July - August - September - Summer 2005
Society for the preservation of Covered Bridges
|David W. Wright, President
P.O. Box 171
Worcester, MA 01603
|Carmela Sciandra, Newsletter Ed.|
Cambridge, MA 02139
|Send dues to:
4856 Spencers Oaks Blvd
Pace, FL 32571
73 Ash Street
|KC Klingensmith, Newsletter Ed.|
P.O. Box 425193
David Topham, Treasurer, Nov thru April only: 11707
Oakmont Ct., Fort Myers, FL 33908-2825 239-433-1551;
Oct: 45 Village Way No. 50, Rockport, ME 04856-3805,
MEETINGS and EVENTS for 2005
Sunday, July 24 Meeting will be held at the
Contoocook Railroad Bridge, Hopkinton, NH. We will have lunch at
noon before the meeting at the pizza place next to the bridge.
Sunday. August 28 Annual picnic in Westminster, VT.
Cookout at noon, meeting at l pm.
Sunday. September 25 at 1 pm Henniker, NH at the
covered bridge on the NE College campus. We may be joined by the
Henniker Historical Society and representatives from the college.
Sunday. October 16 NSPCB Annual Meeting at the
French King Restaurant in Millers Falls, MA. See last page of
newsletter for dinner reservation coupon and more information.
newsletter is scheduled for October 2005. Therefore, anyone wishing
to submit any photos, articles, etc. should submit them to Carmela
or KC by September 20, 2005. Any 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:
At this time of year, it is my task to remind each and every one
of you that, in principle, your membership in the National Society
expires with the current issue of Topics and the
Newsletter. I have said 'in principle,' because some of you
like to pay in advance, as it were: some of you in other words like
to sign up for several years at a stretch. For the rest of us,
however, it is the moment to rejoin, and in this particular context,
please permit me to express the fervent hope that most of you shall
choose to remain with the Society. The Society needs all of you, of
course, and most especially, our Covered Bridges need you! As I have
often remarked before, there is much strength to be had in numbers.
Also, at this time of year, I want to appeal to all of you who
are in a position to be able to, to make as large a contribution to
our Eastrnan- Thomas Fund for Covered Bridge Preservation as you
can. Please remember, when reflecting upon whether or not to donate,
some of our recent successes, successes made possible because of the
existence of the Eastman-Thomas Fund: for example, 1) by the end of
August, the Contoocook Covered Railroad Bridge in Hopkinton, New
Hampshire, shall have been stabilized, its geometry corrected -- it
is currently a little bit out of square - and the span itself shall
by then have been placed on restored corbels and bed timbers, and 2)
by the same date, the hardware of the arsoned Wooden Pony Truss
Railroad Bridge at Gorham, New Hampshire, plus this span's floor
joists, shall have been salvaged and stored in a safe location,
which fact will permit of future reconstruction of the structure, if
only sufficient funds can some day be raised for that specific
Finally, on a somewhat different but by no means unimportant
subject, the National Society is presently looking for a volunteer
to take over selling postcards for us. You see, our membership
Chairman Pauline Prideaux, is, as most of you may already know,
moving to Florida. Amongst the many things Pauline Prideaux has done
for the Society over the years is the selling of our postcards.
Since the Prideauxs will be living in smaller quarters down in
Florida, Pauline has asked to be relieved of this responsibility. As
the profits from the sale of our postcards are turned over to the
Eastman-Thomas Fund for Covered Bridge Preservation, it is much in
the interest of the Society -- and of our Covered Bridges! -- that
these sales should continue. Any member wishing to help the Society
out by taking over where Pauline has left off, please contact me at
Post Office Box 171 , Westminster, Vermont 05158-0171, or by
telephone at 1-802-722-4040. Transferring our stock of postcards
would be made easier if whoever volunteers for this job were to live
a reasonable car trip distance away from Westminster.
Until the next time then, Happy Bridging.
