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INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Vermont History Expo 2006 The Origin of the name of the "Lemon Fair" River
Covered Bridge Community News Notes
Letters Membership Column President's Column
In one of his first acts as President of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society, John Weaver called a Board of Directors meeting preliminary to the annual meeting. He wrote: "In preparation for the annual director's meeting, I propose the following amendment to the VCBS bylaws to be voted upon and enacted forthwith:
Proposal 1: To amend the VCBS Bylaws Article 4 Section 1. The section currently reads: The President shall preside at all meetings of the Society and of the Board, and shall have the duties and powers normally appurtenant to the office of President in addition to those specified by this document.
Amend to read: The President shall preside at all meetings of the Society, and shall have the duties and powers normally appurtenant to the office of President in addition to those specified by this document. The President shall also preside over the Board of Directors as chair, unless he appoints the Vice President or another member of the board of directors as chairman, to serve at the pleasure of the president, the designee to be voted on by the Board of Directors, quorum required."
Proposal 2: I, John Weaver, President of the VCBS, designate Joe Nelson to serve as chairman of the board of directors in my stead. The twelve Directors were asked to vote yes or no to each proposal. The session was conducted by e-mail, U.S. Mail, fax, and telephone as has been customary. The two propositions passed with 10 voting yes, two not responding.
The Seventh Annual Board of Directors meeting was warned on February 4, 2006, to convene beginning February 18 when the required two weeks notice is met, in accordance with VCBS Constitution and Bylaws Article 3, Part 2. Also in accordance with Article 3, Part two, the meeting was conducted by email, fax, telephone and surface mail as appropriate. The meeting was scheduled to adjourn February 25, or when all revisions and additional propositions have been processed and all votes counted, whichever occurs first. By usage and for brevity, the director making a proposal is credited with moving the item for a vote; the first director to respond with a vote is recorded as having seconded the motion.
Five proposals were presented by Board Chairman Joe Nelson for a vote. Amendments or additional proposals were invited.
Proposal 1: It is proposed to continue to fund the VCBS Jim Fearon Save-a-bridge Fund (JFS Fund) from donations received fiscal year 2005.
1A. The sum of $500.00 was donated in Memory of Kathryn Ramsey at the request of the family. Should these donations be invested in the JFS Fund?
1B. The sum of $350.00 was donated in Memory of Francis Converse at the request of the family. Should these donations be invested in the JFS Fund?
1C. The sum of $230.00 was donated the VCBS membership. Should these donations be invested in the JFS Fund?
1D. The sum of $474.29 was earned by the VCBS Website Market Place through the sale of covered bridge collectibles. Should these earnings be invested in the JFS Fund?
Proposal 1 was passed by a vote of 8 yes, 4 not responding.
Proposal 2: Amend VCBS By-laws Article 6, Section 1. Standing Committees, to include certain committees, namely the Crafts Committee, the Budget Committee, and the Publicity Committee, organized under Article 6, section 2, which specifies that the President shall appoint each year such additional committees as that officer and the Board of Directors deem necessary to advance the objectives of the society. when need for them arose. These committees are described in the Members Handbook - Part I, but have not been listed in the bylaws as standing committees.
Proposal 2 was passed by a vote of 7 yes, 1 no, 3 not responding.
Proposal 3: To update the VCBS by-laws Article 6. Committees, with clarification of the purpose of certain standing committees, heretofore described only in the VCBS Member's Handbook, namely the Events Committee and Legislation Watch Committee.
Proposal 3 was passed by a vote of 8 yes, 4 not responding.
Proposal 4: Amend Article 4 in the bylaws to further define the powers of the Board of Directors. For most of the past years all business and activities of the Society have been brought before the board for approval. The Board votes on the proposals, the proposal is adopted or rejected by a simple majority vote.
It was proposed that "All of the Society's business and activities shall be brought before the Board of Directors for approval. The Board votes on the proposals, the proposal is adopted or rejected by a simple majority vote. The decision of the Board is binding and final."
The proposal was responded to with amendments by John Weaver and Dick Wilson.
John Weaver proposed that a phrase should be added to clarify the first line: i.e. Except for routine functions, items, and procedures, all of the Society's business...." Reason: I don't think that the Board has to approve all routine procedures, items and functions."
Dick Wilson proposed that after the Board votes for the business and/or activities, and it is adopted, then the activities should be brought before the membership. "Sorry," said Dick. "I think the membership should have some say in how the Society is run."
In response, proposal 4 was revised for a new vote. Dick's revision calls for an addition to Bylaws Article 3, Part 2. See Proposal 6.
