MEETINGS and EVENTS for 2006
Sunday, October 15 NSPCB Annual Meeting at the French King Restaurant in Millers
The next newsletter is scheduled for January 2007. Therefore, anyone wishing to submit photos,
articles, etc. should send them to Carmela or KC by December 30, 2006. Newspaper or
magazine articles must include source information and details (such as name of publication, date,
etc.). Electronic submissions are preferred. THANK YOU!
A MESSAGE FROM YOUR PRESIDENT
Dear Fellow Members, Greetings!
I find it hard to believe, as I write this message, on Sunday, September 17th, that summer is now, for all
intents and purposes, just about over. Where prey tell did it go?! I realize that as one grows older, time
appears to rush by ever more rapidly, an observation which dates back at least to the days of the Romans!
(Tempus Fugit, i.e., time flies, a sentiment undoubtedly first given voice to in that culture by an aging
Roman!), but still, it doesn’t seem too long ago that I was planting spinach and arugala, and cursing the cold
and the rain. Oh well, such is life.
Before proceeding further, I have some sad news to relate: Edith Hoxie, wife of Lieutenant Colonel Wilbar
M. Hoxie, and a very long term and much respected member of the Society, passed away on the evening of
August 31st / September 1st 2006. Those of you who have attended National Society meetings from time to
time will undoubtedly remember having met Mrs. Hoxie there, and having as well eaten some of her
excellent chocolate cake! For the rest of us who came to know her well over the years, she will be sorely
missed. Her presence graced any gathering, and her sly wit and bright intelligence were a delight for anyone
having had the good fortune to experience them. I hereby extend the Society’s deepest condolences to
Colonel Hoxie, and to various members of Edith Hoxie’s family.
In respect to the Society’s ongoing stabilization and preservation project, to wit, the Contoocook Covered
Railroad Bridge in the village of Contoocook, Hopkinton, New Hampshire, I am very happy to be able to
report that this project is approaching its conclusion. Progress has not occurred as quickly as initially
anticipated, however, nor were the necessary repairs as limited in scope as we had all originally believed
they would be. In fact, much more deterioration was discovered in the upstream corners of the span than
was planned for, and consequently, putting things right at each abutment has turned out to be a fairly
lengthy process. Costs have also correspondingly risen, exceeding the preliminary estimates by
approximately a factor of two. Next quarter, I shall make a full report to members detailing what repairs the
somewhat deteriorated condition of the Contoocook Covered Railroad Bridge has necessitated, how, more
or less, each one of them was affected, and finally, what the whole project has ended up costing us. One
thing is sure: Every one of us should be very proud of what the Society has been able to accomplish at
Contoocook. We ought also to be grateful we have an Eastman-Thomas Fund for Covered Bridge
Preservation. Without this fund, we never could have financed the excellent work Timothy Andrews of
Barns and Bridges of New England has undertaken for us over in Contoocook, work the purpose of which,
remember, is to stabilize and preserve the oldest (1889) remaining Covered Railroad Bridge in the world.
Without the Eastman-Thomas Fund, in other words, the Contoocook Covered Railroad Bridge would likely
have gone a glimmering, as indeed have so many of its brethren during the last fifty years or sixty years.
Bravo Harold Eastman; Brava Evelyn Thomas; bravissimo the many members of the Society who have made contributions to the Eastman-Thomas Covered Bridge Preservation Fund over the years.
David W. Wright
President, National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges, Incorporated
Update on Covered Spans of Yesteryear
by Bill Caswell
This summer I took advantage of the opportunity to get out and visit some bridges. On my first-ever visit to
the Pacific Northwest I was able see all of Oregon's remaining authentic covered bridges along with a
couple in Washington and the one near Keremeos, British Columbia. Thanks to Bill Cockrell of the Oregon
Covered Bridge Society for spending one of those days showing me around the bridges in his area, pointing
out a number of former bridge locations and introducing me to the offerings at the local wine tasting room.
A later trip included visits to a few bridges in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Maryland plus a stop at the
Ohio Historic Bridge Association's annual picnic at the Salt Creek Covered Bridge northeast of Zanesville.
It was a wonderful time of fellowship with people we have been working with during the past year. I'd like
to thank OHBA president David Simmons for offering me a few minutes to talk about the CSOY project
and Miriam Wood for sharing her vast knowledge and expertise on Ohio’s bridges. That trip included a stop
at one of the most recent losses, the West Paden Bridge in Columbia County, PA.
The Smithsonian's traveling exhibit -- Covered Bridges: Spanning the American Landscape will be at the
Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, VT between August 5th and October 15th. Visit their website for
more information -- http://www.montshire.net/. On September 29th, I will be speaking about some of the former
covered bridges of Vermont and New Hampshire. The exhibit travels to Museum in the Park, Chief Logan
State Park, Logan, WV for November and December -- http://www.chiefloganstatepark.com/activities.html
Updates to the website have been continuing although at a slower pace due to the summer excursions.
There have been a number of Pennsylvania and Oregon updates along with a few new pictures from those
areas. To hear about updates as they become available, visit the website and sign up for our mailing list.
In addition to exploring the website, reports from the states and provinces that we have researched are
available at the Covered Bridge Museum in Bennington, Vermont.
If you are interested in offering pictures of the lost bridges in your area and have the ability to scan them,
please contact me. There is still a vast amount of territory to cover and any help will be greatly appreciated.