Sincerely, Your President
David W. Wright,
President, National Society for the
Preservation of Covered Bridges, Incorporated
Spanning New York State
Bob and Trish Kane
Buskirk Covered Bridge -- NY 32-42-02/58-04 The
Buskirk Covered Bridge is once again standing tall and proud
thanks to the combined efforts of Willie Grimmke,
Superintendent of Public Works of Washington County and the
Alpine Construction Company from Stillwater, NY and countless
other individuals involved in the rehabilitation of this
bridge. Congratulations and a big thank you goes out to each
of you for saving yet another one of our covered bridges. The
Buskirk covered bridge opened to traffic once again on April
During a recent trip to Vermont we stopped by to see the
bridge and were very impressed! As you can see by the photos,
this bridge looks magnificent now and even more important, it
is safe for traffic. There is a weight restriction on the
bridge that we certainly hope will be adhered to. The day we
visited you could tell the bridge had just recently been
painted, except for the white trim. Congratulations to Willie
Grimmke and the Alpine Construction Company for their
excellent work on this bridge.
Buskirk Bridge 32-42-02/58-04
Bob & Trish Kane, May 14, 2005
Buskirk Bridge 32-42-02/58-04|
Bob & Trish Kane, May 14, 2005
Beyond New York
Alabama -- It isn't
often I can report news on our covered bridges in the south,
and now that I can, it is only to report the loss of one. The
Salem-Shotwell Covered Bridge (AL 01-41- 04) in east Lee
County, Alabama collapsed on Saturday June 4, 2005. A tree
fell on a portion of the bridge Friday evening and then around
1:00 pm Saturday, the entire bridge fell into Wacoochee creek
leaving the bridge in total ruins.
Canada -- A new book! Les ponts couverts au Quebec.
The first complete book about wooden covered bridges in
Quebec. This book is a Quebec's Department of Transportation
project however, most of the book was written by Gerald
Arbour, former President of Quebec's Covered Bridge Society.
You can order by calling this toll free number 1-888-746-2283,
ext. 227. Please use this ISBN number when ordering:
2-551-19636-1. Congratulations, Gerald!
Indiana -- By now you have all heard of the terrible
loss of the Bridgeton Covered Bridge in Parke County Indiana
on April 28, 2005 due to arson. What a terrible shame
. Jesse Payne was formally charged in Parke County
Circuit Court of two charges of arson. Charge #1: Arson Class
B Felony of the Bridgeton Bridge. Charge #2: Attempted Arson
Class B Felony of the Mansfield Bridges. His sentence could be
6-20 years for each count with a $10,000 bond. If you would
like to follow what is happening in this case, as well as the
rebuilding of the Bridgeton Covered bridge, visit this web
site often: http://www.coveredbridges.com/home.htm
Pennsylvania -- We all know one of the best ways to
preserve our covered bridges is to educate our children about
their historical significance, and teacher Tom Rosencrans of
the Priestley Elementary School in Northumberland, PA is doing
just that. During a recent visit by his fifth-grade class to
the Keefer Station Covered Bridge, Tom assured his students
that there was plenty to study besides the messages scrawled
by vandals on the historic structure. The field trip was
intended to give students an up-close look at the architecture
of the bridge as part of a unit on covered bridges developed
by Tom through the Partners in History program. The Partners
in History program is a professional development program for
15 teachers developed by the State Museum of Pennsylvania in
partnership with the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit.
Teachers complete an orientation day at the intermediate unit,
a two-day symposium at the museum and a week's residence at
the museum. The teachers then create curriculum activities
using objects and documents from the museum's Pennsylvania
history collection. For covered bridges, Tom used
correspondence written by bridge designer Theodore Burr. Weeks
before they traveled to see the covered bridge, the pupils
began learning how they were built by building model bridges.
Wouldn't it be super if we could get programs of this type in
all our schools! Our children would certainly come away with a
better understanding of just how important our covered bridges
are and hopefully, have a greater appreciation for them.
Virginia - Leola Pierce is at it again! This lady
just doesn't quit when it comes to Virginia's Covered Bridges.
Leola just finished her second book, Covered Bridges in
Virginia -- Nine Old Ladies in the Slow Lane! You can
order this book on line at: www.authorhouse.com. Please use
this ISBN number when ordering: 1-4208-3998-5.
Update on Covered Spans of Yesteryear
By Bill Caswell, Webmaster for CSOY
On May 7th, we had the honor of offering a presentation at
the Vermont Covered Bridge Society's Annual Meeting in
Lyndonville. The program began with a description the Covered
Spans of Yesteryear project followed by pictures and stories
of covered bridges lost in the 1927 flood.
Since our last update,
our knowledge of Oregon structures has been enhanced
tremendously thanks to research provided by Bill Cockrell of
the Covered Bridge Society of Oregon. The website now includes
638 covered bridges for that state. When you get a few
moments, be sure to visit the website (www.lostbridges.org)
and see our progress to date.
