January - February - March - Winter 2005

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
382 S. Main Street
Andover, MA 01810
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 2005

Sunday, March 20 at 1pm Meeting will be held at the Plymouth Church, 87 Edgell Road, Framingham MA..

Sunday, April 24 at 1pm Meeting will be held at the Plymouth Church, 87 Edgell Road, Framingham MA.

Sunday, 2005 Executive-Only Board Meeting. Location and time to be announced.


The next newsletter is scheduled for April 2005. Therefore, anyone wishing to submit any photos, articles, etc. should submit them to Carmela or KC by March 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!

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Dear Fellow Members, Greetings:

At this time of year, I always have a problem, one which so far, I have not been able to resolve, at least to my satisfaction. Due to the publishing schedule of Topics and the Newsletter, it is essentially impossible for me to wish each and everyone of you a most Happy Holiday Season, at the moment when, left to my own devices, and without any restraining factors beyond my control, I should quite naturally want to do so. For example, were I to send along such a message in the fall issue of the Newsletter, I should be a bit early with it, yet were this message to be included in the winter issue of the same publication, it would be a bit late. What to do? My only recourse has been -- and continues to be -- to have confidence in your understanding and good judgment. As most of you must surely already know, I do wish each and everyone the very best in all things. It is just that at Christmas, the timely expression of this wish is largely frustrated by circumstances.

And now, on to other matters.

First of all, due to a number of different reasons, this President's Message shall not be a lengthy one. There are nevertheless several issues which I need to raise with you at present, albeit more briefly than I otherwise might have liked:

1) There is unfortunately no doubt about it, our membership is down from what it has been these past few years, down to the point where we earnestly need to begin trying to do something about it. Though I shall certainly have more to say about this question in future President's Messages, what I am going to ask all of you to do during the course of the next few months is to try and enroll new members in the Society. If only half of you were to be successful in such an endeavor, our troubles would be over. In fact, if half of you were able to enroll one and a half new members, we should then be possessed of more dues-paying adherents than ever before!! Seriously, won't all of you try to help the Society in this matter, and, at the same time, by no means incidentally, the cause of properly preserved Covered Bridges?!

2) After many important services rendered to the Society, not the least of which was the wonderfully organized fiftieth anniversary of incorporation celebration and safari last summer, Don and Pauline Prideaux are moving to Florida sometime next spring. Though still willing to continue as Membership Chairperson, Pauline Prideaux has asked to be relieved of the task of stuffing Topics and the Newsletter. I am therefore looking for a volunteer to take over this important job. Two people will definitely have an easier time with this chore than will one, so a married couple, for instance, would be ideal. Anyone interested in taking on the stuffing of Topics and the Newsletter ought therefore to give me a call at 1- 802-722-4040. Pauline and Don will take care of the winter issue, and perhaps one more (only 'perhaps', however!), but after that, we shall have to have a new person or persons in place, or else delay the mailing of either the Spring or Summer issue of our publications. Anyone with a little time on his hands who would like to use this time productively and in a good cause, please give me a call. We certainly could use your help. It would not matter much where you live, as the materials you will need could be shipped to you, and once the stuffing has been completed, the resulting addressed envelopes, printed labels supplied by us, holding their precious materials, can be sent on to the person who takes care of putting them in the post.

Once again, a Very Happy Holiday Season to all of you!!


David W. Wright,
President, the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges, Incorporated.

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Silent Bridger -- Editorial by Dick and June Roy
Did you ever think how many people would accompany others in Covered Bridging?

I received an email a few days ago from Sandy Adrion, who said that she was caregiver for her dad, Bud, for 10 1/2 years, and who passed away after having a massive stroke. She also mentioned that her mom had been sick for 4 months until she passed away October 8, 2004.

Sandy was interested in lighthouses as well as covered bridges and was a member of our Society since 1999. Her mom June went on trips with her and kept saying to her that the bridges all look alike and how could she tell them apart. "Mom really took interest in them because of my love for covered bridges and lighthouses," Sandy said. Her mother was a rare breed of silent bridge buffs that no one ever had the pleasure of meeting.

In her casket was placed a small statue of Cape Ann lighthouse, her favorite, and also a book mark with the bible verse John 3:15 with a lighthouse placed on the top of the bookmark.

