April - May - June - Spring 2005

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
382 S. Main Street
Andover, MA 01810
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 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 July 2005. Therefore, anyone wishing to submit any photos, articles, etc. should submit them to Carmela or KC by June 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:

As I look out of my window here in Westminster, between bouts of working on the current President'.s Message, I can see clear signs of progress with each passing day, there is less and less snow, and quite a few brown areas have emerged in my lawn where all was white before. No crocuses have popped up yet, however, or at least none that I have been able to discover, but their arrival is much anticipated, and shall not be long delayed, of that I am sure. With the coming of spring, of course, each of us can begin to look forward to summer, and to those months of the year when it is most agreeable to visit our beloved Covered Bridges.

Speaking of an 'agreeable time' in which to visit Covered Bridges, I have recently had occasion to experience the exact contrary: To be more explicit, some three or four weeks ago, I took a trip to Lancaster, New Hampshire, in order to have a look at the Mechanic Street Covered Bridge, which structure is now closed to all traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian.

The Span is closed for good reason.

There are problems with decay in a certain number of the kingposts of this Paddleford Truss where these kingposts intersect the bottom chord, and certain of the bottom chord sticks themselves are of dubious solidity, particularly at the east end of the structure. Needless to say, there is currently much discussion as to how the Mechanic Street Covered Bridge is ultimately to be repaired, and on this subject, I shall undoubtedly have further thoughts, some of which are likely to find their way onto the pages of future President'.s Messages. What I wanted to point out here, however, it is that the day of my visit -- I arrived shortly after first light, and after it had snowed most of the night -- the temperature was about zero, and the wind, primarily from the north and gusty, cut through me like a knife. It was literally impossible to remain out on the Mechanic Street Bridge for more than a few minutes at a time. As I had gone up there to gather certain necessary data, I stuck it out, but I don't mind saying that, had I to do it again, and had I complete liberty to arrange things in accordance with my own preferences, I should try to plan my trip for a nice warm day in July or August.

To change the subject somewhat, I am happy to be able to report here that two of our members, Douglas and Pauline Smith of Grand Isle, New York, otherwise known as Doug and Polly, have agreed to take on the job of stuffing Topics and the Newsletter.

I hope that all of you out there realize just how important -- indeed indispensable! -- a task this is.

For many of our members, for the vast majority I dare say, contact with other Society members is maintained largely by means of our quarterly publications; that is to say Topics and the Newsletter. Topics and the Newsletter in fact constitute a precious link between all of us, a link which helps to hold our organization together, and to spread our influence far and wide.

Many thanks, therefore, to both of you, Doug and Polly! And may your enthusiasm for the "stuffing process" flourish unabated.

A word on membership: With spring fast approaching, I feel compelled to mention that the time is also soon to come when all of us who are not yet "lifers" shall have to renew our membership in the National Society. Given this fact, I do hope that all of you who can, who are in a position to be able to, in other words, have been trying to think of ways of encouraging new people to sign up for a stint or two with us and our group. Thanks to a fairly effective post card campaign organized by our Membership Chairperson, Pauline Prideaux, who alas is soon to leave this area for hurricane land, our numbers have increased significantly since last I had occasion to bring the matter up. We could still use more, however, members that is, not hurricanes, so please, all of you, give some consideration to the subject during the course of the next few months. Remember, there is much strength to be had in numbers.

Finally, I was sad to have learned in the winter issue of the Newsletter of the death of Robert A. Michenfelder, of Piermont, New Hampshire. Mr. Michenfelder, amongst many other things, was a superb artist, and a man deeply concerned about the future of the Upper Connecticut River Valley. Those of you who are long time members will undoubtedly remember the campaign to save the great Bedell Covered Bridge over the Connecticut River between the Towns of Haverhill, New Hampshire, and Newbury, Vermont. Mr. Michenfelder was fully involved in that campaign. It was he, in fact, who did the drawings which regularly appeared in the Bridgehead, the occasional newsletter of Bedell Bridge, Incorporated. Alas, were it not for the depredations of Hurricane Frederick, we could all of us still admire the wonderful work of restoration accomplished up there by Milton Graton, and the marvelously skillful apprentices he had specially trained to assist him, for Bedell Bridge Inc., brought to a successful conclusion the project they had so courageously committed themselves to at a time when less passionate observers thought the matter hopeless. In a phrase, Bob Michenfelder was no "summer soldier," nor was he a "sunshine patriot." He shall be greatly missed by all those who were fortunate enough to have known him. The National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges hereby extends its deepest sympathies to Mr. Michenfelder's family.

