October - November - December - Fall 2007
National Society for the preservation of Covered Bridges
Sunday, October 28 NSPCB Annual Meeting at the French King Restaurant in Millers Falls, MA
KC and I have been putting together this newsletter for six years. Now it's time to step down. For the next
two issues, Joseph Conwill has agreed to take over the position. Joseph has been writing the other NSPCB
publication, TOPICS, so he will certainly be a busy guy for the next six months. Please send him any items
for the newsletter beginning immediately. Joseph does not have email at this time. His contact information
If you are interested in getting on a mailing list for information concerning the dates and times of the meetings, send your e-mail addresses to Dickroycb1@verizon.net. If there are major changes they will be distributed on the e-mail.
The society would like to acknowledge your special occasions with a card. When you renew your membership please include your birthday, anniversary, and any other dates that you might think appropriate.
NAME _________________________ BIRTHDAY _________________________ ANNIVERSARY _________________________ EMAIL ADDRESS___________________________________________________________ To be used for N.S.P.C.B., INC business only (please respect request) We would also like to hear any concerns, ideas or questions you may have for the newsletter. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________
Dear Fellow Members, Greetings!
By the time you receive this President's Message, the Covered Bridge visiting season will fast be drawing to a close. I do hope that all of you have had pleasant summers, pleasant summers punctuated by visits to one or another of our beloved Covered Spans.
Mariann Cohen: Alas, it is once again my sad duty to announce the death of a cherished member of the National Society. Mariann Cohen, wife of Joseph Cohen, passed away after a brief illness on Monday, August 13th. Mrs. Cohen was a delightful woman whose company was much appreciated by all who had the good fortune to get to know her. She was a kind and generous host who for many years had regularly opened her home for National Society Executive Board meetings. Society officers who attended these meetings will long remember the delicious meals which she so willingly prepared for us on each occasion. Mrs. Cohen was of immense help to the Society in many other ways, and was invariable amenable to taking on a Society project whenever one turned up at her door. Needless to say, but I shall say it anyhow, Mariann Cohen will be sorely missed by her many friends, and of course, most especially by her family. The National Society hereby extends its deepest sympathies to Joseph, and to Joseph and Mariann's children.
The Annual Meeting, Sunday, October 28th 2007: Though hard to believe, it is once again the time of the annual Meeting. This year, our guest speaker will be Ronald G. Knapp, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geography at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Professor Knapp's subject will be Chinese Covered Wooden Bridges. According to Professor Knapp, there may be as many as 3,000 of these structures still standing, the vast majority of them as yet uninventoried. Dr. Knapp has sent along the following brief description of his talk:
"Rainbows and Centipedes: 20th Century Discoveries of 'Lost' Bridges in China"
Important archaeological and architectural sites continue to be discovered in China, some found below ground, but many others used regularly by local folk, but unknown to the world beyond. Among the most interesting recent 'discoveries' are hundreds of covered bridges, most constructed using an ingenious 'woven timber' framework once thought to have been lost in the 12th century. These 'woven timber' framework covered bridges join a yet uninventoried collection of perhaps 3,000 covered bridges found throughout the country.
As part and parcel of this talk, Ron Knapp is planning to make a visual presentation of some of the Chinese Covered Bridge material he has gathered over the past 25 years or so, a visual presentation making use of an LCD projector and Power-Point slides.
Dr. Knapp is of course an old China hand, his first field research having been conducted on the Island of Taiwan in 1965 and 1966; moreover, though Dr. Knapp has lived and traveled widely in East and Southeast Asia, since 1977, he has spent most of his time in that part of the world in the rural areas of Mainland China.
Professor Knapp is the author of 14 books and numerous articles on various aspect of China's cultural and historical geography, including walled cities, bridges, villages, and vernacular architecture. His two most recent works are Chinese Bridges: Architecture Over Water Chinese (to be published next spring), and Chinese Dwellings: The Architectural History of a Nation (2005), both volumes with photographs by A. Chester Ong. We in the National Society are extremely fortunate that despite a rather busy schedule, Dr. Knapp is willing to come to our Annual Meeting to talk to us about Chinese Covered Bridges. What an extraordinary opportunity this is for all of us! China, a country whose civilization goes back thousands of years, has until recently, been a bit of a sleeping giant, but a sleeping giant which is now waking up with a roar! In future, we in the West shall be dealing more and more with China, economically, politically, and culturally. The marvelous Chinese Covered Bridges which will be the focus of Ron Knapp's talk, are not only fascinating structures in and of themselves, but they are as well windows, windows through which, if we approach them with open minds and a desire to learn, we may begin to get a glimpse of Chinese culture and Chinese civilization.
