April - May - June - Spring 2002
National Society for the preservation of Covered Bridges
Sunday, April 28 at 1 p.m. Meeting will be held at the Plymouth Church, 87 Edgell Road, Framingham, MA.
Sunday, May 19 at l pm Executive Board Meeting will be held at the home of Joe and Marianne Cohen. See directions on page 11. This meeting is closed to the general membership.
Sunday, June 30 and Sunday, July 28 at !pm Meetings will be held at the Contoocook Railroad Bridge in Hopkinton, NH. We usually have lunch before the meeting at noon at the Pizza place next to the bridge. Funds have been allocated to help repair the structure. Pay a visit and see what the society is doing in this endeavor. There are also several other covered bridges in the area to enjoy and photograph.
Sunday, August 25 Annual picnic in Westminster, VT
Sunday, September 22 Location TBD
Sunday, October 20 NSPCB Annual Meeting. Location TBD
Dear Fellow Members, Greetings!
I do hope that all of you have had good winters. From what I have been able to observe locally, however, I rather imagine that none of you, or at any rate, very few of you, have managed to get through the season without a cold. I myself have certainly not been the exception that tests the limits of the rule. On Christmas day, and what better time of the year could there have been for it, I fell into the clutches of the proverbial friendly, affectionate bug, the type that stays around for the duration, so to speak. It is in fact only fairly recently, that is to say within the past several weeks -- this President's Message is being drafted towards the middle of March -- that I have begun to feel my usual self, and to have my usual energy.
Having been more or less under the weather since Christmas has been quite a complication. As I am sure most of you will readily be able to imagine, there have been many items I had planned to tend to during the interval which have either had to be postponed, or worse yet, abandoned. (The Winter President's Message was but one of quite a few cases in point I could site, were I inclined to do so!) Certain other matters did get taken up, but alas, most of those benefitted from nothing like the attention they ordinarily would have received, had I only been a bit more frisky.
One event which was scheduled for the beginning of February, an event in which I, as President of the National Society, had been asked to participate, was far too important to pass up. The event in question was a conference concerning Covered Bridges organized by the Historic American Engineering Record Division of the National Park Service (H.A.E.R.).
The immediate reason for the Covered Bridge conference just referred to is a Covered Bridge research project which the National Park Service has undertaken for the Federal Highway Administration. The Federal Highway Administration has in turn begun to study covered bridges more thoroughly because of certain provisions of a bill which was initially called the "National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Act." This bill, introduced back in 1998 by United States Senator James M. Jeffords of Vermont, subsequently became law. Many modifications to the original Jeffords proposal occurred during and as a direct result of the legislative process, however, and not all of these modifications were good.
(As an aside, I am reminded here of the old adage to the effect that sausage lovers ought never to see sausage made. They might not be so fond of it if they did!!)
Though legal or legalistic language can sometimes prove irritating, I believe it is important for all of you to become acquainted with the provisions of what I shall continue to call the Jeffords Bill. The full text of this bill runs as follows:
National Historic Covered Bride Preservation
Respecting funding for Covered Bridge preservation under the Jeffords Bill, there is a nuance all of us ought to be aware of though an expenditure of $10,000,000 per year for each of Fiscal Years 1999 through 2003 is authorized, what the Congress decides to appropriate for each of the Fiscal Years in question is entirely up to them, and may be quite something different. Two cases in point: in Fiscal Year 2000, the Congress appropriated $7,000,000 for Covered Bridge preservation: in Fiscal Year 2001, $9,049,486.
