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SUMMER, 2004


Vermont History Expo 2004 To Be Held   About The Jay Covered Bridge   The Jay Bridge By Richard S. Allen
The High Bridge In Middlesex    Covered Bridge Co-owner Dies
Saint Michael’s College Student Writes A Covered Bridge Book
The Shushan Covered Bridge Museum   New Website About Old Covered Bridges Goes On Line
Covered Bridge Community News Notes
Letters -- VCBS Member's Covered Bridge Photo Chosen & Covered bridge clipping shared
Membership Column    President's Column

Vermont Historical Society Expo 2004.
Vermont Historical Society Expo 2004

Vermont History Expo 2004 To Be Held

      The Vermont Historical Society Expo 2004 will be held June 26 and 27, 2004 at the Tunbridge Fair Grounds. Friday June 25th will be the setup day. The VCBS will occupy booth #2 in Floral Hall.
      We will continue with the display of our map of bridges-gone and bridges-existing as the main focus of our booth. Suggestions are welcome for additions or changes. Contact Irene Barna at or (802) 388-0247.

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ABOUT THE JAY COVERED BRIDGE [NY-16-01] A history collected from the archives of the New York State Covered Bridge Society* New York State Covered Bridge Society Courier - March 1984

Jay, NY
Jay Bridge (32-16-01)
Photo by Dick Wilson May 1997
      As you read through this COURIER, you will see many pictures and stories about the Jay Covered Bridge. Checking the back issues of the COURIER, I found that the Jay Bridge had not been featured. The Jay Covered Bridge is about to join the ranks of the retired and unused spans, so, I thought it needed some exposure while it is still a useful, traffic carrying covered bridge. The story about the Jay Bridge was written in 1949 by Richard Sanders Allen. Since the story was written, the 2 smaller spans were replaced and only the 175 foot Howe Truss was left standing. For almost 20 years, this smaller Jay Bridge has carried the traffic across the Ausable River. - Richard Wilson

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Jay NY
The Jay Bridge By Richard S. Allen

The Jay Bridge
By Richard S. Allen

      In 1856 the East Branch of the Ausable River went on a rampage, foaming out of its Adirondack fastness, and descending upon the little village of Jay, where it tore out mills and destroyed the bridge in the valley. The following year saw the building of the present covered bridge, a long 240 foot, oddly-built structure. As it stands today the bridge consists of three sections resting on abutments and two huge concrete-faced piers. The main span is a long Howe Truss over the usual channel of the Ausable. One of the shorter spans is a simple truss of heavy timbers connected to the main span by a short girder section. It is difficult to tell whether the smaller span was originally part of the bridge destroyed by flood or an uncovered approach to the main span which in later years was roofed.Jay Bridge is boarded to the eaves, which makes the interior especially dark. The west portal has a window for admission of light from a nearby street lamp. The east portal is charred, mute evidence of the narrow escape of the bridge when the old mill nearby was burned some years ago. The view of the old unpainted timber tunnel from Route 9N up in the village includes a landscape of distant rugged mountains and the broadening Ausable cascading down the gray rocks from the wide pool above. At the corners at the village end of the bridge is an old blacksmith shop. Who knows how many hundreds of horses have gingerly tested their new shoes, stepping, "not faster than a walk" across the old span, their hoofbeats clattering on the wide planks. Now it is rare to see a horse plodding into the bridge, but the reverberating horns of automobiles still wake forgotten echoes. [*This material is used with the permission and support of Dick Wilson, President NYSCBS -Ed]

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Old High Bridge over the Winooski River
Middlesex, VT