With the hope that I shall be seeing many of you at the Annual Meeting, I wish you all much happy bridging!
Sincerely, Your President,
David W. Wright
Postscriptum Membership Dues: Very reluctantly, during the course of the regular meeting which followed our Annual Picnic here in Westminster, Society members voted unanimously to raise Membership Dues as follows:
Annual Membership (Individual or Family)..$20.00
These dues are to take effect as of January 1, 2008.
Inflation of various sorts is of course the reason for the changes detailed above, the latest increase in postal rates having constituted what might well be called the coup de grace for our former charges. Though a nonprofit organization, the National Society has nevertheless to finish its fiscal years in the black, not in the red. It is the hope of all of us that these newly set dues can remain in place for as long as the previous have. In the meantime, dear fellow members, if any of your friends, or acquaintances are thinking of joining the Society, please tell them that now is the time to do it; that is to say, before January 1, 2008. They will save five bucks if they beat the deadline.
June 24, 2007 at
Contoocook River Railroad Covered Bridge
Lunch at the Pizza Parlor was enjoyed by all. Eleven members were in attendance. The Secretary's report of the Executive meeting was read.
A lively exchange of ideas took place regarding membership, dues and the website with everyone sharing their view. While nothing was resolved, there will be more to think about and discuss at future meetings. Joe Nelson (VT) has offered space for the Society to use on his website. It was thought that if information about the Society were presented in an exciting way, perhaps directing those interested in becoming new members to Pauline, our membership might grow. Roger made a motion that we move on. M/S/V in the affirmative.
Dick raised the question of our being a National Society, not a local, mainly NH and VT. David responded that our function as a National Society is as a resource and source of information about CBs and the preservation of the same, not as a source of funding. The newsletter and Topics being our main source.
$100.00 has already been pledged to Newport. Dick motioned that another $100.00 be added, bringing the total to $200.00. M/S/V in the affirmative by the majority.
The information about the CBs of China has been received from Professor Knapp. David will review the contents as to whether all of the bridges fit the criteria to be listed in the World Guide, and will act accordingly.
David led a round of applause for Tim Andrews for his most excellent work on the bridge.
Jim Garvin is having a plaque made to be placed inside of the bridge. David is supplying the wording and names to go on it. David wants a plaque to be cast in bronze and embedded in a boulder outside the bridge. It was approved and voted at the Executive meeting not knowing what the expense would be. As it appears that both plaques would contain the same information, your secretary rescinded her vote for the bronze plaque.
Meeting adjourned at 2:45 pm.
David introduced our speaker, Tim Andrews, who first led a hearty round of applause for Jim Garvin for his very valuable assistance in facilitating the restoration, followed by an interesting demonstration of the methods used in working with timber and wood.
Covered Bridge News
By Bob and Trish Kane
August 4th could not have been a more perfect day for a Covered Bridge celebration! The weather was just gorgeous and the Advisory Committee of Washington County, NY, did a superb job with the celebration. We think it fair to say that everyone in attendance had a great time. Seeing the Buskirk, Eagleville and Rexleigh bridges in pristine condition was truly an impressive sight. The celebration concluded at the Historic Salem Courthouse, just a few miles from the Rexleigh Covered Bridge with refreshments, door prizes, and the opportunity to purchase many covered bridge items.
One of the burning questions for the day was just why the bridges were painted red, and not the same color they were before the restoration. We asked this question of Willy Grimmke, Superintendent of Public Works for Washington County. He told us that paint scrapings had been done on the bridges and red paint was discovered within the layers which indicated the bridges had, at one time, been painted red. This must have been some time ago as many of the more senior folks in attendance did not remember ever seeing these bridges red. We asked this question of our friend, Rick Allen, and he also remarked that he had never known the bridges to be red. Washington County folks just may have uncovered some significant historical information on the history of their bridges. However, no matter what the color, they sure look impressive and everyone involved should be commended for all their hard efforts in restoring these bridges.
If anyone is interested in purchasing one of the lovely t-shirts they had on sale the day of the event, you may do so by contacting the Shushan Covered Bridge, PO Box 182, Shushan, NY 12873; Trip's, 72 Red Gate Lane, Shushan, NY 12873, phone 518-854-3335; or by calling David McNitt at 518-854-7220.
Late Breaking News . . . well, folks
you won't believe this but less than two months after the aforementioned celebration, the Washington County side of the Buskirk Covered Bridge was damaged! Fortunately, Frank Ziehm, owner of the truck company that caused the damage reported it to the Sheriff and his insurance will cover the costs of the repairs. We sure hope this doesn't mean that they will have to install headache bars. It would be so unattractive to such a beautiful bridge.
