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The Vermont Covered Bridge Society Newsletter - Summer 2011


President's Column
The Election of Officers Time
Twelfth Annual Spring Meeting Held - minutes
Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center Grand Opening
For Sale
Historical Committee
In Memoriam - Marjorie Converse
Cambridge Junction Bridge
Important Notice

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President's Logo

      It was an excellent meeting and presentation April 9, 2011 in Middlebury. I am looking forward to seeing many members at our October meeting in Windsor VT.

Covered bridge rehabilitation projects are active this year. Gifford covered bridge project in East Randolph is well under way. Pulp Mill covered bridge rehabilitation in Middlebury will likely start in November. Spring is a good time to get out and make semiannual bridge site inspection visits.

At the present time the Quinlan covered bridge rehabilitation project is still under the design phase. Also the scope for rehabilitation of the Waitsfield Eddy covered bridge is being developed.

Yours in bridging,
John Weaver, President VCBS


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The Election of Officers.It's Time To Start the Process Again

With this newsletter issue, we begin the process of electing Society officers for two-year terms to begin January 1, 2012.
      Starting now, and with each election year, the election committee will ask for candidates to run for the offices of president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Candidates are asked to tell the membership about themselves and why they are seeking a leadership role. The letters will be published in the fall issue of The Bridger together with the ballot. Voters will return the ballots by November 30, the deadline for the winter issue in which the winners will be announced. The incumbent officers will serve until mid-night, December 31.
      Every member in good standing is entitled to run for office and to vote. This includes the adult members listed on a Family membership and the contact person on a Business or Organization/Municipality membership.
      This is an open organization and all members are encouraged to participate, giving of their time and talent. If you don't want to run for one of the four offices, volunteer to join the board of directors by chairing a standing com-mittee or a Bridge-watch area. Also, please see the "Important Notice" elsewhere in this issue.
      Candidates or volunteers will please contact Joe Nelson, Chairman of the VCBS Board of Directors; or PO Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465.

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Twelfth Annual Spring Meeting of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society
Middlebury, Vermont. April 9, 2011

      The 2011 Spring meeting was held in the Community Room of the Ilsley Library in Middlebury, VT Saturday, April 9, 2011.
      President John Weaver called the meeting to order at approximately 10:10 a.m. with 15 attendees signed in.

Minutes of the Eleventh Annual Fall meeting held in Montpelier, Vermont were not read because all minutes are available in The Bridger and on the VCBS web site.
      A motion was made by David Guay and seconded by Richard Hiscock to accept the minutes as printed in The Bridger. - Motion Passed.

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer, Neil Daniels, reported:
            Income Statement period January 01, 2010 thru December 31, 2010
            Donations . . . . $535.00
            Dues . . . . . . .1,140.00
            Events . . . . . . . 146.50
            Sales . . . . . . . . 9.94
      Total income . . . . .$1,831.44
Directors: grants, and postage $267.95
Communications: postage and printing . . . . . . . 394.32
Crafts committee: postage and purchases . . . . . 151.78
Events: fees, postage and purchases . . . . . . . . 301.10
Membership: member relations and postage . . . 65.48
Fund growth at March 31, 2011 . . . . . . . . $6,004.75
            At April 21, 2010 . . . . $5,002.00
            Added 2011 . . . . . . . . 691.44
      Neil mentions that the Society really has more than one treasurer.. He “deals with the checkbook” and Joe Nelson “runs the books.”