If you live in Vermont
or will be traveling in the area during late June, consider a
stop at the Vermont History Expo in Tunbridge during the
weekend of June 25 & 26. We will be sharing a booth with
the Vermont Covered Bridge Society and showing pictures of
long gone Vermont bridges. For more information about the
expo, see their website - http://www.vermonthistory.org/expo/
His Work Bridges Art and
lovingly crafted models grace museums across New
by By Field Editor Linda Rinta, West Wareham,
WHEN Walter Carlson taught high school carpentry classes,
he had his students build models of houses when they couldn't
work outside in the winter. Little did he suspect that model
building might one day help save his
"Back in 1995
and '96, I had chemotherapy once a week for 14 months," he
remembers. "It made me so sick, I didn't even know if I wanted
to go on. The doctor said I needed to find something I loved
to do and asked me, "Did you ever think about building models
of covered bridges?"
"It's funny, because I'd always built models of houses. And I
had hundreds of pictures of covered bridges my wife and I had
taken through the years. But I never thought about putting the
Once he did, there was no stopping him. He fought through
chemotherapy and has gone on to complete more than 40 exact
replicas of historic covered
first "therapy bridge" was a scale model of the Cilleyville
Bog Bridge in Cilleyville, New Hampshire. With help from his
brother John, he took pictures of the bridge and developed
plans. Over hundreds of hours, Walter re-created the bridge
from scratch. Ironically, while the original bridge has fallen
into disrepair, Walter's model is still lovingly displayed in
museums and shows throughout New England and
It's hard to
believe the amazing detail he puts into each replica until you
see it with your own eyes. Walter starts with actual
blueprints when he can get them. He usually scales everything
to 1 inch per foot, except for the bridge's length, which he
shortens to « inch per
Then he cuts
cedar trees from his back yard in the country near Raynam,
Massachussetts and mills the fragrent wood into miniature
beams, planks and shingles. And finally, he pegs them together
with hundreds of wooden pegs, or
done, the scale models are nearly perfect in every detail.
Walter says his most ambitious project to date was the Slate
Bridge in Swanzy, New Hampshire. Built in 1842, the historic
landmark was destroyed by fire in1993. His precision model
became a focal point in the fund-raising campaign to rebuild
Working from the
blueprints, Walter put more than 200 hours of meticulous
handcraft into a 7-foot-long, 2-foot-high replica. "It took me
13 hours just to cut the roof shingles," he says. "There are
4,560 of them."
he finally finished his model after 3 months of work, it
toured for 18 months as part of the fund-raising effort.
"after all the research I did, I felt like I got to personally
know the old bridge and its stories," he
So it was with a
great sense of triumph that Walter and his wife Virginia,
visited Swanzy during reconstruction and took part in the
dedication ceremony as the "historic" new bridge reopened to
one museum after another heard about me and wanted a model.
I've been busy ever since," Walter adds.
He built replicas of the Drewsville Bridge on the Vermont/New
Hampshire border; Meade Bridge in Proctor, Vermont, Keniston
Bridge in Andover, New Hampshire; Clarkes' Trading Post Bridge
in North Woodstock, New Hampshire; Twin Silos Bridge in
Wilmington, Vermont; and the Fairway Bridge in Hopington, New
Hampshire to name a
his bridges with him to Florida in the winters and has won
ribbons at artisan shows in
One of only
a few covered bridge model makers in the country, he's an
active member of the National Society for the Preservation of
Covered Bridges. In his lectures at schools, churches and
civic organizations, he expresses concern over the rate at
which vandalism and neglect are destroying historic
So he's doing
everything he can to save his rickety old friends. After all,
they did the same for him.
[Country Extra, March 2005. Reprinted with permission
from Country Extra
Covered Bridge Manual
NOTICE: Covered Bridge
Manual -- in print and available for free. As noted previously
herein, Phil Pierce, Consulting Engineer and covered bridge
specialist, and his team, have completed preparation of the
new manual for the Federal Highway Administration. With major
focus on the engineering and construction of covered bridges,
it also includes diverse information and should be a good
reference for anyone interested in covered bridges. To request
your free copy, write to John O'Fallon at the Turner-Fairbank
Highway Research Center, FHWA, 6300 Georgetown Pike, McLean,
VA 22101 or send an email to John.O'Fallon@fhwa.dotgov
one-day seminar will be held in Indianapolis on August 2m
regarding the release of the Covered Bridge Manual.
