What the New York State Covered Bridge Society is all about…..
In recent years, as the old wooden truss bridges began disappearing from the scene, interest in them has increased. Covered bridge enthusiasts have organized groups devoted to covered bridge lore. One such group is the New York State Covered Bridge Society (NYSCBS), which was formed in 1966 to bring enthusiasts together to help preserve the old historic covered spans. Other purposes of the Society are: to work with local communities interested in saving bridges, to collect information on all New York State covered bridges and to make such historical information available to its members.
The Society holds meetings, on the second Sunday of each month, from April through November. These meetings are held in various sites throughout the state. Normally, one meeting will be a “safari” where members visit several bridges during the weekend outing. Past “safaris” have been in Washington County , New York; Vermont, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Newsletters are sent to all members giving locations and directions for reaching the meeting places. Also included in the Newsletter, is information received about bridges, and a report of the business conducted at the previous meeting. The EMPIRE STATE COURIER, the official publication of the Society, is published annually. Through this publications are shared: pictures of bridges and bridge related items, interesting stories about covered bridges, information on bridges that no longer exist, as well as, the old covered spans that are in daily use and those that are by-passed and still standing.
The demands of modern traffic has almost eliminated the covered wooden bridges that were familiar to travelers of the horse and buggy era. Still standing on the byways and country roads of New York State, however, are a number of these romantic symbols of the past. In the early days, when timber was more abundant and less expensive than it is today, wood was a common and appropriate material for bridge building. The covered bridge met requirements of its time with a high degree of efficiency and economy. The long , useful life of these bridges testifies to their excellence. Today’s travelers frequently wonder why the bridges were covered? Some of the very earliest wooden bridges were not, and it soon was realized that the supportive timbered and complex joints were susceptible to the effects of rain and sun, and quickly deteriorated if left exposed. The side boards and floor were replaceable, but it was vital to protect the trusses of the bridges. A roof was used and found to accomplish this, resulting in prolonging the usefulness of the covered bridge for innumerable years.
Be sure to view the photos of the bridges and Links page. The numbers of the bridges are derived from the WORLD GUIDE of COVERED BRIDGES. This numbering system uses the initials of the state, two-number sequence to indicate the county within the state, then a number to indicate the sequence of numbering of the bridges within that county.
All in all, it sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it?? For just a few dollars-wouldn’t you like to become a Member of the Society? The camaraderie is great, you will build friendships that will last a lifetime, you will help preserve New York State Covered Bridges, and who knows– you might even learn something while having fun along the way!!!!!