Proposal 4 Revised: Except for routine functions, items, and procedures, all of the Society's business and activities shall be brought before the Board of Directors for approval. The Board votes on the proposals, the proposal is adopted or rejected by a simple majority vote.
Proposal 4 revised was passed by a vote of 9 yes, 3 not responding.
Proposal 5: A member has suggested that the VCBS provide a directory of the membership either in hard copy or on line, the purpose being to help members communicate covered bridge activity, to support bridge watch, and to car pool.
Proposal 5: stands unresolved: 4 yes, 4 no, 4 not responding.
Caution is needed in handling the membership rolls. They are for internal use only and should not get into the hands of commercial interests. We can share names and addresses to members in good standing upon request, but the rolls need to be kept confidential.
Proposal 6: Sections 4 and 5 to be added to Article 3. Meetings and voting. Part 2 Meetings of the Board of Directors:
Section 4. The Board of Directors will accept a proposal from any member or group of members in good standing at any time. The board is obliged to consider and respond to such proposals.
Section 5. The proceedings of all meetings of the Board of Directors shall be made known to the membership through the society newsletter or by an all-member mailing by post office or email.
The membership is invited to comment on the published proceedings. The board will respond.
Proposal 6 was passed 9 yes, 3 not responding.
Irene Barna called attention to the job description for the office of Secretary: "The Secretary has charge of the Society's correspondence, and shall keep a record of all such correspondence. The Secretary shall maintain a record of all meetings of the Society and of the Board, and of all matters of which a record shall be required by the Board or by the President. The Secretary can appoint a Recording Secretary as needed."
The VCBS Members Handbook states in addition: "The Secretary will assist the president and the directors with arranging meetings and maintaining contact with members and the public." These functions have since been assigned to standing committees.
Proposal 7: Revise the job description for Secretary to read as follows:
The Secretary shall take and keep the minutes of the Annual Meetings of the Society and report on them when required. The Secretary will assist at the annual meetings with parliamentary procedure. The Secretary can appoint a Recording Secretary as needed.
Proposal 7 passed: 7 yes, 5 not responding.
Proposed Budget for 2006
The VCBS Bylaws require that the proposed budget out of the Budget Committee be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors. The 2005 Cash Flow Report and the Proposed Budget for 2006 were presented.
The Budget for 2006, proposed by Neil Daniels passed: 9 Approved, 3 not responding.
The meeting was adjourned February 25, 2006. The complete proceedings of the Board of Directors meeting can be made available upon request.
[Signed] Joseph Nelson, Chair.
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The VCBS Seventh Annual Spring All-member meeting will be held Saturday, April 29, 2006, in Woodstock, Vermont.
The event will be hosted by the Woodstock Historical Society at the Dana House on Elm Street, a short distance from the Middle Bridge, in the center of the village.
There will be a short business meeting followed by a presentation by our speaker, Joseph D. Conwill writer/photographer and editor of the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges quarterly magazine "Topics". His latest book is Images of America -- Vermont Covered Bridges, a collection of Vermont covered bridges past and present. Lunch will be served at noon; a deli sandwich menu by Woodstock Farmers Market. There will be a drawing for prizes, the profits to be used to promote the preservation of covered bridges. The meeting will adjourn at 1 p.m. followed by a walk to the Middle Covered Bridge and a drive to Lincoln Covered Bridge in West Woodstock.
All are welcome. The contact person is Johnny Esau, email@example.com or 802.674.9380. For more information and the sign-up sheet go to this site's Index page and click on "Mark Your Calendar."
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By Irene Barna
Major changes are afoot for the VCBS booth at the History Expo in Tunbridge. SAVE THE DATES: JUNE 24 and 25, 2006.
We have a new location and it is in the Industrial Building up on the hill at the south end of the fairgrounds. The VCBS booth will be the first one inside the door, giving us good exposure. The booth will be one of the pipe and curtains configurations having tables and screen for display. This means we need a completely new design/layout for our booth.
We welcome ANY and ALL suggestions. Send thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also needed to pay a fee of $100.00 this year--a first. No more free exposure. The All-Member Spring meeting will be held before the Expo weekend and at that time the sign-up schedule to staff the booth will be available.
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by Joe Nelson
Shoreham is justly known for its apple orchards. The town is also known, at least among bridge seekers, for the covered railway bridge spanning the Lemon Fair River. The "Lemon Fair" flows north from Johnson Pond in Orwell, through Shoreham, and on to the Otter Creek in Weybridge.