Email is usually the most effective way to contact me -- firstname.lastname@example.org
West Paden Twin Bridge Loss
I received a forwarded email message this evening from Tom Kipphorn, member of the TBCBSP, with the terrible news of the loss today of the West Paden Twin Bridge, PA-19-12, in Columbia County, PA. Yes, it was just a little over a month ago (May 25, 2006) that many of us gathered there to celebrate the refurbishment of the Twin Bridges & Park. Little did we know that day that it would be short lived. The West Paden Bridge was the Burr truss bridge and the longer of the two twin bridges and the one directly over the channel of Huntington Creek.
As most of you are aware, Pennsylvania and many states in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic region are suffering devastating flooding at the present time. It seems that two nearby cottages in the vicinity of the West Paden Bridge were swept away by the floodwaters and lodged against the bridge causing it to be destroyed as well. Please check out the website www.bentonnews.net/home.htm for a photo of the destruction.
I have not heard of any other covered bridge losses at the present time but I fear more bad news as many of the
streams and rivers have not crested yet. Let's keep our fingers crossed. If you hear of any reports, I'd appreciate to
hear from you. And as always, please feel free to pass this info on to those who I may not have email addresses for.
Damage to the Utica Covered Bridge (20-10-01) in Frederick County, MD. Photo taken June 16, 2006 by Pat and Charlie Tabor.
Help Save the Corbin Covered Bridge in Newport, NH
Call Kathy Butcher for more info 603-863-8588
Update on Covered Bridge Arsonist
This is the latest report concerning Jesse Lee Payne who burnt the Bridgeton Bridge, Jeffries Ford Bridge and
attempted to burn the Mansfield Bridge. According to reports to Parke Circuit Court Judge Sam Swaim, Jesse Payne
could be facing an indefinite commitment to a state mental hospital. A new Comprehension to Stand Trial report
received on July 27 from Dr. Robert Sena at Logansport State Hospital, states that Jesse Payne could remain in a state facility indefinitely. The report states "to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, Jesse Lee Payne remains unable to assist counsel in his defense and attend the legal proceedings."
Payne has been charged with arson of the Bridgeton Covered Bridge, attempted arson of the Mansfield bridge and arson of the Jeffries Ford Bridge. Payne faces 6 to 20 years on each count and the possibility of another 10 to 30 years for habitual offender.
August 4, 2006
Parke County Tourist Information Center
P.O. Box 165
Rockville, In 47872
New York State Covered Bridge Society members that attended the Hyde Hall dedication of a Historical Marker that proclaims that the Hyde Hall Covered Bridge is the Oldest Covered Bridge in the United States. This was on Sept. 9, 2006.
Chattanooga Times Free Press, TN, June 28, 2006. Tellico River Bridge Dedicated. Local businessman, Tom Cormier described the new $1 Million bridge as the longest, single-span, privately built bridge in TN. The bridge only took 6 months to build, and consists of three 32-foot precast concrete arches with 125-foot steel trusses. It stretches more than 220 feet across the river.
High winds on Friday, April 14, 2006 blew off part of the roof of the Mansfield Bridge (14-61-20) in Parke County, IN. Member Roger Grover says he thinks the repairs are probably done by now but he hasn’t been over to check yet.
Recalling that the Jeffries Ford Bridge was destroyed by arson back in 2002 (14-61-03), also in Parke County: the County Council has decided that the replacement will be a concrete bridge. There had been some discussion of a new covered bridge, but it would have had to have been wide enough for farm equipment and other heavy traffic, and
would have cost over $2 million, much more than previously thought. This is twice as much as a concrete bridge.
On Saturday, April 29, 2006, there was a ribbon cutting ceremony for the rededication of the Cataract Covered Bridge in Owen County (14-60-01). A major restoration costing $520K and requiring three years to complete, was designed by engineer Matt Reckard of J.A. Barker Engineering, in Bloomington.
The actual construction of the new Bridgeton Covered Bridge began July 31, 2006. More information and photos are available at www.parkecountyliving.com
Go to the following web address to see some photos of the new covered bridge projects in Union County, Ohio.
http://co.union.oh.us/Engineer/Covered_Bridge/Covered_Bridge.html The world's largest auto factory (Honda) is
located just a couple miles north of the Pottersburg Bridge OH-80-01. The amount of traffic that goes through these
bridges is unbelievable.
CONTRIBUTORS: Roger Grover, Joseph Conwill, Dorothy Brush, Jim Crouse, Brian McKee.
Richard Doody has some great photos on his website. Visit http://www.pbase.com/rpdoody/root&page=all
Robert Damery Obituary: Robert passed away on June 20, 2006. He was a faithful and dedicated covered bridger known to many in several covered bridge societies. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
L.C. Beavan Covered Bridge in Susquehanna County, Pa. (38-58-01). Photo by Ruth Hayes. Dick Wilson tells us that it is a New York Bridge that was moved to Old Mill Village in New Milford. It was washed off its abutments and sits on its side next to the stream; it was another victim of the bad flooding in June.
50th ANNIVERSARY ITEMS
We are very happy to have to offer a couple of items in commemoration of the 50th
Anniversary of the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges.
Tote Bag - Has the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges
emblem in dark blue on front pocket measuring 12 1 /2" by 15 1 /2" with a top snap and 20"
handle straps. Available for $15 including shipping
Ornament -Also has the Society emblem. It's a 3" round glass maroon ornament with
the emblem in gold. Available for $7 including shipping
Pens -Pens have "I love Covered Bridges - N.S.P.C.B." written on them. Available
for $1.25 including shipping.