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The Vermont Covered Bridge Society Newsletter - Winter 2010


President's Column
Eleventh Annual Fall Meeting Of The VCBS
The Vermont Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Plan
VCBS Library
Bridge Watch
In Memoriam - Ed Rhodes
Hyde Hall Covered Bridge - Update
Theodore Burr CB Resource Center
Driving Tour of NY's CBs
Membership Committee
For Sale
Covered Bridge News Notes

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President's Logo

The presentation by Robert McCullough at our October Meeting in Montpelier was quite exceptional: preservation alternatives for covered bridges and the Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Agreement objectives were discussed in detail. Robert is presently a professor at UVM. He has an extensive background in the preservation of historic structures, has served on numerous committees in that regard, and has actively participated in many projects.
      Fortunately a small number of knowledgeable members were also present to contribute to the excellent presentation. I only regret that more mem-bers were not present to participate in these important discussions. I hope to see more of our dedicated membership at our upcoming April 2011 meeting in Middlebury, VT.
      Keep the Bridge-Watch reports coming in. Late fall, before snow gets deep, is one of the best times to evaluate covered bridge structures.

Yours in bridging, John Weaver, President, VCBS

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Montpelier, Vermont October 23, 2010

Fall Meeting, 2010, Kellogg-Hubbard Library
Fall Meeting, 2010, Kellogg-Hubbard Library on Main

The 2010 Annual Fall meeting of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society was held in the meeting room of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library on Main Street in Montpelier, Vermont.

President John Weaver called the meeting to order at 10:22 a.m. with 13 attendees signing in.

Minutes of the Spring All-Member meeting held in Jeffersonville, Vermont, April 27, 2010, were not read because it has been previously voted upon that all minutes are available for reading in The Bridger and on the VCBS web site. A motion was made by Neil Daniels and seconded by Joe Nelson to accept the minutes as published in summer 2010 edition of The Bridger. Motion Passed.

Treasurer's Report as an interim statement was read by Treasurer, Neil Daniels:
      The VCBS is a 501C3 corporation.
      Checking account: $4,825.00
      Save-a-Bridge Fund: $5,280.00
      A motion to accept the treasurer's report was made by Anne Ormsbee and seconded by Joe Nelson. The report was accepted on vote.


Communications Committee: Joe Nelson, Chair
The Communications committee is responsible for publishing the Covered Bridge Society The Bridger.
      For reasons of health, Bridger editor Ray Hitchcock has notified us that he must consider leaving his post. He will continue as long as he can, giving us time to find a new editor. What Ray and Joe hope for is a newsletter editor trainee to ultimately take over the edi-torship of The Bridger, a key position in the Vermont Covered Bridge Society's outreach.
      The qualifications are access to a computer and knowledge of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Publisher or a desire to learn these programs. Place of residence is not a problem, our last editor lived in California and worked from there, communicating by e-mail. If anyone is interested in taking the post of newsletter editor, please contact Joe Nelson. We also want reporter/correspondents to bring local covered bridge news to The Bridger editor. For more information or to sign up, please contact Joe at or 802.899.2093.
Events Committee: Suzanne Daniels, Chair Report also read by Joe Nelson in the absence of Suzanne: The Annual Spring Meeting is slated for April 9, 2011 in Middlebury, VT at the Ilsley Public library Community Room on the lower level. The speaker is yet to be selected. Irene Barna is making arrangements. Further details will be published in the subsequent issues of The Bridger.
      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 at 802.885.5517 or
Membership Committee: Suzanne Daniels, Chair Report read by Joe Nelson in the absence of Suzanne: The Vermont Covered Bridge Society membership stands at 145 with 19 memberships in arrears. We have gained four new members since the turn of the year: Angela Wilson of Austin, TX; Cheryl Cullick of Bellville, KY; Aime Cloutier of Derby, VT; and George and Susan Harrington of Provo, UT. Welcome all.
      A volunteer is needed to serve as Membership Coordinator assisting the Membership Committee Chair, Suzanne Daniels. Contact Suzanne at 802.885.5517 or
Historical Committee: Bill Carroll, Chair
      Bill reports that he continues to go through the a-chives to catalog Vermont Covered Bridge Society materials and update the information for the Library of Congress data base.
      Addison County is complete accounting for existing bridges and two lost bridges.
      Bennington County is almost complete archiving existing and lost bridges.
      History portions of the cataloguing have appeared in issues of The Bridger. Bill explained that starts for information are obtained from Town Public Works Departments and from local Historical Societies.
Library Committee: Warren Tripp, librarian
Warren mentions that his report is published in editions of The Bridger.
Bridge Watch: John Weaver, coordinator
Williamsville: Ray Hitchcock reports that the Williamsville Bridge replacement (emphasis: Not Reconstructed) has been completed and that the Worrall Bridge has been rehabilitated. Joe mentioned that Ray does most of his reconnaissance from his motorcycle and that he has furnished many photos published in The Bridger.
Danville and Warren bridges have also had some recent work done.
Pulp Mill: Irene Barna reports that there has been evidence that bats have roosted in the rafters of the Pulp Mill Bridge in Middlebury/Weybridge which could possibly delay the bridge rehabilitation project to begin in 2011 construction year. It is hoped that contracts could be signed and the job started earlier than planned prior to the bats' return from hibernation. Bat houses are being considered for alternative roosting in the nearby area.
Irene also read the following information:
"from the Middlebury Register of December 29, 1852
Proposals will be received by the undersigned for building a covered bridge over the Otter Creek, at Paper Mill Village. Said bridge is to be 176 feet between the abutments. Proposals are solicited for the different styles, with prices of each, and should be sent in by the 15th of January. Middlebury Dec. 28, 1852
(signed) Calvin Hill for Selectmen of Middlebury; Samuel O. Wright for Selectmen of Weybridge"

