October - November - December - Fall 2004

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 2004

October 17th NSPCB Annual Meeting at the French King Restaurant in Millers Falls, MA. See last page of newsletter for dinner reservation coupon and more information.


The next newsletter is scheduled for January 2005. Therefore, anyone wishing to submit any photos, articles, etc. should submit them to Carmela or KC by December 20, 2004. 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:

It is hard to believe, but it is again Fall. As I have remarked before, that is to say in several previous President's Messages, the older I get, the faster time seems to fly. The latter observation is hardly original with me, obviously; it is probably a part at least of what lies behind the old maxim, Tempus Fugit, time flies. Be that as it may, one thing is surely good about the arrival of autumn; namely, the fact that many of us shall soon be gathering for the Annual Meeting of the National Society.

The Annual Meeting of the National Society this year, as in many years past, will once again be held at the French King Restaurant.

Information as to how to get to the restaurant in question, and the cost of a meal there, et cetera, is to be found elsewhere in the present Newsletter.

The speaker for the occasion will be David C. Fischetti, P.E., of Cary, North Carolina. Amongst many other things, David Fischetti is the engineer who did a rather exceptional analysis of the Bath-Haverhill Covered Bridge, an analysis financed by our Society. As a result of this analysis, the precise nature and amplitude of the forces active within the trusses and upper and lower lateral bracing systems of the. Bath-Haverhill span under various loading conditions are now known. Knowledge of that sort is of course of paramount importance when one is attempting to work out an appropriate restoration scheme for a structure of such singular significance as the Bath-Haverhill Covered Bridge. In any case, at our Annual Meeting, David Fischetti will be talking about the various problems he regularly encounters during the course of his work overseeing the restoration of historic buildings and historic Covered Wooden Bridges.

In the hope, then, that I shall be greeting many of you at next month's Annual Meeting -- remember, this meeting is scheduled for the THIRD Sunday of October, the 17th in other words - - please be assured that I remain,

Yours most sincerely,

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

GET WELL SOON DICK!! One of the NSPCB Vice Presidents, Dick Roy has been ill. Fortunately he was only briefly hospitalized and is on the road to recovery. Dick and his wife June wish to thank everyone for all of the cards and get well wishes he has received.

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The Pomeroy-Academia Covered Bridge in Juniata County, PA
by Audrey Sizelove

The Pomeroy-Academia Bridge, built in 1902 by James N. Groninger, is a one-lane bridge with a double span, having an overall length of approximately 278 feet [portal to portal], and an overall width of almost 18 feet. The design was based on plans of Theodore Burr [1771-1822] who was the preeminent bridge architect and builder of his time. Burr developed an arch and truss design that was patented in 1804 that came to be known as the Burr truss.

This bridge has the distinction of being the longest remaining covered bridge in Pennsylvania and is listed on both the Pennsylvania Register of Historic Sites and Landmarks and the National Register of Historic Places.

In the summer of 1962 the bridge was still in use in the Pennsylvania Highway system but was slated for destruction after a new bridge crossing the Tuscarora Creek was completed. The Juniata County Historical Society stepped in and voted to assume responsibility for the bridge with the goal of having it restored. The contractor, not knowing of their plans began, at the end of August, to take the bridge down. The Historical Society acted quickly, with the help of the County Commissioners, and was able to get the work stopped for two days, enough time for the Society to deliver a signed statement to the Commissioners declaring their intentions to assume responsibility for the covered bridge.

This year the bridge marks 102 years of existence. Except for some general repairs on the roof and siding, repairs after weather damage, the re-pointing of the stone piers and the collars placed around the headwalls and the piers to stop water erosion, no other work has been completed. The fact that it is still standing after 102 years is a credit to the quality of Burr's design and the workmanship of the laborers who built it.

Viewed from afar, the bridge is picturesque though dilapidated and obviously in need of repairs. However, up close, if one looks carefully it is obvious that time and insects have ravaged it. The bridge has suffered extensive damage from termites and carpenter bees as well as general deterioration. Our engineers tell us that if we don't do major restoration work on the bridge now, sometime within the decade, its going to collapse into the Tuscarora Creek.

The engineering firm of P. Joseph Lehman of Holidaysburg, PA who have performed similar restoration work on some 10 historic covered bridges in P A has estimated the cost of restoration to be $1.4 million. The project will involve-disassembling, replacing all deteriorated members and reassembling the bridge. Restoration work will also be completed on the abutments and piers and concrete collars will be put in place to prevent further water erosion. A small pedestrian park will be placed on the Beale Township side of the Tuscarora Creek with benches and historical markers explaining the history of the Bridge and the nearby Beer's Mill.