The High Bridge In Middlesex
by Charlie Elflein

      While my number one objective for traveling is to see and photograph historic covered bridges, I also check out flea markets and antique shows on occasion, chiefly to find old post cards of our wooden landmarks. As time marches on, the prices of these "paper heirlooms" are increasing day-by-day, but occasionally a real bargain surfaces that's too good to pass up.
      Driving through central Vermont in August of 2003, I spotted a flea market and decided to investigate. What a worthwhile stop that was! Here I found a very old card of the former High Bridge in Middlesex, VT. This was published by Buswell's Bookstore of Montpelier and contained an undivided back, which meant it was printed before 1907. I nearly fell over when I saw the price on the back... 25 cents! Talk about a bargain. Most older post cards today average in the $8-$15 range, depending what's on it and who's selling it.
      Spanning the Winooski River from high above, this covered span was aptly named. At first glance, it sort of resembles the existing Halpin Bridge northeast of Middlebury, perched high above the raging water below. While protected from flooding, high winds would be more of a problem here.
      Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any historical information on this former Washington County structure. Since many early town records were often sketchy or non-existent, maybe that's the case here as well.
      Looking at my DeLorme Vermont Atlas, High Bridge would have been in one of two locations in Middlesex. Either in the village on today's Route 100B, or on Route 2 approximately one mile west of Middlesex. Judging by the two vertical posts visible on each side, this probably was a queenpost, one of the most popular truss-types used in this part of Vermont.
      Since the bridge was on a main highway, it no doubt was replaced many years ago. Maybe with further research, more information will surface on this picturesque span. Whatever the case, here we have a photographic record of another former Vermont landmark. Like High Bridge, the vast majority of them are only a memory now, but we can still enjoy their presence by sharing data and photographs to keep the state's legacy of covered bridges alive for both today's and future generations.

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Covered Bridge Co-owner Dies

      Ralph Rodgers Reynolds died May 8, 2004 at age 82. He was the half owner of the C. K. Reynolds Covered Bridge with his sister B. Ann Porterfield. He was born in Giles County, son of C. K. and Anabel Reynolds. He is survived by his wife, Katherine Lucas Reynolds, and son, Dale Reynolds, of Manassas, and daughter, Susan Guthrie of Lyndhurst.
      Mr. Reynolds spent 32 years in the field of education as teacher and principal of Bland High School. He was active in community affairs as a fund raiser, president of the Bland Kiwanis club, co-founder of local Future Farmers of America, and supported many local organizations.
      The C. K. Reynolds Bridge, also called the Maple Shade, and Link Farm Bridge [WGN 46-35-01], is one of three spanning New Sinking Creek near Newport, Virginia. A 50-foot private bridge, it was built in 1912 using a variation of the queen post truss.

      [This item was contributed by Leola B. Pierce, founder of the Covered Bridge Society of Virginia.]

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Saint Michael's College Student Writes A Covered Bridge Book

by Cate Westberg

      I am a recent journalism graduate of St. Michael's College and for my senior project I put together a 72 page book on a few of Vermont's covered bridges. The book is titled A Moment in Time: Uncovering Vermont's covered bridges My goal was to bring these inanimate objects to life and give them a personality. This was achieved. Through chatting with covered bridge enthusiasts of all ages, organization leaders and local historians, I collected memories and personal anecdotes which helped the bridges personality and adventures unfold.
      There are seven bridges showcased in this book. The Holmes Creek Bridge, the Quinlan Bridge and the Sequin Bridge (Charlotte), The Spade Farm Bridge (Ferrisburgh), The Grist Mill Bridge and the Cambridge Junction Bridge (Cambridge) and the Church Street Bridge (Waterville).
      Along the way, I uncovered that every individual had a story to tell and everyone’s love for these historic structures runs deep as do their love for history and preservation. It was thanks to these people who have a love for all things old and historical that made this book possible.

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The Shushan Covered Bridge Museum

      Seekers after the ubiquitous covered bridges of southern Vermont and the Battenkill must not miss visiting the Shushan Covered Bridge Museum in Shushan, New York, just over the Vermont/New York border. This extraordinary little museum not only preserves a mid-eighteenth century example of covered bridge construction, it memorializes the way of life of a small village of the Northeast. More than that, it demonstrates what a small group of determined people can do for their community.

