We had an exceptional overall turnout for our 4/24
VCBS meeting. Some folks were local and only attended the presentation portion by Alpine Construc-
tion, however many VCBS members attended the
entire meeting as well.
During the meeting, a motion was made and approved to send some funds to Old Sturbridge Village for covered bridge rehabilitation work, provided that OSV was a non-profit organization and
that the bridge was identified as originating from
Dummerston, VT. I have followed up with OSV and
they meet all criteria for award of the $250 VCBS
I am looking forward to an excellent membership
turnout for the VCBS meeting this October. Hope to
see you all there.
Yours in bridging, John Weaver, President, VCBS
Return to top
Eleventh Annual Spring Meeting of the Vermont
Covered Bridge Society
Jeffersonville, Vermont. April 24, 2010
|VCBS 2010 Spring Meeting with speaker Jim Ligon. Photo by
The 2010 Spring meeting was held in the Sugar House
Gallery building on the grounds of the Visions of Vermont Art Gallery operated by VCBS Life members Terry
and Jane Shaw.
President John Weaver called the meeting to order at
approximately 10:20 a.m. with 17 attendees signed in.
Minutes of the Fall All-Member meeting held in Windsor Vermont were not read because all minutes are
available in The Bridger and on the VCBS web site. A
motion was made by Warren Trip and seconded by Terry
Shaw to accept the minutes as printed in The Bridger.
Historical Committee – Library
Warren Tripp, librarian - "We have around 70 different books in the library, multiple copies of some of them.
I have the library with me, and the index, so if anybody
is interested [in borrowing a book], you need to be a
member of the society in order to borrow books and you
need to return them to me in two months. There are some
very interesting books, it’s too bad they aren’t used
more. There are six that are out right now."
Susan Daniels asks: "Do you have a list of the
books that you have printed?"
"Yes, I have a list with me and it is available on
the web through Joe [Nelson]."
Bridge Watch: John Weaver, coordinator – I have received fairly steady reports from Ron Bechard (re: Poland CB), Warren Trip (re: West Danville CB), Bill Carroll (re: various, 5 or 6, SE CBs) and Ray Hitchcock (re:
Worrall, Bartonsville, and Williamsville CBs.
The Worrall and Williamsville rehabilitation
projects should be complete this year. Members should
give these particular construction sites a visit.
We could always employ new volunteers for our
Bridge-watch program. To my knowledge, a good many
covered bridge sites are not presently covered.
If anyone else is interested in covering an area or
specific bridges, please let me know, I’ll get you the
proper forms and the part of the handbook you are going
to need to work with.
Communications Committee: Joe Nelson, Chair - The
Communications Committee is the one that puts out the
newsletter. Bridger Editor Ray Hitchcock, due to health,
has notified us that he must consider leaving his post. He
will continue as long as he can, giving us time to find a
Since Ray took over the editorship to produce
the winter 2008 issue, he has made remarkable improvements
to the newsletters presentation with his personal
style, but also, by introducing Microsoft’s Publisher to
the process. A heartfelt thank you to Ray for his dedication.
His problem is that he has developed ALS, so he
won’t be functioning in time. If anyone is interested in
taking the post of newsletter editor, please contact me.
Membership Committee: Joe Nelson, Interim Chair -
The Vermont Covered Bridge Society memberships
stand at 136 with only 14 memberships in arrears. We
have gained two new members since the turn of the year,
Angela Wilson of Austin Texas, and Cheryl Cullick, of
Bellville, Kentucky. Welcome, Angela and Cheryl.
Suzanne Daniels, who has been carrying the
chairmanship of both the Membership and the Events
Committee, is stepping down from the Membership
Committee chairmanship, having found that the Events
Committee business is sufficient to keep her busy along
with her other commitments.
Thank you Suzanne, for your valuable contributions to the Membership Committee. I’m sure you have
some good advice for your successor in continuing the
programs you have begun.
I will be filling in as chair to the Membership
Committee until someone steps forward. If anyone is
interested in taking over this chairmanship, please contact me.
Historical Committee: Joe Nelson for Bill Carroll,
Chair of the Historical Committee. Bill couldn’t be
with us today, he has a touch of the flu, so he sent
this to me by e-mail:
At present, there are 44 separate archives
collections processed. Each collection has been
cataloged, and through the Library of Congress all
are available on the internet through the OCLC database. The catalog records can be downloaded from
OCLC into public library databases. This is an area
to be followed up on, as it will be necessary to touch
base with the Vermont state library commission and
urge them to follow through.
