INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
First I would like to thank the members that attended the spring meeting in Bennington, and thank Bill Caswell for a very good slide presentation of the damage to our covered bridges caused by tropical storm Irene. Unfortunately the turnout was quite low. It is understandable that Bennington is a long drive for many of our members. However, I believe we have a responsibility to hold our meetings throughout the state.
VCBS is approaching a crisis situation. We all know that our Bridger editor, Ray Hitchcock who has been doing an outstanding job of assembling the Bridger for printing, has Lou Gehrig's Disease, and may soon be unable to continue in that capacity. We urgently need someone to work with Ray immediately, and ultimately take over the editorship. If this does not happen soon, we may have no more Bridger.
Joe Nelson, vice-president and very active in VCBS, is overextended, and expects to have to give up maintaining our website. We urgently need someone to take on this project. If this does not happen soon, we may have no more website.
VCBS cannot afford the loss of the Bridger or our website. These two items, Bridger and website, are our 'public face' and to lose them would be a disaster.
Bill Carroll, President, VCBS
VERMONT HISTORY EXPO 2012 will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 16 & 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Tunbridge World's Fair Grounds.
The Expo theme this year is "The Civil War and Vermont."
Set-up day is Friday, June 15, from 8 am. Volunteers are needed for set-up and take down. The VCBS Membership is urged to visit our booth to see our display and to meet the public.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!
The Vermont Covered Bridge Society Annual Fall Meeting will be held Saturday, September 29, 2012 at the Ilsley library, Middlebury, Vermont.
Thirteenth Annual Spring Meeting
Saturday, April 28, 2012
The Thirteenth Annual Spring meeting of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society was held in the Bennington Center for the Arts in Bennington, Vermont on Saturday, April 28, 2012.
Fourteen people were in attendance when President Bill Carroll called the meeting to order at 10:20 am. He began the meeting by reading the following report of the communications submitted by committee chair, Joe Nelson:
Communications: read by Bill Carroll - "Joe Nelson reports that of the 141 memberships, 34 have opted to receive their newsletter electronically, saving the VCBS $61.20 in postage per year and approximately $89.76 in printing costs - a total of $150.96 per year. The newsletter costs $0.66 each to print, fold and tape."
"Wanted: a newsletter editor trainee to ultimately take over the editorship of The Bridger, a key position in the Vermont Covered Bridge Society's outreach."
"Wanted: reporter/correspondents to bring local covered bridge news to The Bridger with on-the-scene reports and/or newspaper clippings."
"For more information or to sign up, please contact Joe Nelson, Communication Committee Chair."
Bill Carroll then said that because of the ill health of Ray Hitchcock, Newsletter editor, a new editor for The Bridger needs to be found.
The Vermont History Expo will be held again June 16 and 17 at the Fairgrounds in Tunbridge, Vermont. The VCBS will again host a booth at the Expo. A sign-up sheet was circulated so that those present would volunteer to staff the booth.
Will Thompson announced that he had brought photos of Connecticut covered bridges for the group to view at this meeting.
The following announcements were made from the floor:
The Second National Covered Bridge Conference will convene in Dayton, Ohio, June 5-8, 2013. This event will occur ten years after the First Covered Bridge Conference in Burlington, Vermont in 2003. This will be a unique opportunity for covered bridge engineers in both the public and private sector, as well as builders, site managers, scholars, and preservationists to interact with one another about best practices for saving these endangered resources.
Minutes of the Annual Fall Meeting held in Windsor October 15, 2011 were not read as they are published in The Bridger Newsletter.
Neil Daniels reports the following for the period January 01, 2011 thru December 31, 2011 Income Statement:
Neil reminded the group that the VCBS remains a 501C3 organization. In the prior calendar year all money transfers were made to the Save-a-Bridge Fund. The treasurer has authority to adjust investments without approval of the directors.
See beginning of minutes
Susanne Daniels, Chair reports there are 140 VCBS members. (Of the 14 members present today, 5 are Vermont residents others are from CT, MA, MI, NH, NY)
Will Thompson asked if there would be golf carts available at the History Expo again this year.