Committee Reports - The following three reports read by Joe Nelson:
Membership Our congratulations to James and Linda Crouse of Fort Wayne, IN and to John Murphy of Medford, MA. They are the winners of the Early Renewal Contest. They each chose the two year free membership for their prizes.
      Since the last semi-annual meeting we have gained five new members. A warm welcome to John Borthwick (I) of Winooski, VT; Dorothy and Stewart Reed (LC) of Bellows Falls, VT; Mark Thompson (B) of Ascutney, VT; and Robert Page (I) of Brattleboro, VT.
      As of April 9, 2011 we have 151 memberships, about half of them Vermonters; the rest from Maine to California and Canada.
Communications Committee: More and more members are electing the PDF version of our newsletter, The Bridger. As of now, forty of the membership of 151 are receiving our e-Bridger.
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/correspondents to bring local covered bridge news to The Bridger. For more information or to sign up, please contact Joe Nelson, at 802.899.2093 or
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
Needed: A volunteer to serve as membership coordinator assisting Membership Committee Chair, Suzanne Daniels. Contact Suzanne at 802.885.5517.
Historical Committee Last fall the VCBS was given a large set of photographs taken between 1991 and 1995 by Marjorie Bettis and Jean Garren, Vermont residents, who traveled extensively throughout New England, New York and Pennsylvania photographing covered Bridges. The collection was donated to VCBS by Jean Garren in memory of Marjorie Bettis.
      The collection comprises 1146, 3 ½ x 4 inch, Kodacolor prints of covered bridges in the New England states, New York, and Pennsylvania taken on some 59 separate trips from on to many days duration. There are multiple photos of most bridges showing the bridges from all angles as well as the surrounding terrain. About half of the collection is photographs of Vermont bridges with a few hundred photographs from New Hampshire and New York. Smaller numbers of photographs represent other states.
      The collection has been processed, a written finding aid made, and is now accessible*. It still remains to catalog the collection for the Library of Congress and to address some preservation/storage issues.
      Bill Carroll, Chair, Historical Committee

*Bill writes for the interest of clarification of the accessibility: “At the present time, I have all our collections in my possession. If anyone is interested in a particular collection, I can send the written finding aid which details the items in the collection, and make arrangements to meet at some convenient place to view the collection. At some future time we hope to get all this stuff on-line.”

Bridge Watch - John Weaver
      Poland Bridge in Cambridge - John reports that this winter he has had a few updates in correspondence from Ron Bechard in Jeffersonville.
      The Poland Bridge damage is being looked into. There has been damage to some inside bracing members as well as curbing damage. He has had no update since February.
      Gifford Bridge in Randolph - The Gifford Bridge is under rehabilitation. A preconstruction meeting was held in February and concrete work on the foundation should begin soon.
      Big Eddy Bridge in Waitsfield - A meeting was held April 1, 2011 in Waitsfield to resolve the problem with the Big Eddy Bridge. The walkway, added in 1942, is attached to the bridge. John reports that nothing was resolved at that meeting; but in May, another meeting will be held to decide what to do about the walkway which is adding one-sided stress to the bridge, dragging it down. A suggestion is to add a separate bridge for the sidewalk.
      Quinlan Bridge in Charlotte - The design concept has been accepted with slight variations of Alternative #1.
Toll House in Windsor, VT - Suzanne Daniels reports that she has owned the Toll House for the past 15 years and wants the Town of Windsor to realize its importance to the history of the Town and the historical aspects of the structure. Inasmuch as many towns in Vermont, including Windsor, will be celebrating the 250th anniversary of Vermont statehood in 2011; she is anticipating opening the Toll House to the public as a part of the historical celebration being planned. She wants to have areas of the house available for information by way of postcards, pictures, maps, etc. about the Cornish-Windsor Bridge, of which the toll House was an integral part. She asks for any ideas for monies which will go to the VCBS or the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center in New York State.
Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center at the Oxford Memorial Library in Oxford, NY
      Joe Nelson reports that Trish Kane has brought to the attention of members of the VCBS that we have been invited to participate in/attend the Grand Opening of the Center on July 2, 2011. John Weaver mentions that the VCBS was invited to have a display; but because it would be about a six hour drive for many, Directors declined to participate officially – encouraging members to attend the event.

