January - February - March - Winter 2006

National Society for the preservation of Covered Bridges

David W. Wright, President
P.O. Box 171
Westminster, VT 05158
(802) 722-4040
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
4856 Spencer Oaks Blvd
Pace, FL 32571
E-mail: sanibel93@aol.com
Richard Roy
73 Ash Street
Manchester, NH 03104-4906
KC Klingensmith, Newsletter Ed.
P.O. Box 425193
Cambridge, MA 02142
E-mail: klingensmith@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 2006

Sunday. March 19 at Ipm Meeting will be held at the Plymouth Church, 87 Edgell Road, Framingham MA.

Sunday. April 23 at Ipm Meeting will be held at the Plymouth Church, 87 Edgell Road, Framingham MA.

Sunday, May 2006 Executive-Only Board Meeting. Location and time to be announced.


The next newsletter is scheduled for April 2006. Therefore, anyone wishing to submit photos, articles, etc. should submit them to Carmela or KC by March 20, 2006. 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!! And my very best wishes to each and everyone of you for a Most Happy New Year!

That having been said, my message shall be fairly brief this quarter.

First of all, I want to thank Douglas and Pauline Smith for the excellent job they have done during the past year preparing Topics and The Newsletter for mailing. As the only contact the Society has with many of its members is by means of its publications, the task so ably accomplished by Doug and Pauline has been crucial to the work of our group, even to its continued existence. Now, however, Doug and Pauline have to move on. Other obligations and/or interests are taking up more and more of their time. The present issues of Topic and The Newsletter are therefore the last to be "stuffed" by Doug and Pauline. Once again, Doug and Pauline, many thanks for a job well done!

With the resignation of Doug and Pauline Smith, the Society is obviously in need of new volunteers willing to help with the mailing of Topic and The Newsletter . As indicated above, contact with most of our members is maintained by means of our publications. Without a member or several members willing to undertake the "stuffing" of Topic and The Newsletter , we should certainly have trouble continuing to exist as an organized group. The stuffing of Topic and The Newsletter is an ideal job for a couple, though a single individual could undoubtedly handle it. Should anyone be interested in taking over this responsibility -- and I do hope that someone shall be! -- please get in contact with me at Post Office Box 171, Westminster, Vermont 05158-0171, or by telephoning me at 1-802-722-4040.

On an entirely different subject, it is my sad duty to announce the passing of one of our longtime and most esteemed members, Valerie Whitney. Valerie and her husband, Russell, joined the Society in 1978, subsequently becoming life members, numbers 62 and 63 respectively. Valerie was a lady whose presence graced any gathering which included her. Her quick wit and bright intelligence were a joy to anticipate, to experience, and to remember. She will be sorely missed by all those who knew her. The Society extends its deeply felt condolences to Russell, and to the rest of her family.

Finally, the Officers and various other members of the Executive Board of the National Society for fiscal year 2005-2006 are as follows:

President - David W. Wright
Vice Presidents - Colonel Wilbar M. Hoxie, Roger Easton, & Richard Roy
Statutory Agent - Christine Ellsworth
Treasurer - David Topham
Directors - Joseph S. Cohen, David C. Fischetti, & Pauline Prideaux
Editor of Topic - Joseph D. Conwill
Production Assistant thereto - .Irene Eberhardt
Editors of Newsletter - Carmela Sciandra & K.C. Klingensmith
Membership Chairman - Pauline Prideaux
Engineering Consultant - Colonel Wilbar M. Hoxie
Director of Computer Programing - Roger Easton
Official Historian - Joseph D. Conwill
Assigning World Guide Numbers - Dan Brock
Numbers to Removed Covered Bridges - Dan Brock, Joseph S. Cohen, 7 David W. Wright
Committee to Establish Standards for
Inclusion of Covered Bridges in the
World Guide - Dan Brock, Joseph S. Cohen, & David W. Wright
Acquisitions and Sales - June Roy
Guide Salesman - June Roy
Back Issues, Topics, Newsletters - Richard Roy
Archivist and Official Photographer.- Joseph D. Conwill
Nominating Committee - Richard Roy, plus two others
Recording Secretary - Joye Olson

Happy bridging!
Sincerely, your President,
David W. Wright,

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Olin's Museum of Covered Bridges
First Annual Covered Bridge Swap Meet

This year Olin's Museum will kick off the summer with a new event that we hope will be useful to covered bridge collectors as well as provide a fun day of sharing and fellowship for our wide spread "covered bridge family." So get out your bridges and dust off your doubles, new or used collectibles, post cards or hand made crafts. Anything covered bridges, nothing but covered bridges. Whether you have something to sell, trade, or just want to browse, come and join us for what is sure to be a good time. Saturday, June 24,10 am -- 5pm rain or shine. Table space $10.00. If you don't have your own canopy, we can provide one for an additional $5.00 fee. Check our website at: www.coveredbridgemuseum.org for more info and directions. Questions? Call Julie at 440-998-0025.