Status of the Spade Farm Bridge Model offered to the VCBS:
Members of the Board of Director who voted decided to accept the model as a gift. An offer to the VCBS had been made for a garden-sized wooden model of the Spade Farm Covered Bridge. The options were: 1. pay for 1/2 the asking price on Craig's List (The gentleman offering it had listed it for $150 and had no takers, but he's willing to donate it to a good cause); 2. pay $50.00; or 3. accept it as a gift. (The bridge model, is about three feet long, all put together with wooden pegs; the paint on the roof is there for protection, the donor said, not for authenticity and has been a decoration in his garden.)
The votes cast were to accept the model as a gift. Ed Barna will contact the donor that the VCBS will accept the model as a gift. The donor will receive a certificate or letter of receipt as a tax write-off donation.
Blenheim Covered Bridge:
In New York State David Guay Mentions that the Blenheim Covered Bridge, WGN 32-48-01, was lost to late fall 2011 flooding. It is hoped to collect 50% of the pieces of the bridge to retain its historic status. The bridge was too smashed to be able to use components for reconstruction. The bridge will likely not be rebuilt.
Letter from the Preservation Trust of Vermont:
Dear Mr. Daniels, dated March 13, 2012
Thank you again.
Next Meeting Date:
September 29, 2012 in Middlebury at the Ilsley Public Library. 10:00 a.m. The meeting is to be held in Middlebury to give those attending the opportunity to view the restoration of the Pulp Mill Covered Bridge, 45-01-04#2. The estimated completion date of that restoration project is mid-November, 2012. The speaker will be Jim Ligon of Alpine Construction Company, the restoration company doing the work. Alpine Company has done the restoration of the Poland Bridge 45-08-02 in Cambridge, VT.
No further discussion, David Guay motioned that the meeting be adjourned which was seconded by Neil Daniels.
Bill Caswell presented a Powerpoint showing of bridge damage to numerous Vermont covered bridges as well as a few in adjacent states resulting from the August 2011 deluge from Tropical Storm Irene.
Respectfully submitted, Irene R. Barna, Secretary (Because of a malfunction in a new tape recorder, no tape is available for this meeting.)
Crowne Plaza Dayton Hotel
June 5-8, 2013
The Federal Highway Administration's National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program (NHCBP) will be sponsoring the Second National Historic Covered Bridge Conference in Dayton, Ohio, June 5-8, 2013. Cosponsored by the National Park Service's Historic American Engineering Record and the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, this event will be held ten years after the First National Covered Bridge conference in Burlington, Vermont.
The second national conference will follow up on several themes: reviewing several of the NHCBP-funded research and rehabilitation projects, best practices for rehabilitation, and revisit the Burlington Charter for the Preservation of Covered Bridges. We will also discuss the continuing threats and challenges to covered bridges, most recently illustrated by the flooding in New England from tropical storms Irene and Lee in 2011. These natural disasters resulted in the loss of the Blenheim Bridge, a National Historic Landmark, and damage to several others.
The Dayton Conference will feature presentations from some of the leading covered bridge engineers, scholars, and builders from across the country. Held in historic downtown Dayton, with additional events at the historic Engineers Club of Dayton, participants will also have the opportunity to tour several nearby historic covered bridges and local historic sites, such as the National Museum of the US Air Force.
The conference will offer the opportunity for exchange between a diverse audience of civil engineers, public transportation officials, academics, trades people, historians, architects, and covered bridge enthusiasts. Proceedings of the event will be published online. More information will be made available on the conference website, http://www.woodcenter.org. Mark your calendar and plan to attend!
Call for Papers
The organizers of the Second National Covered Bridge Conference are seeking presentations on the latest developments in covered bridge research, preservation, and rehabilitation. Topics to be considered include: purist versus pragmatist rehabilitation strategies; documentation and assessment technologies; the performance of new materials such as adhesives, fiber-wraps, or specialized fasteners; fire protection systems; low-cost maintenance strategies; new covered bridge designs; covered bridges as cultural artifact; and the historical analysis of builders, designs, and construction techniques. Presenters should focus on explaining new discoveries with wide applicability and less on describing entire projects or the complete life's work of a builder and designer.