In 2002 and 2003 the Historical Society's applied to the Federal Highway Administration's Covered Bridge Restoration Fund without success. Applications have also been made for TEA Enhancement funds at the local and state levels. In November of 2003, we received a Keystone Preservation Grant of $70,000 from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

To better position the bridge for future grant money the board of the society recently agreed to fund all pre-construction work estimated to be $175,000. The Historical Society has raised over $40,000 and can use 25% of the Keystone preservation grant for this purpose, thus allowing $57,500 to be utilized for the pre-construction surveys and permit work that must be completed. We are actively encouraging our state and federal elected officials to assist us with raising the pre- construction funds. Currently there is no Federal Transportation Bill in place but we are hopeful that Congress will pass a new bill sometime in 2005 that would have Covered Bridge Restoration Funds.

For any further information on the Pomeroy-Academia Bridge contact the Juniata County Historical Society at 717-436-5152 or by email at juncohis@tricountyi.net. We also have a web page at http://www.rootsweb.com/~pajchs/. Click on Historic Places to see other pictures of the bridge.

Pleasantville Covered Bridge. Photo by P. Tabor, June 12, 2004.
Pleasantville Covered Bridge (38-06-01) has reopened after repairs. Dedication was June 12, 2004. Photo by P. Tabor.

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 some exciting news regarding the Jay Covered Bridge. As you can see by the photos, the bridge is looking very attractive these days. The roof has been completely covered with a rubber membrane, but the finished roof will be a lightweight aluminum shingle which is supposed to look like cedar shakes. The interior of the bridge has been treated with a fire retardant and bug spray to prevent insect infestation. The fire alarm system has recently been installed and stain applied to the siding. To obtain up-to-date information on the continued rehabilitation progress, be sure to visit: http://members.localnet.com/~jligon/Alpine/Jay
Jay Bridge. Photo by Trish Kane, 2000 Jay Bridge. Photo by Jim Ligon, 2004
September 2000 - Photo by Trish Kane
September 2004 - Photo by Jim Ligon

Herkimer County

Salisbury Center Covered Bridge - NY 32-22-01 -- The rehabilitation work on the Salisbury Center Covered Bridge was completed in mid August. With $153,000 in federal funds the town was able to replace the structure's horizontal, diagonal and vertical beams and remove the deck to install stronger beams as well as I-beams to better accommodate vehicular traffic. The bridge also has a new steel sheathing roof. During the rehabilitation process they were also able to remove the sag in the floor which makes for seven to eight inches additional clearance. The bridge looks fantastic and was listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places on June 19, 1972. Special thanks to everyone involved in the rehabilitation of yet another of New York's historic landmarks.

Rensselaer/Washington Counties

Buskirk Covered Bridge - NY 32-42-02/58-04 -- The siding and roof are still absent from the Buskirk bridge and the top chords are being supported by scaffolding. These top chords will remain with some minor replacements. The new bottom chords are now in place. There has been a slight delay in the completion of the rehabilitation of this bridge. Upon closer inspection the iron rods between the top and bottom chords were found to be significantly deteriorated where they were hidden. More rods have to be replaced than originally thought and they are awaiting the delivery of these rods. Due to the delay, the reopening date is now scheduled for mid January. The construction company, Alpine Construction of Stillwater, NY is doing a fantastic job with this bridge. Thanks to Willy Grimmke, Superintendent of Public Works for Washington County for this update.

Other News:
Here are two additional websites you can bookmark under your favorites:
Oregon: http://www.oregon.com/covered_bridges/index.cfm
Virginia: http://hometown.aol.com/vabridgelady/myhomepage/photo.html

Outside New York: It is always exciting to see articles or events promoting our covered bridges. In the Travel section of the September 10th issue of USA Today there was a great article titled 10 Great Places to Cross That Covered Bridge. The 10 bridges mentioned were: Zumbrota in Minnesota, Bridgeton in Indiana, Philippi in West Virginia, Hogback in Iowa, Jordan in Oregon, Elizabethton in Tennessee, Oregon Creek in California, Langley in Michigan, Sunday River/Artist in Maine, and the Rexleigh in New York.
Watson Settlement Bridge. Photo by Kim McKee
Watson Settlement Bridge. Photo by Kim McKee

Maine -- Watson Settlement CB -- ME-19-02-01 This bridge is currently undergoing some repairs. Kim McKee from Hagerstown, Maryland shares this July 2004 photo of the work to date. This bridge, built in 1911, is the farthest north and the youngest of Maine's original covered bridges. It has a Howe design and has two spans with a total length of 170 feet. In 1984 the bridge was closed to traffic when a new bridge was built.