How many people do you know that are silent bridgers?

Robert A. Michenfelder Obituary: of Piermont, NH, passed away some time in October. His son called Christine Ellsworth to let her know. Mr. Michenfelder did the logo of the Bedell Bridge for the envelopes that are used for our quarterly mailings. He was a Complimentary life member. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Knecht's Covered Bridge. Photo by Ray Johnson, November 1996
Knecht's Covered Bridge, PA(38-09-02) was damaged by fire earlier. Photo by Ray Johnson, November 1996

Spanning New York State
Covered Bridge News

By Bob and Trish Kane

Essex County

Jay Covered Bridge - NY 32-16-01 Jim Ligon, Project Superintendent for Alpine Construction, LLC, reports that the Jay Covered Bridge has been completely rehabilitated and the project has been accepted by Essex County. And, the bridge looks fantastic! It is so nice to see the Jay Bridge back in pristine shape after such a long hiatus. It now awaits the construction and opening of a new bridge just downstream. When that work is completed the covered bridge can be set in place over the river.
       At this point, Alpine Construction is not involved in the contract.

Oneida County
Erwin Park Covered Bridge.
Erwin Park Covered Bridge - NY-33-03
Photo by Trish Kane, October 11, 2004

Erwin Park Covered Bridge - NY-32-33-03 New York State has yet another authentic Covered Bridge in Boonville. Way to go New York! On November 19, 2004 the shell of the Erwin Park Covered Bridge was gently lifted and placed across the Black River Canal. As you can see in the photo, it is a Town lattice truss. It measures 70 feet long and although the bridge is quite capable of carrying modern day traffic, its primary use will be to transport pedestrians, bikers and snowmobiles. Plans are in the works to host a Black River Canal Museum at this site in the future. Congratulations to the Erwin Park Covered Bridge Committee on doing such a wonderful job on the construction of this covered bridge.

Rensselaer/Washington Counties

Buskirk Covered Bridge - NY 32-42-02/58-04 The Buskirk Covered Bridge is coming along nicely. Recently, engineers determined that more timbers and steel rods needed to be replaced than they had originally flagged. These items have arrived and installation has begun.

Ulster County
Mill Brook Bridge. Photo by Bob Kane
Mill Brook Bridge - NY-56-06.
Photo by Bob Kane

Mill Brook Covered Bridge - NY- 32-56-06 (Formerly known as Grants Mill Covered Bridge.) At long last, the State and National Register of Historic Places certificate was presented to Hardenburgh town officials on October 9, 2004. Forty-nine people gathered that beautiful fall morning including Bob Vredenburgh and his wife, Sue. Bob, along with family and friends, was responsible for the rehabilitation of this bridge back in 1992. Please note that through an official proclamation by the Town of Hardenburgh, the name of this bridge has been changed to the Millbrook Covered Bridge.

Beyond New York

New Hampshire - Gorham Pony Truss - NH-29-04-P1 As reported in the September 29, 2004 Berlin Reporter, the rare Gorham Pony Truss bridge over the Moose Brook on the old Boston and Maine Railroad line was set on fire by arsonists on May 20, 2004. It was one of only a handful of such bridges left in the world. James Garvin, New Hampshire State Architectural Historian went before the NSPCB to see if the Society would help in the preservation. The Society hired Tim Andrews of Covered Bridges and Barns in New England to lift what was left of the shell and set it aside. Any salvageable parts are being preserved for possible use in the rehabilitation. Meanwhile, a replacement bridge has been constructed and temporarily put in its place.

Ohio - Rinard Covered Bridge - OH-35-84-28 This Washington County Bridge was a victim of Hurricane Ivan and was washed off its abutments on September 18, 2004. Although it seemed there would be nothing left of the bridge to salvage, at the request of the State Historic Preservation Office, the county engineer hired a contractor to try and salvage what they could of the bridge. With the help of federal funds, there is a possibility that the Rinard Bridge will be rebuilt within the next two years.

