July - August - September - Summer 2004

National Society for the preservation of Covered Bridges

David W. Wright, President
P.O. Box 171
Westminster, VT 05158
(802) 722-4040
Mrs. Christine Ellsworth
Corresponding Secretary
44 Cleveland Ave.
Worcester, MA 01603
(508) 756-4516
Carmela Sciandra, Newsletter Ed.
P.O. Box 398026
Cambridge, MA 02139
E-mail: croses@hotmail.com
Send dues to:
Pauline Prideaux
Membership Chairperson
143 Freeman St. Extension
Haverhill, MA 01830-4659
E-mail: sanibel93@aol.com
Richard Roy, Historian
73 Ash Street
Manchester, NH 03104-4906
KC Klingensmith, Newsletter Ed.
P.O. Box 425193
Cambridge, MA 02142
E-mail: kc@ilp.mit.edu

David Topham, Treasurer, Nov thru April only: 11707 Oakmont Ct., Fort Myers, FL 33908-2825 239-433-1551;
May thru Oct: 45 Village Way No. 50, Rockport, ME 04856-3805, 207-596-7472

MEETINGS and EVENTS for 2004

Sunday. July 25th at 1pm Blacksmith Shop Bridge in Cornish, NH at 1:00pm.

Sunday. August 22nd Annual picnic in Westminster, VT at the site of the Archives (rear of Westminster Institute and Butterfield Library on Route 5). Picnic begins at noon, meeting to follow. Please bring your own chairs; hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided.

September 19th at Ipm Clarks Trading Post, Route 3, Lincoln, NH. W~ will be celebrating the IOOth anniversary of the railroad bridge. Exit 33 off! -93. One mile south on route 3.

October 17th NSPCB Annual Meeting at the French King Restaurant in Millers Falls, MA.


The next newsletter is scheduled for October 2004. Therefore, anyone wishing to submit any photos, articles, etc. should submit them to Carmela or KC by September 15, 2004. Any newspaper or magazine articles must include source information and details (such as name of publication, date, etc.). Electronic submissions are preferred. THANK YOU!

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Dear Fellow Members, Greetings:
There will be just a short message this quarter, due to the press of much other business.

Fiftieth Anniversary of Incorporation Celebration: Thanks to the superb organizational skills of Pauline and Don Prideaux, as well as to a great deal of hard, diligent work on their part, the Society's Fiftieth Anniversary of Incorporation Celebrations went off without a hitch. A good time was had by all.

As most members will already know from having read last month's Newsletter, a short Safari and two after dinner talks were integral parts of these celebrations. Don and Pauline Prideaux led the safari, the specific details of which they had of course worked out far in advance. Suffice it to say here that this safari was beautifully planned, plenty of time having been allowed at every bridge both for photography, and for a thorough examination of the particulars of each span.

The two after dinner talks were as well excellent.

The first of these talks was a slide show presented by Ken Olson, a long time employee of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. In that capacity, Ken worked on a number of Covered Bridge rehabilitation projects, hence his comments respecting certain Covered Spans were of special interest.

The second talk was given by James L. Garvin, Architectural Historian for the State of New Hampshire. Jim spoke about Jonathan Parker Snow and Benjamin Wilder Guppy, and of Covered Wooden Bridge building practices on the Boston and Maine Railroad.

In this context, it is interesting to note that though Mr. Snow retired from the B&M about 1913, Mr. Guppy, at first Mr. Snow's deputy, continued to work for the same railroad until 1950. It is probably for the latter reason that spans such as the Contoocook Covered Railroad Bridge were usually repaired over their rather long active service lives by means of the same technology which had produced them in the first place.

I should be remiss here were I not to mention the excellent dinner which was prepared for us by the good folks of the Horace Chase Masonic Lodge in Penacook, New Hampshire. The meal itself was delicious, and the hospitality, of which we all were the focus, heart warming.

One final word respecting the Prideaux: In deep appreciation for their rather beyond-the-call- of-duty efforts in organizing the fiftieth anniversary of incorporation celebrations, as well as for their dedication to the goal of decent Covered Bridge preservation, Don and Pauline Prideaux have been made Honorary Life Members of the National Society.