Update on Covered Spans of Yesteryear Project
by Bill Caswell, Webmaster for CSOY Project
       When the Covered Spans of Yesteryear project was publicly announced, the information available included little more than data from the various editions of the World Guide. Since that time significant amounts of information have been added from New Hampshire, Vermont, Quebec, and most recently, Indiana. Pictures of many of the New Hampshire bridges have been added as well as ones from Virginia and Rutland County, Vermont. This information was provided by people who have been researching these regions for many years. Although many more details can be added, the information currently available is a good representation of the bridges known to exist in these areas. Currently, lists of bridges from Maine, New York, 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.
       Information from many other states & provinces is still needed. For example, early editions of Topics mention 125 bridges in Georgia while only half of those have been documented so far. A similar situation exists in New Brunswick where we are aware of less than half of the suggested 300 bridges. They also mention 50 bridges in Virginia while we only have details regarding 11. If you have additional information about these three regions, please send it along. Although complete details of each structure is the ultimate goal, we realize that is rarely possible. Any details will be greatly appreciated.

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The 50th Anniversary 'Weekend
June 4 & 5, 2004
By Pauline & Don Prideaux
NSPCB 50th Anniversary Meeting. Photos by Pauline & Don Prideaux

Richard Donovan. Photo by Patricia Kane
Richard Donovan standing in front of the Theodore Burr House (now the Oxford Public Library) in Oxford, NY. Photo by Trish Kane.

Richard T. Donovan, Jr. Obituary: Richard T. Donovan, Jr. passed through the portal on August l5, 2004 after battling cancer for well over a year. He was a Charter Member of the New York Covered Bridge Society and also belonged to many other covered bridge organizations. He was the 3rd Vice President of the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society and was editor of the 1980 edition of the World Guide to Covered Bridges. He was a covered bridge Enthusiast for over half a century. A funeral mass was held at St. Mary's Church in Dansville, NY on August 18, 2004. The family requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Vincent House, 310 Second Ave., Wayland, NY 14572. Vincent House was very helpful and loving in caring for Richard in his final months. To quote Tom Walczak in the email he sent to tell of Richard's passing, "It certainly goes without saying that the covered bridge world has lost a great friend with the passing of Richard. His passion and enthusiasm have affected all who knew him and he will be deeply missed." Well said, Tom.

Reprinted with permission nom the New York State Covered Bridge Society Newsletter: Volume 38, Issue 3, September 2004.

File Cleaning

The Philadelphia Inquirer June 23 2004, Blaze Reduces 1874 Bridge to its Steel Support Beams. Repairs to Mood's Covered Bridge (38-09-07), which had been closed since January after a truck broke 8 of its 12 roof supports, had already been scheduled to begin when fire engulfed the bridge. It was one of 13 covered bridges left in Bucks County.

The Morning Call, Allentown, PA June 23, 2004. Blaze Leaves Covered Bridge in Ruins. Arson is believed to be the cause of the early morning fire which destroyed the covered portion of the Mood's Covered Bridge. The steel beams and wooden deck had only minor damage.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2, 2004, Repairs to Burned Bridge to be Complete by Labor Day. The deck of the burned Mood's Covered Bridge will be repaired, cleaned and paved with asphalt so that the bridge can reopen by Labor Day. Guide rails will be installed along the sides of the bridge. PennDot and the township are still considering whether to rebuild the covered part of the span.

Coos County Democrat, Lancaster, NH, July 21, 2004, Covered Bridge Restoration Project Moving Forward. Work to begin in the Fall on the Mechanic Street Covered Bridge will include everything from a new coat of paint, a new metal roof, new guardrails, replacement of 72 deck planks, installation of a toe wall along the abutments and wing walls and repairing damaged and rotted truss members.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 12, 2004, Preserving Spans of Yesteryear. Pennsylvania has the most covered bridges in the country and various organizations are researching ways to try to protect them against damage.