To return directly to the Covered Bridge conference, its purposes were quite succinctly stated by Eric DeLony, Chief of the Historical American Engineering Record (H.A.E.R.), in his letter informing conference participants as to the agendum of the meeting:
"The National Park Service is embarking on a national covered bridge research project for the Federal Highway Administration. The core of the project is Historic American Engineering Record (H.A.E.R) documentation (historical reports, measured and interpretive drawings, large- format photographs) of a selection of the outstanding wooden covered bridges of the United States. Additional components include the structural evaluation of the performance and behavior of typical and unusual framing systems, fabrication and construction practices, a National Historic Landmark theme study, updates to the World Guide to Covered Bridges (focusing on the American Examples), and a traveling exhibition of the "findings" of these projects. In addition, H.A.E.R. will partner with the Historic Preservation Training Center (H.P.T.C.), Tom McGrath, Superintendent, another unit of the National Park Service operating out of Frederick, Maryland, to conduct a "Best Practices" workshop on "state-of-the-art" covered bridge rehabilitation, repair, and maintenance techniques.
"As a first step, H.A.E.R. and H.T.P.C. will convene a group of experts on wooden covered bridges February 6-7, 2002, at the H.A.E.R. Washington offices. The purpose of this panel is to review the proposed research program, begin the process of identifying the most outstanding bridges that merit documentation, help determine those features and aspects that should be documented, identify a group whose expertise will be available for the duration of the project, and obtain feedback and guidance from the covered bridge community. For starters, I would like each of you to compile a list of 20-30 outstanding covered bridges."
In regard to the suggested list of from 20 to 30 historic Covered Bridges recommended for H.A.E.R. documentation, the suggestions of Joseph D. Conwill, amongst many other things the Editor of Covered Bridge Topics, were superb, and had been extremely well thought out. I believe, moreover, that they were generally appreciated as such. I should therefore not be at all surprised if the ultimate list of structures to be recorded, the one drawn up by Eric DeLony himself, closely paralleled that of Joseph's.
(To be continued next quarter.)
Your President, David W. Wright
I am writing to make you aware of a covered bridge restoration project that has been undertaken by the Juniata County Historical Society, owner of the Academia-Pomeroy Covered Bridge, located in Academia, near Port Royal, Juniata County, Pennsylvania. This Burr Truss double span bridge is the longest remaining covered bridge in Pennsylvania. I am writing to ask if you would include information about this restoration project in your newsletter.
James M. Groninger was the contractor responsible for the construction of the bridge in 1901 and this year the bridge is marking a century of existence. It was erected at its present location to replace a previous bridge that was located downstream at the site of the Beer's Mill, formerly known as the Pomeroy Mill or Beale's Mill. The bridge underwent some major repair work in 1928, when the flooring was replaced, and again in 1951, because of damage done to the structure during the "Ice Flood" which occurred at Thanksgiving time. In 1967, the bridge was removed from the highway system, and title to it passed from the County Commissioners to the Juniata County Historical Society. Just in the past year, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Beers, as representatives of the Beers Trust, have granted a right-of-way easement to the society for use in repairing the bridge and for pedestrian access from the west side of the Tuscarora Creek.
In October, the Historical Society submitted its application for a grant of $1.4 million for the restoration. This grant has been applied for under the Federal Transportation Enhancement program (TEA-21). The requested amount is based upon the estimate of cost prepared by the engineering firm of P. Joseph Lehman Associates, of Hollidaysburg, PA. The project is to be accomplished by disassembly of the bridge in sections, inspection and replacement of structural elements that are beyond salvation and re-assembly of the bridge. TEA-21 grants in this area are originated through SEDACOG's office in Lewisburg, PA. The oral presentation portion of this grant application was completed on January 11, 2002. We expect to hear from the committee on about February 17, 2002.
In a separate funding effort, application was also made for $1.4 million to consider this project under the Federal Highway Administration's Covered Bridge Program. In the case that the project is approved under this program then FHA funding would replace the TEA-21 funds.
The Historical Society has received endorsements for this project from our County Commissioners, local congressman Bill Shuster, as well as State Senator Jake Corman. The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Lancaster, PA has endorsed the project as well as the Juniata Mifflin Tourist Promotion Agency.