Old Business: No old business reported

New Business:
      A meeting site for the fall meeting was discussed and decided that to hold the meeting at the Toll House in Windsor, VT The date is set for October 15, 2011.
An original documen dated March 19, 1862 issued by the Town Treasurer of Northfield, VT “Pay to the order of John Heath, $13.43, for labor and timber for bridge” was presented by Irene Barna. Which Northfield bridge is not declared on the document; but the expenses were incurred in November of 1861. It is noted that the document states “labor and timber for bridge” and does not state that the bridge was covered.
      There was brief discussion as to whether the original document should stay in the archives of the VCBS, be given to the Covered Bridge Museum at the Bennington Center for the Arts, be given to The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center, or be offered to the Northfield Historical Society.
      Bill Caswell moved to offer the original document to the Historical Society of Northfield, VT. The motion was seconded by David Guay. Motion carried. The secretary will contact the Northfield Historical Society offering the document.
      Ed Barna then moved that a thank you be sent to his brother, Joseph Barna, for acquiring the document and donating it to the VCBS. David Guay seconded that motion as well. The motion carried. The secretary will write a thank you note to Joe Barna.
Pulp Mill Bridge in Middlebury/Weybridge: Irene Barna reported that she had inquired at the Middlebury Town Meeting in March about the status of the repair of the Pulp Mill Bridge inasmuch as there had been previous mention that the rehabilitation would begin earlier in the spring of 2011before bats had returned from hibernation.
      The reply from Director of Operations, Dan Werner, was that the bridge was expected to come off-line in November of 2011.
      When questioned about who would be doing the rehabilitation work, John Weaver replied that, for the past few years, the State of Vermont requires pre-qualification's for repair work to covered bridges. Neil Daniels stated that the status of Federal funding for Covered Bridge renovation is unknown. Towns can still apply; but must compete with every other request submitted.
      Irene added an anecdote about a recent conversation she.d had with an acquaintance who lives near the Pulp Mill Bridge and often walks on the adjacent walkway. The friend said she was about to enter the walkway when the bridge made a sound causing her to stop. Immediately thereafter, the bridge dropped a snow-load onto the walkway. Had the bridge not “spoken to her” she might have encountered the snow load - proving that “our covered bridges do talk to us”.

Save-A-Bridge Fund Joe Nelson mentioned that raffle tickets were available the funds of which go to the Save-A-Bridge Fund.

A new book about the covered bridges of Connecticut and Rhode Island was mentioned by Bill Caswell. It is published by Arcadia and has many photographs. In Connecticut, only two bridges remain: one standing and one under construction. In Rhode Island, the last covered bridge disappeared in 1955. New Hampshire news: Bill Caswell mentions that there is no news regarding the bridges in that state.

Timber bridges: A wooden drawbridge in East Chatham, MA crossing the Mitchell River has deteriorated to the point of needing reconstruction. The Town Select board would like to close the bridge. The “Friends of the Mitchell River Bridge” have determined that it is eligible for listing on the National Registry; but that has not deterred those who have supported its replacement with a steel and concrete structure since the1980s. Because it crosses a navigable waterway, the US Coast Guard has gotten involved; that it cannot be closed as the Select board would wish. The Mitchell River Bridge could be the last remaining timber drawbridge in the United States.
Suggestions for covered bridge awareness: A comment was made regarding the placing of cards regarding Vermont's covered bridges in the Visitors Centers within the state. Discussion followed and that the New York Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges had pursued same and learned it to be cost prohibitive.
      A small advertisement for the VCBS in Vermont Life was suggested as a means of bringing attention to the many covered bridges in Vermont and our organization. The logistics of these projects were discussed prompting Joe Nelson to say that there are many members; but few workers.
Vermont History Expo was inquired about by David Guay. With the downturn in the economy, it was decided that the Expo would be held every other year. It will likely be held on the even numbered years.
      The last History Expo was named that of 2010-2011. The VCBS will likely have a booth at the 2012-2013 Expo.
Break for the raffle drawing meeting to reconvene at 11:15 for the speaker. Adjournment was as of 10:50. Proceeds from the raffle and table sales amounted to $21.00.
The speakers: were Raymond & Adrienne Hitchcock who double-teamed with a delightful power-point program about touring Vermont covered bridge by motor cycle. Ray is the editor of the VCBS newsletter, The Bridge, and is the Bridge-watch for the Rockingham Area.
      The fall meeting of the VCBS will be held at 10:00 a.m. on October 15, 2011 at the Toll House in Windsor, Vermont.
      Respectfully submitted; Irene R. Barna, Secretary

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Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center Grand Opening
by Trish Kane
Oxford Memorial Library . circa early 1900's

Come - Join Us! - The tent's been ordered, the speakers have responded, the band is warming up and sunshine has been requested, all in preparation for the grand opening of the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center on Saturday, July 2, 2011. The celebration committee has been very busy over the past few months making plans to celebrate this historic event. Although there is still much to do, here are some of the highlights of the day's activities.
10:00 am - Covered bridge enthusiasts will have the opportunity to learn more about covered bridges and purchase covered bridge memorabilia from the covered bridge organizations in attendance. The Oxford Historical Society will also be on hand to share Oxford's historic history.
      No doubt you will want to stop by and enjoy the Chicken BBQ, sponsored by the Oxford Fire Department. They are well known for their delicious BBQ.d chicken so you will want to arrive early as they sell out extremely fast!!
      The Oxford Community Band will be performing to help us celebrate the event.
10:30 am - Guests will be treated to a special guest appearance by a well known Oxford celebrity which you will not want to miss.
11:00 am - Donna Freeland, President of the New York State Covered Bridge Society will share her knowledge of New York State's Covered Bridges.
12:30 pm - Program and Ribbon Cutting - Special presentations, ribbon cutting and dedication of the Center. Town officials and representatives of various covered bridge societies will offer brief congratulatory remarks. For your comfort, please bring your own lawn chairs to this event.