Beaverkill Covered Bridge NY-53-02 As some of you may be aware, Sullivan County, NY has three historic covered bridges eligible for listing on the State and National Register of Historic Places. Being included on these prestigious lists is truly an honor and provides some level of protection for our bridges.
We are pleased to report that the NY State Review Board has listed the Beaverkill Covered Bridge on the State Register of Historic Places. They will now forward the nomination to the Keeper of the National Register in Washington, DC. If approved, the property will also be listed on the National Register.
It has been our experience working with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation that if a bridge is accepted on the state level, if will more than likely be accepted at the National level as well.
This is great news not only for the Beaverkill Covered Bridge, but for all of us working so diligently to preserve our bridges. The Friends of the Beaverkill group should be commended for their dedication and determined efforts as we know this been a long time coming. Congratulations to each of them on this successful endeavor.
News Clippings . . .
Bucks County, PA Knecht's Covered Bridge (PA-09-02) As we reported in our last column, there was an unsuccessful arson attempt on the Knecht's Covered Bridge. The five young arsonists responsible for this act appeared at a hearing on Tuesday, September 4th in the District Court in Quakertown, PA. Hector Ross, the 17 year old, who was a former volunteer fireman, has pleaded guilty and his sentencing date is October 19, 2007. His case was handled separately because he is a juvenile. The trial date for the other four adults, Tomas Markley, 19, Felicia M. Piepszowski, 19, and Matthew Tearney, 18 (also a former volunteer fireman), is scheduled for November 13, 2007. Randy Malady, 18, waived his hearing prior to this date. The District Attorney believes that it is likely that they will plead guilty as well due to the overwhelming evidence in the case. Markley, Tearney, Piepszowski and Malady are all in county prison under $50,000 bail each. If convicted, each could face up to 20 years in prison on each arson felony charge. It is unclear just how much time, if any, they will actually serve in the end.
In the wake of the Knecht's fire, Upper Bucks State Rep. Paul Clymer introduced a bill that would make it a second-degree felony to deliberately set fire or set off an explosion that damages or destroys a historic property, such as a covered bridge. If convicted, this person would serve at least one year in prison. A historic property is a structure that is either more than a century old or listed on the state or national registers of historic places.
In 2004, the Mood's Covered Bridge, PA-09-07 was damaged by arson. Six Pennridge men, ages 20 to 21, were sentenced to 18 days to 23 months in the county prison. They spent 18 days there, are facing five years of probation and have been ordered to do 1,000 hours of community service. Each must also pay $66,666, representing their share of the $400,000 in restitution. As a result of these arson attempts, a group of dedicated covered bridge folks are forming The Bucks County Covered Bridge Association to actively work on the preservation of Bucks County's Covered Bridges.
Saucks's Covered Bridge PA-01-01 Vandals are at it again! It was recently discovered that the historic Sachs Covered Bridge in Adams County, PA has some damage to some of the boards. Some newly added graffiti includes a Magic Cross, which is a Celtic cross laying on top of a pentagram. A Magic Cross is used by a variety of Gothic groups. The Sachs Bridge was built in 1852 and extends 100 feet across Marsh Creek. Union and Confederate troops used this bridge in 1863 to enter Gettysburg for the famous battle. Those of you who have visited this bridge know what a beautiful, historic bridge it is. It is such a shame to see it vandalized.
Covered Bridge Postcard Show We have had a good response to the Covered Bridge Postcard show, but in order to more forward with it, we feel we need a couple more folks willing to set up a table and sell their duplicate postcards. As we mentioned, Wayne Siefert, organizer of the Bucks County Covered Bridge Festival has extended a warm invitation to us to be part of their festival. Exact date is still unknown. He has offered us a beautiful space along with plenty of tables. Since our announcement in the last newsletter, we have been asked if we would be willing to include covered bridge patches in the show, and the answer is yes! But, we need to hear from you. So, if you have duplicate covered bridge postcards or patches you would like to offer to other covered bridge collectors, (who are no doubt tired of paying the exorbitant prices on eBay) please contact us soon.