      Correction: The location of the "Vermont Bridge" mentioned in history was corrected by Irene Barna. The location was incorrectly indicated to be at the site of the Halpin Bridge; whereas the so-called Vermont Bridge, as indicated on historical maps, actually was located on River Road in New Haven near the site of the Old Nash Farm. Only one historical map researched named the Vermont Bridge as such and located it on River Road (crossing the New Haven River). Most maps gave no name at that crossing.
      The Annual Spring meeting of the VCBS will be held at 10:00 a.m. April 09, 2011 in Middlebury, Vermont in the Meeting Room on the lower level of the Ilsley Public Library. This will be the third time the VCBS has met in the Ilsley Library and it is recommended that parking be in the lower lot in order as there is a two hour time limit in the lot immediately adjacent to the rear of the library.
      Irene mentions the new traffic configuration in down-town Middlebury. Because the site for the Annual Spring meeting is at the Ilsley Public Library in downtown Middlebury; Irene Barna stressed that since the last time the VCBS met in Middlebury in March of 2008, that section of downtown Middlebury is entirely different from what it was in 2008! Now there is a new pre-stressed concrete bridge crossing Otter Creek where no bridge had existed before. The former entrance to the parking lot at the rear of the library (the lot VCBS will use to enter the meeting room) is now at the immediate west of the end of the new bridge and a landscaped round-about is a few feet further west at the nearby intersection (in front of Two Brothers Tavern). A site map will be provided in the Spring Bridger.
      The new traffic configuration is almost at the doorstep of the Ilsley Library.
      Mentioned in The Bridger was that the Hyde Hall Covered Bridge in New York State has a new roof. Trish will provide further information in a future Bridger.

OLD BUSINESS: No old business was reported.

      A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Joe Nelson and seconded by Bill Caswell. Adjournment was at 10:40 a.m. in order to hear an excellent presentation by Bob McCullough, author of Crossings, A History of Vermont Bridges* a 2005 book written about the history of bridges in Vermont.
*Vermont's nationally recognized bridge preservation program encompasses the long history of innovative bridge building in the state. Crossings tells the story of Vermont's bridges, bridge builders, and bridge preservation programs from the early 19th century to the present. Beautifully illustrated with nearly 400 stunning and revealing photographs. Contains a complete inventory of bridges in Vermont. 374 pp. (from the pages of the Vermont Historical Society)
      The speaker presented the topic "Preservation Treatment 4 in the Vermont Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Plan: Co-functional, reversible, secondary structural systems employing glu-laminated girders" -- the goal being to engage in dialogue about what are sometimes very difficult choices. For example, he would have been much happier with that solution on the Williamsville Covered Bridge rather than the complete re-construction which evolved.
      Bob McCullough, the 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.
       - Respectfully Submitted, Irene Barna, Secretary