Bucks County Courier Times, August 10, 2004, Mood's Bridge Expected to Reopen Today. The Pennsylvania DOT laid asphalt over the bridge's deck and erected guide rails to restore traffic flow. This quick fix is expected to last 8-10 years and give the township time to decide to rebuild the covered bridge or erect a modem two span over the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 19, 2004, Six Men are Charged with Burning a Bridge. Six college students, 20 to 21 years of age, all from the Perkasie area, admitted their guilt when charged with setting fire to the Mood's Covered Bridge. The six could face a maximum 20 years in prison. From New Brunswick, Canada: A new $1.6 million bridge to replace the Baker Brook River covered bridge on Joseph Morneault Road, near Baker Brook will be opened to traffic by the end of October of this year, Transportation Minister Paul Robichaud announced. The existing covered bridge has been relocated downstream and will be kept as a tourist attraction. It made way for the new, single-pane, pre-stressed concrete beam bridge. Fire in Knecht's Covered Bridge: Located just outside of the village of Pleasant Valley in Bucks County, P A. The Evans report that one of the secondary bottom chords had been burned completely through, another chord had been burned about one-third, and the two adjacent diagonals of the Town truss have been partially charred. Obviously, the bridge has been closed.

Work on the new Cedar Bridge at Winterset, Iowa is progressing nicely. It will be dedicated during the Covered Bridge Festival the second weekend in October.

CONTRIBUTORS: P. Tabor, Ray Johnson, Carmela Sciandra, George Conn, George Eysenbach, Gerald Arbour, Ben and June Evans, Pauline Prideaux.


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 -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

Covered Bridge Manual Available
by Dennis Rasmussen

NOTICE: At long last - the Covered Bridge Manual will soon be in print and available for free. Phil Pierce, Consulting Engineer and covered bridge specialist, and his team, have completed preparation of the new manual for the Federal Highway Administration. With major focus on the engineering and construction of covered bridges, it also includes diverse information and should be a good reference for anyone interested in covered bridges. To request your free copy, write to John O'Fallon at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, FHWA, 6300 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101 or send an email to John.O'Fallon@fhwa.dot.gov

For those of you who previously sent a note to Phil expressing interest in the manual, he has forwarded names and addresses to Mr. O'Fallon. You are urged to contact Mr. O'Fallon to confirm your contact information.

New Covered Bridge over the Ammonoosuc River in Littleton, NH. This footbridge has a
Truss. Photo by C. Brock.
New Covered Bridge over the Ammonoosuc River in Littleton, NH. This footbridge has a Warren Truss. Photo by C. Brock.

Mood's Covered Bridge (38-09-07)
Mood's Covered Bridge (38-09-07)., showing the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek and the steel beam resting on the modified abutments. Photo by George Eysenbach, July 31, 2004.

Pleasantville Covered Bridge Restoration" -- New Publication
A new publication that contains 20 pages, 41 photos, a glossary, a history of the bridge, and a step by step description of how the bridge was restored. The restoration, including taking the bridge apart, rebuilding the bridge, and placing it back over the creek took nearly two years. Available through the mail for $12.00 from Fred J. Moll, 714 Forest St., Fleetwood, PA 19522

"Pennsyvania's Covered Bridges-Our Heritage" -- New Publication
A look at many of Pennsylvania's past historic bridges as well as some present bridges through 125 photographs, 14 of them in color, and a chart of over 1,500 covered bridges that once spanned the waters of Pennsylvania. Soft cover, 144 pages, available through the mail for $25.00, or order both books for $30.00. (See other book above.) Fred J. Moll, 714 Forest St., Fleetwood, PA 19522.

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 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.

Sunday, October 17, 2004 at 12:00 noon

This is the Annual Meeting and is being held on October 17th at the French King Restaurant on Route 2 in Millers Falls, MA. See dinner reservations and application below.

The French King Restaurant is located at the east end of the French King Bridge. The well known landmark carries Massachusetts Route 2 over the Connecticut River near Millers Falls, at a very picturesque spot. The dinner will be served at 12:00 noon and meeting will follow at 1 :00 P.M.

David C. Fischetti will be our speaker this year.

Cut off here or reproduce and send along with your check or money order.
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Dinner Reservation coupon for October 17,2004 annual meeting. To be returned with payment as designated below. Please return no later than October 10.2004.

_______ Whole Boneless Breast of Chicken with stuffing and gravy . . $18.95
_______Yankee Pot Roast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$18.95
_______ Baked Haddock au Gratin. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. $18.95
_______ Fisherman Casserole. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $19.95
Name ___________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________


Send to:
Carmela Sciandra, P.O. Box 398026, Cambridge, MA 02139

Make checks payable to N.S.P.C.B. Inc.

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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 July 20, 2004