Renewal of Membership in the Society: Perhaps it is a function of advancing age, (I certainly hope not, but then, there is the calendar, the facts of which it is sometimes difficult to deny!) but with each passing year, time seems to fly by faster. Thus it is that I find it extremely difficult to believe that it is once again the season to renew membership in the National Society. Still, and as indicated above, there is the calendar, and the calendar never lies!! When therefore you receive this message, it will indeed be the moment to "re up" in the Society, re up' that is, unless it be your personal policy to prepay membership a year or two in advance.

To put the matter even more directly, it is I would say essential that those of you whose membership expires with the current issue of Topics and the Newsletter rejoin the Society. As I have remarked often enough in the past, "There is much strength to be had in numbers." Such strength is important when your Society enters into discussions with public authorities regarding the repair and stabilization of a given Covered Wooden Bridge. Though it ought not to be the case, it nevertheless is, and thus the more numerous we are, or are thought to be, the more seriously our views are taken into account during the course of any discussions of that kind.

As well as rejoining the Society, I would ask all of you who are able to make as generous a contribution to the Eastman-Thomas Fund for Covered Bridge Preservation as you can. Monies from this fund have already facilitated the repair and stabilization of the Contoocook Covered Railroad Bridge, and enabled us to finance an in-depth structural analysis of the Bath-Haverhill span. With still greater financial resources at our disposal, we could of course do even more. Please, therefore, give as generously as possible to the Eastman- Thomas Fund.

In the meantime, Happy Bridging!!

Sincerely, Your President
David W. Wright

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Photo by Roland and Lorraine Routhier
Photo by Roland and Lorraine Routhier. They recently attended the Masters Golf tournament in Augusta, GA, and were surprised to find a Covered Bridge on their course.

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) are pleased to announce the development of a new traveling exhibition, Covered Bridges: Spanning the American Landscape. The exhibition will offer an engaging exploration of the history, architecture and engineering of covered bridges. Combining HAER's histories, photographs and detailed architectural and engineering drawings; historic images and materials from Smithsonian and other archival collections; and reproduction artifacts, the exhibition will explore the many ways covered bridges have created a niche in American popular culture. Visitors will learn about the simultaneously beautiful and sturdy construction that characterizes covered bridges and how the cultural view of them has changed over time. Covered Bridges: Spanning the American Landscape is scheduled to debut late in 2005 and will travel to venues throughout the United States.

For more information on this exciting new exhibition, please contact Robbie Davis at 202- 633-3114 or visit SITES' website at www.sites.si.edu

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New York's Newest Covered Bridge
By Bob & Trish Kane
Photography by C. Gary Beckstead