The Shushan Covered Bridge Association*

      The Shushan Covered Bridge Association was organized in 1974 when it acquired the covered bridge from the Washington County Highway Department. In danger of imminent collapse due to rain damage caused by a badly leaking roof, the bridge was shored up by the efforts of dozens of volunteers rushing to the rescue. Their donations of time, money and talent saved the old span.
      The Shushan Covered Bridge Museum was opened in 1975, born with the idea that the old bridge, itself the main attraction, would house an ever-changing display of pieces on loan from all over this rural region. There are many old farms in Washington County that have agricultural implements, tools and domestic utensils from an earlier time that would be of interest to museum-goers of all ages. Old mills and factories yield up an item or two of historic value from time to time. Many pieces have been donated to the Museum, but most of what is displayed is on loan.
      The Museum's directors feel that the items should be put in working order whenever possible and demonstrated, rather than merely being displayed. This is done on Harvest Day in August of each year.
      The Shushan Covered Bridge Association operates the Museum and staffs it with one or more volunteers every day of the season. These "bridge tenders" will gladly assist you and try to answer any questions you may have about the Museum and its displays.
      The Association membership numbers about 300 and is open to all who wish to join. Permanently chartered by the New York State Board of Regents as a private, not-for-profit organization, the Association is tax-exempt. Any contributions to the Museum and the Association are tax-deductible.
      [© Shushan Covered Bridge Association, Inc. Shushan, New York 12873]

The Shushan Bridge and the Schoolhouse*

      The Shushan Covered Bridge was built during the spring and summer of 1858 under the direction of brothers Milton and Andrew Stevens. It is of Town Lattice construction, 161 feet in length, having 46 panels. each 3-1/2 feet on centers. All truss timbers are either white pine, spruce or hemlock fastened at the joints by trunnels of either red oak or locust. Primary chords are made up of 3 x 12 inch plank, with secondary chords and web pieces of 3 x 10 inch plank. Full chord sticks subtend a distance of eight panels, or 28 feet. The roadway is 16 feet wide. carried on 8 x 12 inch floor beams spaced every seven feet. Eight longitudinal floor joists carry two thicknesses of two-inch random-width floor planks.
      The bridge trusses were laid out and assembled on the village green beside the railroad depot, then taken apart and reassembled over the river on a system of falsework. The total weight of the bridge. including roof and side covering, is estimated at 80 tons.
      Although posted for a safe load of five tons when it was bypassed in 1963, it has been estimated that it could have continued to carry six times that amount without trouble. Only 11 ensuing years of neglect of a leaking roof allowed the upper chords to be damaged. leading to the near-collapse of the span in 1974. Timely repairs and the reinstalling of a center pier allow the structure to continue in the limited duty now imposed upon it. The bridge was bypassed mainly to improve traffic conditions at the road approaches.
      The Town Lattice truss design was one of about 20 wooden bridge truss types developed during the 19th Century. Patented January 1, 1820 by Ithiel Town. an architect from Bridgeport, Connecticut, it was extensively promoted by him throughout the South. By 1840 it had become one of a few standard types chosen by local builders because of its ease of construction by ordinary carpenters.
      Although Ithiel Town is generally credited with having invented this form of truss, there is an engineering tradition that says the first examples were built in and around Pittsford or Brandon, Vermont as early as 1812. That these initial efforts were quite crude, there is no question. It was left to Town to seize upon the idea, develop it and further improve it during the 1830s.
      A few yards from the bridge entrance stands a one-room schoolhouse. Built on land donated by the Law family, it was in continuous use as a schoolhouse from 1852 to 1943. Known variously as the Lower Camden School or the White School, it was officially District School No.6 of the Town of Salem. When it was closed the property reverted to the descendants of the Law family. It was purchased later by J. Edward Hawes and presented to the Shushan Covered Bridge Museum. The school was moved to its present site in 1979 and opened for visitors in 1981. It is now furnished with desks and texts from the 19th Century.
      [*Text taken from Shushan Covered Bridge Association, Inc. brochure]

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New Website About Old Covered Bridges Goes On Line
By Trish Kane