Francis Converse Obituary: We have received word that Francis passed away in November. Most of you will remember Francis because of his Safari hat with the paintings of covered bridges on it. There was a covered bridge on top of the hat also. He has done some beautiful covered bridge paintings. Francis and his wife Marjorie had joined the National Society in 1973. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

You can contact Marjorie at: 76 Depot St., Apt. 307 Lyndonville, VT 05851 802-626-0712

File Cleaning

Tribune-Star, Terre Haute, Indiana, October 10, 2005, For Bridgeton, the Bridge is Gone but the Covered Bridge Festival Goes On The Parke County Covered Bridge Festival will begin without one of its primary attractions -- the Bridgeton covered bridge -- a 267-foot-long, double-span Burr Arch model, built by J.J. Daniels in 1868 and vanished in a fire on April 18th.

www.boston.com. October 8, 2005, County Seeks to Build Longest Covered Bridge in U.S. Ashtabula County, Ohio, with more covered bridges than any other county in Ohio, hopes to add another distinction: the longest wooden covered bridge in the United States. Officials say the 600-foot bridge could end up being the cornerstone of a budding tourist economy. Work is now scheduled to begin next year and wrap up in 2008. The span will replace a dilapidated steel-beam bridge. Federal highway officials have pledged $5 million toward construction costs.

Union Leader, NH, November 16,2005, They're NH's Top Nerds. Two NH residents were named recipients of the National Medal of Technology awards: Ralph Baer and Roger Easton. Easton helped develop the global positioning system while working at the Naval Research Lab in DC in 1964.

CONTRIBUTORS: James Crouse, Charles Lovastik, Dick Roy.

Ghosts of the Jericho Covered Bridge
by Sandy Adrion

It was on Saturday May 28, 2005, Memorial Day weekend that I learned a big lesson about ghosts and covered bridges.

My sister June, her dog CoCo and I had gone down to my brother Bud's summer home in Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay, for the weekend. As it was my Mom's first birthday after her death, it was a tough weekend for us all. So we tried to keep busy while we were down there and did some sightseeing. On Saturday we decided to go down to see the Jericho Covered Bridge located in Kingsville, Maryland on the border of Harford and Baltimore Counties, as I have been trying to see as many covered bridges as I can, in the areas that I visit.

We had a hard time finding the area of the Gunpowder Falls State Park, where the Jericho is located, because the State Park is the only State Park in the country that is not all connected. So needless to say, we stopped to ask for directions and the woman we asked had heard of a covered bridge and if it was in the Gunpowder Falls State Park, it had to be at the southern end which was east of Rt. 95. But on the map it was located west of Rt. 95. I kept saying, "This is not right," and it wasn't. When we got to the entrance of that part of the State Park, the Ranger tried to explain how to get back north to where the Jericho was located. He said, "It is in the State Park -- just not this part of the State Park."

We headed north on Rt. 40 for three intersections, turned left on Rt. 152 to Jerusalem Road, turned left again and we came into the Jerusalem Mill Village area. At the street right before the mill you make a left and the covered bridge is just down that road a short distance. We had seen all the names of the roads in the areas that we had passed trying to find the Jericho, but we were on the west side of the area. We actually just circled it until the woman who gave us directions sent us the wrong way. She tried to direct us to the right area and we thanked her for her help but she also was the only one who had heard of a covered bridge down there. Others we asked looked at us like we were crazy and as much as said, "What is a covered bridge?" After all of that, about an hour later and probably a good 20 miles down and back, we found the covered bridge and also something very strange when we got there.