If you have ever gone bridging or traveled with Gary Beckstead, you know that it is always an adventure. During a recent visit with Gary, he thought it would be nice to take us to see New York's newest, authentic covered bridge nestled in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in Lewis County in the Town of Greig.
Rether Bridge, Camillus, NY. Photo by C. Gary Beckstead
Rether Bridge, Camillus, NY. Photo by C. Gary Beckstead
Rether Bridge, Camillus, NY. Photo by C. Gary Beckstead
Rether Bridge, Camillus, NY
[WGN 32-25-01]
Photos by C. Gary Beckstead
       Gary first heard of this bridge in the fall of 2002 and with only a few clues as to its location began his quest to find it during the winter of 2003. All he knew for sure was that it was located in Lewis County and somewhere south of Brantingham Lake.
       With the help of the DeLorme Atlas he determined an 'area' where he thought the bridge might be located and decided this is where he would focus his efforts. After driving to this location, and searching up and down the road he thought it might be on, he was not able to locate it. He decided to stop and ask at the next house he came to. As luck would have it there wasn't a house in sight, but finally, he spotted what looked like a summer home. He approached the house and knocked but because it was winter, didn't really expect to find anyone at home. Low and behold someone came to the door! He asked if they knew of any newly built covered bridge in the area. To his amazement, they did and the lane to the bridge was just across the road at the end of their lawn. Now just how lucky is that! Gary thanked them and off he went down the snow filled lane in search of the bridge. Keep in mind, there was a lot of snow so this was not an easy task, but Gary was determined and eager to find this bridge. After hiking in for about 1/2 mile, he finally found it and what an interesting bridge it was.
       Instead of a plain plank bridge, bridge owner Roger J. Rether from Camillus, NY decided to build a traditional Kingpost truss covered bridge over a small stream leading to his camp. Using designs and illustrations from Eric Sloane's book, American Barns and Covered Bridges, Mr. Rether hand hewed the beams for this single span bridge and used the old-style mortise and tenon technique to hold them together with red oak pegs. The "Bridge Master" then covered the bridge with barn wood siding and cedar shingles. The span also includes a lovely covered walkway with windows on both sides. There are many interesting articles located in the bridge . . . a small tin cup, a wooden mallet, a bottle of Sloan's liniment, a whisky flask, and some burlap bags, just to name a few. And when you visit the bridge, don't forget to look up to see some other interesting features of the bridge. The bridge doesn't officially have a name so for now, it is being referred to as the Rether Covered Bridge. It has been assigned a World Guide number of NY-32-25-01. We did not have our tape measure with us the day we visited the bridge but Mr. Rether told us the bridge was approximately 25 feet long. We will verify this information and the GPS location on our next visit to the bridge.

Directions to the bridge: Begin your journey in Port Leyden on State Rt. 12. Turn east and go across the river. At the T in the road, take a left (north) on River Rd. for 3/4 mile. Bear right (north east) on Marmon Rd. and follow for 3/4 mile. Then turn right (east) on Penny Settlement Rd. and follow for 1 1/2 miles. Turn left (north) on Fowlerville Rd. and follow for approximately 5 miles to the end. Turn right (east) on Abbey Rd. and follow for approximately 3/4 mile until you come to a green house on the right (#7870 on the house). Just past this house is a lane on the left. At the entrance is a wooden sign with #7875 and RJR 2003 engraved on it. This is the lane you will want to take. You can drive in for a short distance and park by the gate (please do not block the gate). From there, you will need to travel by foot for about 1/2 mile. The bridge will be on your right.

Although it is a little difficult to find it is worth the trip as it is such an interesting bridge. Mr. Rether welcomes visitors but asks that you respect the mementos he has displayed in his bridge. And when you visit, don't forget to sign his guest book.

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The 50th Anniversary 'Weekend
June 4 & 5, 2004
By Pauline & Don Prideaux

The 50th celebration weekend was attended by 55 people. We started with an Ice Cream Social Friday night. Many bridgers from all parts came to share their bridge stories. Represented were New York, Ohio, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Canada, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Michigan and Massachusetts. Introduced were Dick Wilson, President of N.Y.S.C.B.S., Ed Barna, Author of Covered Ridges of Vermont, and Robert McPherson, President of Northern Ohio C.B.S. and Dick Roy, V.P., N.S.P.C.B. We ended the evening with a Covered Bridge slide show by Ken Olson.

We met Saturday morning to start the 17 car safari. We visited the Contoocook Railroad Bridge (26-07-07), Rowell Bridge (26-07-08), Henniker Bridge (26-07-12), Bement Bridge (26-07-03), Waterloo Bride (29-07-04), Dalton Bridge (26-07-05), Cilleyville Bridge (26-07- 01), Keniston Bridge (26-07-02), and finally stopping at the Covered Bridge House in Webster, NH. The sun was shining and many photos were taken while stories were shared at the bridges.

We arrived back at the Horace Chase Lodge around 4:00 pm for the delicious dinner to be served by The Order of the Eastern Star. June Roy was busy with the Covered Bridge store and the raffle. The 50th anniversary items table was manned by Marianne and Joe Cohen. Thousands of postcards were available from Don Prideaux, Jeanette Wilson, Robert and Barbara McPherson and Robert Damery. There was something for everyone. Dick Roy had a display of wooden covered bridge models for everyone to enjoy.