      I am extremely pleased to announce that Covered Spans of Yesteryear's web site, is now up and running and ready for assistance from covered bridge enthusiasts. Before I tell you how you can help, please join me in thanking Bill Cockrell from the Oregon Covered Bridge Society and Dick Roy from the National Society for their tremendous support, words of encouragement, testing of the site, and for supplying so much wonderful information on past bridges to get this project off the ground. And thanks to each of you who sent in information on covered bridges in your state, and to those of you we contacted who tested the site for us and offered such great feedback. It was extremely helpful. And last, but certainly by far not least, a very special thank you to Bill Caswell who has spent countless hours this past year setting up, testing, and inputting information for this website. His computer expertise has been invaluable and we are extremely fortunate to have him be such an integral part of this project. Work is going forward on the Poland Bridge as the siding is applied, the downstream side being nearly completed. When the siding is finished the oak runners will be installed and the roofing put on.The camber appears to be holding at very nearly last weeks measurement of 14 3/4 inches.
      On behalf of all of us, please accept this warm invitation to visit: to see the progress we have made and please, feel free to offer suggestions. We really do want to hear them. If you would like to enter information on bridges from your area, state, or any state, please let us know. We will be happy to provide you with instructions on how to do so. Don't have a computer but would still like to help out? Not a problem. We have designed a special form just for this purpose. Just contact us and we will be happy to provide you with the necessary material to get you started.
      As in anything new, and keeping in mind how frustrating computers can often be, we anticipate there will still be some "bugs" that will need to be addressed as more and more people input information. Each computer system is different and will accept and send information in various ways. If you find you are having any issues with the site, please do not hesitate to contact Bill Caswell, our Webmaster for this project.
      Again, thanks to each of you for your wonderful words of encouragement and support with this new endeavor.

For more information, contact:
Bill Caswell, New Hampshire, (603) 753-8244
Bill Cockrell, Oregon, (503) 399-0436
Bob & Trish Kane, New York, (607) 674-9656
Dick Roy, New Hampshire, (603) 623-8406

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Covered Bridge Community News Notes

Knapp Bridge Repair Wins Industry Award
Knapps Bridge [WGN PA-08-01] Built in 1853 using the Burr Truss to cross Brown’s
Creek near Luthers Mills, PA. Renovated in 2002.
Photo by Chuck and Nancy Knapp, March 21, 2003
Knapps Bridge [WGN PA-08-01] Built in 1853 using the Burr Truss to cross Brown’s Creek near Luthers Mills, PA. Renovated in 2002. Photo by Chuck and Nancy Knapp, March 21, 2003
Luthers Mills, Pa., April 8, 2004 - The project to repair Bradford County's Knapp Covered Bridge won the Pennsylvania Partnership for Highway Quality Award at the group's spring convention.
      Receiving plaques were the Bradford County government, PennDOT Engineering District 3-0, and Dewberry-Goodkind Inc. and Lycoming Supply Inc. They represent the owner, designers and primary contractor of the rehabilitation project, taking top honors in its class of nine entries for spans 150 feet or less.
      The goal of the work, in December of 2002, was “restoration of Knapp’s Bridge for modern use while retaining the original historic character of the bridge”, said Rick Mason Penn Dot District 3 spokesman.
      The goals included using materials approved by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, strengthening timber members and structural connections to accommodate modern vehicle traffic and developing abutment repair methods that improved aesthetics and facilitated operations.
[This item based on article published by Daily and Sunday Review, Towanda Pa. on their website: Our thanks to Chuck and Nancy Knapp, and Dick Wilson for sharing this news item - Ed.]