Oregon - Thanks to Bill Cockrell, we were very pleased to be able to view the new DVD/VHS Spanning Time: America's Covered Bridges that was recently released. And we highly recommend purchasing a copy of it! You will more than likely recognize many of the names and faces in the program such as: Bill and Linda Cockrell, Arnold Graton, Jan Lewandoski, Anne Lynk, Tom Walczak and David Wright. It is a fantastic program. For more information, contact Bill Cockrell of the Oregon Covered Bridge Society at 3940 Courtney Lane SE, Salem, OR 97302 or email him at: wildbill-salem@worldnet.att. Total cost including shipping is only $22. Please note there could be a 4-6 week delivery time.

Pennsylvania - Mood Covered Bridge - PA-38-09-07 Six young men, who admitted setting fire to the 130 year old covered bridge, will serve between 18 days to 23 months in prison. They will also pay restitution of approximately $66,000 each to cover the cost of the reconstruction of a new bridge. All six men were heading into their junior years in college. Certainly old enough to know better . . . and certainly old enough to be held responsible for their actions.
Covered Bridge Cabin with Glass Floor
Covered Bridge Cabin with Glass Floor VA-46-70- a.
Photo by Steve Pierce

Virginia - Leola and Steve Pierce report a very unique, and probably a one of a kind Modern Shelter built in 1989 in Powhatan County, VA. It is a little King post covered bridge that has been converted into a cabin. What is unique about this 12 x 24 Modern Shelter is that it has a glass floor so you can see the creek! It has been assigned a WG# of VA-46-70-a.

Leola and Steve also share some exciting news! The Virginia Covered Bridge Society will be hosting their very first Covered Bridge Weekend on Saturday, June 18, 2005 at the Bob White and Jack's Creek Covered Bridges in Woolwine, VA. Details are still being finalized, but save the date and plan on joining our covered bridge friends in Virginia for this exciting event.

Due to flooding from tropical storm Gaston in October, there was some significant damage to two of Giles County's Covered Bridges. Both the Sinking Creek VA-46-35-01 and the Link's Farm VA-46-35-02 Covered Bridges suffered damage to their bottom chords.

Other news

I always enjoy seeing our covered bridges in the news and other means of communication. Recently, I purchased a new American Heritage dictionary and one of their new features includes pictures to supplement the definitions of their words. Just for fun, I looked up covered bridges and to my surprise, there is a small photo of the Bob Salvi Covered Bridge, NH-29-02-13 next to the definition. What a pleasant surprise!

Here are three additional websites you can bookmark under your favorites:
Michigan: www.wmta.org/coveredbridges
Ohio: http://members.aol.com/jreinhl/OHBA.htm
New York: www.salem-ny.com (See points of interest section for information on Shushan, Rexleigh and Eagleville Covered Bridges.)

Update on Covered Spans of Yesteryear Project
By Bill Caswell, Webmaster for CSOY Project

       Since our last update, there have been two significant enhancements to the Covered Spans of Yesteryear website. Data from the 1999-2004 series of Covered Bridge Topics articles about Maine covered bridges has been incorporated into the database. The resulting material was reviewed by experts in that area and further improved. That information is available on the website. The project has also been augmented by the addition of a mailing list. By joining the mailing list, you will be notified of updates as they happen. Members can also use this list to share information about covered bridges of the past. Go to www.lostbridges.org for more information.

       Currently, lists of bridges from New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Pennsylvania are in various stages of completion. This process includes adding the data to the database, proofreading it, and then distributing the list to people with extensive knowledge of the particular area for review and comment. Also, a collection of Vermont photographs and post cards is in the process of being scanned. Selections from Addison and Bennington counties are already available and others will be posted as they are completed.

       Information from many other states and provinces is still needed. As we mentioned in the last update, early editions of Topics mention 125 bridges in Georgia while only half of those have been documented so far. They also mention 50 bridges in Virginia while we only have details about 11. New Brunswick once had many more bridges than those remaining today. If you have additional information about these areas, please send it along. Although complete details of each structure is the ultimate goal, that is rarely possible. Any details will be greatly appreciated.

Henniker, NH Covered Bridge. Photo by Terri W. Trier
Henniker, NH Covered Bridge as seen through the Edna Dean Proctor Stone Bridge. Postcard photography by Terri W. Trier; submitted by Dick and June Roy. A nice image of the stone bridge can be downloaded from www.screesavers.com. Search for Henniker

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File Cleaning

The Morning Call, September 1, 2004, Another Bucks County Historic Span is Damaged by Suspicious Fire. The picturesque Knecht's Covered Bridge (38-09-02), built in 1873, and crosses the Crooks Creek, sustained minimal damage from a suspicious fire; A passing motorist actually extinguished the flames using his 1unchbox as a makeshift pail. A contractor will be hired to repair the damage and the bridge will be closed until it is fixed.