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The Vermont Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Plan

Priority of Treatment No. 4: "Co-Functional, Reversible Glu-Laminated-Girder Secondary Structural Systems"
By Robert McCullough*

      When the Agency of Transportation's Vermont Historic Bridge Program was established in 1998, the program called for the development of preservation plans for each type of historic bridge. Towns owning historic bridges identified by any preservation plan are entitled to enroll those bridges in the program. As a financial incentive to encourage towns to do so, the state legislature enacted a bill that eliminates the town's share of any costs for future rehabilitation of a bridge that is enrolled in the program. In return, those towns convey a preservation easement to the bridge program agreeing to preserve the bridge for highway use in perpetuity. Stewardship of these bridges is achieved through a state/town partner-ship, with towns conducting routine maintenance, drainage and cleaning.
The process of writing the Historic Covered Bridge Preservation plan began soon after the Historic Bridge Program was created. A special committee was established, and its members include transportation agency engineers, the VTRANS Historic Preservation Officer, and representatives from the SHPO. Discussions continued for several years until the plan acquired final form in 2003. During that interim period, drafts of the plan were tested by application to specific bridge projects. Although the plan is comprehensive in its approach, two parts of the plan are especially important. One outlines the plans objectives:

  • Preserve historic materials to the maximum extent possible;
  • Preserve historic structural integrity to the maximum extent possible;
  • Continue to use historic covered bridges as part of the state's network of roads, to the maximum extent possible.
      Should the plan be modified at some point in the future, we could probably add two more objectives, namely the preservation of historic visual integrity and integrity of original location.
      The second crucial part of the plan is titled Priority of Treatments, and it explains ten acceptable preservation treatments for covered bridges, in order of priority, and four acceptable treatments for substructures. Each treatment must be shown to be unworkable before the next treatment in order of priority may be considered. All covered bridge projects are reviewed in this manner; the committee makes decisions by consensus if at all possible; and committee meetings include officials from the towns that own the bridges as well as members of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society.
      The first four treatments are the ones that I will review here, but it's the fourth that has generated debate and will be considered in the context of two projects, one that adopted the treatment, and one that did not.
  1. Retain and repair all existing historic materials that have not deteriorated beyond the point of repair. This treatment should be applied to each member individually, and the deterioration of large number of bridge elements is not justification for replacing any individual member that has not deteriorated beyond the point of repair.
  2. Replace existing materials in kind, meaning identical in species, quality, and dimensions to the maximum extent feasible, or restore original materials and design.
  3. Apply historic methods of strengthening such as the application of sister lattices in Town lattice truss bridges.
  4. Introduce glu-laminated beams (girders) as a co-functional, reversible secondary structural system. The beams must be designed to work in conjunction with the historic structural system to achieve the required load capacity. And especially important, the historic structural system must be restored according to Preservation Treatment 1 or 2.

Union Village Bridge
      For the first two years of preliminary discussion about the plan, Treatment 4 was near the bottom of the list for appropriate preservation methods. However, when we tried to apply the plan to one specific bridge project, the Union Village Covered Bridge, we were confronted by several intractable constraints, and as a result we began to look more closely at the introduction of a secondary structural system that functioned in conjunction with the existing structural system.