Buskirk and Salisbury Center Bridges Repairs underway.
Salisbury Center Bridge [NY-22-01] Photo by Dick Wilson, April 16, 2004
Salisbury Center Bridge [NY-22-01] Photo by Dick Wilson, April 16, 2004
April 18, 2004 - Joe, just to update you on what is going on here in New York, here are a few photo's from 2 bridges that are undergoing repair now. We visited Salisbury Center on April 16th and found work underway. The floor is out of the bridge and work is being done on the abutments. Nice pictures can now be taken of the multi-king post truss. Notice that there is a single arch on the inside of the truss, and it does not go down into the abutment. The end of one of the arches is real bad.
Buskirk Covered Bridge was visited on April 16th and we found all the siding removed and the roof also removed. Abutment work is well on its way on the Washington County side. This is a good time to see former repair work on both ends with boiler plate and how it did not work. This old patch up work will all be gone soon.
              - Dick Wilson

Buskirk Bridge [NY-42-02] Photo by Dick Wilson, April 16,2004
Buskirk Bridge [NY-42-02] Photo by Dick Wilson, April 16,2004

Poland Bridge Rehab Progress [WGN 45-08-02]
Poland Bridge - On upstream side looking north. Windows cut, siding following the top of
the arch.  Photo by Jim Ligon,  April 1, 2004
Poland Bridge - On upstream side looking north. Windows cut, siding following the top of the arch. Photo by Jim Ligon, April 1, 2004
April 1, 2004 - Pictures being worth a thousand words, Jim Ligon, Alpine Construction foreman, has sent along some of his photos to show some of the final touches completing the restoration of the Poland Covered Bridge.
      A new bit of covered bridge trivia - With the reconstruction work complete, the Poland, or Cambridge Junction Covered Bridge, is the only Burr Arch span in Vermont where the arches act upon the faces of the abutments. The arches in all of the others terminate near the ends of the lower chord. (The arches in the Pulpmill Bridge in Middlebury/ Weybridge also act upon the abutment face-walls, but the Pulpmill Bridge uses a laminated arch, not a Burr Arch.)

Canyon Bridge Rehabilitation Progress [WGN VT-08-01]
Removal of old metal roof reveals even older wooden shingles. Photo by Joe Nelson April
27, 2004.
Removal of old metal roof reveals even older wooden shingles. Photo by Joe Nelson April 27, 2004.
Jeffersonville, May 19, 2004 - Canyon, or Gristmill Bridge rehabilitation project was opened for bids on January 9, 2004. The low bid, by Blow and Cote Construction of Morrisville, Vt., was $466,057.05 The only other bidder, Contractor's Crane Service, also of Morrisville, bid $623,318.00. The Engineer’s estimate was $354,101.50.
The engineering and inspections were done by McFarland-Johnson, Inc. of Binghamton, N.Y. for the Vermont Agency of Transportation. The project is funded through the Vermont Agency of Transportation with 80% federal, 10% state, and 10% from the Town of Cambridge. When the work is completed the bridge will have an ASHTO live load rating of H-5, or 10,000 pounds.
      The contract calls for the contractor to avoid unnecessary disassembly of the truss and roof system. Only the joints that affect repairs to the trusses shall be disassembled. The contractor is also required to stockpile all reusable timbers and boards for reuse, and dispose of deficient timbers and boards. The existing deck planks and timbers, and distribution beams shall remain the property of the Town of Cambridge.
      The bridge floor system will be replaced "in kind", there is no plan for the use of Glu-lam. New structural timber will be eastern spruce, the siding timber, hemlock, and the bolster beams and bedding timbers will be southern yellow pine.