Our collection identified as VCBS-01, Vermont Covered Bridge Files, has information on some 160 present and former covered bridges in the
state. This collection will be reworked into a separate collection for each bridge, and will encompass
additional information, particularly as stated in Item
#4 of the Burlington Charter. In addition, we will
find the locations of other materials for each bridge
- Historical Societies, Town and/or County offices,
etc. - which will provide as much information as
possible, and the location of that information, to
benefit researchers and historians.
Two basic needs of the Historical Committee are for interested people to help locate any bridge records, and a permanent home for our collections.
Events Committee Suzanne Daniels, Chair – I
spoke to you [John Weaver] because I thought I had
a wonderful idea for next fall, the meeting being in
Middlebury, which I had thought, [instead] it’s
Montpelier. One of these days, we should get to
Middlebury if we can because there is a covered
bridge there and there is an article in the latest
Smithsonian magazine about Robert Frost and the
John Weaver responds: "Well certainly, Middlebury
can be on the calendar for 2011. We have something
from Bill Caswell: 'You guys will have to forgive me
for having a senior moment. I hate to admit I'm getting
to that age but I can't remember if I sent this information
to you or not. Anyway, I wanted to ask you if you could mention the Pioneer Safari at the VCBS meeting tomorrow. It will be Sept. 25 & 26 along the Connecticut River. We are tentatively including bridges in the Newport & Cornish areas on the New Hampshire side along with ones from Saxtons River north to Woodstock on the Vermont side. We will be based out of the Holiday Inn in Springfield, Vermont. Rooms are $89/night for people
needing them. More details will be available soon.'"
Treasurer’s Report, April 24, 2010 Neil Daniels,
Treasurer – The society is a 501c3, we report to the IRS,
being nonprofit, we are on a calendar year, so this report
is for the calendar year ’09: Income Statement period 1-
01-09 through 12-31-10:
Total Income $1,521.95
Total Expense $2,375.57
Expense w/o grants $1,125.57
Income less expense $396.38
Union Bank Checking 1-01-09 $5,392.74
Union Bank Checking 12-31-09 $5,392.74
Change in bank balance -$566.9
At 1-01-09 $4765.00
Added in 2009 $0.00
Amount in fund 4-21-10 $5002.00
[A more detailed review of the Treasurer’s Report is presented at the meeting: but in the interest of space in The
Bridger, totals only are printed here. The full report is
always available from Neil.]
Vermont Historical Society Expo at Tunbridge Neil
Daniels coordinating – The Expo will be held on Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27, with Friday, June 25 as
Last year the Vermont Historical Society eliminated the event. This year, we have a booth and we are
looking for someone to man the booth for Saturday and
Sunday. So far we have Joe and John and Sue and I. I’d
like someone to come forward today and let me know
when you can come down to Tunbridge and be there.
Said Bill McKone, "I’ll be there, so I’ll come by
and put my oar in."
Said Joe Nelson, "Bill Carroll has volunteered
Said John Weaver: "We’ve got a request from Sturbridge Village for some aid to repair a covered bridge
transported from Dummerston, Vermont back in the 1950s and it needs $50,000 in repairs and they have
asked organizations to make contributions if they can. Is there any interest in doing this?
"We have earmarked for 2010 budget for save a
bridge actions, and I don’t think all of that is really committed at this point, so we do have some funds we could
Bill McKone moved that we support that in whatever
amount seems appropriate if [Sturbridge Village] is a
non-profit organization and that is a Vermont origin
bridge. Seconded by Joe Bell.
Said Neil Daniels: "This may be a project that takes
some time, we should give some now and give some next
year. I would like to know from someone who has been
there that it is a good project and worth doing."
The amended motion is to make a $250 grant for
the repairs to the covered bridge in Sturbridge, if the
bridge was moved there from Vermont, contingent on
Sturbridge Village being a non-profit organization. Motion carried.
Said John Weaver: "We’ll have to research this a little
further before we send anything."
Said Neil Daniels: .Mr. President, it may be appropriate
for this body to vote to move that donations money of
’09 into the Save-a-bridge fund, $240.00. I make that
Joe Bills seconded. No discussion. Motion to move the
2009 donations money into the Save-a-bridge Fund carried.
Said Sue Daniels: I will continue as membership chairman. So, as membership chair, I will ask those of you
who are here to stand up and say who you are . . ."
John Weaver, Montpelier, President; Joe Nelson, Vice
President, Underhill, Vermont; Ron Bechard, Bridge-
watch for Poland Bridge; Bill McKone Jeffersonville Marie Bechard, Jeffersonville; Glen Hall, Kingston, Ontario; Warren Tripp, librarian; Terry Shaw, Jeffersonville; Joe Bell, Wilton, New Hampshire; David
Juaire, Georgia, Vermont; Fred pierce, from Morrisville,
Will Thompson, Lebanon, Connecticut; Doug and Sue
Chase from Acton, Massachusetts.