Constraint No. 1: Bridge Design. The bridge, built in 1867 as a multiple king-post truss to a length of 111 feet was later modified by the addition of two inclined chords that meet at the upper chords of each truss at center-span. The structural function of those additional chords, whether more similar to an arch than to a truss, is un-clear. Moreover, connections to the existing truss are poorly designed. Engineering analysis calculated the load capacity of the floor system, as designed, at 18,000 pounds and that of the trusses, as designed, at 8,000 pounds. The desirable load capacity is 40,000 pounds.
Constraint No. 2: Materials. Unlike many of Vermont's covered bridges, the Union Village Covered Bridge retained much of its 19th century material integrity.
Constraint No. 3: Highway. The town road on which the bridge is located is an important connector to two state highways and is used by school buses and emergency vehicles. Alternative routes add substantial mileage and time, a special concern for emergency vehicles.
Constraint No. 4: Site. The immediate site offers no op-portunity to construct a new bridge on a different alignment, and opportunities for a bypass in the general vicinity of the village are both limited and costly. In addition, taking the bridge off the highway system would defeat one of the plan's principal goals, namely to preserve his-toric functional integrity.
Constraint No. 5: Relocation. Relocating the bridge to another site would destroy its historic integrity of location. In addition, it would be essential to find another site where the bridge could continue functioning as part of a highway system, making it eligible for continued highway funding. If not, historic functional integrity would be lost, and the loss of historic structural and material integrity would also become inevitable as the bridge deteriorated.
Constraint No. 6: Rehabilitation. Efforts to rehabilitate the bridge and increase its load capacity would require substantial modification to the historic structural system and would necessitate extensive replacement of historic materials, thus defeating the two other principal goals - preserving historic structural and material integrity.
Constraint No. 7: Reinforcement. The introduction of secondary structural systems compromises historic structural integrity and may also compromise historic visual integrity, as where large girders conceal existing structural systems or change exterior appearance. Even traditional methods of reinforcing - the introduction of laminated arch systems or sister lattices for Town lattice truss bridges, can change the visual integrity of bridges.
Constraint No. 8: Ownership. All of Vermont's historic covered bridges are owned by towns, and state legislation gives those towns considerable authority regarding decisions about bridge projects.
Solution at Union Village: Admittedly, the large glu-laminated girders at Union Village compromise the historic structural integrity of the bridge. The historic truss system no longer supports the loads it was built to carry, and the bridge's appearance has also been altered. Mitigating those losses are the following, but whether they are adequate is the subject of continuing discussion, a dialogue that I hope you will join.

  • The historic structural system does carry its own weight and that of the roof.
  • The glu-laminated girders are intended to func-tion in conjunction with the existing truss system, carrying loads in a manner that is more con-sistent with the function of the timber trusses than steel beams would be, thus protecting the existing structural system to a greater degree.
  • The historic bridge remains in its original location.
  • The historic truss system has been rehabilitated without loss of historic materials.
  • The glu-laminated girders can be removed in the future should a better alternative occur.