A Bridge to the Past Covered Bridge may be built west of Princeton, IL
by David Silverberg, Princeton Bureau Chief
Princeton, IL - Larry Vetter recalls his childhood days at the Captain Swift Bridge west of Princeton.
      "I would go swimming and fishing in Bureau Creek with other kids. We would walk or ride bikes to the creek," Vetter said.
      Now as Princeton Township road commissioner, he is involved in planning a replacement for the one-lane iron truss bridge. "Last year, we had to replace four steel beams under the bridge. They had rusted and fallen down," Vetter said.
      For longevity, maintenance cost savings and safety reasons, Vetter proposes a two-lane covered bridge.
      "I like the timber structures. The Red Covered Bridge has been here (over Bureau Creek north of Princeton) for 140 years," said Vetter. "Approximately a year ago, I thought the Captain Swift site would be a super location for another covered bridge."
      Vetter, who was employed by Princeton Township for 20 years before becoming road commissioner in 1999, knows from experience the benefits of a covered bridge.
      "Because it has a roof, it will outlast a standard bridge. The roof keeps the snow and ice off the deck so we don't have to salt it," Vetter said.
      He also cited increased safety for motorists by having a two-lane bridge and eliminating the curve in 1600N Road.
      "Because the bridge is in the middle of a curve, the vision is not good for oncoming traffic," Vetter said.
      This problem will be solved by moving the road and bridge 80 feet to the north. "You will be able to see straight through the bridge," Vetter said.
      Due to the condition of Captain Swift Bridge, a 27- ton weight limit has been imposed.
      No one seems to know the structure's history or how it became known as the Captain Swift Bridge, but Vetter thinks it was built in the early 1900s.
      Vetter said farmers also will benefit from a new bridge by being able to move heavier and larger equipment and loads.
      Farmer Charles Read of rural Princeton agrees. "Combines are too heavy and loaded trucks can't cross the bridge," Read said. He and Steve Barlow farm fields on both sides of Bureau Creek". "A new bridge will make it a lot better for us," Read said. He and Barlow currently have to "go all the way around" to reach fields on the east side of the creek.
      The first step a township road commissioner must take to obtain a new bridge is to contact the county highway office.
      Vetter filed a petition for a new bridge because "the existing bridge is in need of replacement; for several reasons," according to county highway engineer Jeff Peacock.
      "Then we became aware of other counties that had built timber bridges," said Peacock. "Whiteside County built a two-lane covered bridge north of Morrison in 2001. The contractor was Ladd Construction of Ladd." Other covered bridges built in the past four years are located in Knox, Cumberland and Clark counties.
      Peacock also said the bridge deck will be supported by "a burr arch structure extending from abutment to abutment." The single-span bridge will be four-feet higher above the creek than the existing one in order to prevent debris pileup during flooding.
      If a standard concrete bridge is built, it will have piers which would add to the debris pileup problem, according to Peacock. He also emphasized the new bridge will support "all legal loads transported down the road."
      In addition to replacing the bridge, Peacock cited the need for realigning the road and the intersection east of the bridge for safety reasons.
      "The Y intersection at Epperson Road will be replaced with a T intersection," Peacock explained.
      Read was glad to hear the plans include realigning the intersection. "Motorists respect the one lane bridge, but the real scary part is the intersection. It is really dangerous," Read said. "People don't yield. They don't look. There are a lot of close calls."
      The current yield signs will be replaced with a stop sign for eastbound traffic on l600N. Traffic on Epperson Road would not have to yield or stop. "We are hopeful to have the majority of the cost paid for with federal funds," said Peacock, who is applying for Major Bridge Program funding. "This project will not take away from other bridge needs of the county."
      The city also is being asked to help with the intersection improvement because Epperson Road is in the city limits.
      It is not known yet how much funding will be available or when the project will be started. No decision has been made on whether or not a covered bridge will be built.
      "A second covered bridge over Bureau Creek will be an asset for the county and hopefully a tourist attraction," Vetter said.
[This article was published December 6, 2003, by the NewsTribune, Lasalle, Ill. We thank David Silverberg for his permission to post his article. David Silverberg can be reached at Also, thanks to Bob and Trish Kane for sharing the article with me.- Editor]

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VCBS Letters

VCBS Member's Covered Bridge Photo Chosen.