      Following the program, there will be tours of the Center and a reception in the Community Room of the Library. Area businesses have also joined in the celebration by offering special discount coupons for purchases made the day of the event. If you need overnight accommodations, there is a Super 8 (607-336-8880) and a Howard Johnson (607-334-2200) both in Norwich which is about 4 miles from Oxford. However, reservations should be made early to secure a room as space is limited due to other events taking place that weekend.
      There will be plenty of parking just off the main street in the community parking lot behind The Stadium Sports Bar and Grill. The Library is just a short walk from the parking area. If you need special assistance or handicapped parking, please contact Nancy Wilcox, Library Director at 607- 843-6146 or email her at
      We look forward to seeing you at the celebration!

John Weaver.President
Joseph Nelson.Vice President
Irene Barna . Secretary
Neil Daniels .Treasurer

Bridger Newsletter Staff
Ray Hitchcock . Editor
Joseph Nelson . Staff Writer

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Bridgewatch Logo

Bridge Watch, southeastern Windham County, visited May 2011.
by William Carroll

Hall Bridge, Saxton's River. [45-13-07#2] Very good condition. Truss and lower chords are clean. Deck is clean. No apparent winter damage to the bridge. Road drainage appears to be adequate to keep runoff from the deck, and no vegetation is encroaching on the bridge.
McWilliam Bridge, Grafton. [45-13-E] Clean and appears to be in good condition with adequate drainage. Some floorboards have been replaced, where a little deterioration was appearing last year. There are still overhanging tree branches which probably at times brush the roof.
Kidder Hill Bridge, Grafton. [45-13-03] The ford that was built a year or two ago has been closed, and new guard rails have been installed all along the upstream side. There is a new load limit sign. There appear to be improvements in the drainage on the southern side which should improve the situation of water sheeting into the bridge in heavy storms. The deck was very dirty, covered with sand and gravel, but that is to be expected at the close of mud season.
Creamery Bridge, Brattleboro. [45-13-01] There is still some ongoing work developing the bridge area into a small park. The bridge itself is clean, drainage is good. There are still some slates missing from the western side of the roof, but there is no sign of any leaking.
Green River Bridge, Guilford. [45-13-04] Last year's damage to the western portal and guard rails has been repaired. Drainage is good and vegetation near the portals is controlled. The truss and lower chords are clean, although the deck is thick with muddy gravel and sand. All the roads in the area are still soft, so this is inevitable.

Bridge Watch, Rockingham
by Ray Hitchcock

Worrall Bridge. Photo by Ray Hitchcock May 24, 2011
The new fire alarm system is installed, but no meter.
Worrall Bridge. Photo by Ray Hitchcock May 24, 2011
Fire Alarm - no meter.
Worrall Bridge. Photo by Ray Hitchcock May 24, 2011
Black Tape repairs to dry hydant standpipe.
May 24, 2011- Worrall Bridge [45-13-10] The new fire alarm system is installed - note the absence of a watt-hour meter. My guess is the select board hasn't come to terms with the arrangement where they are to pay the electric bill to protect the million dollar restoration investment.
      The protective guard in front of the standpipe has been damaged but a resourceful Vermonter has repaired it with black tape. Duct tape would have worked better.
      I wanted to check the Bartonsville Bridge [45-13-11] but the road was posted as closed. I Will try to check again later. Highway 103 in Chester is blocked as the highway bridge there is removed. Trucks are supposed to detour through Springfield, but would someone know of this shortcut?
      I Also heard from one of my spies that the Williamsville bridge was damaged by a school bus. I Will have to check on that too!
May 28, 2011 - No problems at Bartonsville. I am pleased but worried. I'm getting jumpy with box trucks and drivers that can't read signs. A detour around the construction on Route 103 leads from Chester down the Green Mountain Turnpike and at a fork could go to the Bartonsville Bridge.
May 30, 201 - You will enjoy this version of Yankee ingenuity! The road closure signs on both ends of the Pleasant Valley Road, say "road restricted to local Traffic - no trucks." It fooled me. There is no road construction going on nor will there likely to be. A piece of black tape covers "closed" on the sign. I surmise that the town road crew is tired of the damage to the Bartonsville bridge and is aware that truckers might try to use this road as a detour around the construction on Route 103. It seems like a reasonable ploy.
      Next project for me will be to contact selectmen and new town manager on the windowsill rot on the Bartonsville Bridge reported last Fall. Water dripping on the chords will lead to expensive repairs. Estimated cost of repairs is less than $500?