Proposals may be for individual papers, not to exceed 30 minutes in length, or a group of themed papers. Proposals should be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word, or PDF, and should include:
Deadline for proposals: Monday, January 7, 2013
Send all proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to:
David A. Simmons
On January 2 this year, we closed the road and began work on Middlebury's Pulp Mill Bridge. Our first few weeks were spent mobilizing the worksite, gaining access through the deck, and installing steel columns which would later hold the main support frame for stabilizing the old bridge during rehabilitation. The guys spent February installing the big steel beams that now span all the way across, as well as erecting the interior upper supports. Basically, we built a steel bridge underneath Pulp Mill and another inside it. This is all temporary stuff and will be completely removed when the project is complete.
Changes in the lower configuration required the whole bridge to be lifted 10". Because of the close quarters to our steel supports, we raised the old girl before starting the rebuild. By the 3rd week in March the bridge had been lifted, the siding, old decking and floor beams were removed, bottom chords and kingposts were coming out, and we had begun tooling new timbers. All of the bottom chords were slated to be replaced, along with about 30 posts. And that's just the start.
We began installing new bottom chords and posts on March 26. It's a step-by-step process, you can't just remove it all at once. Take some out, put some back. Today is May 26. All the bottom chords have been replaced, all the scheduled posts plus a few more we found to be rotten/broken or both are in. New sleeper beams have been installed at the abutments and piers. Most of the top chord work on the north truss is complete (one more to replace), and we are just about half way along with top chord replacement on the south truss.
We are replacing rafters and tie-beams as we work our way along. Two of the three arch replacements are complete, the third has been disassembled and will be finished by May 30. We're also chipping concrete, drilling for new rebar dowels, and building/setting concrete forms. It's a busy work site and everything is progressing nicely.
Next up: final re-cambering and then installing lower laterals, reinstalling diagonals, floor beams, and the sub-deck. That will give us a nice platform to work from while we install all the new laterals and knee bracing up top. Lots to go yet, but we're well ahead of schedule.
May 9, 2012 - Pulp Mill CB rehabilitation project is well under way and will finish up later this year. Plans for the Taftsville CB rehabilitation are near finished. Townshend CB rehabilitation study is well underway, with a report due by June. Major work is expected at this site.
According to Scott Newman, State Historical Officer, the Brownsville, Bartonsville, Worrall, and Quechee (fake) covered bridges remain closed after Tropical Storm Irene. It will be another month before they put the repaired Brownsville back over the water. The Bartonsville Bridge replacement project should be complete by January. New plans for the Quechee Bridge have been approved, a much better design than the one damaged. The status of the Worrall Bridge is uncertain.
We have a new volunteer for Bridge-Watch in the Brattleboro area - Jil Macmenamin. Welcome aboard, Jil.
Please keep the Bridge-watch reports coming in. Ray Hitchcock sends them in regularly for his area.
Dave Francombe from the Weather Channel plans on doing a special on Hurricane Irene's destruction of Bartonville CB and damage to Worrall CB. Dave will be visiting the bridge sites with a camera crew this June 13th. Watch for it!
The new Bartonsville footings are being used to support the temporary bridge until the replica can be completed.
The new bridge will be similar but will have larger timbers, higher load capacity, and bigger dimensions. The Rockingham Selectmen will be reviewing the submitted bids this June 5th.
The Daniels construction company continues to work on repairs to the recently renovated Worrall Bridge. It had an unfortunate meeting with the roof of the neighboring Bartonsville bridge when Irene swept it downstream.
A check to the amount of $2,251.33 was sent to the Preservation Trust of Vermont earmarked for the restoration of the West Arlington Covered Bridge (WGN VT-02-01), also known as the Bridge-on-the-Green.
The VCBS had received $251.33 in donations from non-members, including $111.33 from The Schoolhouse kindergarten in Williston. The $2,000 was drawn from VCBS general funds, the amount budgeted annually for "grants".
Lancaster County, PA, May 10, 2012 - Another one. A tractor-trailer driver fitted his truck neatly into the Hunsecker Mill Covered Bridge (WGN 38-36-06#2) because his GPS told him he could.