The Historical Society's obligation under either of these funding opportunities is to raise a certain amount of matching funds, which we anticipate to be about $100,000. To date, the Society has raised about $10,000 towards this goal through a raffle, T-shirt sales, bridge print sales and solicitation of our members and the community. In the next phase of fund raising, the society will be approaching local businesses and business organizations in the community for financial support. We are promoting the restoration project in our society's newsletter and the local newspapers. The Theodore Burr Society's newsletter has also assisted us with an article about the restoration project.
Would you be able to do the same in your publication "Covered Bridge Topics?" You can use any of the above information. If any of your membership would like to make a donation to this preservation project they can send donations to Juniata County Historical Society, 498 Jefferson Street, Suite B, Mifflintown, PA 17059. If they would have questions about the restoration or want to communicate with the Society, our Email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-436-5152.
On behalf of the society I would like to thank you for any help that you or your membership can provide to us as we proceed forward in our efforts to restore this wonderful bridge.
Audrey R. Sizelove
Covered Bridge News
By Bob and Trish Kane
Mark your calendars, folks! The Empire State will once again be celebrating the restoration of not one, but two of our covered bridges. Here are some of the details as known to date.
Copeland Covered Bridge -- NY 32-46-01 As most of you know, these folks have worked extremely hard restoring their bridge and what a great job they have done! The Copeland Covered Bridge once again stands strong and proud thanks to the Edinburg Historical Society, residents of Edinburg, friends and volunteers. This was truly a group effort and a labor of love as they all worked together to save their bridge. Congratulations! The celebration will begin at 11:00 am on June 29, 2002. Because of limited parking at the bridge itself, most of the festivities that day will take place at the Edinburg Town Hall, located about 1/2 mile north of the bridge. There will, however, be a brief ceremony at the bridge that morning.
Fitch's Covered Bridge -- NY 32-13-02 A tentative date of July 20, 2002 has been announced by Michele T. DeFreece, Delhi Town Councilwoman. The celebration will begin at 10 am at the bridge.
Please join other covered bridge enthusiasts and show your support for all the hard efforts these folks have put into getting their bridges restored. Congratulations to all of you for a job well done!
DeLorme Atlas Project -- Well, we can't say "It's in the mail," but we can say we have only one state left, and it is the easiest one of all . . . New Jersey! Special thanks to Conrad Nagengast from Chula Vista, CA for sending us the information on the states of California and Washington. And Leola Pierce, from Portsmouth, Virginia, for providing us with the information from her state. With only one Covered Bridge in New Jersey, we hope we can get the necessary information for this bridge quickly. If anyone would like to assist with this remaining bridge, just let us know. All we need is a detailed county map indicating the exact location of the Green Sergeants Covered Bridge and a little information on the bridge itself. That's it! Then this project really will be, "in the mail!"
Humpback Covered Bridge - VA 46-03-01 Many covered bridge enthusiasts have quandaried over the various published accounts of the rise in the Humpback Covered Bridge being 8 feet in the center. Obvious to most, this can't possibly be. We thought you might be interested in knowing how the exact rise was determined from Leola Pierce, retired Virginia Department of Transportation Engineer and Author. She writes, "Most accounts of this graceful arched span state that the arch rises 8 feet from each end to the center. Based on my professional experience, I did not believe this could be. My suspicions were voiced to Virginia Department of Transportation's Lexington Resident Engineer, Mr. James. W. White, Jr., who offered to verify the rise for me. The response showed that the rise is 4' 1", not 8 feet as previously indicated. Also, the length is 106' 6", measured along the timber floor planking of the arch, not 100 feet as previously stated in many documents. The width of the bridge is 15' 6" at the west end. At the east end it is 15' 3" wide. The west portal has a width of 13' 6" and a clearance height of 11' 8". The east portal has a width of 13' 3" and a clearance height of 12' 1". This survey was made the end of August 1995. For all practical purposes, we can use a length of 107 feet, a width of 15' 6" and a rise of 4 feet at the center of the arch." Thanks, Leola for this wonderful clarification on the rise in the Humpback Covered Bridge.