For Sale Logo

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 complete with maps, commentary on the uniqueness of each bridge, and historic highlights about the towns and villages in which the bridges stand.
      An appendix provides: A Summary of Vermont's Covered Bridges, listing information on each; A Covered Bridge Glossary, describing the details of a covered bridge; A Bridge Truss section, explaining how trusses work with drawings of the trusses used in Vermont; The Bridge Builders, providing thumbnail biographies of people who designed and built the bridges; A Covered Bridge Reading List, for bridge and history buffs; 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.(Vermont residents add 6% sales tax)
Go to http:// Also see:

World Guide to Covered Bridges - 2009 Edition Published by the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges.
On Sale: $15.00. Profits will go to the Vermont Covered Bridge Society's Save-A-Bridge Program. For your copy send $15.00 plus $4.95 shipping to Joe Nelson, P.O. Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267.

Covered Bridges of New England - DVD Produced by Ocean State Video of Rhode Island for Public Television.
On Sale $20.00. Profits will go to the Vermont covered Bridge Society's Save-A-Bridge Program. For your copy send $20.00 plus $1.88 shipping to Joe Nelson, P.O. Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267.

To place your ad in the Bridger, contact Joe Nelson, The ad must be about covered bridges and you must be a member of a covered bridge society. 

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historical_committee logo

by William Carroll, Chair, Historical Committee

Bridge-at-the-Green, 45-02-01, West Arlington.
      One of the most photographed bridges in Vermont, the Bridge-at-the-Green connects the village of West Arlington (Town of Arlington) to Vt. Rte. 313 on the northerly side of the Batten Kill. The bridge is an 80 foot long lattice truss, built in 1852. Near the bridge in the Batten Kill is a swimming hole, listed as one of the best in Vermont. A sandy beach is also a favorite place for putting in or taking out canoes and kayaks.
      On the south side of the Batten Kill is the extensive open grassy West Arlington Green, with white houses in the distance and open pasture extending up the hillside to the wooded crest of Big Spruce Mountain. Near the south-west corner of the bridge is the white clapboard Chapel-on-the-Green. The bridge has been painted red since the 1950s, and has five equally spaced windows on each side. Norman Rockwell, the noted illustrator, lived in the area from the late 1930s into the 1950s.
      The interior walls of the bridge are lined on both sides with chain link fencing, presumably to prevent jumping or diving into the river from the bridge. Many older photographs of the bridge show broken and missing wall planks, likely knocked out by swimmers or fishermen. There are cables attached to all four corners of the bridge, anchored in stone or concrete. The purpose is to stabilize the bridge during high water or high winds. A story says that shortly after it was built, the bridge was washed from its abutments by high water (another version says high winds were the cause) but remained in use on its side until replaced on the abutments.
      Photographic prints in the VCBS Archives show three generations of exterior treatment of the bridge. The most recent prints show the present bridge, red painted with five equally spaced windows located in the upper half of the bridge sides. Earlier prints show the bridge unpainted, with five equally spaced windows, smaller than present-day windows, located in the lower half of the side. The earliest print shows the unpainted bridge with only a single center window on the side, small and located low. The photographic prints are made from Kodachrome, which was developed in the late 1930s, thus defining the date range of the three exterior treatments.
Vermont Street & Road Atlas. American Maps, 2006.
Covered spans of yesteryear. Nelson, Joseph C., Spanning time, 1997.
Barna, Ed, Covered bridges of Vermont, 2000.
Evans, Benjamin D. and June R. Evans, New England's covered bridges, 2004.
Historic USGS Maps of New England ....,
McDonald, Kristen, Arlington, Vermont.