The bridge is marked for 3 tons with a height limit of 13 feet 3 inches. The truck is 15 tons and 13 feet 6 inches high.
The driver was cited for his truck being overweight and for not obeying traffic signs.
A nearby property owner said traffic seems to have picked up on Hunsecker Road in recent years, attributing the increased traffic to GPS devices. For GPS users, Hunsecker Road appears as an attractive shortcut, despite that there's a single-lane covered bridge with a 3 ton weight restriction.
Hunsecker's Mill Bridge was built in 1848 to cross the Conestoga River using a 180-foot Burr Truss. It was destroyed in 1972 by Hurricane Agnes. The present bridge was built in 1975.
For the story of the GPS fiasco, go to: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/645695_GPS-leads-to-truck-getting-stuck-beneath-bridge.html[Our thanks to Jim Crouse for sharing this story - Ed.]
April 27, 2012 Hi everyone!
I realize that this event may be over with before the next edition of your newsletter is distributed, but if you wouldn't mind still including it, I
would be most grateful as it helps keep the Center, our purpose and events we are hosting out there in the public's eye.
[Sure, Trish, here it is. It's also on www.vermontbridges.com - Editor]
If you are a Civil War buff and also happen to be interested in Covered Bridges, here is an event you won't want to miss:
The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center, in conjunction with New York State Museum Week, will be participating in a week long event to celebrate museums across the state.
Yes, we all know the Center is not a museum, but when asked if we would like to participate in the event, our response was...absolutely!
This event is the best of both worlds for Civil War and Covered Bridge enthusiasts across the state. We will take a unique look at the role covered bridges played during the Civil War. Used as encampments, battlegrounds, prisons and hospitals, the bridges were destroyed and rebuilt by both sides to further their cause to win the war.
What bridges, why, and how many were destroyed throughout the country during this nation's worst of times? And today, what bridges are supposedly haunted by the 'spirits & souls' of the soldiers who died there?
A week long exhibit of covered bridge photos as seen through the eyes of Matthew Brady, famed Civil War photographer, Harper's Weekly, and other artists renditions, who were there at the time, will be featured. Culminating the NYS Museum Week event, a PowerPoint presentation highlighting significant Covered Bridges and Their Role in the Civil War will be given on Saturday, June 2nd at 1 pm at the Oxford Memorial Library Community Room. Refreshments will be available.
Following the program, autographed copies of FLAMES BEYOND GETTYSBURG by noted author, historian, and tour guide Scott L. Mingus, Sr. will be available. His newest book will highlight the burning of the world's longest covered bridge during the Gettysburg Campaign. - For more information visit: www.oxfordny.com.
April 27, 2012
I want to share with you some pictures of the park, our Creamery Bridge and the Cobblestone's that we are using as a fund raiser for the "hard-scapes"
If these are anything that would be helpful to you and the Bridger please feel free to use them. Or if you need something specific feel free to request it.JilMac - Brattleboro Garden Club, Creamery Bridge
Mac-Rand Systems & Designs
Brattleboro, VT 05301
http://JilMac.com & http://Mac-Rand.com
[Jil - You are doing beautiful work at the Creamery Bridge and the website. I am pleased to let the membership know what you and your team are doing. The link to your website will appear on our website, www.vermontbridges.com, when the site is updated. - Editor]
The Vermont Covered Bridge Society has set up a lending library available to all society members-in-good standing through media mail.
Librarian Warren Tripp has created a detailed book list complete with a description and critique of each book. Copies of the index are available by mail, or you may contact Joe Nelson for an electronic copy at email@example.com.
A borrower can contact Warren Tripp who will send the book by Postal Service Media Mail. Books are returned the same way.
Send Warren the complete title of the book(s) you wish to borrow. He will respond with the mailing cost and mail the order when the fee is received. The borrower is then responsible to return the item(s) in a reasonable time, preferably not more than two months.
Contact Warren Tripp, P. O. Box 236, Groton, VT 05046, firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone (802) 584-3545.
Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges by Joseph C. Nelson
Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges features 102 color photographs of Vermont's covered bridges in fifteen chapters, each a guided tour. The tours are complete with maps, commentary on the uniqueness of each bridge, and historic highlights about the towns and villages in which the bridges stand.
