January - February - March - Winter 2004
Society for the preservation of Covered Bridges
|David W. Wright, President
P.O. Box 171
|Mrs. Christine Ellsworth
Worcester, MA 01603
|Carmela Sciandra, Newsletter Ed.|
Cambridge, MA 02139
|Send dues to:
143 Freeman St. Extension
|Richard Roy, Historian
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 2004
Sunday, March 28 at 1pm Meeting will be held at the
Plymouth Church, 87 Edgell Road, Framingham MA.
Sunday, April 25 at 1pm Meeting will be held at the
Plymouth Church, 87 Edgell Road, Framingham MA.
Saturday, June 5 NSPCB 50th Anniversary
Celebration. See below for more information.
newsletter is scheduled for April 2004. Therefore, anyone wishing to
submit any photos, articles, etc. should submit them to Carmela or
KC by March 20, 2003. 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
Dear Fellow Members, Greetings!!
My report to you this quarter will be fairly brief, for a number
of different reasons, the principal one being the press of much
other business. This having been said, please permit me to express
the hope that all of you have had happy holidays. I also want to
wish each and every one of you a Most Happy New Year, however
And now to the bridges:
The Contoocook Covered Railroad Bridge: As previously
reported in the Fall issue of the President's Message, work is
proceeding at the Contoocook Covered Railroad Bridge. Tim Andrews,
of Barns and Bridges of New England, has, after a certain amount of
searching, been able to locate and purchase a sufficient number of
absolutely first class Southern Pine timbers out of which he intends
to fabricate new Corbels for the span.
(The Corbels that are presently in place under this bridge have
largely rotted away because all four corners of the Contoocook span
were once buried in sand, gravel, and trash.)
Tim has also transported the two great steel I-Beams with which
the Bog or Cilleyville Covered Bridge was supported during its
restoration down to the Contoocook span, and installed them there,
At Contoocook, these I-Bearms will soon be made use of to hold up
the trusses of the bridge while the above mentioned deteriorated
Corbels are extracted and replaced. Once the weather improves, that
is to say, once it warms up a bit, work in and about the structure
will go forward in earnest.
The Bath-Haverhill Covered Bridge: The consultations
regarding this span which are part and parcel of the 106 process
continue. (Please see the Fall 2003 issue of the Newsletter for an
explanation of the National Society's role in these
As a result of the consultations in question, certain decisions
regarding repairs to the Bath-Haverhill span have tentatively been
arrived at, whereas others are still very much pending.
As explained in the Fall issue of the Newsletter above referred
to, for the moment, the proper place for the National Society
to be expressing its views as to what ought to be done, or not done,
to the Bath-Haverhill span is within the confines of the main
conference room down at the John O. Morton Building in Concord, New
Hampshire. (For those of you who do not know, the John O. Morton
Building in Concord is the "seat" of the New Hampshire Department of
The 106 meetings during the course of which repairs to the
Bath-Haverhill Covered Bridge are being discussed, have been, and in
principle will continue to be, hosted by the New Hampshire
Department of Transportation.
When finally it becomes clear how the Bath-Haverhill span is
going to be repaired, I shall make a full and complete report to
members on this subject, at that time, letting the chips fall where
they may. At that time, in other words, I shall spare no one's ox,
be he friend or foe, nor anyone's feelings. For the moment. However,
it is silence that is appropriate.
One final matter: In the December issue of Yankee
Magazine, on page 12, to be exact, there is an interesting
article about our remaining Covered Wooden Bridges. This article
manages to highlight many of the ever so vexing questions which
invariably arise anytime one contemplates repairs to an existing
19th or early 20th century Covered Wooden Span. I recommend the
article in question highly to all of you.
President, David W. Wright
SAVE THE DATE !!
The National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges is
celebrating its 50th Anniversary. We will be having a Covered Bridge
Safari on June 5th in the Concord, NH area. We will meet at 9a.m.
and have a day of bridging. After the safari, we will meet and have
dinner served by The Order of Eastern Star. There will be photo
books of bridgers' travels, raffles, covered bridge "must have"
items and a night of education by area experts in the art of bridge
building. More information to follow. Below is information on
accommodations to make your plans.
Hope you can join us in this commemorative year celebrating 50
years of Covered Bridging!
Elmwood Motor Lodge - - - - - - - - - - 603-796-2411 or
Daniel Webster Motor Lodge - - - - - - -
Best Western - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Comfort Inn - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
603-226-4100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Concord Chamber of
Commerce - - - - - 603-224-2508
If I can be of any help,
please contact me at Sanibel93 @aol.com or
Comstock Covered Bridge
By Sean T. James, P.E.