Windsor-Cornish Covered Bridge. Photo by Helga McGuire
Windsor-Cornish Covered Bridge. Photo by Helga McGuire
Dear Mr. Nelson:
April 2004-I thought you might be interested in an old clipping that was in the Rutland Herald about 1942 or 1943. It is about the "Red Bridge" in Pittsford. I am also sending an ad of covered bridge checks. I was real pleased to have had one of my photographs chosen.
      I enjoy the newsletter very much. It is great so many bridges are being saved. I used to live on Gorham Bridge Road in Proctor.
Yours truly, Helga O. Maguire

Covered bridge clipping shared.
Mystery Bridge?
Cecil Larson, Proctor, Wins Painting Award At Show in Chicago
(Special to the Herald)

Proctor, Feb. 12.-- National recognition of his artistic ability has come to Cecil Larson, artist of this town. His painting "The Red Bridge," which he had sent for the annual exhibition of the Swedish American Artists association, recently held in Chicago, was selected by the committees of judges as being the outstanding painting in the show.
      The work will be purchased by the association, and sent to Sweden, where it will be shown in a permanent exhibit in the Memorial Art gallery, located near the Swedish capital in Stockholm.
      The subject for the picture, is the bridge crossing known as "Sucker Brook," in Fredettsville, a short distance north of Proctor. Peculiarly, Larson's first intimation that he had received this award, came from an admirer, a woman of Maywood, Ill., who wrote a poem, in appreciation of Larson's work, with reference to the painting. The woman had evidently lived or visited in Vermont.
      Larson is well known in artistic circles in this state. His exhibit at the Manchester show last Year caused considerable favorable comment. He also exhibited at Stockbridge, Mass,Ogunquit, Me., New York, Palm Beach, FL,and Vermont shows. He is the son of Mr. And Mrs. Carl Larson of this town.
4/6/04 Hello Joe!
      I did some research for you and found out that the Mysterious Sucker Brook Bridge in Fredetteville is actually the Cooley Bridge (45-11-07). It turns out that the section of Pittsford where the Cooley bridge is located was known by the locals who lived there as Fredetteville. Using information out of the book Pittsford's Second Century 1872-1997, by Davies, Armitage, Blittersdorf, and Harvie, I was able to find two good entries on Fredetteville. The first entry on page 581 reads "Fredette Families: The original settler Peter Fredette, came from Canada and purchased a portion of the original Benj. Cooley farm on Elm St. south of the Cooley Bridge. The whole area of lower Elm St. is known as Fredetteville."
      A second reference in the back of the book stated, "Fredetteville: Cooley bridge to Gorham bridge area. Several Fredette Families live there." After solving the Fredettevile mystery this still left the unanswered question about what is the Sucker Brook, for the Cooley crosses the Furnace Brook. I contacted the Pittsford Historical Society and they told me the section of Furnace Brook that the Cooley crosses has been called "Sucker brook" by the locals that live there. This came about because the suckers would "run" up into the brook from the Otter Creek.
      I was able to find some information on Cecil Larson in Pittsford and Proctor Cemetery inscriptions Rutland County Vermont, recorded September 1991 by Margaret R. Jenks. "Cecil Larson was born on Feb. 29, 1908. He was a Pvt. in the US Army during WW II. He died on Aug. 10, 1972 at the age of 64, and was buried at South Street Cemetery, Proctor, Vt."
      I hope this information clears the mystery surrounding the Sucker Brook Bridge.
YIB, Bob Cassidy
4/5/04 Robert: I received the attached news clip from member Helga Maguire. She says that the clipping came from the Rutland Herald " . . . about 1942 or 1943." Do you know what this bridge was? If you do, is there a photo available.? I'd like to develop this for the newsletter.
YIB, Joe Nelson
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Membership Logo

by Trish Kane, Membership Coordinator

      Summer is coming to New England and although the price of gasoline might deter some of us from doing as much bridging as we would like, I hope some of you will still be able to get out and see some of our bridges. For those of you who can't, it might be a great time to do a little arm chair bridging. Dig out your photographs from past bridging trips and take the time to mark and mount them in photo albums so you can revisit them as often as you'd like. Although personally, I hate sorting and marking all my photographs, I do enjoy viewing the photographs again and remembering our wonderful bridging trips.
      Please join me in welcoming the following new members to the Vermont Covered Bridge Society: Joe and Lorraine Bianco, Bellmore, NY and Philip & Antoinette Reed, Babylon, NY.
      A little reminder, speaking of memberships—many of our members are in arrears in their dues. Please check the mailing label on this newsletter. If it says (03) next to your name, please update your membership with a check. Every little bit helps us in our mission to preserve our covered bridges.
      As you travel this summer, please remember to mention the Vermont Covered Bridge Society to people you meet along the way. Better yet, why not request a few of the society's newly designed brochures so you will have them readily available to distribute as your travel throughout the months ahead? And don't forget to keep a few in your vehicle should you meet a 'new' bridger at one of our bridges. The brochure was designed with a membership form as part of the brochure for convenience. If you are interested in having some brochures sent to you, please contact Joe Nelson at Or feel free to pick up some at the upcoming All Member Meeting on Saturday, June 12th.
      Have a safe and wonderful summer and enjoy your time visiting our bridges.