An appendix provides: A Summary of Vermont's Covered Bridges, listing information on each; A Covered Bridge Glossary, describing the details of a covered bridge; A Bridge Truss section, explaining how trusses work with drawings of the trusses used in Vermont; The Bridge Builders, providing thumbnail biographies of people who designed and built the bridges; A Covered Bridge Reading List, for bridge and history buffs; A detailed Index. Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges: 7" x 10", 288 pages. Published by New England Press at P.O. Box 575, Shelburne, VT 05482. Spanning Time is available directly from the author for $39.00, free shipping. (Vermont residents add 6% sales tax)
Go to Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges Special Book Offer
World Guide to Covered Bridges - 2009 Edition
Covered Bridges of New England - DVD
New York State Covered Bridge Driving Tour Now Available! - Would you like to see all of New York State's Covered Bridges at your leisure in the comfort of your own vehicle? Well now you can! The New York State Covered Bridge Driving Tour is a spiral bound, full color tour which includes turn by turn directions and color photographs of each of New York's authentic and historic covered bridges. Included are the statistics on each bridge and an interesting history of the bridge and the surrounding town, and old postcards of how the bridges looked during an earlier time.
To obtain a copy of the tour, contact:Bob and Trish Kane
167 Williams Rd.
Sherburne, NY 13460
Covered Bridges of Vermont Print - The Covered Bridges of Vermont features 19 photographs of covered bridges taken throughout the state by photographer, and VCBS member, Ray Arsenault. The print is beautifully printed on professional high quality 100lb paper, and measures 18" x 26.5". Order now at: www.coveredbridgesofvermont.com.
To place your ad in the Bridger, contact Joe Nelson, email@example.com. The ad must be about covered bridges and you must be a member of a covered bridge society.
Wanted: a newsletter editor trainee to ultimately take over the editorship of The Bridger, a key position in the Vermont Covered Bridge Society's outreach.
Wanted: reporter/correspondents to bring local covered bridge news to The Bridger.
Wanted: a VCBS member to share the duties of the webmaster of www.vermontbridges.com.
Wanted: Volunteer to take charge of Covered Bridge Market Place.
For more information or to sign up for any of these three positions, please contact Joe Nelson, Communication Committee Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org or Bill Carroll, email@example.com
Wanted: Volunteer worker-bees are needed by the Events Committee to help set up meetings and assist in hosting them.
Wanted: Volunteer to serve as membership coordinator assisting Membership Committee Chair.
For more information or to sign up for any of these two positions, please contact Bill Carroll, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Historical Committee received from Irene Barna a number of newspaper clippings of current and recent actions relating to many of our covered bridges. The clippings, mostly illustrated, are as follows:
The Historical Committee is always anxious to receive newspaper articles relating to our covered bridges for our archives. Please provide the newspaper name and date of publication, and please do not write on the clippings. They can be sent to Bill Carroll, 5 Hutchinson Lane, Lenox, Mass. 01240, or given to me at any VCBS meeting. Thank you.
Please join me in welcoming two new memberships to our group: Jack Haley of South Burlington, VT, and Jil Macmenamin and the Brattleboro Floral Arts Club (see article this issue), a warm welcome to you all!
We are saddened by the passing of George Conn. He and Tina joined the Vermont Covered Bridge Society in February, 2004. You may remember that George, an avid "Bridger", organized and led the Pioneers Safari of September 2010 visiting southern Vermont and New Hampshire. He will be missed.
Membership Birthdays and Anniversaries
George Davis Conn, 69, of Malvern, PA, passed away on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, at Paoli Hospital.
George is survived by his wife Tina, four children and six grandchildren. He graduated from Conestoga High School in 1961. He received a bachelor's degree from West Chester University in history ('65) and two master's degrees in elementary and secondary education ('67 and '71). He taught at the Great Valley School District for 33 years.
He loved covered bridges and photographed more than 700. He belonged to eight covered bridge societies including Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, and he was a member of the Bartram Bridge Joint Preservation Board.
If you wish to send a card, please send it to: Tina Conn., 9 Crumley Avenue, Malvern, PA 19355.