MEETINGS and EVENTS for 2006
Sunday, October 15 NSPCB Annual Meeting at the
French King Restaurant in Millers Falls, MA.
NEWSLETTER DATESThe next newsletter
is scheduled for January 2007. Therefore, anyone wishing to submit
photos, articles, etc. should send them to Carmela or KC by
December 30, 2006. 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!
I find it hard to believe, as I write this message, on Sunday,
September 17th, that summer is now, for all intents and purposes,
just about over. Where prey tell did it go?! I realize that as one
grows older, time appears to rush by ever more rapidly, an
observation which dates back at least to the days of the Romans!
(Tempus Fugit, i.e., time flies, a sentiment undoubtedly first given
voice to in that culture by an aging Roman!), but still, it doesn’t
seem too long ago that I was planting spinach and arugala, and
cursing the cold and the rain. Oh well, such is life.
Before proceeding further, I have some sad news to relate: Edith
Hoxie, wife of Lieutenant Colonel Wilbar M. Hoxie, and a very long
term and much respected member of the Society, passed away on the
evening of August 31st / September 1st 2006. Those of you who have
attended National Society meetings from time to time will
undoubtedly remember having met Mrs. Hoxie there, and having as well
eaten some of her excellent chocolate cake! For the rest of us who
came to know her well over the years, she will be sorely missed. Her
presence graced any gathering, and her sly wit and bright
intelligence were a delight for anyone having had the good fortune
to experience them. I hereby extend the Society’s deepest
condolences to Colonel Hoxie, and to various members of Edith
In respect to the Society’s ongoing stabilization and
preservation project, to wit, the Contoocook Covered Railroad Bridge
in the village of Contoocook, Hopkinton, New Hampshire, I am very
happy to be able to report that this project is approaching its
conclusion. Progress has not occurred as quickly as initially
anticipated, however, nor were the necessary repairs as limited in
scope as we had all originally believed they would be. In fact, much
more deterioration was discovered in the upstream corners of the
span than was planned for, and consequently, putting things right at
each abutment has turned out to be a fairly lengthy process. Costs
have also correspondingly risen, exceeding the preliminary estimates
by approximately a factor of two. Next quarter, I shall make a full
report to members detailing what repairs the somewhat deteriorated
condition of the Contoocook Covered Railroad Bridge has
necessitated, how, more or less, each one of them was affected, and
finally, what the whole project has ended up costing us. One thing
is sure: Every one of us should be very proud of what the Society
has been able to accomplish at Contoocook. We ought also to be
grateful we have an Eastman-Thomas Fund for Covered Bridge
Preservation. Without this fund, we never could have financed the
excellent work Timothy Andrews of Barns and Bridges of New England
has undertaken for us over in Contoocook, work the purpose of which,
remember, is to stabilize and preserve the oldest (1889) remaining
Covered Railroad Bridge in the world. Without the Eastman-Thomas
Fund, in other words, the Contoocook Covered Railroad Bridge would
likely have gone a glimmering, as indeed have so many of its
brethren during the last fifty years or sixty years. Bravo Harold
Eastman; Brava Evelyn Thomas; bravissimo the many members of the
Society who have made contributions to the Eastman-Thomas Covered
Bridge Preservation Fund over the years.
David W. Wright
Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges, Incorporated
Update on Covered Spans of Yesteryear
by Bill Caswell
This summer I took advantage of the opportunity to get out and
visit some bridges. On my first-ever visit to the Pacific Northwest
I was able see all of Oregon's remaining authentic covered bridges
along with a couple in Washington and the one near Keremeos, British
Columbia. Thanks to Bill Cockrell of the Oregon Covered Bridge
Society for spending one of those days showing me around the bridges
in his area, pointing out a number of former bridge locations and
introducing me to the offerings at the local wine tasting room.
A later trip included visits to a few bridges in Kentucky, West
Virginia, and Maryland plus a stop at the Ohio Historic Bridge
Association's annual picnic at the Salt Creek Covered Bridge
northeast of Zanesville. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with
people we have been working with during the past year. I'd like to
thank OHBA president David Simmons for offering me a few minutes to
talk about the CSOY project and Miriam Wood for sharing her vast
knowledge and expertise on Ohio’s bridges. That trip included a stop
at one of the most recent losses, the West Paden Bridge in Columbia
The Smithsonian's traveling exhibit -- Covered Bridges: Spanning
the American Landscape will be at the Montshire Museum of Science,
Norwich, VT between August 5th and October 15th. Visit their website
for more information -- http://www.montshire.net/. On September
29th, I will be speaking about some of the former covered bridges of
Vermont and New Hampshire. The exhibit travels to Museum in the
Park, Chief Logan State Park, Logan, WV for November and December --
Updates to the website have been continuing although at a slower
pace due to the summer excursions. There have been a number of
Pennsylvania and Oregon updates along with a few new pictures from
those areas. To hear about updates as they become available, visit
the website and sign up for our mailing list. In addition to
exploring the website, reports from the states and provinces that we
have researched are available at the Covered Bridge Museum in
If you are interested in offering pictures of the lost bridges in
your area and have the ability to scan them, please contact me.