Williamsville Covered Bridge, Newfane, Vermont
      Similarly vexing questions surrounded another bridge project, recently completed, in the village of Williamsville, which is in Newfane. That bridge, a Town lattice truss, was built in 1859 by D.B. Lamson. It, too, is located on a busy road used by heavy emergency vehicles and school buses, and no convenient alternative routes are located nearby.
      As originally designed, the bridge's 118-foot Town lattice truss proved inadequate for the weight of these vehicles. Many of its timber components were comparatively small when measured against other bridges of this design and span length. Moreover, many modifications had been introduced over the years to strengthen the structure, including numerous sister lattice planks. At one point, the original timber floor beams had been replaced with steel I-beams, which were eventually removed in 1979. That year, the lower five feet of all lattice planks were severed from each truss lattice and replaced with seven-foot segments spliced to the remaining lattice with bolts. Upper and lower bottom chords were also replaced, but with chords spliced by bolts. Unfortunately, the modified lattice components lacked sufficient rigidity, creating a systemic weakness in the trusses. By 1998, the truss lattice and top chords revealed wracking, bowing, and negative camber, indicating that the entire structure had begun to fail. As a temporary means for keeping the bridge open to traffic, engineers installed two, very large glu-laminated girders inside the structure that year, one on each side of the single travel lane.
      In 2001, the Vermont Historic Covered Bridge Committee began discussions about the best method for preserving the bridge and turned to Treatment No. 3, which allows historic methods of strengthening. The committee initially approved a plan to restore the bridge to its original design, replacing deteriorated components in kind, and then adding a new, lattice truss to the outside of each existing truss. Committee members recognized the experimental nature of this proposal but justified its potential compromise to the bridge's structural and visual integrity, reasoning that engineers would be able to test the way the structure functioned and thus evaluate its applicability at other sites. However, committee members eventually rejected this plan due principally to the resulting visual compromises to the bridge and because so many of the bridge's existing components would require replacement in any event.
      Recognizing that almost all of the bridge's structural components would require replacement, the committee elected to reconstruct the entire bridge and to modify the original design only to the extent required to carry emergency vehicles. The reconstructed bridge standing today differs only slightly from what engineers and historians believe was the original truss design.
      The overall bridge width increased by a total of approximately eight inches and bridge height (from upper top chords to lower bottom chords) decreased by two-and-one-half inches.       The paired sets of planks, four each for upper and lower top chords and for upper bottom chords, were increased in depth by one-half inch.
      The sets of four planks for the lower bottom chords were replaced by sets of two glu-laminated beams, six-and-three-quarters inches by twelve-and-three-eighths inches, one on each side of the truss web.
      The dimensions of the original floor beams are not known, but those installed in 1979, to replace steel I-beams, measured twelve-inches-by-eighteen inches set at four-foot intervals, center to center, and may have been larger than the original floor beams. However, many of the 1979 floor beams were replaced with glu-laminated beams in 1998 when the temporary glu-laminated girders were installed. The glu-laminated floor beams used in the reconstruction, ten-and-one-half-inches by fifteen-and-one-eighth-inches set at four-foot intervals, are slightly smaller than the floor beams used in 1979.
      The lattice planks of the trusses are identical in dimension to those used in the original design, fifteen-feet by ten-and-three-quarter-inches by three-inches.
      As a means of mitigating the loss of the historic bridge, a large interpretive display has been prepared and will be placed adjacent to the new bridge. It explains the history of the bridge, includes a collection of historic photographs, and explains the decision by the covered bridge committee to reconstruct the bridge.
      Query: Is this a better solution than placing large glu-laminated girders beneath the bridge and restoring the bridge's historic structural system to its precise original design?
      *This article is a summary of the talk given by the author at the VCBS Fall Meeting.

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Book Logo

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, or Joe Nelson at for a PDF copy.

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Bridgewatch Logo

Bartonsville Bridge, WGN 45-13-11

Date: November 15, 2010
To: Francis Walsh, Town manager, Bellows Falls, Vermont 05101

Bartonsville Bridge. Photo by Ray Hitchcock ovember, 2010
Damaged window sill Worn running plank Bartonsville Bridge-Photo by Ray Hitchcock Nov 2010

Dear Sirs:
      Attached please find this year's bridge inspec-tion report from the Vermont Covered Bridge Society.
      We were pleased to note the new road signs with height and weight restrictions, the repair to the south entrance portal siding, and the brushing around the footings.
      There are some regular maintenance items needing attention and some priority repairs to the window sills. We found that the window sills were rotted through in places enough to let moisture inside of the siding and on the bottom chord.
      Also the floor running boards on the south portal are in rough shape and could soon cause damage to tires
      Brush around the footings has become well established and is difficult to remove manually. Would there be a chemical treatment that would work safely?
      The bridge and drainage system could use a cleaning with an air compressor as noted in the report.
      Thank you for the progress noted on the Bartonsville Bridge.
      Sincerely, Raymond B. Hitchcock, Vermont Covered Bridge Society

Victoria Kissing Bridge - WGN 45-13-23

Bridge Watch Checklist - 10/12/2010
Victoria/Kissing Bridge Sign. Photo by Ray Hitchcock, November, 2010
Victoria/Kissing Bridge Sign

Bridge Watch Checklist - 10/12/2010 The following check list was sent to the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham, VT:
1) Bridge components are free of accumulated dirt and debris. Some gravel wash on deck at entrance and along bottom chord at west portal
2) Drainage areas are free of debris. Run-off from deck drains and approaches is kept away from bridge elements below.
3) Small trees and shrubs are kept clear of substructure and bridge superstructure.
4) River channels beneath bridges are clear of major debris.
5) Proper load posting and advance warning signs are maintained and visible. Noted attractive new signs with weight and height restrictions on both portals.
6) Roof system is maintained and watertight. Metal roof.
7) Siding is repaired, replaced and maintained. Two loose siding boards, one SE side and a broken board on the NW side. A few nails and 15 minute repair.
8) Excessive snow accumulation is removed.
9) Roadway approaches are smooth and maintained. Water washes gravel onto bridge, and a few floor spikes need to be driven down.
10) Approach railings are reasonably straight, continuous and maintained.

