In January FEBT volunteers working at Rockhill Furnace successfully installed metal plates and additional braces and posts to support the roof of the East Broad Top Railroad's blacksmith shop. As most FEBT members know, this building has suffered considerable subsidence over the years, not only causing the building to lean to the east but also damaging the supporting structure for the roof. The work completed last month started with fastening metal plates to the roof trusses to prevent displacement or collapse where the trusses have cracked or broken. According to FEBT vice-president R. Lee Rainey, who coordinates our restoration work at Rockhill Furnace, these reinforcing plates will also keep temporary bracing previously installed in place. At the same time, our restoration crew inserted additional braces to stabilize the roof structure. New posts and braces were then installed to support the roof at the east wall of the blacksmith shop, where the roof trusses had actually become separated from the wall.
It is important to emphasize that this work by FEBT volunteers is intended as an interim measure. The additional reinforcement installed in January should be sufficient to keep the building from deteriorating further until more permanent stabilization can be completed. Such work has been proposed by the East Broad Top Preservation Association, which has raised some funds for this purpose. The expiration of the Preservation Association's current three-year lease-purchase agreement with EBT owner Joseph Kovalchick this spring complicates the prospects for immediate lasting repairs for the blacksmith shop. How and when the repairs needed to assure the future of the EBT blacksmith shop are eventually undertaken, the recent work of our restoration volunteers has secured the building's present existance.
Significant work is planned for the coming year on all of our current restoration projects.
Fabrication of the brake components for our wood-frame reproduction passenger trucks, coordinated by FEBT director Stephen W. Jacobs, continues. Steve is working with our contractor, the Strasburg Rail Road, to finalize the design and specifications for the needed parts.
At Robertsdale, the focus remains on completing the final phase of our rehabilitation of the old post office, started in 2007, for museum use. Most of the remaining work involves repairing or replacing interior window and door trim, installing the remainder of the missing wood wainscoting, and painting. In January we finished installing wainscoting in the smaller of the two ground-level main rooms and stairwell; repair of window trim in this room also advanced. Some exterior repairs and improvements will be undertaken as the weather improves, leaving the final electrical work, installation of new exterior doors, and the slarm system as the major tasks to be completed by the end of the year.
At Rockhill Furnace the work on the main shop complex continues on several fronts. FEBT volunteers will continue to repair the walls, siding, and windows on the south end of the shop complex. Repairs to the roof on the car shop are also planned, as are additional improvements to the restored overhead line-shaft and belt power distribution system inside the shop. Our restoration volunteers plan to install additional concrete reinforcement at the base of the boiler-house stacks. Restoration of EBT combination baggage-passenger car no. 14 will continue with additional work on the car's trucks and body. Other car work includes repairs to boxcar no. 995 and paint for various EBT hopper cars. The south doors of the paint shop will receive attention, and installation of exhaust fans in this building is planned. A second chute for the coal tipple will be replaced, and further work on the sand house, stone house, and other small shop buildings are incorporated into the 2012 Rockhill Furnace restoration work schedule,
The projected budget for the restoration program this year was discussed and approved by FEBT directors in October. Including unspent funds allocated in previous years and carried forward, the total 2012 budget for restoration is $57,150.00. The specific amounts authorized include $4,600.00 for the brake components for our wood-frame reproduction passenger trucks; $22,488.00 for work at Robertsdale; and $3O,062.00 for work at Rockhill Furnace. The projected spending at Robertsdale incorporates only funds previously authorized for our rehabilitation of the old post office, which we expect to complete this year. The 2012 allocation for our Rockhill Furnace restoration work includes $1,300.00 for the purchase of equipment.
Budgets for two other projects funded from restoration donations and grants were also approved in October. Including previously allocated funds carried forward, FEBT directors authorized spending $970.00 for work on our digital archives project and $1,500.00 for the construction of museum display panels. The 2012 budgets for these projects incorporate Amherst Railway Society grants FEBT received to support these efforts.
Obviously these budget allocations represent projected spending only, since actual expenditures will depend on restoration funds available and the progress of work.