The Springfield News, Springfield, Oregon, September 9, 2004, County Gives Lowell Bridge Repair Project the Nod: Overruns Add $530K to Tab. The creation of a new interpretive center which features information on other historic bridges as well as the Lowell Bridge (37-20-18), is expected to go to bid in early 2005. The nearly $2.5M project will rehabilitate the bridge and reconstruct the approach spans. It will feature 18 exhibits in all and will expand the existing fill area to accommodate parking and a picnic area.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 30, 2004 Bridge Should be Covered Again. PennDot has temporarily repaired the charred deck of the Mood's Covered Bridge as a simple asphalt span with galvanized metal guardrails. At some future time, PennDot has said it will rebuild whatever the township wants, either a replica of the original bridge or a modern two-lane span, however the township must maintain the wooden structure. As of now, the township does not have the resources to maintain it.

The Patriot-News, P A, September 29, 2004, Nostalgia and Necessity Meet on Book's Bridge. Book's Bridge, which crosses the Shermans Creek in Jackson Twp., Perry County, has been replaced with a replica that is wider, taller and stronger than the original. The changes, which include support by four steel beams, were made to allow emergency vehicles to pass through the bridge. The original has been closed since 1992.

Annual Autumn Festival in Kentucky: Miriam Woolfolk reports that the festival was held on September 9, 2004 at the site of the Switzer Covered Bridge in Switzer. The bridge, which spans the Elkhorn Creek in Franklin County, was swept off its foundations during the 1997 floods. It has been rebuilt from some salvaged and new materials. The bridge exhibits a Howe truss with sawtooth overhang at both ends. The original bridge was built about 1855 and served the community for nearly 100 years. It was closed to traffic in 1954.

CONTRIBUTORS: Barbara McCauley, Ray Johnson, Bill Cockrell, Tom Hildreth

Gibson Covered Bridge. Photo by Sandy Adrion, April 2004
Gibson Covered Bridge, Rt 322, Chester County, PA. Photo by Sandy Adrion, taken April 2004

You're Invited to Tour California's Covered Bridges

Based on the book "An Undercover Story: California's Covered Bridges." Tour is led by author Jeanne Baker. For information on the tours or book, call 919-968-2976 or write to Jeanne Baker at 605 Jones Ferry Rd., #EE4, Carrboro, NC 27510.

The Bennett Bridge, ME. Photo by Lionel Whiston
The Bennett Bridge, ME (19-09-03) undergoing major repairs in August 2004. Photo by Lionel Whiston

"Pennsylvania's Covered Bridges-Our Heritage"

A look at many of Pennsylvania's past and present historic covered bridges, including some incredible bridges over the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers. Also included is a chart of over 1,500 bridges, including dates, lengths, truss type, notes, etc. Soft cover, 144 pages, large 8 1/2 x 11 format, 125 photographs, 14 in color. Available through the mail for $25.00. Send to Fred J. Moll, 714ForestStreet,Fleetwood,PA 19522.


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 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
382 S. Main St.
Andover, MA 01810l

Pauline Prideaux - Membership

Let the world know we are here for the preservation of covered bridges. As you visit covered bridges during the months to come, leave a tack-up card. The tack-up card is an invitation to let visitors know they can help with covered bridge preservation. Many people visit covered bridges and don't realize there is a society available to inform, them of their historic value and the preservation efforts that are ongoing.

So let's" Go Bridging" and let everyone know we care about covered bridges, their place in history and how they can be a part of it.

Email or write to me and I will send you 15 tack-up cards to get the campaign going.

Sanibel93@aol.com or 382 S. Main Street, Andover, MA 01810

Boonville NY's New Bridge. Photo by Dick Wilson, November 19, 2004
A new covered bridge in Boonville NYIt was just moved over the Black River Canal in November..
Photo by Dick Wilson, November 19, 2004">

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 P&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 January 21, 2005