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In Memoriam Logo

Edward C. Rhodes, 62, of Stowe died at his home June 16, 2010

      Ed was one of the original members of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society Board of Directors where he seldom missed a directors meeting vote. He was the VCBS Bridge Watch Chairman for the Morrisville/Stowe area and served as a tour guide of the cov-ered bridges in his charge. His favorite subject was the Gold Brook Bridge, also known as the haunted Emily's Bridge, sharing Emily's story with his tour patrons.
      Ed had close ties with the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe and arranged for the VCBS Third All-member Spring Meeting there in June 2002, and a very successful and memorable meeting it was. Ed Rhodes will be missed by his friends in the Vermont Covered Bridge Society, but there was much more to Ed than we knew. This from his obituary in the Stowe Reporter:
      He was born March 15, 1948, son of Madene (Chamberlin) and Gordon Rhodes, grew up in the Ne-braska Valley section of Stowe, and lived in Stowe all his life. He was proud to say he was a true native, tracing his family to the first settlers of Stowe and Mansfield.
      Edward was a member of many community organizations . . . including Stowe Community Church; Mystic Masonic Lodge 56, where he served as secretary for many years; Barre Council 22; Mt. Zion 9 Knight Templar; Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Montpelier; Sickle chapter, Order of Eastern Star, where he was past patron and chaplain; Donald McMahon American Legion Post 34, where he was past commander and chaplain; and Morrisville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9653.
      He was past president of the Stowe Historical Society; a volunteer at the Helen Day Art Center. . . and active with Stowe Elementary School.
      Edward lived his life to the fullest and was happiest when he was telling stories of early Stowe to visitors or anyone who would listen. He loved life, his family, his friends - and elephants . . . He took pride in being able to show many visitors around his hometown as a very knowledgeable tour guide.       Edward served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970, serving one tour of duty in Vietnam with the First Infantry Division.
      Joseph Nelson, VP, VCBS

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Letters Logo

Riverside Covered Bridge from postcard
Postcard Church or Riverside Covered Bridge, Underhill Vermont
10/30/2010 - I bought this photo at a postcard show. The only writing on the back is Underhill VT Could you identify the bridge? Thank You, G. Robert Salvi, VCBS member

Mr. Salvi - The house and barn in the left background still stand, formerly the Irish Family Homestead. The roadway is VT Route 15. The bridge crosses the Browns River at the village of Underhill Flats in Jericho. According to Bill Caswell's, it is the Church or Riverside Bridge, 45-04-18x built in 1872, lost in 1933. The lost bridges entry has three photos of the bridge but not this one.
Yours in Bridging, Joe Nelson

10/2/2010 - I read with interest the information on the [upcoming] fall meeting. I have another obligation that day, so I won't be able to attend. The speaker sounds particularly interesting and I'm sorry to miss the event.
      I do have one thing to point out regarding the field trip that may interest people visiting the site. Between the two bridges on Cox Brook in Northfield, there is a cascade. Until 2008, there was a concrete dam at the top of the cascade that had been built back in the 1930s or 1940s but was no longer serving a useful purpose. The dam was removed in September 2008 to restore the ecological integrity of the brook. The primary driver was to allow trout access to upstream spawning habitat, but the dam removal also restored natural downstream sediment transport and eliminated a public safety problem. The project was a joint effort of the owner, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (my agency), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Trout Unlimited. One of the factors considered during the design of the project was whether the removal would affect stream dynamics in a way that would affect either bridge. Our modeling showed that it wouldn't, and monitoring conducted in the last two years bears that out.
      This is one of several dam removals that have taken place in the last few years in Vermont, and other similar projects are in the works. - Brian T. Fitzgerald

