Covered Bridge Presentation in Lunenburg,
The Lunenburg Historical Society of Lunenburg, VT is pleased to
announce a presentation on covered bridges by Mr. Kenneth Olson on
Saturday, September 18, 2004.
The program will be a slide presentation and highlight the Mt
Orne Covered Bridge which spans the Connecticut River between
Lunenburg, VT and Lancaster, NH, along with scenic views of other
bridges in the area. We will hear an explanation of the historical
and cultural value of covered bridges, along with information about
efforts to preserve and maintain these treasures. Mr. Olson was head
of the NH Department of Transportation Bridge Maintenance Bureau
when the Mt Orne Covered Bridge was rehabilitated and the floor
replaced back in 1983.
Postcards and photographs of other New England bridges, including
those that are no longer standing, will be available for viewing
before and after the program.
Mr. Olson is one of New England's foremost covered bridge
authorities. He is one of those fortunate people who is able to
enjoy his profession and, following retirement, continues to pursue
his interest in covered bridges as a hobby. After receiving his
Civil Engineering degree from New England College, he worked for 15
years for the state of New Hampshire Public Works and Highways
Department, Construction Division participating in many major
highway and bridge projects, including interstates 89 and 93. In
1973, he accepted a posting in the Bureau of Bridge Maintenance
which would last 17 years and culminate with his selection to serve
as Bridge Maintenance Engineer.
Mr. Olson is an active member of the National Society for the
Preservation of Covered Bridges. He has done private consulting work
for many NH towns seeking to preserve their town- owned covered
bridges. He lives in Penacook, NH with his wife Joye.
The presentation will take place at 1:00 pm at the Gilman School
located in Gilman, VT. Gilman is a village of Lunenburg. The
Lunenburg Historical Society is currently raising funds to restore
the old Town Hall. This presentation is open to the public at no
charge. Donations will be accepted and applied to the restoration
Lunenburg is located in the beautiful Northeast Kingdom of
Vermont. Come to hear the presentation and stay for the weekend!
Tour the Mt Orne covered bridge as well as many others in the area.
The fall foliage begins early in northern New England and is always
Registration is not required, however it is recommended. Seats
will be limited. For more information, directions, and to register,
please call Mr. Charley Tatro of the Lunenburg Historical Society at
802-892-6687 by September 4, 2004.
Ralph Rodgers Reynolds Obituary: Leola B. Pierce has informed us
that Mr. Reynolds passed away on May 8, 2004 at the age of 82. He was the
half owner of the C.K. Reynolds Covered Bridge with his sister B. Ann
Porterfield. It was also called the Maple Shade Covered Bridge. It is
located in Newport, Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his
Alabama Living, April 2004, Covered Bridges and
Alabama's Covered Bridges - Icons of America's Past. Short
article and list of bridges with locations. Article is by Wyndel
Eiland who led the NSPCB's Alabama safari several years ago.
The News-Press, April 23, 2004, Alert Motorist's Call
Saves Historic Bridge . A phone call to 911 saved one of the
Twin Bridges in Columbia County, P A. Two men driving by noticed
smoke and stopped to investigate
The Tennessean, May 29, 2004, Uncovered Bridge .
The 120-year-old covered bridge in Harrisburg, TN was moved off its
foundation for repairs that will include new abutments, steel
supports and wooden flooring. Repairs for this bridge, which is one
of only four remaining in TN, will cost $600K.
The Caledonian-Record, St. Johnsbury, VT. May 19, 2004,
Martin Bridge in Marshfield to be Restored . Grants are
currently being sought to rebuild the 1890 bridge built by Herman
Townsend and his son Lee for the former owner of the land, William
Martin. It is estimated that it will cost $50K to $100K. For now it
will rest on temporary supports, alongside its former place.
Bucks County Town and Country Living, Spring 2004. Article
on Bucks County Covered Bridges past and present by Stephen F. Rees.
Ten page article and photos of all 12 surviving covered bridges.
Please contact Bucks County Town and Country Living, 510 B Durham
Road, Newtown, PA 18940. Cost is $4.50 plus $2 shipping and
The boxed pony former railroad bridge (29-04-Pl) just west of
Gorham, NH was arsoned in May 2004. Efforts are underway to
dismantle and measure the bridge for future use.
Mood's Covered bridge in East Rockhill Township, Bucks County, PA
was arsoned on June 22nd.
