January - February - March - Winter 2002
National Society for the preservation of Covered Bridges
Sunday March 24, 2002 at 1pm Meeting will be held at the Plymouth Church, 87 Edgell Road, Framingham, MA.
Sunday April 28, 2002 at 1pm Meeting will be held at the Plymouth Church in Framingham, MA
The next newsletter is scheduled for April 2002. Therefore, anyone wishing to submit any photos, articles, etc. should submit them to Carmela or KC by March 20, 2002. THANK YOU!
Ohio Covered Bridge News
This brief trip report from Lionel A. Whiston covers four covered bridges in Union County, Ohio.
My wife Debbie and I recently spent several days visiting our daughter Kristen at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, OH. While Kristen was in class Friday, March 30, 2001, Debbie and I visited four nearby covered bridges in Union County.
The first covered bridge we encountered was 35-80-04, the Little Darby Bridge. We took pictures of this and all the other covered bridges we came across. The Treacle Creek Bridge (35-80-03) was closed to traffic because of repair work. A detour had been set up a few yards north of the bridge, crossing the small stream by a paved ford. We talked briefly with the Union County crew working on the bridge. I asked how much of the bridge was being replaced and was told that only the roof was being replaced. They said that last year the crew had re-roofed the Little Darby Bridge and that the Spain Creek Bridge (35-80-02) was scheduled to be done next. The Upper Darby Bridge (35-80-01) appeared the most in need of work, at least paint and some new siding boards.
I'm not an engineer and can't make judgements about the soundness of each bridge. With that caveat, I think all four are structurally in good shape. I was pleased that Union County is looking after the bridges, investing money in their care. I had no trouble finding the bridges using my DeLorme atlas of Ohio, but I saw no signs of any kind indicating the way to the bridges. Most if not all are close to a highway and easily visible from that road.
The last issue of the Indiana CB Society's newsletter contained a trip report regarding some extensive bridge visiting in Ohio and Pennsylvania, concluding sadly that a lot of maintenance seemed in order in those two states. I'm not contradicting that view, but I am reporting that my tiny sample of four bridges in one county has a much more positive conclusion.
This bridge (29-07-00), given to the town of Brookline, has been moved just off of Route 13 about 6 miles from Route 101 South. Go south on Route 13, about 6 miles to the blinking light and take a right turn. The bridge can be seen just as you turn the corner. The name of the road is believed to be Meeting House Hill Road. You may be able to see the bridge from Route 13.
by Dick Roy
About 50 people were present for the dedication of the 163-year-old Browns River Covered Bridge in Westford, Vermont. It was a fairly mild day and many old friends were on hand for the dedication. The event culminated 14 years of work by Caroline Brown and members of the Westford Historical Society.
Several speakers praised the 1836 Burr Arch Bridge and the efforts spearheaded by Caroline Brown to restore the structure to its original site on the Cambridge road spanning the Brown's River.
A steel bridge was built in 1965 when the covered bridge was no longer safe for vehicular traffic. Ten years later the Westford Historical Society decided to complete repair of the 137-year-old bridge. Twelve years after that in 1987, the bridge again needed significant repairs. The historical society regrouped to begin the process of repairs.
Milton S. Graton, using oxen and capstan, hauled the bridge to the edge of the field near the Westford Town garage. National Geographic documented the moving of the structure, where it would stay for 14 years. The Historic Society applied for grants, held ham and bean dinners, bake sales and sold T-shirts, etc. to raise funds for the bridge restoration. In the early days of the fund-raising about 45 people began the effort and ultimately, for the most part Caroline Brown remained.
ln 1991 through the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), the grant writing skills of Kathleen Robie secured grants in 1995 and 1999. Proper permits were acquired and the project went out to bid.
With the advice of Philip C. Pierce, consulting Engineer and covered bridge specialist from Binghamton, N.Y., the Renaud Brothers from Vernon and Messier House Moving of East Montpelier, and with contributions from many bridge devotees, the Brown's River Bridge, having been restored by the Renaud Brothers, made the journey on July 20, 2001 back down the Cambridge Road to be mounted on the repaired abutments on July 21.
Phil Pierce presented Caroline with a plaque, in honor of her dedication and tireless efforts to the project, which read, "In grateful recognition of Caroline Brown...for her determination and tireless efforts from 1987 to 2001 in Rehabilitation of the Brown's River Covered Bridge...from her friends in the Covered Bridge Community."The National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges, the Vermont Covered Bridge Society and the New York State Covered Bridge Society, as well as many close friends donated to have the permanent plaque installed at the bridge site.
Joseph Nelson presented Caroline with one of his books "Spanning Time - Vermont Covered Bridges."[and an Honorary Life membership in the Vermont Covered Bridge Society].
I received a thank you card from Caroline. It reads as follows, "I wish to thank the National Covered Bridge Society for the honor of receiving the bronze plaque, on behalf of my efforts of the Browns River Covered Bridge restoration project.
"It was a commitment the Westford Historical Society made some 14 long years ago and it's a real feeling of accomplishment to have the bridge restored for the bridge community and for the town. Thank you again for the recognition with the presentation of the plaque!"
We need more people in the preservation world like Caroline Brown. I wish to thank Caroline at this time for her efforts and unlimited energy for her enduring efforts to preserve another of our precious treasures, our Remaining Covered Bridges. Thanks again Caroline.
by Dick Roy
The traditional iron rods and turnbuckles that have been trademarks of the bridge for many years will be missing from the scene. The entire bridge was replaced with new material.
About 150 people showed up for the event from as far away as NY state and Pennsylvania. With engineers from the firm of Hoyle and Tanner, town dignitaries, state Senators among others, praising the work accomplished by the firm of Wright Construction of Mount Holly, VT.