Yours in Bridging,
Trish Kane
Membership Coordinator

Upcoming Birthdays and Anniversaries:
      14      Dick & June Roy
      20      Joanne Billie
      28      Bob Kane
      28      Dolores Grendron
      1      Melvin & Judy Marolewski
      11      Marie Bechard
      14      Shirley Hill
      20      Bob & Trish Kane
      28      Raymon d Grendron
      28      Richard Roy
      2      Conrad Nagengast
      11      Francis Converse
      18      Ed & Irene Barna
      23      Kathy Ramsey
      25      Jim & Linda Crouse
      29      Raymon d & Dolores Grendron
      29      Melvin Marolewski
      31      Kathleen Havranek

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President's Logo

      In my last column I told you about the proposed agenda for the 5th Annual Director's Meeting. There were six items and an invitation to add more. No agenda items were added to the six.
      The board approved the membership's pledge of $500 at the All-member Meeting to the fund for the restoration of Montgomery's Hectorville Bridge, and doubled the amount to $1000. Meanwhile, because Montgomery's Hectorville Bridge committee's bid for a grant has failed, the project is on hold while that committee is examining its options. The $1000 remains in our treasury but should the Hectorville Bridge project go forward, we will honor our pledge.
      The board approved the establishment of a covered bridge preservation fund, the principle to be invested for growth. Also approved was the sale of the painting donated by artist Eric Tobin, the money to go to the preservation fund. Membership donations and money collected through our website Covered Bridge Marketplace, and from the VCBS Sales Table at meetings will also go to the preservation fund. The good folks at the Bryan Memorial Gallery have agreed to help us sell the painting. Meanwhile, the new preservation fund needs a name. Please send me your suggestions.
      Last, but not least, the board agreed that the VCBS should join the Vermont Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations (VANPO). This is an opportunity to increase our visibility and our effectiveness in fulfilling our mission in preserving our covered bridges. The benefits of VANPO membership are: Entry to a large network of nonprofit support and fellowship; help from a staff available to offer advice; Discounts - 10% off all TAP-VT* training; 10% off tuition to the Vermont Leadership Institute run by The Snelling Center for Government; 10% off tuition to the Annual Executive Director's Retreat; Discounts on subscriptions to: Nonprofit Vermont and New England Nonprofit Quarterly; Special Rate of $75 per class at Cyberskill/Vermont; Discounts and Special Offers at Boise Cascade Office Solutions; Members receive VANPO News & Views, and the Legislative Updates; and more. VANPO has people in Montpelier and communicates regularly with its membership concerning proposed legislation and state budget issues that have an impact on our organization and the work that we do.
      We can easily join VANPO for a small fee. BUT! We need a member to step forward to volunteer to be our Contact Person to serve as pipeline to the VCBS membership, advising us about training courses and events and letting the VANPO network know what it is we are doing. If you are willing to serve, please contact me at, or 802.899.2093
       Yours in Bridging, Joe Nelson, Prez, VCBS

      *TAP-VT: training workshops teaching accounting, grant writing, management, and other courses needed to make an organization effective. VCBS will pay tuition for members who will use what they learn to advance VCBS program *TAP-VT: training workshops teaching accounting, grant writing, management, and other courses needed to make an organization effective. VCBS will pay tuition for members who will use what they learn to advance VCBS programs.

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted July 7, 2004