July 28, 2001
The 128 foot, single-span Hamden Covered Bridge was originally built in 1859 by Robert Murray. It is one of the last 3 covered crossings maintained by Delaware County that still carries traffic across the Delaware River. Over the years, it has had many alterations and repairs. During the summer of 2000, contractor W.L. Kline, Inc. began the final restoration. The bridge was lifted off its abutments and repaired. On November 13, the bridge was moved back over the west branch of the Delaware River.
The Philippi Covered Bridge Committee is planning a celebration to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the double arch, two lane Philippi (WV) Covered Bridge finished by the legendary covered bridge builder Lemuel Chenoweth in 1852. The event will take place in Philippi on August 8-10, 2002. Activities will include lectures, tours, a play and/or pageant and souvenirs. Final details will be included in the next issue of Covered Bridge Topics. For additional information please contact Randy Allan, P.O. Box 239, Beverly, WV, Phone: 304-636-1953, E-mail: email@example.com
Ashtabula County, Ohio - Work is going to proceed on Mechanicsville (35-04-18) and Hamer Hollow (35-04-25) in the near future. The road south of Warner Hollow has been completed. Also the new bridge that is planning to be built may be delayed for two years until environmental studies are finished. (Reported by Donald Wiech)
From Robert Salvi: Roads & Bridges, November 2001. Riding the Pine. New Hampshire constructs vehicular timber bridge outside of national forest. Great story about the new Smith covered bridge located over the Baker River in Plymouth, NH. It replaced a historic bridge on the same site.
From Pauline Prideaux: Vermont Life, Spring 2002. Covered Bridge Comeback. Most of Vermont's bridges are on the National Register of Historic Places. This article discusses preservation of covered bridges in Vermont with emphasis on Montgomery area.
From Pauline Prideaux: Boston Sunday Globe, November 11, 2001. Arson Attacks Bedevil Atlantic Canada. A string of arson attacks have included a botched attempt that scorched the wooden frame of the 1,282 foot long Hartland bridge in New Brunswick. This seven span covered bridge, built in 1897, crosses the Saint John River. Also damaged was the town's Stormdale Bridge.
From James and Linda Crouse: The Journal Gazette, August 26, 2001. Bridging the County's Charm Gap. County commissioners for Allen County, Indiana have approved a project that will include transforming a current timber bridge into a 118 foot long covered bridge over the Cedar Creek on Hursh Road.
From Jim Garvin: New Hampshire Highways, January/February 2002. Slate Covered Bridge Rebuilt After 1993 Fire. The 131 year old Slate Bridge was lost to a senseless act of arson in 1993. It was rebuilt in 2001 at a cost of $1.4 Million.
From Dick Roy: The Telegraph, February 27, 2002. Footbridge Halfway Home. The voters of Brookline, NH will vote on March 13, 2002 at the Town Meeting whether or not to approve $30,000 to put into place and extend a covered footbridge across the Nissitissit River. The bridge, once part of a Nashua craft store, would link the parking lot near lake Potanipo with another parcel of town land.
From Marge Converse: Valley News, October 10, 2001. For West Windsor Bridge, Troubled Waters. In 1973, the bridge was moved from Garfield, VT to Yale Heights, a West Windsor housing subdivision. The roof and the walls have fallen down and the homeowners at Yale Heights desperately need the bridge fixed. The homeowners and the town have been meeting to decide the best way to fund the repairs.
New Covered Bridge Website: www.hoyletanner.com Click on the covered bridge icon. Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc. (HTA) announced the addition of a covered bridge section to their website. This section provides data, photographs and other information on covered bridge projects that HTA has designed or inspected.
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 >dickroycbl@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
There is also an excellent book out on Vermont Covered Bridges called, "Spanning Time -- Vermon'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.
Advertisement: Have your covered bridge, family or pet picture on a brooch, Christmas ornament, paperweight, or magnet. Send me your picture and I will put it on the item of your choice. Your photo will be returned unharmed with your order. (Please send photo sealed in a plastic bag in case the envelope gets wet in shipping.)