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Notice Logo

Wanted, a newsletter editor trainee 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 >i>The Bridger. 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 Com-mittee 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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Historic Hyde Hall Covered Bridge - Update
by Bob & Trish Kane

NY-39-01 - Hyde Hall Thanks to Rich Sheckells, Glimmerglass State Park Manager, for providing the following update on the Hyde Hall Covered Bridge.       This past spring, $225.00 was spent to replace the cedar ridge boards. Since then there have been no leaks. This season I was able to spend $4,449.20 to purchase shingles for the roof. This was the lowest of three quotes from three vendors. They are matching 18" Blue Label #1 quality cedar shingles with a "B" rated fire treatment. Our goal is to complete the new roof in the spring.
      New York State budget cuts continue and have been fast and furious not leaving much money to work with this year, and it will be even less next year. Outside funding and/or possible grant money is still needed in order for the roof to be fully repaired. Anyone wishing to donate monies should direct their donation to: Richard Sheckells, Park Manager, Glimmerglass State Park, 1527 County Highway 31, Cooperstown, NY 13326. Your donation will be put into the Natural Heritage Trust account that is earmarked for the covered bridge roof material. Rich hopes to be able to coordinate the labor as a combined effort between Glimmerglass employees and the regional restoration/rehab crew. If you are able, please consider a donation to this worthy cause and help preserve this historic landmark.
      NOTE: Again, a very special thanks to the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges for their generous donation to help repair the roof on the Hyde Hall Covered Bridge. It is very much appreciated.

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Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center - Exciting News!!
by Bob & Trish Kane
It has been a while since we updated you on the progress of the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center and we have some very exciting news to share with you.
      First, the room has been completely painted including the ceiling and floor. The secure room where the photographs, slides and postcards will be stored is also completed. And the third week in November saw the installation of six beautifully hand crafted, solid oak book-shelves. The room looks very nice and it will be exciting to watch the center expand as we begin to move donated collections into the center in December.
      But, wait! We have even more exciting news! A generous benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has designed a matching gift program specifically for the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center. They will match any monetary gift donated to the center before December 31st up to $3,500. You can even donate a gift in memory of a friend or loved one. And donors gifting $1,000 or more will have their name prominently displayed on our donor's plaque. This is a wonderful opportunity for the center and Covered Bridge Enthusiasts to have their gift doubled. Keep in mind all gifts are tax deductible for 2010 but in order for your gift to be matched by the program, the check needs to be dated no later than December 31st.
      We are extremely grateful to this benefactor for assisting us in this endeavor and we hope you will seriously consider a monetary gift to the center and assist us in this matching gift program. Whatever amount you can afford will be most appreciated and to put to good use. To donate, make your check payable to the Oxford Memorial Library and put TBCBRC in the memo line on your check. Then, mail your gift directly to the Oxford Memorial Library, PO Box 552, Oxford, NY 13830.

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The Driving Tour of New York's Covered Bridges
by Bob & Trish Kane
Would you like to see New York's Covered Bridges in the comfort of your own automobile? Well, now that journey is much easier. The Driving Tour of New York's Covered Bridges is now complete and is available to the public. The full color tour includes turn by turn driving instructions, statistics and color photos of each bridge along with a brief history (including some scans of old photos/postcards) of each of New York's 33 covered bridges. For more information, contact Bob and Trish Kane @ or call 607-674-9656.

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Membership Logo

By Suzanne Daniels, Chair, Membership Committee
      Please join me in welcoming new member John Murphy of Medford, MA to our group. A warm welcome to you!