There is still a vast amount of territory to cover and any help will
be greatly appreciated. Email is usually the most effective way to
contact me -- firstname.lastname@example.org
West Paden Twin Bridge Loss
I received a forwarded email message this evening from Tom
Kipphorn, member of the TBCBSP, with the terrible news of the loss
today of the West Paden Twin Bridge, PA-19-12, in Columbia County,
PA. Yes, it was just a little over a month ago (May 25, 2006) that
many of us gathered there to celebrate the refurbishment of the Twin
Bridges & Park. Little did we know that day that it would be
short lived. The West Paden Bridge was the Burr truss bridge and the
longer of the two twin bridges and the one directly over the channel
of Huntington Creek.
As most of you are aware, Pennsylvania and many states in the
Northeast and Middle Atlantic region are suffering devastating
flooding at the present time. It seems that two nearby cottages in
the vicinity of the West Paden Bridge were swept away by the
floodwaters and lodged against the bridge causing it to be destroyed
as well. Please check out the website www.bentonnews.net/home.htm
for a photo of the destruction.
I have not heard of any other covered bridge losses at the
present time but I fear more bad news as many of the streams and
rivers have not crested yet. Let's keep our fingers crossed. If you
hear of any reports, I'd appreciate to hear from you. And as always,
please feel free to pass this info on to those who I may not have
email addresses for.
Damage to the Utica Covered Bridge (20-10-01) in Frederick
County, MD. Photo taken June 16, 2006 by Pat and Charlie Tabor.
Help Save the Corbin Covered Bridge in
Call Kathy Butcher for more info 603-863-8588
Update on Covered Bridge
This is the latest report concerning Jesse Lee Payne who burnt
the Bridgeton Bridge, Jeffries Ford Bridge and attempted to burn the
Mansfield Bridge. According to reports to Parke Circuit Court Judge
Sam Swaim, Jesse Payne could be facing an indefinite commitment to a
state mental hospital. A new Comprehension to Stand Trial report
received on July 27 from Dr. Robert Sena at Logansport State
Hospital, states that Jesse Payne could remain in a state facility
indefinitely. The report states "to a reasonable degree of medical
certainty, Jesse Lee Payne remains unable to assist counsel in his
defense and attend the legal proceedings."
Payne has been charged with arson of the Bridgeton Covered
Bridge, attempted arson of the Mansfield bridge and arson of the
Jeffries Ford Bridge. Payne faces 6 to 20 years on each count and
the possibility of another 10 to 30 years for habitual offender.
August 4, 2006
Parke County Tourist Information Center
Rockville, In 47872
New York State Covered Bridge Society members that attended the
Hyde Hall dedication of a Historical Marker that proclaims that the
Hyde Hall Covered Bridge is the Oldest Covered Bridge in the United
States. This was on Sept. 9, 2006.
Chattanooga Times Free Press, TN, June 28, 2006.
Tellico River Bridge Dedicated. Local businessman, Tom
Cormier described the new $1 Million bridge as the longest,
single-span, privately built bridge in TN. The bridge only took 6
months to build, and consists of three 32-foot precast concrete
arches with 125-foot steel trusses. It stretches more than 220 feet
across the river.
High winds on Friday, April 14, 2006 blew off part of the roof of
the Mansfield Bridge (14-61-20) in Parke County, IN. Member Roger
Grover says he thinks the repairs are probably done by now but he
hasn’t been over to check yet.
Recalling that the Jeffries Ford Bridge was destroyed by arson
back in 2002 (14-61-03), also in Parke County: the County Council
has decided that the replacement will be a concrete bridge. There
had been some discussion of a new covered bridge, but it would have
had to have been wide enough for farm equipment and other heavy
traffic, and would have cost over $2 million, much more than
previously thought. This is twice as much as a concrete bridge.
On Saturday, April 29, 2006, there was a ribbon cutting ceremony
for the rededication of the Cataract Covered Bridge in Owen County
(14-60-01). A major restoration costing $520K and requiring three
years to complete, was designed by engineer Matt Reckard of J.A.
Barker Engineering, in Bloomington.
The actual construction of the new Bridgeton Covered Bridge began
July 31, 2006. More information and photos are available at
Go to the following web address to see some photos of the new
covered bridge projects in Union County, Ohio.
The world's largest auto factory (Honda) is located just a couple
miles north of the Pottersburg Bridge OH-80-01. The amount of
traffic that goes through these bridges is unbelievable.
CONTRIBUTORS: Roger Grover, Joseph Conwill, Dorothy Brush,
Jim Crouse, Brian McKee.
Richard Doody has some great photos on his website. Visit
Robert Damery Obituary: Robert passed away on June 20,
2006. He was a faithful and dedicated covered bridger known to many
in several covered bridge societies. Our thoughts and prayers go out
to his family and friends.
L.C. Beavan Covered Bridge in Susquehanna County, Pa. (38-58-01).
Photo by Ruth Hayes. Dick Wilson tells us that it is a New York
Bridge that was moved to Old Mill Village in New Milford. It was
washed off its abutments and sits on its side next to the stream; it
was another victim of the bad flooding in June.
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.