Said John Weaver "Thank you Sue for continuing [as
Said Sue Daniels: "I’m interested in who you are and
where you are from, because I sent out a note to the
membership in the Burlington area hoping that they will
come to our meetings, so if you have any ideas on how
we can get more people interested to come to our meetings, that would be wonderful."
Arthur Hooper of Johnson, Vermont, shared his family
tree with the meeting, which includes the Jewett brothers
who built the six bridges in Montgomery and one bridge
Said David Juaire: "I’m a part time photographer . . . in
my travels I find a lot of brush around the bridges . . . it
is discouraging to artists and photographers, after a long
trip to find that the bridges are just covered with brush
and it should take just an hour or two per year to clean
up so it can be enjoyed."
Said John Weaver: "That’s one of the things we mark
on the bridge-watch for the town. Thanks, very much."
Said Neil Daniels: I’ve spent a lot of years with the Select boards. The Bridge-watch people are the ones to notice the brush. The brush should be taken care of by the
town, the Bridge-watch person just needs to go to the
town to tell them to do what they should do anyway. The
town has all sorts of people who can cut the brush."
Said John Weaver: "Any other comments? Do I have a
motion to adjourn the business meeting?"
Motion moved by Warren Tripp, seconded by Bill
McKone, All said Aye, Meeting is closed.
Jim Ligon, field supervisor for Alpine Construction, Inc.
of Schuylerville, New York, gave a well received talk on
the renovation of the Cambridge Center covered bridge.
Thirty-two people attended the talk.
The drawing yielded $35.00, Covered Bridge Market
Place sales yielded $31, Glen Hall made a contribution
of $14.00, for a total of $80.00.
A Tour of North Branch and Montgomery covered
bridges was conducted by Joe Nelson following Lunch
at 158 Main Street Restaurant, Jeffersonville. Glen Hall,
and Doug and Sue Chase participated in the tour.
Joseph Nelson in the absence of Irene Barna, Secretary
Return to top
By Suzanne Daniels, Chair, Membership Committee
Please join me in welcoming new member Aime
Cloutier of Derby, Vermont. A warm welcome to you.
We have at this time 155 members (134 memberships), scattered from coast to coast and Canada.
Thirty-one memberships have signed up for the PDF version of the quarterly newsletter, saving us printing and
mailing expense. Thank you, we can use those funds for
things like saving bridges.
Unhappily, thirteen memberships are still in ar-
rears with their dues, which is unfortunate—when we
make donations to help save a bridge, that money comes
from our general funds while we continue to build our
separate Save-a-bridge Fund. The general funds come
from dues and donations.
So, you folks who haven’t paid your dues yet, please do
so soon. Check your Bridger mailing label for your
membership status code. If you see code (07), (08), or
(09) in red—tag! You are it!
Membership Birthdays and Anniversaries
04 Charlie Elflein
07 Carolyn Clapper
07 Robert & Barbara McPherson
10 Ron & Marie Bechard
14 Dick & June Roy
20 Joanne Billie
20 Mark & Jan Bramhall
27 Glen Hall
27 Terry Shaw
28 Bob Kane
30 Lionel & Debra Whiston
02 Dick & Kathleen Howrigan
04 Neil & Suzanne Daniels
05 Bill & Ada Jeffrey
11 Charles & Evelyn Lovastik
11 Marie Bechard
20 Bob & Trish Kane
22 June Roy
22 Lou Zabbia
28 Ray Gendron
28 Dick Roy
28 Jan Lewandoski
28 Sandra Weaver
01 Irene Mele
03 Joanna Titcomb
05 Joe Nelson
08 Evelyn Lovastik
08 Virginia Eckson
08 Joanna Titcomb
10 Thomas Carpenter
15 Ed Rhodes
17 Euclid & Priscilla Farnham
18 Ed & Irene Barna
23 George Conn
25 Jim & Linda Crouse
25 Leo Fleury
28 Mark Bramhall
29 Ray & Dolores Gendron
30 Ada Jeffrey
30 Robert McPherson
31 Kathleen Havranek
31 N. David Charkes
Return to top
By Bill Carroll
Taft Bridge in Dummerston (VT/45-13-31x) was built
around 1870 to carry the road which later became Vt. 30
across Stickney Brook. It was a lattice truss, about 65
feet long. It is described in Windham County's famous
covered bridges as "rather unromantic for a covered
bridge. Neither written records or local legend linked it
with any unusual or interesting circumstance."
Taft Bridge was replaced with a modern structure, and
was dismantled and moved to Old Sturbridge Village,
Sturbridge, Mass., and reassembled above a mill
dam at Quinebaug Reservoir.