Lemon Fair is a curious name for a river in Vermont. The origin of the name has been obscured over the years. Even Abbey Hemenway's wonderful Vermont Historical Gazetteer provides little help. One local history expert—a surveyor who reads extensively about local history in his land research—has found a plausible origin of the name. He discovered that Lemon Fair may be a corruption of the words "A Lamentable Affair," a community named in commemoration of an Indian attack during the early settlement years.
Many other theories have been proposed, but perhaps the most likely source of the name are the French, the first European settlers in the area. "Lemon Fair" is probably an English corruption of a French phrase describing a sometimes murky stream--the river flows over beds of lime stone and through soils containing concentrations of hydrate of magnesium sulfate, or epsom salts. There are enough salts in the area to flavor some of the nearby wells. [Source: Vermont Historical Society, Montpelier, Vermont, News and Notes, monthly newsletter, Vol. 2, June, 1951. Number 10. Article: Merrily The Search Goes On - About Vermont Place Names.]
Others have dug into the puzzle and offered their theories to The Vermont Historical Society newsletter News and Notes. S.B. Penttengill, of Evanston, Illinois offered the story of an old man who had to ford the stream on horseback when he was returning from town after having bought provisions. The stream was up due to a cloudburst, and the horse lost its footing. All of the provisions were lost. When he spoke of the incident for months afterward, he always described the incident as a "lamentable affair." With a speech impediment, it came out as a "lemmonable affair."
Again: An 1800 census listing an Ezekiel Lemon, and a book listing William Lemmon with the names of Revolutionary war soldiers from the Rutland area, show that members of the Lemon family were residing in western Vermont. It can be concluded that the Lemons used the river or trails along its banks in their comings and goings, hence the place name "Lemon Fare," the trail, path or way by old usage, probably from the Old English to "fare forth," or to travel. [Source: Mrs. H.S. Colton of Springfield, Massachusetts. (paraphrased), Vermont Historical Society, Montpelier, Vermont, News and Notes, a monthly newsletter, Vol. 3, July, 1951. Number 1. Article: Merrily The Search Goes On - About Vermont Place Names.]
And the "search goes on." Readers are invited to send in their own theories about how the river got its name.
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Jan 25, 2006, East Rockhill, Twp, Pa. - Reconstruction of the Mood Covered Bridge will begin early in 2007, PennDOT said. The bridge was torched June 22, 2004 by six high school graduates.
The new bridge will be a replica of the original 126-foot Town Truss span built in 1873, however, the steel beam-self supporting roadway and abutments not fire damaged will be retained.
Assuming materials are on hand, construction will start in early 2007 to be completed by mid-summer, PennDOT said. Designers are currently working on the bid packages and work has started on obtaining the necessary permits. Bids will opened later this year. Bucks County is to assume ownership of the bridge. The work is expected to cost approximately $400,000, paid for by PennDOT and $66,666 restitution from the arsonists as ordered by the Bucks County Court.
[This item condensed from a News-Herald clipping sent by Doris Taylor - Ed.]
North Ursina, Pa. Ja. 30, 2006 - A homemade bomb stained the deck of 115-year-old Lower Humbert Bridge in Somerset County, Pa. There was no damage to the structure of the bridge. The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the incident. The full article will be available on the Web for a limited time at http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/13747339.htm The 125-foot Burr-arch Bridge was built in 1891 to span the Lower Turkyfoot Creek.
[This Story was shared by email@example.com-Ed.]
Robert Cassidy was given a certificate of appreciation and a covered bridge picture at the Annual (Rutland Historical Society) Meeting for his valuable contributions to the Society.
Robert became a member of the Society in 1994 while a high school student. In 2002 he became a Life Member. Upon graduation from high school he became a member of the Vermont Air National Guard. In the meantime Robert has nearly completed a degree in history at Castleton State College.
Robert has served both his country and the Society with distinction. He was involved with lighting for exhibits at the Society and shoveled snow from the Society walks on many a cold day. Between juggling college and his Air Guard activities, Robert has served as a member of the Society's Board of Directors for four years from 2001 to 2005 and has worked at the Society's exhibits at the Vermont History Expo on numerous occasions.
Robert has become a local and statewide covered bridge expert. He was the chief designer of a recent Rutland covered bridge exhibit at the Society that was also shown at the 2005 Vermont History Expo.
Often people say, "I don't have time". Robert is a wonderful example of "I can make time" for a community need.
[This item is from the Rutland Historical Society newsletter. Our thanks to Irene Barna for forwarding the article and to Jim Davidson for permission to post it. Robert Cassidy is also a Life Member of the Vermont Historical Society and we appreciate him too. - Ed.]
[The Depot Bridge [45-11-06] swallowed a dump truck with raised body last June. -Ed.]