2010 Early Renewal Contest
      We are pleased to be able to once again offer our Early Renewal Contest. This contest has been a huge success in the past and helps the Society in many ways. Paying your membership fees before the December 31 deadline not only qualifies you for a chance to win a nice gift, but gives the society the funds it needs going in to the new year.
      Here are the prizes for this year's contest: Two year free membership to the VCBS or a signed copy of Spanning Time, Vermont's Covered Bridges by Joe Nelson, or the cash equivelent. To be eligible for this year's contest, there are two things you need to do:
1) Pay your membership dues before December 31, 2010. (Please note that if your 2010 membership has been paid in advance of this date, or if you are a life member, your name will automatically be entered into the drawing.)
2) Complete the membership form in this issue of the newsletter and return it with your check made payable to the VCBS no later than December 31st. The mailing address is: VCBS, PO Box 97, Jeffersonville, VT 05464-0097. Winners will be announced in the spring issue of our newsletter.

Membership Birthdays and anniversaries
December 01 Terry and Jane Shaw
06 Priscilla O'Reilly
20 Ben and June Evans
20 Lyn Whiston
23 Ed Barna
24 Tina Conn
24 Dave and Marikka Guay
25 Ann Ovitt
26 Virginia Brackett
27 Steve and Susan Miyamoto
27 Dan Brock
28 Anthony and Pat Daniels
30 Gloria Davis
31 Jan Bramhall
31 Ben Evans
4 Marclay and Thomas Davis
12 Ray Hitchcock
12 Jim Patch
15 Dan Castellini
23 Ray & Adriene Hitchcock
29 Bill Jeffrey
2 Bill Caswell
7 Richard (Rick) Cyphers
12 Joe and Ruth Nelson
14 George and Tina Conn
14 Richard Howrigan
12 Robert Cassidy
21 George Longenecker
21 Jean Carrington
24 Tina & George Conn
24 Marge Converse
24 John Weaver
26 David Guay

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Events Logo

The Annual Spring meeting of the VCBS will be held at 10:00 a.m. April 09, 2011 in Middlebury, Vermont in the Meeting Room on the lower level of the Ilsley Public Library. Further details will be published in the spring issue of this newsletter.       For important comments on parking and changes to traffic patterns since the construction of the rotary in Middlebury, go to New Business in the Fall Meeting minutes in this issue.

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For Sale Logo

Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridge,
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 are found.

An appendix provides: A Summary of Vermont's Cov-ered 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: http:// Also see:

World Guide to Covered Bridges - 2009 Edition

Published by the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges

For Sale: $15.00 Profits will go to the Vermont Covered Bridge Society's Save-A-Bridge Program. For your copy send $15.00 plus $2.77 for Media Mail 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.

For Sale: $20.00. Profits will go to the Vermont Covered Bridge Society?s Save-A-Bridge Program. For your copy send $20.00 plus $1.73 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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Neglect and Damage to Oregon Covered Bridge
WGN 37-15-02

Jackson County, OR, 11/15/2010 - Upper Rogue Ind. - Damage, Graffiti, cigarettes, and "perhaps Marijuana", have been found in the covered bridge in Eagle Point.
      "The bridge was moved to Eagle Point a number of years ago to provide a safe passage across the creek for school children, keeping them away from vehicles. And, its secondary purpose was to be a tourist attraction: something the community could be proud of."
      The writer asks for help in making repairs and for patrolling the bridge. The bridge is apparently the span moved from an Antelope Creek location to the current one over Little Butte Creek. The 58-foot Antelope Creek bridge was built in 1922 using a queenpost truss.
      [Our thanks to Tom Keating for forwarding the story - Ed.]

Rushville's Newest Covered Bridge

Rushville,IN, October 22, 2010 - Rushville Republican - One of the foot bridges spanning Hodges' Branch in Rushville's South Veterans Memorial Park is getting replaced through the ingenuity and elbow grease of city employees with a quaint covered bridge. Rusted I-beams on the old bridge making it no longer safe prompted the new bridge.
      [Our thanks to Jim Crouse for forwarding this story-Ed.]

Gilbertville Covered Bridge Reopening Celebrated
WGN 21-08-04/21-14-01

Hardwick, MA, October 25, 2010 - Telegram & Gazette - State and local officials are celebrating the reopening of the Gilbertville Covered Bridge, also known as the Hardwick-Ware Covered Bridge, one of Massachusetts' last remaining covered bridges.
      [Our thanks to Tom Keating for forwarding this story - Ed.]

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted 04/17/2011