Bennington County Covered Bridges
      There are five covered bridges in Bennington County, one each in Arlington and Sunderland, and three in Bennington. All are of lattice truss construction, and all are in attractive locations and well maintained. The VCBS Archives has numerous photographs and prints of these five bridges, along with some other information, though there is little or nothing earlier than the late 1940s. There is no information on any of the lost bridges, although there are many. There are also some prints of two romantic shelters, one in Sandgate and a pedestrian bridge in Bennington.

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Letters Logo

May 23, 2011 – Greetings; I am a man with a mission. My g. g. grandfather Larned Coburn built a covered bridge for the Town of East Montpelier c. 1851 on the proviso that the town road would be relocated through it to pass by his house. More importantly, it gave him direct access to his land on the west side of the river opposite his barn. This bridge is still standing over the Winooski River; although there is little of the original bridge remaining.
      My mission: Every reference I have found to this bridge refers to it as aka "Cemetery Bridge.” For example:
      This is incorrect. There was at one time a covered bridge just upstream from the Coburn bridge that carried what was the original town road to Plainfield over the Kingsbury Branch where it joins the Winooski. This road went to the Cate property and past the Cate Cemetery that is on this road. That was the Cemeery Bridge.
      There is still a bridge over the Kingsbury known locally as the "Cate Bridge." What was known in 1850 as the "bridge at Cates" carried the Plainfield road over the Winooski about 150 feet upstream from the confluence of that river and the Kings-bury. That bridge needed rebuilding in 1948 and was the subject of considerable discussion at town meeting. When no agreement was reached, Coburn stepped in and made his offer. The "bridge at Cates" was subsequently abandoned (the abutments remain) and the section of town road that led to it thrown up.
      One curiosity that I can not verify but is amusing to consider: My aunt told me that during one spring's high water the Cemetery Bridge was lifted from its abutments and floated down-stream to pass under the Coburn Bridge and lodge on the river's edge. It was re-floated, towed back upstream and reset on the abutments.
      I doubt it will be possible to ever remove the reference to the "Cemetery bridge" from the numerous places the Coburn Bridge is shown. But I am about to try. Any recommendations?
      If you would like more details on Larned's gift to the town, I would be pleased to supply them.
      Thank you for listening.
      David A. Coburn, 139 Daggett Road, East Montpelier, VT 05651, 802-223-6886

Hi David; We are sharing your letter with our membership. Also, The Bridger goes to the National Society, the New York Society, the Burr Society of Pennsylvania, the Oregon Society, and the Ohio Society. I hope this is a good start for your mission. - Yours in Bridging, Joe Nelson

Hi Joe; I looked up Coburn Bridge in the Board of Geographic Names, U.S. Geological Survey website, and it gives Coburn Covered Bridge as the name. However, it also gives Cemetery Covered Bridge as an alternate name. I'll try to get this fixed when I'm in touch with BGN - Bill Carroll (VCBS Historian)


May 7, 2011 – Dear Sir: Quite some time ago, I attended the Vermont Historical Society Expo up in Tunbridge, and picked up a copy of The Bridger at the VCBS booth. It recently surfaced as I was going through some files, and it reminded me (belatedly!) that I had wanted to contact your group. First question: is membership for a business still $15.00?
      Secondly, would VCBS be interested in partnering with Vermont Magazine in the following fashion: exchanging logos and website links, also in making a Vermont Magazine subscription available to members at a special price? In consideration, we would run a blurb promoting VCBS (September/October, for our fall foliage issue, might be a good time.) It would help spread the word about VCBS.
      As a native Vermonter, I want to be supportive of groups that work to preserve Vermont heritage, and feel that in some way, perhaps Vermont Magazine can contribute as outlined above, without expense to you folks. Please let me know if your group is interested in discussing the concepts I've outlined. Thank you for your consideration.
      Sincerely, Philip R. Jordan, Editor and Publisher

May 19, 2011 - Dear Mr. Jordan: The Vermont Covered Bridge Society would be interested in partnering with Vermont Magazine as set forth in your letter of May 7, 2011.
      I am happy you remembered us from the Vermont Historical Expo in Tunbridge. Our team works hard on our Expo displays.
Yes, our business memberships are still only $15. I am mailing you a copy of our latest newsletter, The Bridger, it contains a membership form, as does our website,
      For further discussion, please contact me at

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In Memoriam Logo

Marjorie Converse passed away in Lyndonville, Vt. on Thursday, May 12, 2011.
      Marjorie was a member of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society, the New York State Covered Bridge Society, and the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania.
      She was predeceased by her husband Francis. The couple always added fun to our get-togethers with their presence. While she could travel, Marjorie never missed a meeting.
      Francis left a memorial having designed the VCBS patch. His initials “FC” adorn it.
      Writes member Janet Corby; “This is so sad. Now she and dear hubby are together again---as they always were. She and Fran was a nice couple. I'll always remember them as having those beautiful covered bridge jackets that they had made.