The nominating committee for the 2012 election asks FEBT members to submit the names of potential candidates for nomination and election as directors of Friends of the East Broad Top Inc. In the upcoming election, to be held in March and April, FEBT members will elect five of the nine members of the board of directors. The seats up for election are now occupied by Lawrence Biemiller, Stephen W. Jacobs, Nancy E. Jacqmin, R. Lee Rainey, and Richard D. Shell. The four remaining board positions not up for election during the current election cycle will be the subject of our 2013 election. William L. Adams, Henry F. Inman, Vagel C. Keller, and Andrew H. Van Scyoc now hold the seats.
FEBT directors are responsible for the management and governance of Friends of the East Broad Top. The president, vice-president, and secretary are elected annually by the Board from among its members. Among other duties, directors maintain oversight over the work of all FEBT officers and staff volunteers; develop and enforce policy guidelines for all operations and activities; direct the preparation and submission of reports required by applicable federal and state laws and regulations; set fund-raising goals and support fund-raising efforts; and determine budget priorities and spending limits.
Any individual FEBT member in good standing is eligible for nomination. The chairman and members of the nominating committee select the final slate of nominees presented to FEBT members for election as directors. (Individual members include regular, family, sustaining, associate, life, and student/senior FEBT members) However, a member in good standing may also qualify for automatic inclusion in the final slate of nominees if he or she submits a nominating petition signed by 100 FEBT members in good standing.
The chairman of the nominating committee for the 2012 election cycle is Andrew H. Van Scyoc, who joined the board in 2011 and currently serves as FEBT event coordinator. An active restoration volunteer, Andy is a civilian program specialist for the US Navy. He resides in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. William E. Grant Jr., and Ronald L. Pearson are the other members of the nominating committee. Bill has played a key role during our documentation of the Coles Station water tank and Saltillo station; he has also been instrumental in the rehabilitation of our museum buildings in Robertsdale. Bill is a registered architect with the Murphy Architectural Group; he lives in Wilmington Delaware. Ron has been a member of FEBT from its first year and is a regular contributor to The Timber Transfer. Ron holds a doctorate in organic chemistry and until recent semi-retirement he directed research at a small corporation. Ron lives in Cincinnati.
The names of potential nominees and nominating petitions should be submitted to
Andrew H. Van Scyoc, Chairman
FEBT Nominating Committee
1160 Galt Avenue
Silver Springs MD 20902
Telephone: (301) 943-6255
The deadline for submitting names of potential candidates for nomination or nominating petitions to the nominating committee is March 5, 2012
Nomination and election of directors are governed by the corporate bylaws of Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc. FEBT members may obtain copies of the FEBT articles of incorporation and bylaws by contacting Andy Vn Scyoc.
Members of Friends of the East Broad Top continue to assist our outreach efforts by representing us at recent and upcoming train shows and conventions. In September FEBT outreach coordinator Dennis R. Straub, Carol Straub, and FEBT member Peter R. Switalski set up a table for the distribution of FEBT and EBT information at the 2011 National Narrow Gauge Convention in Hickory, North Carolina. In November FEBT members William L. Adams, Richard M. Ullery, and Andrew H. Van Scyoc organized a display table at the Gaithersburg Railroad and Transportation Artifacts Show and Sale, where they distributed EBT and FEBT information to members of the public attending this annual Maryland show.
In January FEBT member James A. Vliet organized a display and distributed FEBT and EBT information at the Winter Train Show and Exhibition in Freeport, New York. With help from FEBT member Russell B. Norris, Jim also set up his FEBT display at the Amherst Railway Society's Railroad Hobby Show in West Springfield, Massachusetts. On February 25-26 Jim will be at the Spring Thaw Train Meet in Allentown, Pennsylvania; see www.allentowntrainmeet.com for show details. FEBT members interested in helping Jim at one of these shows can contact him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (516) 771-1038 (home).
Next summer the National Model Railroad Association's 2012 National Train Show will be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on August 2-4. FEBT members in that area interested in the possibility of setting up an FEBT display table at this train show (held in conjunction with the NMRA's national convention) should contact FEBT outreach coordinator Dennis Straub, whose telephone number and e-mail address are given below, so that we can reserve space at this event.
The 2012 National Narrow Gauge Convention will be held in Bellevue, Washington, on September 12-15. FEBT members who plan to attend this convention and are interested in helping us with a display table should contact Dennis Straub as soon as possible, so we can confirm the necessary arrangements.