During the hurricane/flood
of August 1955 the bridge was washed from its abutments and saved from destruction by tying the bridge to
nearby trees. The following winter the bridge was moved
to its present location, further downstream in a more secure location.
The bridge is a part of the historical buildings display on the grounds of Old Sturbridge Village, and is called Vermont Bridge (MA/21-14-03), though
sometimes Dummerston Bridge or Taft Bridge. It is used
by pedestrians and horse-drawn rides around the village. There is an entry fee to access the bridge.
The collection comprises photocopied articles and printouts from various sources, and copies of the U. S. Geological Survey maps showing the location of both Taft
Bridge in Dummerston and Vermont Bridge in Sturbridge. Articles date from 1960, and maps date from
1893 to 1950's.
Salisbury Station Bridge
#65279;Salisbury Station Bridge, also known as Cedar
Swamp Bridge, or Station Bridge is a lattice truss extending 155 feet across Otter Creek, connecting the Towns of
Salisbury and Cornwall.
Otter Creek valley in this area is
broad and flat and largely swamp. The very extensive
Cedar Swamp borders Otter Creek at the bridge site,
largely on the Cornwall side.
The Rutland & Burlington
Railroad (later Rutland Railroad) was chartered in 1843,
and in operation by 1848 near the east side of Otter
Creek. The bridge was built in 1865 to provide access
from Cornwall and the adjacent area to Salisbury Station. It is likely that the road was in existence for some
years before the bridge, as there is an old ford at the
bridge site. However it seems unlikely that the road
across Cedar Swamp existed before the railroad was
The bridge itself was originally a single span, and
is notable in the wide spacing of the lattice planks, nearly
5 feet, as opposed to the usual 3 feet. In 1969
the bridge was repaired, and a center pier was constructed. In 2007/2008 major repairs were carried out,
including replacement of lower chords and many of the
lattice planks. New siding and a new roof were in place
in late 2008.
On the Cornwall side of Otter Creek, the
terrain is wooded swamp, extending from Otter Creek
nearly 2 miles to the terminus of the road on Vt. 30 in
Cornwall. In Salisbury the road rises gradually to Salisbury Station, and is mostly cleared farm and pasture
land. There is no indication that any structures ever existed at or near the bridge. Much of Cedar Swamp is
now part of Cornwall Wildlife Management Area.
As a historical sidelight, Salisbury Station Bridge is not
far south of the monument to Ann Story, Revolutionary
War heroine. A brief write-up about Ann Story is found in
Spanning Time, by Joseph C. Nelson. There is also
much to be found on the Internet by googling Ann Story.
Return to top
Question Number 12: At what point in time does a
newly built, authentic truss Covered Bridge become an
historic covered bridge?
One would think it is determined by years, and if so, how many years does it take
for it to be considered an historic covered bridge? For
example, the Erwin Park Covered Bridge in Oneida
County, NY; the Smith Covered Bridge in New Castle
County, Delaware; the Bridgeton Covered Bridge in
Parke County, Indiana, and so on with the newly built,
authentic truss covered bridges. At some point in time,
they too will be considered historic, but when? According to the National Register of Historic Places, in order to
qualify to be listed on their national register of historic
places, properties need to be at least 50 years old or
older and have some historic significance to the surrounding area where it is located
So, if this is the case,
should newly built, authentic covered bridges reaching
50 years old, be considered historic?
Joseph Conwill - Covered bridges have been built
in two different time periods. In the first, they were
built for strictly economic reasons. I call this the
historical period; it ended around 1940 in the eastern
United States, and around 1960 and in the West and
A second period began afterwards when covered bridges became popular, and people decided to begin building them again in part for sentiment. I
call this the revival period. Such bridges may be
considered historical in their own way, but in a different sense. A Greek Revival house may be interesting and historical in its own way, yet it is not the
same thing as the ancient Greek temple which inspired it, no matter how old it is. Likewise, I would
never consider a revival covered bridge to be in the
same class as one from the original historical period,
no matter how well built it is, and no matter how old
it is now, or ever. The National Register 50-year
cutoff date is irrelevant here. On occasion I visit
and photograph revival covered bridges, and sometimes find them a worthy addition to the landscape.
I usually do not include them in Covered Bridge
Efforts to divide covered bridges any other
way than this always end up in a hopeless muddle.
This is not to say that covered bridges should not be
built nowadays. But including the revival bridges
on an equal footing with the old historical ones, as is
done in the World Guide, gives an overly rosy view
of the preservation record. It also distorts the pool
of data on subjects such as truss type and distribution, and introduces serious inaccuracies into historical studies.
