Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Monthly Business Meeting and Annual Holiday Dinner

Sunday, December 11, 2023


The TBCBSP’s Annual Holiday dinner was held at Yoder’s Restaurant/Buffet in New Holland, starting at 12:00pm; 63 people attended for the brunch buffet followed by the monthly meeting. 


President Bob Kuether called the meeting to order at 2:00pm and led the Pledge of Allegiance. No guests or new members were present.


NOVEMBER MEETING MINUTES: Bob Kuether said the minutes are available for review at the side table; he will ask for approval later in the meeting.


TREASURER’S REPORT: Judy Kuether reported 299 members for 2023-2024 (17 less than year ago).



Tina Chandler – Tina reported Jason drives over the Pine Grove Bridge, twice a day, and that it needs a new floor (very rough).


Tim McLaughlin – Tim and Connie saw Rapp’s Dam, Kennedy, and Sheeder Hall Bridges; some floor boards are lifting inside Sheeder Hall and some chunks of board are missing. Connie also saw Harmony Hall and reports it looks good.


Joe McCarthy – Joe visited Bitzer’s Mill Bridge to take measurements and evaluate the damage done from the oversized vehicle, and reported it is extensive.  Joe met with the “Lancaster County Ramblers” at Poole Forge when we decorated the bridge, seeking answers to their questions. They also spoke with Fred Moll and Jim Smedley about the covered bridges.


Alda Scheib – Alda reported luminaries will be lit at Kennedy Bridge on December 15 and 16.



President Bob Kuether – Bob thanked the 23 people who were at Poole Forge to decorate the bridge, gazebo and tree in the Mansion and prepare the bags for the Holiday Dinner. 


First Vice-President Jim Smedley – No report.


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 reported she was at Fort Hunter for the train and Christmas tree displays and visited Everhart Bridge. It was disappointing to see more graffiti inside including a scripture passage, names and Class of 2023 and Class of 2024 on diagonals.


Corresponding Secretary Pam Heisey – Pam wished all a Merry Christmas/Happy New Year.


Treasurer Judy Kuether – No report.


Historian Fred Moll – Fred will try to get in touch with the County Commissioners about painting Griesemer’s Mill Bridge and about applying NoChar to Wertz’s Red Bridge.


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) Jim Smedley spoke to Tom Walczak; he fell 10’ off a ladder and fractured 2 ribs. His dad, Anthony, has RSV. (2) Joe and Marianne Calabrese visited Tim Cohen in Rehab; he will be discharged to home in a few days.



(1) Jim and Gloria Smedley presented a program titled “Covered Bridges of Pennsylvania” to the Tel Hei Retirement Community in Honey Brook where Eric and Betsy Wiening live. It was well attended by 63 members. Tel Hei donated $100 to our Society.  

(2) Pam Mailey will be selling Easter Eggs from her church at the March 3rd meeting.  You can call or email her your order in February for March delivery or buy from the extras at the meeting.  Cost is $2/per egg and $3.50/bag of chocolate covered pretzels. 

(3) Gloria Smedley will organize a Cash Raffle.  Ten tickets will be mailed to each member and the winner will be drawn at the May Anniversary Dinner.  The Society made $1,900 previously.

(4) A new fundraiser is selling Popcorn Factory items, 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.



(1) The Executive Board/Officers will meet March 3rd, before the Business meeting (time TBD).

(2) Jim Smedley stated the 17th of March is the deadline to submit photos for consideration by the Committee to appear in the 2025 calendar; fall and winter scenes are especially needed.


COVERED BRIDGE ITEMS: (1) Connie McLaughlin shared the “Woodie Times” newsletter containing a centerfold of a covered Bridge. (2) Pam Mailey showed a wooden napkin or remote control holder including covered bridge fabric that she bought at the PA Christmas Show. (3)  Bob Kuether and Jim Smedley visited former president, Joyce Soroka to pick-up donated items for the Country Store (she has 2 more car loads to donate).


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

NEXT MEETING: Sunday, March 3, 2024 at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Columbia.


PROGRAM: “Bridges over the Tulpehocken” by Fred Moll.


ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 2:37pm.


Respectfully submitted by Pam Mailey, Recording Secretary, December 22, 2023