My sister was driving, so my brother and I got out to take pictures, which I do at every covered bridge I visit. This was a little stranger than our normal visit and the picture taking sessions that we usually experience. There were four ladies walking through the covered bridge coming towards us from the other end. I like to take my pictures with no one in them and then I take them with family members, or they take pictures of me at the covered bridges. Two of the ladies went down the hill to the water on the side of the covered bridge and two others kept coming towards us. I said to my brother that I wished they would move because they saw I wanted to take pictures and I thought they were just trying to get in my pictures. So I waited and waited and finally they came out and said to me, "We got permission, you can take pictures inside." I said, "Since when do you have to have permission to take pictures of a covered bridge? I've got hundreds of pictures I've taken and never asked anyone if I could take them." She proceeds to tell me that she asked the ghosts who live inside of Jericho Covered Bridge and they said it was OK.

By then I'm looking at her and then at my sister and back at her. Now the one who told me that, starts walking back through the covered bridge to go down the side and the second one just kept hanging around inside. Well, I finally started taking pictures and they got out of the way, so I thought. My brother took a couple of me at the entrance and he said he didn't have the ladies in the picture. He proceeds to go down the other side of the covered bridge to get pictures from underneath and the second lady came back over to me and began to tell me the story behind the ghosts inside the Jericho Covered Bridge. The story was a little creepy but was interesting and sounded so real. So I thought!

She told me there were two little girls, Megan and Samantha, whose father had killed them, brought them to the covered bridge and threw their bodies into the water up stream, a little ways north. They are the ghosts that are inside this covered bridge today, so whenever you want to take pictures inside, you have to ask for their permission. Then she says to me, "Look at this on my digital camera, if I'm lucky, you will see the ghosts up in the rafters." She took several pictures and I didn't see anything, but she sure was trying to point them out to me. Then finally, there was a little bit of something white on the picture, but to me it looked like the way the light was shining through. She was excited and kept showing me the picture of this on her camera. And to top that off, she was wearing something around her neck to ward off the ghosts or it did something to the ghosts. I was feeling too creepy at that point to even be paying attention to what she was telling me but it had something to do with the ghosts. That is all I remember about it. There were a couple of things hanging from this necklace and she said they all wear them when they come looking for the ghosts. She said they come out there at night and light candles. It felt a little strange and I finally said I had to leave. My sister was waving for me to come back to the van. All I wanted was to take some great pictures of this covered bridge that took us so long to find and then to have this told to me. My sister said to me that I must have the kind of face that people like to talk to. I said, "Maybe I'm a ghost -- NOT."

Then from there we went back to the Jerusalem Mill and I went inside and was talking with the Ranger about the covered bridge. He gave me the history of the mill along with the Jericho Covered Bridge and also about the Jerusalem Covered Bridge which was located right at the old mill but is now just a regular span going across the Little Gun-Powder Falls which goes through that area. He was so interesting and then he got to the part where people think there are ghosts in the Jericho Covered Bridge. I said, "You have four ladies down there. now looking for them and one giving me the history of the ghosts."

He said they had people come to check out the area and also the covered bridge to see if there were ghosts and he said, "There are none." He told me that the reason they think there are ghosts inside of the Jericho is because there was a general store right across the street form the mill, where we were standing. He said that on the other side of the Jericho was an old house and an old lady lived there. She walked to the general store to get her groceries and sometimes had to make two or three trips back and forth because the items were too heavy to carry them all at the same time. People would see the old lady walking back and forth and then the woman died. So everyone felt that she is the ghost inside the Jericho Covered Bridge. He said, "It's not true, there are no ghosts in there." I said, "That is not the story I just heard down by the covered bridge." We both laughed.

The Ranger inside the mill, whose name I did not get, was so well informed and interesting to listen to. He also gave me the history of the Jerusalem Covered Bridge that has been gone since the late l800s when a vehicle fell through it and it was not replaced with a covered bridge. That was located just outside of Jerusalem Mill about 300 feet.

When we got home, I took my film to be developed as I was anxious to see just what I had gotten in my own pictures. I'm looking through them and I said, "Where are those ladies? They are not in my pictures." Then I said, "They were the Ghosts of the Jericho Covered Bridge."

The topper of this story is, one of my own pictures had these white blotches on it when I took it looking up at the rafters. Is it haunted or not? You be the judge. All I know is that I don't think I believe in ghosts, but then again, who knows what lives out there in those covered bridges of years ago. Do Megan and Samantha really live inside of the Jericho Covered Bridge? Or the old lady that walked to the general store for supplies, is she the ghost? If only they could talk or maybe, we don't want to know.