Information will be forth coming. Advance information may be
obtained by emailing Keith Hoernschemeyer of the Federal
Highway Administration (keith.hoernschemeyer@ fhwa.dotgov) who
is coordinating the event
The Building of a Covered Bridge
by Richard H. Martin
What does it take to build a model of a covered bridge? A
lot of patience and, of course, knowledge of the construction
along with photographs of details helps.
I built this model (see photo below) out of what we call
sugar pine (balsam fir). It is a soft wood and easy to work
with. It bonds good with glue, which absorbs into the wood.
The scale which I used was 1/2 inch to the foot which makes
it an easy scale to work with. The model is 22" x 8" at the
floor line and 12" high over-all. The model represents a
I chose multi-king post with a burr arch -- I've
photographed many of them. It was one of my favorite
constructions. The Zacke Cox Bridge, Parke Co. Indiana
(14-61-11) is one of them. Each rafter and king post was put
in a jig so they were exact size. The flooring is laid
cross-wise of flooring joist.
The roof boards are splayed apart similarly to when they
were used for wooden shingles. The boards run length-wise of
What to use for shingles? I picked up a piece of Formica
counter-topping: There was my answer. The Formica was dark
brown on the underside which makes the shingle look natural.
Each shingle was cut 3/4" long and 3/8" wide. The Formica
was 1/16" thick. With the help of Elmer's Glue, I glued all
1480 shingle (count them if you can!) on the roof board. I
used a headline to keep the rows straight. At first, I laid
the shingle even at the bottom edge. It didn't look right so I
staggered every-other shingle 1/32" of an inch. They look more
For wooden (tree-nails) I used round tooth picks, bored a
hole the size of the tooth picks, glued the tooth picks and
inserted in the hole. With the aid of a side shaper, I cut
each end off almost flush then sanded off rough edges to give
a natural look.
If I were to build a real covered bridge where would I
build it? What would I name it? The answer -- two miles east
of Tyner, Indiana in Polk Township, Marshall Co. The comer of
my father's farm was four comers. 100-feet north ofthe comer
was a type of steel bridge, another bridge was 200' east, and
two more were 1/8 mile and another 1/4 mile south. All 4
bridges were painted black. Thus the community became known as
"black bridge comers." Thus the name of the model. The bridges
span Pine creek.
The first bridge was at the comer of my father's farm. As a
lad, I use to play around these bridges. The steel bridges are
long gone. Replaced by concrete bridges today.
If I were to build a real bridge, I'd build it at the four
comers, thus the name "black bridge comers."
I started this model in 1972. I tell people I have $5 worth
of material and 500 hours "labor of love."
I never got around to putting siding on the model. I kind
of like looking at the side view construction. Now at age
93-years-old, my eyes are getting dim with age so it will be
my unfinished work.
So..I say to the covered bridge Society, see you down the
road at the next bridge! Photo by Duane Locke.
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.
Book's Bridge a.k.a. the Kaufman Covered Bridge. Photos by George
Eysenbach, March 2005. The bridge is a mile west of Blain on Three
Springs Road in Jackson Twp and celebrated its re-opening in October
Dick Roy reports that another of
our valued members, Alfred E. Brigham, has crossed the portal
to the unknown. Al became a member in the early 1960s,
probably in 1962. If this is the case, he would have been a
member for 43 years. This is before even June & Dick Roy
became members in 1964. We want to thank his daughter Nancy
for passing along the information. Our thoughts and prayers go
out to his family.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 6, 2005, Two Men
Get Prison for Bridge Blaze. Two young men must each pay
$35,000 each, serve several months in prison, and perform
community service for burning a hole in the Knecht's Covered
Bridge in Springfield Township on August 31, 2004.
The Eagle, March 31, 2005, The Historic Buskirk
Bridge will Open for Traffic. Following an inspection of
the bridge, the Superintendent of Public Works for Washington
County announced that the reconstructed Buskirk Bridge was
scheduled to re-open to traffic on Friday, April 1.
Opelika-Auburn News, June 5, 2005, Salem-Shotwell
Covered Bridge Collapses. The 75-foot bridge which crossed
the Wacoochee Creek collapsed and completely fell into the
creek after a tree had fallen on it.