Bits and Pieces . . . Do you have a covered bridge for sale? We recently received this email from Tommy and Rosemary Morgeson from Midlothian, in Ellis County Texas. We are looking for a bridge to buy. We had a 40 year old, 9 ft x 30 ft culvert that was recently washed out in flood waters which took out the road to our home. We have been advised to construct a bridge in its place and are looking for something about 10 feet wide by 40-50 feet long. If you have any information that would help these folks, please contact them at 972-775-4863 or through email at:
Many of you are already thinking about Christmas and we just wanted to remind you that a membership to any of the various covered bridge organizations make wonderful gifts. No doubt with the increase in postage this summer, many organizations will be forced to increase their membership fees, so renew your own membership now and consider a membership to those on your Christmas list.
Also, for those of you who like to wrap your Christmas gifts in covered bridge wrapping paper, the recent Current Catalog has just what you are looking for. If you don't receive the catalog, you can visit their website at www.CurrentCatalog.com. The item is called Jumbo Wonderland Scene and the catalog number is 086136. It is really lovely paper.
Greetings from Delaware Township, NJ home to the last covered bridge in New Jersey!
Green Sergeants Covered Bridge is in Sergeantsville, a tiny village which is part of our township. In Washington, DC, on June 9th, the Girl Scouts celebrated their 95th year anniversary with the International Sing-Along on The Mall.
Traditionally, Girl Scouts exchange small items called "SWAPS" (which is an acronym for Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere!) At events, these items are a sign of friendship and exchanging them provides a fun way to introduce oneself. My reason for this long-winded explanation is that the troop that my daughters belong to had laminated tags featuring our beloved covered bridge as their SWAPS! Being a member of the NSPCB, I was extremely proud to have this as a SWAP representing our Girl Scout Troop! Other Girl Scouts all over the country now have these tags!
I felt the need to make the society aware of this. Enclosed are a few SWAPS! Sincerely,
101 Sandbrook Hqs Rd.
Stockton, NJ 08559
Thank you for your terrific note. We congratulate and thank the Rolling Hills GS Council, Troop 474 of Sergeantsville, NJ for honoring their covered bridge. The tags are very attractive. What a great idea that was!
In the last issue of the National Society Newsletter was a picture of a bridge located in Connecticut wishing for an identification. In looking over my pictures of covered bridges in Connecticut the only bridge I have a picture of that has 6 large windows or openings on each side is the bridge located in Stratton Brook State Park that is 40' in length and with the identification of 07-02-J.
My picture was taken at a different angle and the 6 openings do not appear to be as elongated unless this is an optical illusion. But I think it would be worthwhile to check with the Stratton Brook State Park.
Harry D. Hill
Bucks County Courier Times, June 22, 2007, 5 Teens Arrested in Arsons Five teenage friends, including three former volunteer firefighters, have been arrested for setting fire last month to Knecht's Covered Bridge in Springfield, Upper Bucks. Authorities discovered they were involved in 5 other arsons in the Quakertown area leading up to the bridge blaze.
Duncannon Record, June 21, 2007, Covered Bridge Restoration Near Completion. Two bridges in Perry County, PA are almost finished being rehabilitated. The two bridges, Saville Covered Bridge and Adair's Covered Bridge, were closed in August 2006 and are expected to be operational by the end of the summer. Work included steel stringers for additional support, new siding, flooring and roof.
CONTRIBUTORS: George Eysenbach
Bridge News from Canada
The following sad news was received from Gerald Arbour in Canada on Tuesday, August 7th:
The Gareau Bridge (61-46-01) is on its way to being torn down. Recent pictures indicate the span has already been moved to the ground. A few years ago, this private bridge was offered free to anyone willing to take care of the bridge. The Nexfor Co. (a paper company) is the owner of the bridge. An agreement was quickly reached between local government, VTT club and outfitters to save the bridge. Unfortunately, the Company changed their minds and the bridge will be destroyed. A nice piece of history will be lost.
A special thanks to Gerald Arbour for sharing this news with us and for keeping us informed of bridge news from Canada.
Photo by Monique Bellemarre
It was a busy summer this year. During our family vacation we were able to attend the Ohio Historic Bridge Association picnic at the Salt Creek Bridge and join one day of the Indiana Covered Bridge Society's tour of Vermillion and Fountain County Bridges. It was great to get out and talk about the project with people in those areas. Being my first Indiana Society function I was able to meet some of the people who have been helping make Covered Spans of Yesteryear such a success. We had a great day for bridging and they made us feel right at home. Please help support your local societies by attending their meetings and events. For more information about covered bridge events in your area, visit the website and click on the 2007 Calendar of Covered Bridge events link.