Robert Durfee - I would say using the National
Register criteria of a structure being at least 50 year
old is a good baseline for considering new covered
bridges as historic. After 50 years, the original design engineers, contractors and owners that influenced the project have long faded, and a new generation of individuals can make an independent and
unbiased judgment of its historic significance.
Eric Gilbertson - The 50 years that is used for the
National Register is a guideline to determine when a
structure should be looked at for eligibility. That is
houses built before 1960 should be evaluated. Structures that are newer than 50 can be placed on the
Register if they are of special significance. The Dulles international airport was one of those.
Documented reconstructions can also be eligible for the Register. Be careful of the word "authentic" To meet the reconstruction criteria the
bridge would have to be a replication of a bridge
that once stood at that site--more than just a traditional cover. It would depend on how faithfully the
bridge replicated an original on the site and the view
of the State Historic Preservation Officer in what
ever state the bridge resides. There is not a hard
line; there are lots of judgments based on philosophy and the actual construction of the bridge.....and
lots of other stuff... If it is in a state with few covered bridges it might have a better chance than if it
is in a state with many bridges that are historic by definition.
Bob and Trish Kane - Having worked with State
officials to obtain listing on both the State and National Register’s of Historic Places for nine of New
York’s covered bridges, we feel their guidelines are
acceptable for determining if a bridge is historic.
However, it is important to keep in mind that these
are just that, "guidelines." Other factors could, and
perhaps should, play into this determination. In
time, authentic truss bridges built today will be classified as historic and the bridges we now classify
historic will be considered ancient.
| The Vermont Covered Bridge Society reserves the right to edit
all submissions to the Bridger. Those that are deemed deroga-
tory in nature will not be printed. The views expressed on
these pages are not necessarily those of the Vermont Covered
Return to top
As many members know, bridge-watch is one of the primary functions of our organization. This function requires volunteers to perform semi-annual inspections of selected VT covered bridge sites and to network
with the owners of these bridges- usually the towns
where they are located. The purpose is to arouse interest
in maintenance and preservation of these vital historic
At present there are a number of individual
members involved in this effort at various locations.
However, as statewide coordinator, I am always looking
for additional volunteers to carry on this work. Please let
me know if you are interested in these duties. – John
About Bridge-watch and Adopt-a-bridge¹
Bridge Watch Report, Williamsville Bridge
Because nearly all of Vermont's covered bridges are
owned by the towns in which they are located, the Vermont Covered Bridge Society in its mission to preserve
covered bridges has an outreach policy for towns and
communities where the covered bridges are. In pursuit of
this policy, the Society organizes Bridge-watch Areas.
The purpose is to promote covered bridge preservation
by helping to organize the taxpaying, voting citizens of
that particular area who, as such, can go to their town
government to advocate the maintenance and preservation of the town’s covered bridges.
A Bridge-watch area, or Regional Chapter of the
VCBS, is presided over by a Chapter Chairperson who
is, preferably, a resident of the area. The Chapter Chairperson is responsible for establishing relationships with
the bridge owners of record in that area. The Chapter
Chairperson is also a member of the Board of Directors of the VCBS.
Society members may, as part of an organized
Bridge-watch Chapter, or independently if the area is not
organized, volunteer to Adopt-a-bridge, working directly with a town or other covered bridge owner with
clearing brush, sweeping, painting, fire proofing, and
removing graffiti, if safety and the town’s liability insurance permits. Otherwise, the volunteer(s) will monitor
the bridge for wear and tear, and vandalism and alert the town when problems are found.
A typical scenario would be a covered bridge
on a town highway in Vermont. The town is sometimes
doing minimal maintenance —replacing siding, patching
the roof, etc. Bridge trusses and floor members are collecting layers of dirt, trash is piling up at joints, water is
running onto the bridge from the approaches, approach
railings are missing, the bridge is not insect, fungi or fire protected, etc.
The most important things to look for are deterioration to the basic bridge structural components - the trusses, floor beams, top lateral bracing between trusses,
etc. These same items are usually identified in the Vermont Agency of Transportation bridge inspection reports. Each town office should have copies of these on hand.
To identify the truss type and other components
make reference to the Bridge Watch Handbook and the
1995 consultant report diagrams. Remember that covered
bridges were constructed with sacrificial elements that
were intended to be replaced from time to time - the roof,
floor and siding components.
Try to establish a historical record of the use
and developed uses of the bridge. Document and verify
any changes to the bridge structure to accommodate
original and later uses - such as the adding of floor
beams, reconstructing floors with heavier wood decks,
adding arches to the trusses, etc.
Help in regard to the above may come from contacts with local and state historians or long time town
residents, old photos, etc. Help in regard to bridge component identification and analysis can be obtained from
your VCBS statewide covered bridge coordinator.