The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) recently completed
the rehabilitation of the Comstock Covered Bridge in Montgomery, VT.
Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc. (HTA) provided inspection,
rehabilitative design and on-call construction consultation for the
project. The bridge was in poor condition after a recent flood and
had heavy racking of the trusses and up to 12 inches of sweep in the
bottom chords of the truss caused by water pressure during the
The rehabilitation included minor repair or replacement of
deteriorated truss members, realignment of the trusses, installation
of approach railing, new floor beams and deck and a new metal roof.
VTrans and HTA made a concerted effort to retain as much original
fabric of the bridge as possible and only those sections of the
bridge that could no longer serve their structural function were
Sean T. James, P.E.
Hoyle, Tanner &
150 Dow Street
Manchester, NH 03101
mailto: sjames @ hta-nh.com
September 28, 2003 NSPCB Meeting at the
Bennington, VT Museum
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and accepted
(Motion: Pauline Prideaux; Seconded: Joye Olson). Passed
23 members and guests attended the meeting held at the
Covered Bridge Museum in Bennington, VT. David Wright called
the meting to order and talked about the trip to Kentucky by
David Fischetti, Tim Andrews and Arnold Graton. All three were
made Colonels by the State of Kentucky.
It was mentioned that Bruce Laumeister and John Dostal
began the Museum in Bennington, Vermont. In the course of the
meeting Bruce asked if we had any suggestions as to what we
thought of the Covered Bridge section of the Museum. Several
of the members talked to Bruce and several suggestions were
talked about. It was mentioned that about 600 covered bridges
were located in Vermont at one time.
Dick Roy presented a large black and white photograph of
the Green River Bridge in Guilford, VT to the museum. Mary
Shaub took the photograph.
A copy of the new book, Images of America Series,
Maine's Covered Bridges Past and Present, will be
available at the annual meeting. This book is an excellent
photographic description of covered bridges in Maine. Joseph
Conwill, editor of Topics has done an excellent job in
producing this book.
Victor R. Rolando talked about his connection with Richard
S. Allen, iron furnaces and iron foundries. He mentioned how
generous Rick was and answered many questions for everyone he
met. Rick has had some minor strokes and asked that any
questions be in written form rather than on the phone.
Our latest lifetime members were at the meeting and
introduced to the membership. They are Charles and Evelyn
Lovastik (No.'s 139 and 140).
It was mentioned that the Shushan was the only and first
Covered Bridge Museum. Shushan opened in 1975. Bennington
Museum was the second Covered Bridge Museum. There was mention
of another in Lancaster County, PA (Hersville Bridge).
There will be another book out "The Brothers of the
Bridge" on covered bridges and their trusses. The book
will be 356 type-written pages and is written by Frank Griggs
Work on the Contoocook Bridge will begin as soon as the
material has arrived, which should be almost immediately. Tim
Andrews is doing the work. He had to wait for long leaf
southern pine and other materials which were needed.
The Society is responsible for up to $20,000 for the
repairs. When finished it will be in stable condition. No Char
and Protecto wire will also be added. The bridge, built in
1889, is the oldest remaining covered Railroad Bridge in
There is a pony truss bridge in Tim Andrews's back yard,
hopefully to be placed near Hopkinton RRCB. This Pony is from
Arlington, MA and was given to the National Society by the
Massachusetts Highway Department.
David Wright mentioned the report of the Haverhill-Bath
Bridge. A report by David Fischetti on the stresses and many
other points of stress in the structure were mentioned.
There was a motion that we purchase covered bridge pins for
the 50th Anniversary for $153. (Motion: Dick Roy; Seconded:
John Dostal.) Passed unanimously.
The Woodale Bridge in Delaware went down in a hurricane,
also Delta Bridge in Iowa was arsoned. Another in Iowa was
almost set on fire but was discovered and the fire put
The museum put on the video on covered bridges. They talked
about the bridges and showed many very old photos and sayings.
Many of the bridge pictures showed horses and wagons, old
vehicles, and many damaged bridges.
Mr. Laumeister talked about the "Craft" types of trusses.
They were shown and discussed in the "Planning a Bridge"
section of the video. It discussed the town meeting, how much
money to raise and what type of bridge and who is to build
It isn't easy being a covered bridge! With snow, a fire
being set or happening accidentally, and sometimes having
sideboards removed to let the water through in a flood . . .
