The Vermont Covered Bridge Society appeared in public for the first time side by side with other non-profit organizations.
The Vermont Covered Bridge Society was assigned an eight-foot booth in the Floral Building at the Vermont Historical Society sponsored Expo 2001 held at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds June 23 and 24.
The VCBS used this opportunity to publicize its work in preserving our covered bridges with brochures, newsletters, and discussion to recruit support and new members.
The exhibits included a continuous slide show of covered bridges from the collections of Ed Barna and Joe Nelson and the sale of the limited edition prints of covered bridges from the work of artists Eric Tobin and John Weaver. Also offered were treenails from Montgomery's Fuller Bridge, covered bridge photo prints, signed copies of Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges by Joe Nelson, and Vermont's Covered Bridges, by Ed Barna.
The VCBS profited from the experience in many ways. To the VCBS treasury: $65.30 with which to carry on our covered bridge preservation programs. Ten covered bridge books were sold, one mounted digital print of the Poland Bridge, the possible sale of a framed Orne Bridge print by John Weaver, and two new memberships.
A less tangible but more important outcome of our presence is that hundreds of expo-goers saw our booth and know that there is a Vermont Covered Bridge Society. Better yet, scores stopped to look at our display, took our brochures and newsletters, and told stories about their favorite covered bridges and their connections to them.
And we met interesting people: After a conversation about the Bartonsville Covered Bridge, Ann and Vincent DiBernardo of Chester, Vt., mailed dues for a family membership and volunteered to be bridge-watch for the Bartonsville area.
Robert Morton of Swanzey, NH gave us a carousel of slides, many of them of covered bridges, taken in the 1940's by his father John Randolph Morton of Randolph, Vt. We will have them appraised and send the Mortons a letter of thanks.
The VCBS membership owes a vote of thanks to the following: Irene Odell for persuading the Vermont Historical Society to give us a booth at the expo and then working with them; Ed Barna, Irene and John Weaver for ideas and advice for the display; Irene for contacting Paul Stetson of Mt. Abraham High School getting the loan of his student's covered bridge models which contributed importantly to our display; Ruth Nelson for designing the display and setting it up; Anthony Daniels, Neil Daniels, John Weaver, John Dostal, Irene Odell, Ruth Nelson, and Bill McKone for sitting and demonstrating to the public what nice and knowledgeable people represent the VCBS.