Montgomery, Vt., December 18, 2005 - Joe, I read in the latest VCBS newsletter about the money for the West Hill/Creamery Bridge. First we had heard of it but we contacted the state and they confirmed the news. Don't expect the work to begin for a couple of years but at least the money's there.
Also met with Hoyle/Tanner and State AOT just before Thanksgiving at the Hutchins Bridge. Hoyle Tanner is doing the engineering study and the State expects restoration/repair work to begin in the spring.
Hectorville Bridge is still in storage and is likely to remain so until at least next fall. Work will hopefully begin on the it's likely site near where the water treatment facility will be built next summer.
Longley Bridge took some damage recently. At least one of the cross braces has been hit. We will follow up with the State.
All for now, Happy Holidays, Scott Perry.
January 19, 2006, Hartland, NB - A massive ice jam on the Saint John River has settled underneath the 105-year-old span and is rising, threatening to lift the 1283-foot-long bridge off its piers.
The nearly four-mile-long ice jam has risen to within 10 feet of the bridge floor. There is normally 39 feet of clearance above the river's surface.
The ice jam is the result of rain and mild temperatures that have caused some ice on the river to break up prematurely. The rain has also caused flooding along the Saint John and Miramichi Rivers.
For photos and details go to http://www.theglobeandmail.com/national/
From news item forwarded by Gérald Arbour
The funds are coming from the federal Transportation Enhancement Program making $2.8 million available to the State of Vermont. Bike paths, pedestrian walkways, scenic routes and other projects are eligible for funding under this program. The Shoreham bridge grant was one of 40 competing for funds.
The proposed work on the bridge, properly known as the Rutland Railroad Bridge, is estimated to cost $420,000. The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, the owner of the bridge, will need to raise $120,000 in matching funds.
Design will begin this year with work on the structure to begin in 2007. The proposed repairs will include replacing the deteriorated cedar shingles on the roof with green standing seam metal, work on the upper chords, deck, siding, and any truss members needing replacement. Repairs were made to the bridge in 1983 which included a new roof, siding, and the eastern abutment.
The bridge crosses the Lemon Fair River behind a fishing access park and almost out of sight down a tree lined lane that was once the railroad right-of-way, the tracks long gone.
A historic site marker reads:"SHOREHAM BRIDGE. This 108' Howe Truss railroad bridge is one of only two covered railroad bridges left in Vermont. It was built in 1897 on the 15.6 mile Addison Branch connecting the Rutland Railroad at Leicester Junction with the Delaware and Hudson at Ticonderoga, N.Y. crossing Lake Champlain on a floating bridge at Larrabee's Point. This bridge was last used for railroad traffic in 1951."
The structure was listed on the National Register of Historic places as an engineering landmark in June 13, 1974 under the name East Shoreham Covered Railroad Bridge.
The Vermont Covered Bridge Society was asked for a letter of support for the grant seeking process. The VCBS responded:
"We of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society were pleased to hear that the Vermont Agency of Transportation and the Division for Historic Preservation are applying for a grant to support much needed repairs to the Rutland Railroad Covered Bridge in Shoreham.
The Shoreham bridge needs to be preserved for its historical significance. It is not only the last of its type in the State of Vermont, it is also a monument to 19th century structural engineering, and a classic example of Howe's truss supporting the needs of the then growing railroad industry.
The mission of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society is to encourage the preservation of covered bridges by working with the towns or other entities owning or overseeing covered bridges, and cooperating with the public and with other organizations committed to the preservation of historic bridges.
The VCBS promotes an adopt-a-bridge program in which members adopt a bridge and work with the owners clearing brush, picking up trash, sweeping, painting, keeping watch against vandalism, and notifying authorities when the bridge needs attention."
The western span of the two-span bridge had collapsed into the river in February 1999 during a winter storm after having been closed to traffic for some 30 years. The failure is attributed to the "rotting wooden understructure."
Jackson County Highway Superintendent Mike Garris plans to assess the situation with an equipment contractor to determine whether the eastern section of the bridge can be dragged from the river.
The 330-foot Post Truss bridge once served Indiana Route 258 connecting Cortland and Seymour. The span was built in 1869 by Robert Pattison. It is sited as the last surviving Post Truss bridge in the world. In July, engineer Jim Barker had completed 85 percent of the iron work needed to replace the western span. At that time, commissioners agreed to oversee restoration of the Bell Ford Bridge along with the Medora bridge and a third covered bridge at Shieldstown.
The state had earmarked nearly $1 million, according to a fund raiser and another $90,000 to $100,000 would have restored the bridge, he said.