After the dedication, I asked Dick and Jeannette Wilson to stop by the car, which was parked a short distance from the bridge. (Dick is president of the NY State Covered Bridge Society, NYSCBS.) I used the excuse of wanting to show him something I had recently acquired. I did indeed show him and gave to him what I had recently acquired. A model of the Harpersfield Bridge by Scaasis Originals, Inc. Why? It was Dick's birthday. The gathering was small and short and then everyone went on his way. (Scaasis donated several models to the NSPCB.) Look for these models in Cracker Barrel stores throughout the nation.
Covered Bridge News
By Bob and Trish Kane
by Mary Ann Waller
It is built to hold up to 80,000 pounds but the road leading up to the bridge will only hold 14,000 pounds. The reason for the 80,000 pound government restriction was because of the grant. It was built 6 feet higher than the previous Jackson Covered Bridge, hopefully to avoid the bridge from floating away during a flood. It was built and put together in Wisconsin, then disassembled and sent to Florida to be laminated. It was then shipped to Greenup, Illinois to be put back together on the spot where it rests today. It has a fire alarm system on the bridge that is connected to the fire department.
A recent article in the Greenup, Illinois paper said that they had a survey to see how many cars were using the bridge and they determined that between 450 and 500 were driving through the bridge. They are tickled to no end with this figure. Greenup seems to be very proud of this covered bridge. Unfortunately he did not know what kind of wood or type of covered bridge it is.
My project of moving the Beausèjour covered bridge of Ste Odile in Amqui is still on the go. I am working very hard to find the necessary money to make it.
Bill Fisk Obituary: Christine Ellsworth let us know that Bill Fisk, from Rochester, Michigan, one of our members, passed away on December 8, 2001. Bill and Mary Lou were on the Safari in Pennsylvania in 1999. Those of you who knew Bill, would say that he was pretty energetic and an excellent photographer. Now another member has passed through the Bridge.
The fire department was still there attending the bridge the next morning. It had been smoldering for quite some time and did considerable damage.
Starting at the abutment, the three bottom chords were burned all the way through and started to burn upward on some of the vertical timbers. The bridge was built in 1870 over the Little Miami River, connecting Highland and Clinton counties. Now by-passed, it is 120 feet long with a Long Truss.
From Dick Roy: The Union Leader, Manchester, NH, September 29, 2001. Grant to Help Protect Covered Bridges. The federal government is giving the state $380,000 to install dry sprinkler systems and a fire suppression coating on four of New Hampshire's covered bridges. The bridges receiving the funding are: the Cornish-Windsor bridge over the Connecticut River, Saco River bridge in Conway, County Covered Bridge over the Contoocook River in Hanover and the Honeymoon Covered Bridge over the Ellis River in Jackson.
From Dick Wilson: Delaware County Times, NY, June 15, 2001. Extensive Decay Adds to Bridge Restoration Work. Fitch's Covered Bridge (32-13-02) located in Delhi, NY is going through extensive restoration work. Every trunnel, both levels of lower bottom chords, and some of the lattice members will be replaced due to rot and damage from rodents and powder post beetles. Also the corners of the abutment caps have been removed and new concrete bearing areas for the longer trusses have been cast.
From G. Robert Salvi: The Boston Sunday Globe, Boston, MA, Sept. 9, 2001. Mass. Highway Spending Jumps. The covered bridge on Poland Road in Conway, MA (21-06-01) will be turned into a pedestrian bridge according to Massachusetts Highway Commissioner Matt Amorello. They can no longer find a tree big enough to replace the giant chestnut timbers that once held up the structure.
From Andy Howard: The Boston Sunday Globe, November 18, 2001. Old Span To Stay Underwater. The wreckage of a bridge more than 175 years old has been discovered by divers on November 4th at the bottom of the Connecticut River. The structure was built between 1810 and 1812 and was located between Putney, VT and Westmoreland, NH, but flooding washed it away the first spring after it was completed. The remnants of the span have been recorded for posterity on videotape by the Putney Historical Society.From Dave Topham: USA Today, March 8, 2001. The Oxford, Alabama City Council voted to spend $23,000 to replace the state's oldest covered bridge. This bridge, over a century old, was build in 1900 at Coldwater Creek and was moved to Oxford Lake in 1990. It is currently closed off to the public.
Advertisement: Have your covered bridge, family or pet picture on a brooch, Christmas ornament, paperweight, or magnet. Send me your picture and I will put it on the item of your choice. Your photo will be returned unharmed with your order. (Please send photo sealed in a plastic bag in case the envelope gets wet in shipping.)
Pin: 2 1/4" brooch with porcelain stone in antiqued goldtone setting
If you do not have a covered bridge photo you would like to use, you may choose from some
Advertisement: "Covered Bridges of Berks County, Pennsylvania"
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 dickroycb1@Juno.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 + 55c P&H.
Books Available by Andrew Howard:
Covered Bridge Polo Shirts with N.S.P.C.B. Logo.
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
Other available books from the Society Store
There is also an excellent book out on Vermont Covered Bridges called: "Spanning Time" -- Vermont 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: Covered Bridges of Washington State by Lorna J. Smith, published by The Owl's Nest. This 26-page booklet has color photos of 21 covered bridges found in Washington. A brief statement about each bridge is included with directions on how to find it. Order from the author at: P.O. Box 105, Clatskanie, OR 97016. Cost is $6.75 (includes postage).
This web site page was coded by J.C. Nelson. The content is the intellectual property of the
National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges, Inc. and its membership.
This file posted February 2, 2002, revised February 18, 2002