Pin: 2 1/4" brooch with porcelain stone in antiqued goldtone
If you do not have a covered bridge photo you would like to use, you may choose from some of mine: Kentucky: Switzer Bridge, Colville Bridge, Oldtown Bridge or Goddard Bridge Ohio: Geeting Bridge, Roberts Bridge, North Pole Bridge, Spain Creek Bridge, or Swartz Bridge Indiana: Aqueduct, Bell's Ford Bridge, or Medora Bridge Minnesota: Zumbrota Bridge
Directions to the Executive Board Meeting on May 19, 2002 (1
From Boston: Exit the Massachusetts turnpike at Natick, and take route 30 west into Framingham. There, take route 126 south, through both Framingham and Ashland just over the town line into Holliston, turn right on Ashland Street, then turn left almost immediately on Dodd Road. Follow this around until it ends on Westfield Drive, then turn left, and proceed to 130 Westfield Drive, Holliston and the Cohen Residence which will be on the right side of the Street.
From the South: Exit Interstate 495 at the first of the two possible Milford exits, follow the signs to Route 16 east. Take this through the village of Holliston, and at the second light, turn on route 126. Just before the Ashland Town line, turn left on Ashland street and proceed as above.
Society member and covered bridge engineering consultant Phil Pierce is leading a team to prepare a new Covered Bridge Manual. Although its major focus is on the engineering and construction of covered bridges, it will include diverse information and should be a good reference for anyone interested in covered bridges. The Manual will hopefully be available in mid-to-late 2003. It is being prepared for the Federal Highway Administration with funding provided by the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program. Accordingly, the initial printing will be available for free. Subsequent printings will not be free. BUT, YOUR HELP IS NEEDED. To determine a sufficient number of copies of the Manual for the initial printing, please contact Mr. Pierce if you will be interested in ordering it. THIS IS NOT AN ORDER. Information about its availability will be provided in future editions of this newsletter, when details are known. To express your interest in obtaining this Manual when available, write to: Phil Pierce, 57807 State Highway 10, South Kortright, NY 13842.
Let us not forget that dues are due. We are initiating a self-addressed envelope to make it easier for most of the members. Every envelope that you will receive containing your "TOPICS" and "Newsletter" will have a dues envelope. I must relate that we have 120 life members and they will be receiving a self addressed envelope also. If they wish to contribute to the restoration fund they may do so, if not just put the envelope aside. Through many minuscule errors the expiration date of the membership did not get printed on the mailing label. Most of you who pay each year know who you are. However we will make sure that the expiration date appears on the next mailing.
President Wright has appointed Pauline Prideaux Membership Chairman. David Topham will remain as Treasurer, but all membership renewals, and all new membership requests, should henceforth be sent along to:
Pauline Prideaux, Membership Chairman, 143 Freeman Street Extension, Haverhill, Massachusetts 01830-4659
The Society wants publicly to thank Pauline Prideaux for being willing to take on this new and important duty, and also David Topham for agreeing to stay as Treasurer.
Double-span bridge burns. No April Fool Joke at all.Lost Treasure - Park County fire firefighters responded to a fully engulfed covered bridge fire early this morning (4/2/02). The Jeffries-Ford bridge, built in 1915 by J. A. Britton, is a total loss. The double span bridge crossed Big Raccoon Creek and is located on County Road 150 East, between Bridgeton and Rosedale. A message from Roger Drover, Rockville Indiana. How very sad. They failed in an attempt to burn the Jackson Bridge (14-61-28) but succeeded in destroying the Jeffries Ford Bridge (14-61-03). How fragile they are. Hope that they catch the sicko(s) that did it.
A man named Chuck Smith, who lives near the Jackson Bridge happened upon the fire and with the help of his neighbor, a Mr. Wooten, was able to carry buckets of water from Sugar Creek and put out the fire. They should be given medals of Honor. There is a Reward of $6,000 for information on the arsonist.
Ref.; the Daily Clintonian for April 2, 2002, Also same newspaper March
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This file posted April 24, 2002