In the 1927 flood, the first week of November, 200 covered
bridges were lost in Vermont alone. Now Vermont has about 100
Henry Gurley Obituary: Christine Ellsworth let us
know that Henry Gurley, one of our members, passed away on
December 3`d. Henry and his wife Shirley have been members
since 1981 and have gone on most, if not all, of the safaris.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife
Press Enterprise, Bloomsburg, PA, November 2003,
Wind-toppled Tree Smashes Roof of Rare Forks Span. A
tree damaged the roof of one of the twin covered bridges
during high winds. The County Commissioner and president of
the Columbia County Covered Bridges Association said even
though the bill will be in the thousands of dollars, the
bridge is fully insured, so it will be fixed. For more
Le Haut-Saint-Franqois, November 24, 2003, Gould
Covered Bridge to be Restored. The McVetty-McKerry covered
bridge, built in 1893 near Gould, in the municipality of
Lingwick, will be restored over a four-year period. Closed to
traffic for many years, it is the longest covered bridge in
Stanstead Journal, November 27, 2003, Milby
Bridge Closed. The Town of Waterville has just closed the
Milby bridge upon the recommendations of the Quebec Ministry
of Transport. It has been declared unsafe for motorized
traffic. A recent inspection revealed that supporting beams
under the bridge show considerable stress. The bridge, built
in 1873, is located just off Route 147 between Huntingville
and Compton and is one of the oldest covered bridges in the
Observer Dispatch, Utica, NY, September 29, 2003,
Salisbury Bridge Project Progresses. A $153,000 federal
grant has been received to repair Herkimer County's last
remaining authentic covered bridge built in 1875. The work
includes stabilizing the bridge as well as applying a fire
Post Star, Glens Falls, NY, November 5, 2003,
Work on Bridge to Begin. A $1.7 million contract has
been awarded to repair the Buskirks Covered Bridge which
connect Washington and Rensselaer counties. The bridge has
been closed since August 2002. County officials are planning
to build a new bridge downstream on the Hoosic River.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 12, 2003,
Covered Bridge Links Kickapoo Valley to a Greener Era.
A new covered bridge crosses the Kickapoo River near LaFarge.
For more information, about the Kickapoo Valley Reserve and
its outdoor recreational opportunities, please see
The Sun, Maryland, October 12, 2003, The Bridges
of Lancaster County. This travel section story covers
driving tours of the bridges of Lancaster County, PA.
CONTRIBUTORS: Dick and Jeanette Wilson,
Gerald Arbour, Dick Roy, Ken Mauer, William Seip.
Rehabilitation of Two Bridges in
by Donald Wiech
One bridge that is underway in Ashtabula County is the
Warner Hollow Bridge. This bridge was boarded up due to very
poor flooring and poor lower chords. Also one of the piers was
replaced with a new concrete pier. The bridge also has been
35-04-25: Warner Hollow
The other bridge which is underway is the Mechanicsville
Bridge. I am sure that the lower chords will be replaced along
with the damaged diagonals. A spring 2004 dedication is being
35-04-18: Mechanicsville. Note: Arch ends at lower
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 including shipping
Pens -They have "I love Covered Bridges -
N.S.P.C.B." written on them. Available for $1.25 including
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.
PLEASE MAKE CHECKS OR MONEY ORDERS TO
N.S.P.C.B. INC and mail to;
143 Freeman St.
Haverhill, MA 01830
NATIONAL SOCIETY FOR THE PRESERVATION OF
COVERED BRIDGES INC.
Nominations of Officers for the
President: David Wright, P.O. Box 171,
Westminster, VT 05158
Vice President: Engineering Consultant, Lt.
Colonel Wilbar Hoxie, 31 Green St., Reading, MA 01867
Vice President No. 2 Custodian of the
Eastman-Thomas Fund, Director of Computer Programming, Roger
Easton, RR 2 Box 919-D, Canaan, NH 03741
Vice President No. 3 Richard E. Roy, 73 Ash
Street, Apt. 2, Manchester, NH 03104
Statutory Agent: Corresponding Secretary,
Christine Ellsworth, 44 Cleveland Ave., Worcester, MA 01603
Treasurer: David Topham, 45 Village Way #50,
Rockport, ME 04856, Joan Topham: Secretary
Director Expires 2004 Russell Whitney, 63
Baldwin Avenue, Framingham, MA 01701
Director Expires 2005 Pauline Prideaux, 143
Freeman St Ext., Haverhill, MA 01830
Director Expires 2006 Joseph Cohen, 130
Westfield Drive, Holliston, MA 01746
Submitted October 19, 2003 at the Annual Meeting at the
French King Restaurant in Millers Falls, MA.
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.
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. 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 is 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
for the Preservation of Covered Bridges, Inc. and its
This file posted February 14, 2004