I do recommend to anyone that is in the area, check out the Jericho Covered Bridge and the Jerusalem Mill Village. It was a very interest and entertaining history lesson and a day I won't soon forget. What a way to take our mind off a day that was not too happy for my family and me. Now when I think back about it, I am sorry that my Mom was not there to enjoy this story with us, as she loved her mystery and ghost stories and also our visits to covered bridges. It is certainly a day that I will remember, always.

Address: Friends of Jerusalem Mill, P.O. Box 480, Kingsville, MD 21087, 410-877-3560, www.JerusalemMill.org

Jericho Bridge WGN MD-03-02. Photo by Sandy Adrion, 5-28-05 Jericho Bridge WGN MD-03-02. Photo by Sandy Adrion, 5-28-05
Jericho Bridge WGN MD-03-02. Photo by Sandy Adrion, 5-28-05

Located off Rt. 40 or Rt. 95 at Exit 74, head north on Rt. 152 to Jerusalem Road, go left and follow about 1 mile to the Jerusalem Mill Village.

NSPCB Annual Dinner Cancelled

Due to a fire at the French King Restaurant, the NSPCB annual dinner had to be cancelled this year. To save a few dollars for the organization, rather than returning everyone's check, we have shredded them. Thank you for your understanding in this matter and we hope to see you all at next year's annual dinner.

Postcard Request

Dear Fellow Bridgers,

Several years ago while at a postcard show in Columbus, Ohio I bought what I thought was a postcard featuring a Michigan covered bridge. Arriving home, I immediately began researching this bridge and to no avail. So I turned to our buddy and covered bridge expert, Richard Donovan, and was able to locate the bridge, which is, by the way, in Illinois.

The bridge in question was the Wolf Bridge in Knox County, Illinois. The problem and confusion for me was the fact that written across the front in white stamped lettering is; Houghton Lake, Michigan. Later I was to find yet another of these cards, however this one featured another city in another state. So thus, began a collection of this misrepresented covered bridge postcard. I have 7 postcards featuring various cities and states. I often have wondered how many this publisher made and how many different cities this wandering covered bridge could have been in before it settled in Knox Co, IL.

The postcard is published by The L.L. Cook Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The primary card number is 71168 and the secondary is G-416 "Covered bridges are becoming a rarity Vacationland Scene" is printed across the left top.

Along with the card featuring Houghton Lake, MI, I also have Naubinway, MI, Port Washington, WI, Indian Lake,OH, Charles City, lA, Indianola, IA and Grayling, MI.

I am very much interested in seeing how many of these cards I can find. Would you people be so kind as to assist me? I would be interested in purchasing these cards you may find.

Thank You and Happy Bridging,

Harold Scudder
317 Goldup Lane
Homer, Michigan 49245

From River to Mountaintop: The Margaretville Covered Bridge
by Diane Galusha

High on a hilltop, a vigorous one-mile walk out of the Village of Margaretville, is a handsome cabin, built in a forest clearing with a wonderful view of the valley below. There is beauty and tranquility in the air here, and history, too. For the broad beams that have framed the foundation, doors and windows of this little cabin for the past 70 years supported the Margaretville Covered Bridge for nearly 70 years before that.

The bridge is believed to have been built in 1865 on what is now known as Bridge Street across the East Branch of the Delaware River. The builder was Scottish carpenter Robert Murray who is credited with constructing nine covered bridges in Delaware County between 1854 and 1870. (Two of the three public covered bridges that still stand in the county, Downsville and Harnden, were built by Murray. The third, Fitch's Bridge in Delhi, was constructed by James Frazier and James Warren.)

Robert Murray had a store in Bovina in the 1840s and '50s, and was town clerk there from 1849 to 1850. It's unclear whether he abandoned the storekeeper's trade in favor of building, or if he somehow managed to do both. But by the time he took on the Margaretville job, the 50-year-old Murray had already built five, and possibly six covered bridges according to Ward Hermann's classic book on Delaware County covered bridges, Spans of Time.
Margaretville, NY Covered Bridge post card

The Margaretville Covered Bridge was built c. 1865 over the East Branch of the Delaware River. Note the proximity of the Delaware & Northern Railroad tracks, something of a hazard for horses and later vehicles exiting the bridge onto New York State Routes 28-30.