Winteset Madisonian, Iowa, March 30, 2005, Forest
Service Grant to Monitor Covered Bridge. Fiber optic
lines, infrared and ultraviolet camera systems and a flame
detector are being considered to be installed in hidden
recesses of the Cedar Bridge. This high- tech remote security
monitoring system is designed to notify officials in case of a
The Hartford Courant, June 3, 2005, State
Promises Speedy Bridge Repairs. The Comstock Covered
Bridge, built in 1791, is scheduled to be repaired and
re-opened to visitors by July 4th. The bridge which spans the
Salmon River, has been closed to pedestrians since March 16
after structural problems were found.
Tribune-Star,Indiana, May 13, 2005, Suspect
Charged in Arson of Bridge. Jesse L. Payne is accused of
setting fire to the historic Bridgeton Covered Bridge, built
in 1868, during the early morning hours of April 28. He is
also accused of attempting to bum the Mansfield Covered Bridge
the same day.
CONTRIBUTORS: George Eysenbach, Dick Wilson, Bill
Caswell, James Crouse, Andy Howard.
The Remains of Bridgeton Covered Bridge. Photo
by Cathy Harkrider.|
A MESSAGE FROM THE MEMBERSHIP
This will be your last Topics/Newsletter. When you
read this notice and see (05) on the mailing label, it means that
your dues are due. If (05) does not show up then you are paid
through June 2006. Please look at the following information and
write me a note with your renewal. Please be prompt, if possible, in
order that Topics and the Newsletter be delivered by bulk mail
process. Thank you very much for your
ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE
Please print your name and address as you wish it to appear on
our records and on your mailing label.
|Annual membership (family or individual)
all living at the
Canadian Postage Supplement
Single Life Membership
& Mrs. Life Membership
OPTIONAL DONATIONS FOR BRIDGE PRESERVATION (Harold F. Eastman
Howe Truss Contribution
|Burr Truss Contribution
Haupt Truss Contribution
PLEASE MAKE CHECKS OR MONEY ORDERS TO N.S.P.C.B. INC. and mail
to:ADDRESS CHANGE - MEMBERSHIP DUES
4856 Spencers Oaks Blvd
Every year over $1,000 is remitted towards the Harold F. Eastman
Fund from Optional Donations. Please help keep the fund afloat for
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
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;
4856 Spencers Oaks
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
The Book, Life in the Slow Lane is still available
for $16.95 + $3.95 Shipping and Handling.
Patch with N.S.P.C.B. logo 3" arm patch available for $1.75 + 55
Books Available by Andrew Howard:
CB's of Madison County IA, A Guide . . . . . .$6.50
Connecticut, A Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . $5.50
Virginia, A Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $6.95
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.
Covered Bridge Polo Shirts with N.S.P.C.B.
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 Store
|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.
A DVD: "Spanning Time: America's Covered
A television documentary on covered bridge culture, issues
and restoration is currently being made available to members
at a cost of $24.00 including postage and handling. The
Treasurer has reviewed the DVD and assures you that it is of
excellent quality and interest. This DVD prominently features
the society's president, David W. Wright.
Please send your check payable to NSPCB to: David A.
Topham, NSPCB Treasurer, 45 Village Way #50, Rockport, ME
NSPCB ANNUAL DINNER
Sunday, October 16, 2005 at 12:00 noon
This is the Annual Meeting and is being held on October 16th at
the French King Restaurant on Route 2 in Millers Falls, MA. See
dinner reservations and application below.
The French King Restaurant is located at the east end of the
French King Bridge. The well known landmark carries Massachusetts
Rout,e 2 over the Connecticut River near Millers Falls, at a very
picturesque spot. The dinner will be served at 12:00 noon and
meeting will follow at 1 :00 P.M.
Our speaker this year is still To Be Announced.
Cut off here or reproduce and send along with your check or money
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dinner Reservation coupon for October 16,2005 annual meeting. To
be returned with payment as designated below. Please return no
later than October 10. 2005.
_____Whole Boneless Breast of Chicken
_____with stuffing and
gravy. . . . . . . . .$19.95
_____ Yankee Pot Roast. . . . . . .
. . . .. .$19.95
_____ Baked Haddock au Gratin. . . . ..
_____ Fisherman Casserole. . . . . . . . . . $19.95
Cambridge, MA 02139
Make checks payable to N.S.P.C.B. Inc.
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 August 9, 2005