After dinner we were fortunate to have Jim Garvin, Architectural Historian for New Hampshire, give us a presentation on railroad bridges. Jim was ready for all the questions that came his way.

David Wright, President of N.S.P.C.B. then thanked everyone for coming to the celebration. Don presented me with flowers and card signed by everyone. David then announced an Honorary Life Membership for me and Don from the society. We want to thank you all so much for that and the wonderful weekend we had with our bridger friends. Also a big thank you to Carmela Sciandra and KC Klingensmith for being the Caboose and to Ken, Joye and Karl Olson who made arrangements for the lodge use. We couldn't have done it without you all.

Happy Bridging!

There is a new book entitled Touring the History of Covered Bridges - Pacific Northwest Edition. The book is 113 pages and retails for about $30. For more information, contact the author, Karen Bennett, at 503-835-8109 or at Bennett5@msn.com


This will be your last Topics/Newsletter. When you read this notice and see (04) on the mailing label, it means that your dues are due. If (04) does not show up then you are paid through June 2005. Please look at the following information and write me with your renewal. We ask that you be prompt, if possible, in order that Topics and the Newsletter be delivered by Bulk Mail process. Thank you very much for your cooperation.                      Pauline Prideaux


Please print your name and address as you wish it to appear on our records and on your mailing label.



City________________________State_____________Zip Code________

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Annual membership (family or individual)
all living at the same address
Canadian Postage Supplement
European Postage Supplement
Student Membership
Single Life Membership
Mr. & Mrs. Life Membership
Corporate Membership


(Harold F. Eastman Memorial Fund)

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Portal Contribution
Kingpost Contribution
Queenpost Contribution
Howe Truss Contribution
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Burr Truss Contribution
Town Lattice Contribution
Haupt Truss Contribution
Whipple Truss Contribution

and mail to:

                            N.S.P.C.B. INC.
                            Pauline Prideaux
                            143 Freeman St. Ext.
                            Haverhill, MA 01830

Every year over $1,000 is remitted towards the Harold F. Eastman Fund from Optional Donations. Please help keep the fund afloat for Bridge Preservation.

Note from Membership Coordinator: I do apologize for the confusion on the 05 Label last newsletter.

Covered Bridge Presentation in Lunenburg, VT

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 fund.

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 spectacular.

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 family.

File Cleaning

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 handling.

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 Adrion.

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 copies):

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: ftobie@nwadv.com


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 including shipping

Pens -Pens have "I love Covered Bridges - N.S.P.C.B." written on them. Available for $1.25 including shipping.

BWBAG glass ball 7 pen

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 today.


Pauline Prideaux
143 Freeman St. Ext.
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 world.

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 exact replica.


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 bridge."

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 fund-raising projects.

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 bridge replaced.

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 home.

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 Union
Rogue River, OR 97537

Make checks payable to "Southern Oregon Federal CreditUnion" or "SOFCU."
State that your contribution is for the Wimer Covered Bridge account.
For the latest updates on the rebuilding efforts, please go to www.wimercov.eredbridge.org or call 541-582 4588.

The day after the Wimer bridge collapse, July 7, 2003.<br>Photo by Dennis
The day after the Wimer bridge collapse, July 7, 2003.
Photo by Dennis Rasmussen.

Wimer Covered Bridge Features, before collapse:
House with vertical wooden siding over wooden truss construction.
Shingled, gabled roof, the ridge at 25.5 feet above road bed.
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 vibration.



3by5 Modern covered bridges all in USA
3x5 Somerset County, PA
Long gone of PA
4x6 of PA
4x6 of Ontario, Canada
4x6 views of PA
5x7 of Breezewood, Bedford County, PA of West Virginia
5x7 of Ohio
5x7 of PA
5x7 of Cornwall, CT
Complete Postcard list

$0.10 each
$0.25 each
$0.30 each
$0.50 each
$0.25 each
$0.50 each
$0.35 each
$0.49 each
$0.49 each
$0.49 each
$0.35 each
$6.41 each

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 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 + 55 cents S&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.

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 cotton.

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)
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 Fund.

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.


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.

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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.
This file posted July 20, 2004