CONTRIBUTORS: Wyndel Eiland, David Topham, Dorothy Brush,
Marge Converse, Nelson Lawry, Stephen F. Rees, Tom Walczak, Sandy
THE BRIDGE KNOWS THE WAY
A New Book
by Frank F. Tobie
Presented as a tour of 108 covered bridges in 29 States and 4
Provinces. Frank and Elizabeth Tobie are your guides. Includes
photos and our experiences in finding them. Descriptions and photos
of 15 bridges in the Western states and British Columbia, 22 bridges
in Middle America, 15 bridges in the South and Southeast, 29 bridges
in the Middle Atlantic and New England states, and 25 bridges in 3
eastern provinces and the Great Lakes states.
The book is hard cover, 144 pages with 138 photos in black and
white, six maps, covered bridge truss sketches, acknowledgments and
sources, and index. Now available through the publisher or the
author at $49.95 per copy plus shipping at $5 ($10 for 2 or more
The Arthur H Clark Co., P.O. Box 14707, Spokane W A 99214. Phone:
509-928-9540 email: info@.ahclark.com
Frank F. Tobie, 3106 E. 15th Ave., Spokane W A 99213. Phone:
509-535-1423 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
50th ANNIVERSARY ITEMS
We are very happy to have to offer this year 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
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. We have a limited supply, so please order yours
PLEASE MAKE CHECKS OR MONEY ORDERS TO N.S.P.C.B.
INC and mail to;
143 Freeman St.
Haverhill, MA 01830
Covered Bridge Advocates Welcome Challenge to
Reclaim History by Dennis Rasmussen
On a hot summer afternoon, in the quiet community of Wimer,
Oregon, local residents were startled to hear a giant crashing sound
coming from the vicinity of their covered bridge. Customers at the
Wimer Market, only a dozen paces away, rushed out to witness the
unthinkable. The historic Wimer Covered Bridge in Southern Oregon
had spontaneously collapsed into Evens Creek. Those who were the
closest also heard shouts for help coming from inside the rubble and
scampered down the bank, over the shattered shingled roof and lifted
broken wooden beams to rescue a man and his two young grandsons.
They were the last persons to stroll through the old covered bridge
on that fateful Sunday.
The July 6, 2003 incident shocked and saddened a community. The
weekly Rogue River Press expressed what many residents felt with the
simple headline in its next issue: "It's Gone!"
Ironically, the covered bridge was scheduled for a major
overhaul. Engineers had completed blue prints just two months
earlier and the construction project was to go out for bid in
September that year. Jackson County had acquired grants for over a
half million dollars for the renovation that was due to begin in
2004. But the tired old structure couldn't wait and gave way in
mid-stream. Obviously, there has been a change in plans.
Oregon once boasted a collection of over 400 covered bridges, the
highest count for any state in the country, but now there are barely
over 50. The crash of the Wimer Bridge has reduced that number by
one more. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the
covered bridge was part of our heritage, a treasure to be
discovered, off the beaten path and away from the busy, high-tech
The original Wimer Covered Bridge was built in 1892 but, in 1927,
was totally replaced by the County. Over the years the Evans Creek
crossing received numerous repairs, but time and use took its toll
on the aging span. In 1962 attentive residents saved the bridge from
destruction when a citizens effort rebuilt the weakening structure.
Load limits were set at 3 tons with no heavy truck traffic allowed.
The Wimer Bridge was the only covered bridge in Jackson County
open to vehicle traffic. The coveted landmark was the focal point of
a community, a destination for travelers, an attraction for history
buffs, a hangout for kids and a storehouse of memories for many
local residents. Now, with help from a federal grant, county funds
and donations, the community wants to rebuild. Funding for a
replacement is now the focus of a grassroots effort to construct an
Pete Purrier, son-in-law of the late Gladys Boulter, author of a
history book of the Evans Valley, is part of a family that has lived
in the area since 1928. "Before the mid-'40s, there was one way to
get up where I live," he said, "and that was through the covered
bridge. I was six weeks old the first time I crossed it in my
parents horse drawn wagon."
The century-old bridge served as more than a crossing over Evans
Creek. It was the heart of Wimer, a close-knit community seven miles
north of the Rogue River. It had become a meeting place, a
destination for cycling groups, old-time car clubs and weekenders
out for a drive in the country. In recent years it served as a
wedding chapel for local couples firmly attached to the bridge. It
was a source of community pride.