Preservation tips for treating wood can be
found on the website vermontbridges.com and by contacting your VCBS statewide covered bridge coordinator.
How to organize and what to do depends on
the size and abilities of your local Bridge Watch group.
Groups may be as small as one member or as large as ten
members. Members might be able to attempt on-site
cleaning or brush removal projects or simply provide
observation and reporting functions.
Select board members should be contacted
and consulted before attempting any significant local
activities. This may be done through the town clerk or
road foremen. Report any noted problems to the same
Offer to help local authorities develop strategies for use and maintenance of covered bridges in your
area. Encourage town authorities to participate in the
Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Plan and The Vermont Historic Bridge Program. This Plan and Program
are products of a collaborative effort between the Vermont Agency of Transportation and the Vermont Dept.
of Historic Preservation. Through the Program, funds can
be secured for continual major maintenance and rehabilitation of Vermont covered bridges. VCBS participation
in all of the above activities will help towns fulfill their
portion of easements (agreements) between local governing bodies and state agencies.
¹Based on workshop held 01/26/02 by John Weaver at: VAOT
Lab Conference Room, Berlin VT.
- by Ray Hitchcock
|Williamsville Bridge replica, East Portal View –Photo by Ray
May 17, 2010 According to VTrans Engineer,
Thomas Lacky, "Jim Ligon is preparing footings
for the temporary shoring system. The system will
lift the old bridge for demolition and support the
new bridge for installation."
On my visit things appear to be going well with the
biggest challenge getting the new bridge to fit on the
old footings. Meanwhile, they are prepping the old
bridge site for the big move. Should be quite a show
in a few weeks!
Bridge Watch Report, Cambridge Junction Bridge
- by Ron Bechard
April 13, 2010 - Winter barriers and protective
decking have been removed by town work crews to
allow regular traffic to pass through. Good Job!
Everything appears ship-shape and in good condition, with no likely winter damage.
Bridge Watch Report—Worral Bridge Restoration
Guide rails [curbing] still remain a problem
at the approaches to both ends of the bridge but have
suffered no additional damage since my last report.
The bridge should show very well for upcoming annual meeting Saturday May 24, 2010.
Inspection Check list – Bridge components are free of accumulated dirt and debris, Drainage areas are free of debris. Run-off from deck drains and approaches is
kept away from bridge elements below. Small trees
and shrubs are kept clear of substructure. River
channels beneath bridge are clear of major debris.
Proper load posting and advance warning signs are
maintained and visible. Roof system is maintained
and watertight. Siding is repaired, replaced and maintained. Excessive snow accumulation is removed. Road-
way approaches are smooth and maintained. Approach
railings are reasonably straight, continuous and maintained.
—by Ray Hitchcock
|Upstream lower chord from west portal - Photo by Ray Hitch-
May 19, 2010 - A five person crew was there and I talked
with Engineer Dan Hull and Supervisor Alan Davis. They
were making some measurements having to do with setting
the bridge down in place. I believe they have to order some
materials that may take a month to arrive
The crew was aware of the pictures on the web site and
Dan asked for a picture of the original lower chord showing
the wave rather than the nice new nice camber. I sent it to him.
The bridge looks some better with a natural camber and
all the pieces of the lattice back together. They have a ramp
set up to move the floor beams back in place.
I couldn't help but notice that while looking up I could see
sky in a couple of places. I know that the roof is relatively
new and is not part of the project but it bears looking at.
Its fun to compare the challenges of repairing an old
bridge versus building a replica.
May 31, 2010 - A visit to Worrall finds that they have
reinstalled the wood cribbing so that they can remove the
steel support beams.
Also the old bridge shows off its revitalized
camber. Daniels Engineer, Dan Hull advised me that
they would start residing the bridge on Tuesday so I
thought I should get the above shot. The pictures in the
fall of ’09 shows the bottom chord a bit wavy with no
camber before the chord was reconstructed.
Return to top
A Reminder; Don’t Let A Learning/Research
Source Go To Waste
The Vermont Covered Bridge Society has set up a
lending library available to all Society members-in-
good standing through media mail.
Librarian Warren Tripp has created a detailed booklist complete with a description and critique of each book. Copies of the index are available
by mail, or you may contact Librarian Warren Tripp
at email@example.com, or Joe Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org for a PDF copy.
To borrow a book contact Warren Tripp who
will send the book by Postal Service Media Mail.
Books are returned the same way. Send Warren the
complete title of the book(s) you wish to borrow. He
will respond with the mailing cost and mail the order when the fee is received. The borrower is then
responsible to return the item(s) in a reasonable
time, preferably not more than two months.