Yours Sincerely,

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

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Pauline Prideaux - Membership

I want to thank everyone that responded to the tack up card campaign. I received e-mails and post cards from everywhere. The nice weather (I hope) will soon be here and we will be bounding out there to see how our bridges faired through the winter months. Especially in the northeast. Weather reporters said we had 22 snowstorms. I lost count!! But as we get out there make sure you bring your cards with you. I have lots of cards. So don't be shy. If you don't have any just let me know and I'll send them right out. Don & I went to about 10 bridges and tacked up our cards. We actually went in snowstorms so I could take pictures. Not much snow in Florida where we will be moving in the spring. So get out there and spread the news of our Society to the visitors of the covered bridges. Send an email to Sanibe193@aol.com or write to 382 S. Main St., Andover, MA 01810.

Spanning New York State
Covered Bridge News

By Bob and Trish Kane

Rensselaer/Washington Counties

Buskirk Covered Bridge -- NY 32-42-02/58-04 Willy Grimmke, Superintendent of Washington County Department of Public Works shares the following news with us regarding the Buskirk Covered Bridge. The truss work is complete, the siding is on the bridge and the roof framing and sheathing is up. The bridge is self supporting and the shoring has been removed from the river. We are anticipating the bridge will be open to traffic by April 1, 2005 and final completion by the end of May. Great news, indeed!

Beyond New York

Virginia Covered Bridge Festival - For anyone interested in attending the Virginia Covered Bridge Festival here are the phone numbers of a few motels in the Martinsville area: Jameson Inn (276) 638-0478; Super 8 (276) 666-8888; Best Western (276) 632-5611; Best Lodge (276) 647-3941; Holiday Inn (276) 666-6835; and Quality Inn/Dutch Inn located in Collinsville (276) 647-3721. When making your reservations, please be sure to mention that you are with the Covered Bridge Society to get the discounted rate. For more specific information, contact Leola Pierce at VaBridgeLady@aol.com or call her at (757) 484- 4404 and she will be happy to send you a more detailed list of rates and services of each motel.

Other News

National Covered Bridge Postcard Week - For the covered bridge postcard collectors in our midst, don't forget that May 8-14, 2005 is National Covered Bridge Postcard week. This week is designated for trading, sending and sharing covered bridge postcards with other covered bridge postcard collectors. Many collectors even have special postcards printed for this event. Others simply mail one of their nice, duplicate cards. This is also a great time to order covered bridge postcards from fellow bridgers who publish their own. And just think about how many people handle that postcard while en route and see a covered bridge on the card. It is a great way to help promote our bridges. Kindly remember that it is postcard etiquette that if you receive a postcard, you return a card to the sender.

Important Notice: We have received numerous requests from folks inquiring as to who will be replacing Richard Donovan in regards to assigning World Guide numbers for new covered bridges. I am pleased to report that Dan Brock from Vernon, CT will be assuming these duties. Many of you may already know Dan as he has been assisting Richard for a number of years in this area and is the perfect person for the job. We all know how difficult it will be to replace Richard given his wonderful knowledge of our bridges, but Dan will no doubt do a great job having been well trained by his predecessor. If you have information on new bridges, please send it along to Dan so he can assign a number to them. Don't forget to include photographs of both the interior and exterior of the bridges as it helps to determine authenticity of the truss and if the bridge is self supporting. Also, if known, be sure to include the following information: builder's name; bridge name; length; number of spans; name of what the bridge crosses (river, brook, stream, creek, etc.); directions or address to the bridge; truss type; name of township where the bridge is located; and indicate if the bridge is a foot bridge or open to traffic. Please include as much of this information as possible as it is difficult to assign a number to a bridge without it. If you have any questions, please contact Dan at danjbrock@aol.com.

Congratulations to Leola Pierce, Founder and Vice President of the Virginia Covered Bridge Society! Senator Frederick Quayle recently introduced a bill commemorating Leola for her service to the Commonwealth of Virginia as a result of her dedication to preserving Virginia's historic timber covered bridges.Congratulations, Leola!

For anyone interested in all types of historic bridges, we found this excellent bridge site -- Historic Bridges in the News -- A Survey of Bridge News from the Web. You will want to visit it often as it is an excellent source of information regarding recent happenings with all types of historic bridges. The web address is: http://www.iceandcoal.org/bridges/bridgenews.html

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

Before getting into the details for this update, I would like to take a moment to thank all the people who have submitted information. Without the help of correspondents throughout the US and Canada, we would not have been able to achieve the milestones we have to date. In particular, our knowledge of Oregon, Ohio and New York bridges has been enhanced tremendously in recent weeks. More on that later.

The most significant supplement to the Covered Spans of Yesteryear website (www.lostbridges.org) since our last update is the addition of Vermont pictures. As I write this, 685 past and current Vermont bridges have been documented. We have scanned pictures of 360 of them and included them on the website. A similar situation exists in New Hampshire where 255 of the 424 known bridges include pictures with a few more to be added shortly. Indiana is next on the list to be scanned. 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 assistance will be greatly appreciated. Email is usually the most effective way to contact me - bill@lostbridges.org.