Cecil C. Smith, long-time resident, moaned the loss. "It had a
great impact on the residents of the Wimer community," he said. "It
has brought tears and many questions . . ." Cecil, a school
volunteer and history buff, is going to miss "the enjoyment of
driving another teacher with a fourth grade class through the
covered bridge." His work team of horses was the last to pull a
wagon through the bridge only two months before the collapse.
In years past the town threw itself an annual summer party.
Called Wimer Days, it hosted a parade through the bridge, local arts
and crafts, country music, a street dance, a bar-b-que and Fourth of
July fireworks over the creek.
The bridge was a sanctuary for generations of children who used
to climb all over the structure like monkeys, slide down the braces
and carve their initials in giant support beams on the underside of
the deck. They'd hang out under the bridge on hot summer days where
it was cool and shady and linger beside that friendly old building
long after dusk watching the stars come out at night.
"The bridge was the place for kids to meet their friends,"
reminisced Shawna Perry. As kids, "we'd get our sodas or candy and
dangle our feet in the water. The acoustics in the bridge were good,
and we'd make up songs and sing lines back and forth through the
At Christmas one year long-time resident Cheryl Martin Sund and
her husband donated little white lights to go on the bridge for
decoration. The string of lights highlighted the shape of the bridge
house. They were left there all winter to help guide traffic on
foggy nights. "I loved to see those lights sparkling on the snow
that year," she said. In 1991 Cheryl and Bruce were married on the
bridge where traffic was stopped and friends gathered. "Just as the
bridge was the heart of the valley," she said, "the people are the
breath of it."
For Roberta and Larry Menteer, the memory of the Wimer Covered
Bridge is especially meaningful. Their oldest son Jason was one of
those kids who grew up playing on the bridge. Jason and his
sweetheart Chelsea shared their first kiss on the bridge and in June
of 1999 the young couple were married on their favorite rendezvous.
Tragically, only two months later, Jason met with a fatal industrial
accident. The young man, who identified with his Cherokee heritage,
had adopted the totem White Buffalo. Klamath Indians joined the
hundreds of friends who gathered for the service to celebrate
Jason's life. Juston Menteer says of his brother, "He was the glue
to the family...My parents now live on only half a heart."
Along with a dozen other rural properties, the Menteer Ranch is
situated south of Evans Creek off the now dead end Covered Bridge
Road. "Without the bridge," says Roberta, "we feel isolated and
disconnected from the community."
Throughout the years locals and visitors painted, sketched and
photographed the picturesque Wimer Covered Bridge numerous times,
from different angles, in every season of the year. It was their
desire to create a personal memento of that beloved "barn over
water" as some would affectionately call it. Now those precious
images will help serve as inspiration to rebuild.
Cheryl Martin Sund concluded, "A replica would be a wonderful
monument to the memories of our bridge."
Planning to Rebuild
On April 6, 2004 over 120 people from Wimer, Evans Valley and
throughout Southern Oregon, gathered in the Rogue River High School
gymnasium to initiate plans to rebuild the Wimer Covered Bridge. A
half dozen Jackson County officials and engineers presented the
Wimer Covered Bridge Feasibility Study which included architectural
drawings, financial analyses, and six alternatives for replacement.
Choices included a wooden truss/vehicle safe bridge, a wooden truss
pedestrianlbicycle bridge only, a wooden covered steel truss bridge
and a flat concrete bridge.
Whatever alternative was selected, there would be a balance due.
Regardless, 83% percent of attendees at the public meeting voted to
replace the original wooden truss covered bridge. For that choice,
the financial analysis broke down like this: Initial Project Cost,
$887,000. Current federal funds from the National Historic Covered
Bridge Presentation Program, $407,000. Current Budgeted County
Funding, $146,000. That leaves additional funding required for the
initial project in the amount of $334,000. If the community is to
have a new bridge just like the old one, it needs to pitch in with
The Citizens for Rebuilding the Wimer Covered Bridge, now a
tax-exempt, nonprofit organization, held its first "brainstorming"
meeting on April 26 at the old Wimer Grange, a stone's throw from
the bridge crossing. In a letter to the committee, a Jackson County
Commissioner outlined what the community needs to do before the
County can secure the federal portion of the funds for a new covered
bridge: Essentially it said, Either the community comes up with a
fund- raising plan to raise the extra money, or the County will
proceed with their own plan to build the least expensive bridge.