Updates this quarter include enhanced information for a number of Ohio and Pennsylvania counties. See "What's New" section of the website for more details. Information and pictures of former covered bridges in Michigan is now available. Vermont data has been enhanced with additional pictures and information from the NSPCB Archives. In addition to the items just mentioned, we continue to receive contributions from our regular correspondents and are grateful to everyone who is helping with this project. To hear about updates as they become available, visit the website --www.lostbridges.org --and sign up for our mailing list. In addition to exploring the website, printed reports from the states and provinces that we have researched can be seen 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 assistance will be greatly appreciated. We need the most help in the southern states --particularly Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Email is usually the most effective way to contact me --firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oregon Covered Bridge Festival held in mid-September at Stayton's Pioneer Park spotlights a different bridge every year. Larwood Bridge, which spans the confluence of Crabtree Creek and Roaring River in Scio, is featured this year. A commemorative cancellation stamp was made from a drawing of the bridge by Caleb Taylor of Scio and will be used by the United States Postal Service to commemorate the event.
Caleb Taylor, 12, recently won the drawing contest sponsored by the Oregon Covered Bridge Society to design the cancellation stamp for this year's Festival. He is the third Scio student to win the contest, which is open to local elementary students each spring.
Caleb liked the open design of the Larwood Bridge and said he enjoys traveling across the different bridges in the area near his home on Rodgers Mountain.
"I'd miss the covered bridges if they weren't around," he added, which is the whole point of the Covered Bridge Festival. Visitors to the Festival this September 15-16 will see reasons to appreciate and learn about Oregon's 51 covered bridges, especially the nine in this area. Taylor will assist a representative of the Postal Service in hand- stamping envelopes with the commemorative stamp he designed on Saturday, September 15, from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Pioneer Park in Stayton. Both Saturday and Sunday, there will also be displays, exhibits, and demonstrations related to Oregon covered bridges, as well as covered bridge tours and a food court.
Caleb is the son of Gary and Melody Taylor. He has three brothers and two sisters and enjoys playing soccer, running, cars, woodcarving, and of course, drawing.
Kentucky's Covered Bridges
Signed by Author Melissa Jurgensen
The book has over 200 photos of 110 of Kentucky's past and present bridges.
$19.99 + $2.25 Shipping.
If you would like the book personalized, please specify to whom.
To order send check or money order to:
2278 Harrods Pointe Trace
Lexington, KY 40514
We are very happy 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.
You may want to have them all. One of each tote, ornament and pen will be available for $20 including shipping. They are great gifts for family, friends and other bridgers.
PLEASE MAKE CHECKS OR MONEY ORDERS TO N.S.P.C.B. INC. and mail to:
4856 Spencer Oaks Blvd
Pace, FL 32571
The following are items still available through the Society: All of the items below are available from June Roy, 73 Ash Street, Manchester, NH 03104-4906 or E-mail email@example.com
The Book, Life in the Slow Lane is still available for $16.95 + $3.95
Shipping and Handling.
Society Arm Patch with N.S.P.C.B. logo 3" arm patch available for $1.75 + 55 cents P&H.
Books Available by Andrew Howard:
CB's of Madison County IA, A Guide . . . . . .$6.50
CBs of Connecticut, A Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . $5.50
CB's of Virginia, A Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $6.95
CB's of Bennington County VT, A Guide . . . $6.50
CB's of Massachusetts, A Guide . . . . . . . . . .$7.00
There is a $2.00 postage and handling charge for each book.
For a white Polo Shirt with a blue NSPCB logo, send $15.00 plus $3.95 for shipping and handling to June Roy, 73 Ash Street, Manchester NH 03104-4906. Specify, Medium or Extra Large. This is a fund raiser for the preservation fund. Buy several as gifts for your family and friends. Shirts are 100% pre-shrunk cotton.
|Covered Bridges of Vermont by Ed Barna. This is a book depicting all the covered bridges in Vermont in the year 1996. Postpaid $17.00 (From June Roy)|
There is also an excellent book out on Vermont Covered Bridges called, "Spanning Time;Vermont's Covered Bridges." You can get a copy by contacting Joseph Nelson, 2 Sugar Hill Road, Underhill VT 05489 or visit www.vermontbridges.com. Joseph Nelson is the President of the Vermont Society.
New book by Joseph Conwill: Images of America, "VERMONT COVERED BRIDGES." It sells for $19.99 plus $3.00 shipping and handling.
The World Guide and Index to TOPICS are now available on a single CD from Joseph Cohen. The cost is only $5 for the disc. These files are kept up to date with each issue of TOPICS. Send a check to Joe at 210 Wellington F, W. Palm Beach, FL 33417 from mid -September to mid-April and at 130 Westfield Dr., Holliston, MA 01746, the rest of the year.
Return to topJoe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted 10/18/2007