Contact: Warren Tripp, P. O. Box 236, Groton, VT
05046, Phone (802) 584-3545.
Return to top
2010 Pioneers Safari, Saturday,
September 25th & Sunday, September 26th
by George Conn
I just want to let you know that plans, al-
though far from complete, are being worked on for
the 2010 Pioneers Safari. As usual, our safari will
be held on the last full weekend in September (25th
& 26th). Bill Caswell has been laying out and
.running. possible routes. He has also secured our
motel accommodations for the safari. Bill and I will
continue to refine the routes, plan the rest stops, decide on restaurants and arrange for our meetings.
There are so many bridges in the area that
we are seeing that you should definitely figure on
more than two days in the region. If you are traveling a long distance, I hope that you can spend many
days enjoying the beautiful countryside, many attractions and, of course, the abundance of beautiful
This article is to inform you of the general
area that we will be visiting, to give you the infomation on the motel accommodations and to give
you an idea of the bridges that we are expecting to see.
The area we will be visiting can be described as southern Vermont and New Hampshire.
It straddles the border between eastern Vermont and western New Hampshire. We will be
"headquartered" in Springfield, Vermont which is close to both the Connecticut River (the border between VT and NH) and I-91.
The motel Accommodations are at the
Holiday Inn Express at Springfield, Vermont,
Room Rate: $89/night + 9% tax. NOTE: By the
end of September, this area of New England is getting into the fall tourist season. The room rate we
have is well below the motel’s regular rate. As an
additional favor, management has agreed to honor
that rate for the two days prior to our safari
(Wednesday & Thursday) and the two days following our safari (Sunday and Monday). So, if you are
staying extra days, be sure to request the rate for the
Pioneers Safari group.
Room type: double beds.
Reservations: Reserve by phoning (make sure you
let them know that you are with the Pioneers Safari
Complete motel information: Holiday Inn Express at Springfield, VT, 818 Charlestown Road,
Springfield, VT 05156, (802) 885-4516. More information, including photos, is available on the
internet. A block of rooms has been set aside for our group and reservations are being accepted now.
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When someone says, "Old Sturbridge Village," lots of
happy visions come to mind. Our Village Green, our
family of costumed interpreters...even our world-famous
Chocolate Chip Cookies. But there is one treasured icon
at the Village that is in trouble, and I am writing to ask
for your help.
The covered bridge at Old Sturbridge Village
was recently closed down for structural repairs. This past
winter was hard on the bridge, and the heavy rains of
March took their toll. Our dedicated team of carpenters
estimates the cost of repair at $50,000.
We did not plan for this in our budget. But the
work must be done. Our "high season" is coming soon -
when thousands of visitors will look forward to experencing the bridge as part of their immersion into early
American life. We must do what it takes to make sure
our bridge is ready for them by Independence Day.
The Old Sturbridge Village covered bridge was
moved to its current location from Dummerston, Vermont in 1951. It survived the flood of 1955, and is one of
the most photographed structures at OSV.
This treasured icon has served generations of
visitors. Will you help us restore and preserve it for future generations by making your most generous gift right
Old Sturbridge Village would not be the same
without its covered bridge. I really appreciate any
amount of help you can dedicate to its restoration.
Thanks so much in advance for your support. I know I
can count on you.
Sincerely, Jim Donahue, President and CEO
Please donate on line at http://www.osv.org/orders/
giftform.php, or mail donation to: Old Sturbridge Inc., 1
Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge, MA 01566. For
further information, please call 508-347-0210.
(Editors note: As recorded in Prez Says and minutes
please note that VCBS made a contribution.)
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Grand Celebration To Be Held in Moscow, Indiana
Moscow, Indiana - On June 3, 2008, a devastating tornado swept through Moscow, Indiana and the surround-
ing community, destroying or severely damaging many
homes and buildings, including the old Moscow Covered
Bridge (WGN IN-70-07). The force of the tornado dislodged the bridge from its abutments and sent it crashing
into the Flatrock River below. Immediately following the
storm, the County Commissioners took swift action to
salvage and preserve as much of the bridge's structure as
possible with the hope of rebuilding the bridge in its
Tractor Trailer Magnet Mt. Orne Bridge Struck
The Moscow Covered Bridge is now almost re-
built and a grand celebration will take place June 4-6th,
2010. The three day festival includes a parade, musical
entertainment, vendors and much more. You won't want
to miss this event and join area residents and county officials in the celebration. Congratulations to everyone involved in the rebuilding of this bridge.