These included Downsville in 1854; Hawley's Station and Pepacton in 1858, and Harnden and DeLancey in 1859. He built both the Bridge Street span in Delhi and the Colchester Covered Bridge in 1870. Murray is also believed to have built the More's Falls Bridge in the Town of Andes, date unknown. In addition to the bridges, Murray constructed the Delaware County Clerk's office on Courthouse Square in Delhi in 1878.

The 100foot-long Margaretville bridge was a Town Lattice design. Author Hermann claims the two-inch diameter trunnels that held the planks together were turned out in a woodworking shop owned by George Stimpson.

The tracks of the Delaware & Northern Railroad, which commenced operations from Arkville to East Branch in 1905, passed right in front ofthe covered bridge. The train tracks were a hazard to horses and later vehicles exiting the bridge onto Routes 28/30 as there wasn't much clearance from the end ofthe bridge to the rails.

For generations the wooden structure helped transport people, horses, wagons and goods across the East Branch. It also provided a good fishing platform for Howard "Bonny" Etts, JI. and his pals. "On a rainy day we'd fish off the bridge, all us kids," said Etts, born in 1918. "We'd look through the lattice and see trout and suckers in the water, dangle worms on weighted hooks in front of them and wait for them to latch on." The suckers they caught were often sold for a nickel a piece to local Jewish families and hotels for preparation as gefilte fish.

"A nickel was a lot of money in those days," said Etts, whose earnings were usually spent on a matinee and a box of popcorn at the nearby Galli Curci Theater.

In July of 1932, the state announced that it would soon replace the venerable wooden structure with a new steel-decked bridge. A few days after this announcement a 25-ton milk truck ripped the top of the bridge apart and damaged the timbers. The bridge was fixed and traffic continued to cross it -- carefully. Bids for the new bridge were opened in September, and J. H. Ryan and Co. of Albion got the job. Then on October 7, 1932 a major flood carried a tree into the bridge damaging it once again. But once again, repairs were made, and it was decided to move the old span to act as temporary bridge while construction of the new one was underway. L. D. Dexheimer & Son of Guilford hauled it on soaped skids about 50 feet down river where it carried traffic for several months more.

In the midst of the Depression, the project was delayed for some months because of financial difficulties of the contractor. But in 1933, the steel bridge was opened, and pieces of the dismantled covered bridge found new uses. Hugh Ramp, a carpenter who had built the concrete forms for the new span, claimed some planks to build a chicken coop at his farm in the Millbrook valley not far away.

And Dr. Gordon Maurer, a beloved physician and an avid sportsman, acquired several of the 8x8 beams and had them hauled up a steep mountain road where he used them to construct a stone and timber hideaway. Priscilla Burrage, the doctor's daughter, believes that some of the work was done by patients of her father who paid for their treatment with their labor.

Dr. Maurer, who is credited with helping to launch the Margaretville Hospital in 1936, was tragically killed in a hunting accident in 1938. But the house he built of covered bridge beams remains a weekend retreat for the family, a sturdy sentinel with a story to tell in the forest above Margaretville.

Diane Galusha is president of the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown, Delaware County. Parts of this article first appeared in the Catskill Mountain News September 7, 2005.

Maurer House. Photo by Diane Galusha

Dr. Gordon Maurer built this small house near Margaretville using beams from the covered bridge, which was dismantled in 1933. Bridge beams and native field stone have supported the Maurer house for more than 70 years. Photo by Diane Galusha.

Gilbertville Bridge. WGN MA-08-04.Photo courtesy of Robert Griner

This 137-foot covered bridge across Ware River in Gilbertville, MA is to be repaired by the state in 2007 so the load limit is increased from 6 tons to 12 tons. Originally the bridge was built by the B&M Railroad in 1886 for horse and buggy traffic across the river when the railroad built a branchline track on the west side of the river to serve area mills. Photo courtesy of Robert Griner.


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
4856 Spencer Oaks Blvd
Pace, FL 32571

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@verizon.net

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)

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.

New book by Joseph Conwill: Images of America, "VERMONT COVERED BRIDGES." It sells for $19.99 plus $3.00 shipping and handling.


Both are now available on computer diskette ONLY in PC format. It is in the compressed format to fit on a PC computer floppy disc. You must have Zip Software to decompress it. If you do not have 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 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 2/16/2006