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Cambridge Junction Bridge WGN 45-08-02
By William McKone, Chair, Cambridge Bridge Watch

May 17, 2011 - I headed up a delegation of several representatives of the local community at the Cambridge select board meeting yesterday evening to express our concerns about protecting the Cambridge Junction Bridge. The bridge was damaged last fall just before being closed to traffic for the winter when a small car jumped the substantial curbing and broke a large brace in the center of the bridge, obviously traveling at a very high speed to do so. (The driver has since been identified and the board is tak-ing action to recover the expenses needed for repairs.
      Although we were prepared to argue just for traffic calming measures (speed tables or similar physical obstacles, since signs are ignored) as we have for a number of years past, the board was receptive to our concerns and solicited our views on closing the bridge to motor vehicle traffic. Since local groups are working to develop recreational facilities at each end of the bridge, safety is a major concern and this solves both problems when we all agreed that the highest value of the bridge is as a cultural heritage artifact, not a transportation link.
      The bridge would be open to non-motorized traffic, although inspection of the damage has raised concerns about the renovation itself which restored the bridge to traffic in 2004
      We were told last night that the bridge is undergoing twisting and loss of camber due to problems at the juncture with the abutments. I was asked to solicit help from the VCBS to work with the state and town to determine whether there are in fact problems and, if so, how they can best be addressed.
      A local contractor opined that the bridge would have to be raised up and adjustments made on each end to correct the problems. Any guidance from the [VCBS] board as to how I should proceed to assist our town selectmen would be appreciated. Unfortunately, as I am heavily engaged [with personal business] I'd like to provide the selectmen with a point of contact in the VCBS who has the expertise to assist them properly. I'll be happy to work with such a person,
      I drove the local group of representatives to the bridge after the select board meeting and we were unable to identify the problem described at the meeting.
      The damage from the car crash is obvious on the down-stream side at the center of the bridge and the curbing has been repeatedly impacted, but to my untrained eye the main trusses are otherwise in good shape.
      One person who inspected the bridge assessed its safe carrying capacity at this time to be no more than 6,000 pounds and the selectmen agreed that no vehicles should be allowed to use the bridge, even after any repairs are made, to avoid further damage to this historic structure. This is good news from both the preservation and the safety aspects; its removal from the road system has no downside as far as I know.

John Weaver, Pres., VCBS responds: I am sure that the town selectboard is aware that they need to contact AOT Structures Section for evaluation assistance. Structures would send out a team of inspectors and engineers to do a detailed evaluation on site. They have all the necessary equipment to do so. The contact persons at AOT are: and
      VCBS and other folks can and will be involved in solutions to the problem(s). However, a thorough site evaluation is needed.

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Membership Logo

by Suzanne Daniels, Membership Committee Chair

Please see the membership report in the Spring Meeting minutes under Committee Reports.

Membership Birthdays and anniversaries:
June - 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.
July - 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.
August - 01 Irene Mele, 03 Joanna Titcomb, 05 Joe Nelson, 08 Evelyn Lovastik, 08 Virginia Eckson, 10 Thomas Carpenter, 17 Euclid & Priscilla Farnham, 18 Ed & Irene Barna, 23 George Conn, 25 Jim & Linda Crouse, 28 Mark Bramhall, 29 Ray & Dolores Gendron, 30 Ada Jeffrey, 30 Robert McPherson, 31 N. David Charkes.

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Notice Logo

Wanted, a newsletter editor traine to ultimately take over the editorship of The Bridger, a key position in the Vermont Covered Bridge Society„s out-reach.

Wanted, reporter/correspondents to bring local covered bridge news to The Bridger. For more information or to sign up, please contact Joe Nelson, Communication Committee Chair,

Volunteer worker-bees are needed by the Events Com-mittee to help set up meetings and assist in hosting them. For details contact Suzanne Daniels, Events Committee Chair: 802.885.5517 or

Needed Volunteer to serve as membership coordinator assisting Membership Committee Chair, Suzanne Daniels. Contact Suzanne at: 802.885.5517

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted 12/04/2011