– Trish Kane, New York Covered Bridge News, 5/31/2010
Again, And Again
|Truck wedged into Mount Orne Bridge, Photo from Pamela
Maza Thurber, P.E. VTrans, June 6, 2006 |
Lancaster, New Hampshire, May 31, 2010 – The
Mount Orne covered bridge which links Vermont and
New Hampshire, was severely damaged on Wednesday,
May 26 after a tractor trailer truck drove through it. The
driver, Sergo Niko, 59, of Pacoima, CA, had driven the
truck cross country from Sun Valley, CA to Maine and
was returning to California. The driver commented,
"This was the way his dispatcher told him to go." The
driver failed to stop after hitting the bridge but a Lunenburg resident saw the stopped truck and the driver picking pieces of wood from it. Niko was arrested by the Gilman, VT Constable and was charged with conduct after
an accident, failure to display trailer plates and for the
truck being over-height. He is currently free on $500 personal recognizance and is to appear in Lancaster District
Court on June 30. – Trish Kane, New York Covered
Bridge News, 5/31/2010
OnJune 6, 2006, a tractor Trailer imbedded itself in the Mt. Orne at the Lancaster New Hampshire end, destroying the portal boarding.
On May 9, 2005, there was a similar incident.
Sean James, P.E., of Hoyle, Tanner & Associates looked
at the bridge for the Town’s insurance company after a
truck hit it, damaging the New Hampshire portal framing.
The 267-foot Mount Orne Bridge was built in
1911 by Charles Babbitt using the Howe truss. Mr. Bab-
bitt built the Columbia Bridge at Lemington the follow-
ing year using the same truss. The longer Mount Orne
Bridge uses a mid-stream pier.
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Wanted, a newsletter editor trainee to ultimately
take over the editorship of The Bridger, a key position in the Vermont Covered Bridge Society’s outreach.
Wanted, reporter/correspondent to bring local
covered bridge news to The Bridge.
For more information or to sign up, please contact
Joe Nelson, Communication Committee Chair,
Volunteer worker-bees are needed by the Events
Committee to help set up meetings and assist in
hosting them. For details contact Suzanne Daniels,
Events Committee Chair: 802.885.5517 or email@example.com
Needed: Volunteer to serve as membership coordinator assisting Membership Committee Chair,
Suzanne Daniels. Contact Suzanne at: 802.885.5517
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Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges,|
by Joseph C. Nelson
Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges features 102 color photographs of Vermont's covered
bridges in fifteen chapters, each a guided tour. The tours are complete with maps, commentary on the
uniqueness of each bridge, and historic highlights about the towns and villages in which the bridges
An appendix provides: A Summary of Vermont's Covered Bridges, listing vital information on each bridge; A Covered Bridge Glossary, naming and describing the details of a covered bridge; A Bridge Truss section, explaining how trusses work with drawings of the several trusses used in Vermont; The Bridge Builders, providing thumbnail biographies of the people who designed and built the bridges;
A Covered Bridge Reading List, for bridge and
history buffs who want to read more; A detailed Index.
Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges:
7" x 10", 288 pages. Published by New England
Press at P.O. Box 575, Shelburne, VT 05482
Spanning Time is available directly from the
author for $39.00, free shipping:
To place your ad in the Bridger, contact Joe Nelson,
firstname.lastname@example.org The ad must be about covered bridges and you must be a member of a covered bridge society.
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By Suzanne Daniels, Chair, Events Committee
Mark Your Calendars
It’s Expo Time at Tunbridge Once Again
Once again we are approaching those June dates 26
and 27 ( Sat. and Sun. ) for our participation in the
Vermont History Exposition. This is our golden
opportunity to put VCBS before the public for two
whole days. We also get several new members each
year. We need your help.
Participating members get a free pass and usually
get to see all the other activities there as well. We
need volunteers to man the VCBS booth either Sat.
morning or afternoon and Sunday morning.
Please call Neil Daniels at 802-885-5517 or Joe
Nelson at 802-889-2093.
Annual Fall Meeting Slated
Our Annual Fall Meeting will be held on October
23, 2010 at the Montpelier Library. The speaker will
be Robert McCullough.
The topic will be Preservation Treatment 4
in the Vermont Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Plan: Co-functional, reversible, secondary
structural systems employing glu-laminated girders.
The goal is to engage in dialogue about what are
sometimes very difficult choices. For example, I
would be much happier with that solution on the
Williamsville Covered Bridge than the complete
reconstruction currently underway.
Bob McCullough, author of Crossings A
History of Vermont Bridges (2005), teaches in the
graduate Program for Historic Preservation at the
University of Vermont and is co-manager of the
Vermont Historic Bridge Program of the Vermont
Agency of Transportation.
There will be more information in the fall
issue of The Bridger.
Spring Issue - February 28
Summer Issue—May 31
Fall Issue—August 31
Winter Issue—November 30
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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted 09/07/2010