In a January 4 email to James Crouse, a covered bridge society member, Ronald Branson wrote: "Thought I'd share my findings at Bell Ford this morning. While it appears much worse today, you can actually see that (because of the debris pattern) the lower wrought iron chord appears to be intact ... as this was a hybrid structure being as much iron as wood, saving the lower chord could still allow for restoration ... when I arrived this morning, heavy equipment was already arriving to build a road to the edge of the river that other equipment, tentatively they are planning to bring in a large crane, can be moved into place to lift the structure out. I'll keep checking in on her again tomorrow...attached is a photo from today and there are more on the site at http://www.countyhistory.com/coveredbridge/jackson1.htm
[Thanks to James Crouse for sharing this information - Ed.]
Bridgeton, IN, December 16, 2005 - The Bridgeton Covered Bridge Design and Construction Team has voted to proceed with construction on a historically correct bridge to replace the one an arsonist destroyed in May, assuming The Board of Commissioners agrees. "It's definitely a go," said team member and president of the Parke County Board of Commissioners, Jim Meese. The team has "tentatively" accepted a bid for the reconstruction of the abutments. While the abutments are under repair, members of the design and construction team will be acquiring the necessary permits from federal, state and county agencies. Others are listing media contacts, and working on timber procurement and contacting those who have pledged donations of materials. Construction is expected to be done in phases.
About $145,000 has been raised toward the cost of building the bridge, more funds will be needed to keep pace with the project. “I'm asking everyone who enjoyed the bridge to give themselves and our county a special Christmas present this year by making a donation to the Bridge Reconstruction Fund,” Meece said. “No amount is too small or too large. Everyone can be a part of rebuilding this historic structure. It will be a valuable asset for generations to come. Yes, you can be a part of building a covered bridge. That's a story worthy of passing along from one generation to another. How many people have had the opportunity to participate helping to build a covered bridge? We hope to have bridge construction under way this summer so people can watch the old timber-framing construction process.”
The construction and design team also needs donations of poplar trees of 20 inches in diameter and larger. The team will be responsible for taking down the trees and transporting them to the site. Donors can contact Patricia Pastore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations toward construction of the new Bridgeton Covered Bridge may be made by sending a check to the Bridgeton Covered Bridge Replacement Fund, c/o Bart Barnes, treasurer, Bridgeton Covered Bridge Association, P.O. Box 1868, Bridgeton, IN 47836; or Bridgeton Covered Bridge Replacement Fund, c/o Parke County Inc., P.O. Box 165, Rockville, IN 47872. The Bridgeton Covered Bridge Design and Construction Team invites the public to a groundbreaking at 4 p.m. Jan. 12 at the bridge site in Bridgeton to celebrate the beginning of construction on a new covered bridge. The timber bridge will replicate the 1868 Bridgeton Bridge destroyed by arson in May.
This article is condenced from an article published by the Tribune-Star Bridgeton, Indiana on December 16, 2005, written by Patricia Pastore. For details visit www.tribstar.com for this article posted Friday the 16th. [Thanks to James Crouse for bringing the article to our attention - Ed.]
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Dear Panel of Experts
Can we help Jan? The bridge in the photo resembles the Hardwick Bridge, or one on that Railroad line, but those bridges (except for the Fisher Bridge near Wolcott) were long gone in 1996, 1997.
Joe: I believe this is the Barre and Chelsea Railroad's bridge in Berlin, unless they used the same portal decorations on all their bridges. It's nearly an identical match to a photograph of the Barre bridge taken by AOT's photographers. - Bob McCullough
Hi Jan: The covered bridge that is pictured is the one at Clark's Trading Post near Woodstock, New Hampshire. It was moved to this location in 1964 from Barre, Vermont. It was on a short line that ran between Montpelier and Barre. The bridge was built in 1904 and is a Howe Truss. Steam engines still go across this bridge at Clarks Trading post. You can say that this is the only OLD Railroad Covered Bridge that still is in use.
The Trading post is only open from early June to mid October. It can be seen from Route 3. This was an easy one, since it was on our Safari a few years back, and Mr. Clark stood just about where that picture was taken, and told all of us how the bridge was moved from Vermont to his place. He was quite a Down East story teller and the members sure enjoyed him. I think that Safari was about 12 or 13 years ago.
Happy Covered Crossings, Dick Wilson
Thank you, Gentlemen. I am always amazed by the depth of knowledge and resources possessed by our community of covered bridge buffs. With your information, I found that the mystery bridge is listed in the World Guide to Covered Bridges as 29-05-14, formerly 45-12-16.
Many thanks: Joe Nelson
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