In the year and a half since this project got underway, over 6,600 lost bridges have been documented. As I mentioned earlier, we have started receiving New York and Ohio data, which will increase that total significantly. Information about the known covered bridges of Oregon has recently been received and is being entered into the database. Once that step is completed, reports of the Oregon data will be sent out to experts in the area to check its accuracy.

As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions. With any project of this magnitude, errors are inevitable. Data extracted from books reflects the knowledge at the time they were written and may need to be updated. If you find inaccuracies in the data on the website, please bring them to our attention so they can be corrected.

We have established a number of contacts, but are still lacking in certain areas. Specifically, there is a need for people with knowledge of lost bridges in the southeastern states. If you can help in this area, please let us know.

Trish Kane, 167 Williams Rd., Sherburne, NY 13460,
bobtrish68@frontiernet.net, 607-674-9656

Bill Caswell, PO Box 2242, Concord, NH 03302-2242


by Jeanne Baker

Cost: $12.95 plus $3.00 s & h
To order: phone: 919-968-2976 or write: 605 Jones Ferry Rd., #EE4, Carrboro, NC 27510

by Frank F. Tobie

This is a tour of 108 covered bridges in 29 States and 4 Provinces as seen and photographed by Frank and Elizabeth Tobie. The bridges and experiences in finding them are described. Includes 15 bridges in the Western States and British Columbia, 22 bridges in Middle America, 15 bridges in the South and Southeast, 29 bridges in the Middle Atlantic and New England States, and 25 bridges in 3 Eastern Provinces and the Great Lakes States.

The book is hard cover, 144 pages with 138 photos in black and white, six maps, covered bridge truss sketches, acknowledgments and sources and index. Dust jacket in color.

Reduced price is $39.95 plus $2 shipping. Send check to Frank Tobie, 3106 E. 15th Ave., Spokane W A 99223. Will autograph to person of your choice. Phone: 509-535-1423 or email: ftobie@nwadv.com

Lincoln Woods State Park, RI. Photo by Monty Desjardins, October 2005

New covered bridge located at the entrance to Lincoln Woods State Park in Lincoln, RI. Plans for the bridge were created two years ago and construction began last fall. The bridge was dedicated in October and cost $700,000 to build. This bridge, which is 51 feet long, is now the third covered bridge that cars can pass over in RI. Photo by Monty Desjardins.

Covered Bridge Weekend in Virginia on June 18-19, 2005

In 1998, the Virginia General Assembly was asked to make the third weekend in June as Covered Bridge Weekend in Virginia by Leola B. Pierce. The bill was passed and became law.

The Covered Bridge Society of Virginia and the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce and the town of Stuart, V A are proud to announce the First "Covered Bridge Weekend in Virginia." It will be held on Saturday, June 18,2005, at the Bob White covered bridge and the Jack's Creek covered bridge in Woolwine, VA.

There are eight bridges here in Virginia. You can probably tour the others in less than two days. For more information, please contact:
Leola B. Pierce
4114 Forresthills Drive
Portsmouth, Virginia 23703
Phone: 757-484-4404
Email: VaBridgeLady@aol.com

Attached is a list of motel rates for Covered Bridge Weekend in Virginia on June 18- 19,2005.
HOLIDAY INN 276-666-6835
1895 Virginia Ave. (Route 220 Business) Martinsville, VA
Regular rate = $76.00
AARP - AAA = $62.10 with card
Covered Bridge Society rate: $69.00 (with 2 beds)

BEST LODGE 276-647-3941
1985 Virginia Ave. (Route 220 N)
Martinsville, VA
Regular rate = $63.95
AARP - AAA = $58.00 with card
Covered Bridge Society rate: $50.00 (with 2 beds)

QUALITY INN - DUTCH INN 276-647-3721
2360 Virginia Ave. (Route 220N Business)
Collinsville, VA
Regular rate = $79.95
AARP - AAA = $73.00 with card
Covered Bridge Society rate: $64.95 (with 2 beds and free hot breakfast)

BEST WESTERN 276-632-5611
1755 Virginia Ave., Martinsville, VA
Regular rate = $83.00
Covered Bridge Society rate: $62.00 (with 2 beds)

JAMESON INN 276-638-0478
378 Commonwealth Ave., Martinsville, VA Regular rate = $78.00
AARP - AAA = $73.00 with card
Covered Bridge Society rate: $67.00 (with 2 beds)

SUPER 8 MOTEL 276-666-8888
1044 N Memorial Blvd., Martinsville, VA Regular rate = $62.88
Covered Bridge Society rate: $48.00 (with 2 beds)

DAYS INN 276-638-3914
3841 Greensboro Road, Ridgeway, VA
Regular rate = $62.00
Covered Bridge Society rate: $48.00 (with 2 beds) - Ask for Scott or Ken Upgrade room rate = $10.00

When calling these motels, tell them you are with the "Covered Bridge Society" for the discounts. Please book as soon as possible.

