frank accompanied Jim and Gloria Smedley to visit Sach’s Bridge for pictures on a sunny day; Jim and Frank posted signs inside the portals noting TBCBSP’s and National Society’s efforts to rehab the bridge. 


Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey – No report.


Treasurer Judy Kuether – No report.


Historian Fred Moll – Fred visited the Pleasantville Covered Bridge in Oley, PA which is in good condition. He visited Griesemer’s Mill Covered Bridge; it still has not been painted. Also, he noticed that the silver roof was turning brown from rust. After the election is over, he will try to write another letter to one of the County Commissioners.  Fred gave a program entitled “Bridges over the Tulpehocken” at County Parks Heritage Center in Berks County on October 22nd. He will share his presentation at one of our meetings in 2024. 


NEWSLETTER EDITORS: Jim Smedley reported the deadline to submit information for the Winter Edition of PA Crossings Newsletter is Sunday, February 4, 2024.


ILLNESS/DEATH OF MEMBERS: (1) Joe and Marianne Calabrese visited Tim Cohen in Rehab; he is still recovering from his stroke. (2) Shirley Moll is slowly recovering from a hip replacement. (3) Ken Cook is home after hospitalized for a urinary infection and falling 5 times; he is in therapy and doing better. (4)  Bob Kuether continues to recover from hand surgery.



Bloomsburg Covered Bridge & Arts Festival – Judy Kuether thanked everyone who helped with this event.  Total Sales for the country Store were about $7,100; profit is TBD.



Decorating Poole Forge Bridge, Gazebo & Tree - Saturday, November 18th starting at 10:00am.  Gloria Smedley will obtain approval to post a sign that TBCBSP decorated the bridge, gazebo and tree in mansion.


Christmas Dinner Sunday, December 3rd at Yoder’s Family Restaurant; gather at 12:00pm, brunch buffet at 12:30pm (cost $23/person).  The “Wooden Bridge” will be available for donations to the Preservation Restoration Fund.

Executive Board Meeting Highlights

(1)   2024 meetings will continue to be held at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Columbia.

(2)   The 2024 Safari will be to Washington and Greene counties, led by Bob and Judy Kuether.  Date TBD.

(3)   March 2024 meeting will include a Silent Auction of Books and Pictures.

(4)   Looking into spraying NoChar Fire Retardant at Wertz’ Bridge in Berks County.

(5)   Bridges to consider for painting in 2024 include: Jack’s Mountain (Adams County), Perry County Bridge(s), Greisemer’s Mill (Berks County), and Shenk’s Mill (Lancaster County).



(1)   Easter Eggs from Fishing Creek Salem UM Church – Pam Mailey will take pre-orders for March delivery and have loose eggs for sale at March Meeting.

(2)   Gloria Smedley will organize a Cash Raffle for winner to be drawn at the May Anniversary Dinner.

(3)   We will be selling items from the Popcorn Factory, including various flavors of popcorn and fudge. Gloria Smedley will distribute order forms at the April 2024 meeting to be returned at the May meeting, with delivery at the June 2nd meeting.  The Society will receive 35% of sales.


VETERAN’S RECOGNITION:  Pam Mailey conducted a ceremony to honor veterans present:  Tina Conn, Navy (’69-’71); Ray Finkelstein, Air Force; Don Gunzenhauser, Air Force (’61-’65); Bob Kuether, Army (’70-’74); Barry Martin, Air Force (’66-’72); Jim Smedley, Army Reserves (‘66-’72); Ted Smith, Army and Reserves (21 years); Eric Wiening, Army and Reserves (’65-’71). Pam thanked them for serving our Country and protecting our freedoms and peace with courage and honor.  They bravely did what they were called to do, so we can be free to lead our lives.  We honor these persons with gratitude this Veteran’s Day.


COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS: (1) Pat Cook showed a 1995, $2 bill from Ken Cook’s collection with a picture of Stowe Bridge, VT.  (2)  Connie McLaughlin shared a gift of an embroidered quilt with covered bridges from multiple states.  (3)  Greg Williams shared 2 pictures, a bridge in Madison County, IN and of Clay’s Bridge. (4)  Bonnie Shultz showed some books and pamphlets of Bedford County. (5) Jim Smedley shared a book on Theodore Burr, reported it is very detailed but enjoyable, and is available from Amazon for $58-softbound or $60-hardbound. 


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

NEXT MEETING: Sunday, Dec. 3rd - Christmas Brunch/Buffet at Yoder’s Family Restaurant.


PROGRAM: “Adams County Covered Bridge History” by Bob Kuether.


ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 3:28pm.



Respectfully submitted by Pam Mailey, Recording Secretary, November 29, 2023