"That sounds to me like the County wants to build a boring old
concrete bridge," complained committee chairperson Patricia Tracy.
"We're not going to let them do that."
The bottom line is the community needs to raise $334,000 if it
wants another wooden covered bridge. Therein lies the challenge.
Half the residences of the community, from Rogue River to Wimer, are
made up of low-income households and the elderly. Additional funds
can't come from local sources alone, they need to be raised from the
outside, from grants, from public and private donations and from
covered bridge buffs all over the nation who also want to see the
In the past, history buffs, tourists and motorists of all stripes
have taken the path less traveled and drove out to the rural reaches
of Evans Valley to see the old covered bridge. Out-of-town visitors
to the area created their own tradition and purposely went the extra
mile just to drive through the bridge once more before returning
With a new covered bridge in place, locals and visitors will, as
they have done before, stop to take pictures, enjoy bar-b-que at the
Wimer Market, relax in May Ellis Park below the span, maybe pick
wild blackberries along the creek, wade in the cool water, and
reminisce about their personal attachment to the area. In time the
community of Wimer will, with a little help, have another covered
bridge as its centerpiece. Their best assets are those among them
who have a vision for the future. They know how it can be again.
Donations can be sent to:
Citizens for Rebuilding
the Wimer Covered Bridge
Southern Oregon Federal Credit
Rogue River, OR 97537
Make checks payable to "Southern Oregon Federal CreditUnion" or
State that your contribution is for the Wimer Covered
For the latest updates on the rebuilding efforts,
please go to www.wimercov.eredbridge.org or call 541-582
The day after the Wimer bridge collapse, July
Photo by Dennis
Wimer Covered Bridge Features, before collapse:
with vertical wooden siding over wooden truss
Shingled, gabled roof, the ridge at 25.5 feet above
An 86-foot span over Evans Creek; Overall length,
including approach spans, 171 feet.
Drive through roadway width,
17 feet; Dual Queenpost truss design, replacing old Howe truss
design in 1927.
Narrow, slit windows extend the length of bridge,
above truss tops.
Four flying buttresses (or sway buttresses) on
outside, to stabilize bridge against wind and traffic
COVERED BRIDGE POSTCARDS FOR SALE!
|3by5 Modern covered bridges all in USA
Long gone of PA
4x6 of PA
4x6 of Ontario,
4x6 views of PA
5x7 of Breezewood, Bedford County, PA
of West Virginia
5x7 of Ohio
5x7 of PA
5x7 of Cornwall,
Complete Postcard list
All prices plus postage and handling, no stamps accepted.
Please make check or money order payable to:
Robert L. Damery,
2000 Burma Road,
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168-8302
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
The Book, Life in the Slow Lane is still
available for $16.95 + $3.95 Shipping and
Society Arm Patch with N.S.P.C.B. logo 3"
arm patch available for $1.75 + 55 cents S&H
Books Available by Andrew Howard:
CB's of Madison County IA, A Guide . . . . . .$6.50
of Connecticut, A Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . $5.50
of Virginia, A Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CB's of Bennington County VT, A Guide . . .
CB's of Massachusetts, A Guide . . . . . . . . .
There is a $2.00 postage and handling charge for
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. 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
Other available books from the Society
|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
|New Hampshire Covered Bridges, "A Link With Our
Past," by Richard Marshall, color photos by Arthur
Round. Excellent book on NH bridges. $20.00 plus $3.95
shipping and handling. Proceeds to Eastman
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.
WORLD GUIDE or INDEX TO COVERED BRIDGE
Both are now available on computer diskette in either Mac
or PC format. Please specify your choice. It is in a
compressed format to fit on a PC computer disc. You must have
Zip Software to decompress it. If you do not have the Zip
software, Joe will send you a copy. The TOPICS index
includes: Table of Contents for each issue, an index to
subjects and authors, as well as more. The World Guide
is kept up-to-date and in the regular format. Order your
choice at $5.00 each from Joseph Cohen, 130 Westfield Drive,
Holliston, MA 01746 from mid-April until mid-September. The
rest of the year he can be reached at 210 Wellington F, West
Palm Beach, FL 33417.
to top Joe Nelson,
P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
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.
posted July 20, 2004