Mill Creek Bridge, NY. Photo by Doug and Polly Smith

Bridge between third and fourth holes of new Mill Creek Golf Club, Churchville, NY. Photo by Doug and Polly Smith.

File Cleaning

Bennington Banner, VT, February 26, 2005. Troubled Bridge over Water. The Buskirk Bridge, a link between Rensselaer and Washington Counties, is scheduled to be open for single-lane traffic by the end of March. A larger grand opening is planned for May. The extensive restoration costs of the bridge are estimated to be about $2.2M.

Pepperell Free Press, MA, February 25, 2005. More Authentic Covered Bridge Projected to cost $2.1 Million. Replacing the covered bridge over the Nashua River on Groton Street could begin as early as March 2006 with completion in the fall of 2007. The design of the new bridge as well as demolition details of the existing one are expected to be completed by this fall with bids going out shortly thereafter.

The Union Leader, NH, February 15, 2005. A New Covered Bridge for Littleton. The Riverwalk Bridge is Littleton NH's only covered bridge. This 352 foot, Warren Truss pedestrian bridge was completed in September 2004 over the Ammonosuc River.

Bucks County Courier Times, PA . December 16, 2004. College Students Jailed for Bridge Burning. The six students who torched the historic Mood's Covered Bridge (38-09-07) last summer were sentenced to 18 days to 23 months in the county prison. They were also ordered to complete five years of probation, 1000 hours of community service and to pay their share of $400K in restitution.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 15, 2005. Delaware Man Admits Setting Fire to Bucks County Bridge. A 19-year-old man of Georgetown, Delaware pleaded guilty to charges of arson, conspiracy and criminal mischief. He and an accomplice set fire August 31 to Knecht's Covered Bridge in Springfield Township causing about $30K damage. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 5th.

Coos County Democrat, NH, March 23, 2005. Not Safe for Pedestrians: Big Delays on Covered Bridge Repair. The selectmen of Lancaster, NH have announced that the Mechanic Street Covered Bridge is so unsafe that even bicycle and pedestrian traffic cannot be allowed. The bridge will have a nine-foot chain link fence placed around it and is scheduled to be closed for at least a year and a half. An official estimate from the state for the extensive repair costs is still pending.

CONTRIBUTORS: Trish Kane, Dick & June Roy, George Eysenbach, Pat Tabor, Carmela Sciandra.

Visit Olin's Museum of Covered Bridges

Olin's Museum of Covered Bridges invites you to take a tour and learn about Ashtabula County's historic covered bridges. While visiting the Museum, you may also see the many fun and unique covered bridge items on display. Post card collectors can browse through an extensive collection of old post cards. A variety of new cards are available for sale. Owned and operated by the Olin family, the Museum is within walking distance of Olin's Covered Bridge, so be sure to take advantage of the great photo taking opportunity. Open June-October, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 1 pm to 5pm or year round by appointment. Museum is located at 1918 Dewey Road, Ashtabula, Ohio 44004. For info call 440-998-0025 or 440-993-0814. Also visit the website at http://www.coveredbridgemuseum.org


This will be your last Topics/Newsletter. When you read this notice and see (05) on the mailing label, it means that your dues are due. If (05) does not show up then you are paid through June 2006. Please look at the following information and write me a note with your renewal. Please be prompt, if possible, in order that Topics and the Newsletter be delivered by bulk mail process. Thank you very much for your cooperation.
                                          Pauline Prideaux


Please print your name and address as you wish it to appear on our records and on your mailing label.



City________________________State_____________Zip Code________

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Annual membership (family or individual)
all living at the same address
Canadian Postage Supplement
European Postage Supplement
Student Membership
Single Life Membership
Mr. & Mrs. Life Membership
Corporate Membership


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Portal Contribution
Kingpost Contribution
Queenpost Contribution
Howe Truss Contribution
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Burr Truss Contribution
Town Lattice Contribution
Haupt Truss Contribution
Whipple Truss Contribution


                            N.S.P.C.B. INC.
                            Pauline Prideaux
                            143 Freeman St. Ext.
                            Haverhill, MA 01830

Every year over $1,000 is remitted towards the Harold F. Eastman Fund from Optional Donations. Please help keep the fund afloat for Bridge Preservation.


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

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.


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 May 10, 2005