We are always happy to provide literature and information about the EBT and FEBT to FEBT members for distribution at train shows, conventions, and other events. Please contact FEBT outreach coordinator Dennis R. Straub by telephone at (717) 249-4239 (home) or by e-mail at email@example.com providing as much advance notice as possible.
FEBT Rockhill Work Crew Coordinator
R. Lee Rainey
784 Tanager Drive
State College, PA 16803-2502
Telephone: (814) 867–7878 (evenings)
FEBT Robertsdale Work Crew Coordinator
2016 A Park Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220
Telephone: (804) 353–0817
Last August the Amherst Railway Society, Inc., awarded a $1,000.00 grant to Friends of the East Broad Top to underwrite a significant portion of the remaining cost for the display panels now under construction for our museum. Our eligibility for these grants is based on our participation at the Amherst Railway Society's annual train show in West Springfield, Massachusetts; show proceeds fund the railway preservation grants the society makes each year. In January, FEBT restoration fund treasurer Nancy E. Jacqmin reports, FEBT received an unsolicited $750.00 special grant from the Baltimore Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, Inc. This grant is one of several such grants the Baltimore Chapter is making to celebrate its 75th anniversary. These funds will be used to support our restoration work at the East Broad Top Railroad.
Including the Baltimore Chapter NRHS grant, Nancy indicates that the contributions she received in response to the appeal mailed at the end of 2011 total more than $20,000.00, as of mid-January. The December FEBT Restoration News was mailed to all FEBT members and about 450 other persons who have contributed to our restoration fund in past years. We thank all of you who responded to our appeal for additional funds to support our restoration program.
According to FEBT president Henry F. Inman, these donations, when combined with the proceeds of the 2011 Fall Reunion auction and unspent restoration funds carried forward from 2012, should cover most of the costs now incorporated in the 2012 restoration program budget approved by our directors in October. However, he again reminds FEBT members that the board of directors hopes to start accumulating the resources we will need to meet the long-term requirements of future restoration opportunities, rather than concentrating on the year-to-year financial demands of projects currently under way. We will keep FEBT members informed as these plans advance.
In the meantime, donations to our restoration fund are always welcome. Contributions supporting our restoration efforts qualify for treatment as tax-deductable donations. Please mail these contributions to us at he following address:
FEBT Restoration Fund Treasurer
513 Shady Avenue, No. 12
Pittsburgh PA 15206-4447
Richard M. Ullery, manager of the FEBT Company Store, informs us that as of early January the e-mail address for the Company Store has been changed to firstname.lastname@example.org . For several months e-mail sent to the old address will be forwarded to Dick, but FEBT members should begin using the new e-mail address immediately.
We were saddened to learn of the death of Stanley G. Hall, 69, longtime general manager of the East Broad Top Railroad, on January 26, after several years of declining health. A memorial service was held on February 4.
Stan Hall grew up on a farm next to the East Broad Top Railroad, and in 1960, three days after graduating from high school, he started his 50-year career with the railroad. He became the EBT's general manager in 1987. He stepped down from this position in 2010, but continued to manage local property for the Kovalchick family, the railroad's owners. In June 2010 he was honored by the Keystone Society for Tourism with the presentation of its Lifetime Achievement Award, which celebrates outstanding contributions to tourism in Pennsylvania.
I know all FEBT members join me in expressing our condolences to
Stan Hall's family and many friends.
–Hank Inman, FEBT president
Brad Esposito, editor of The Timber Transfer, reports that the next two issues of our magazine should soon be at our printer. Thus we anticipate that these issues will be mailed to FEBT members in March. The most recent issue of our magazine (volume 25 number 2) was mailed at the end of October. We engaged a new mailing service to handle this mailing, and we hope that this change will help us improve the publication and delivery of The Timber Transfer as Brad works to get it back on schedule.
At the 2011 Fall Reunion the many contributions of FEBT member Robert R. Farquharson to Friends of the East Broad Top were formally recognized with the announcement of a special award, authorized by the unanimous vote of our board of directors, honoring Bob for his cumulative service as a director, officer, and volunteer. Bob retired as one of our directors several years ago; during his time on our board he served as vice president and secretary. Bob played a key role in our restoration program, acting as our representative when we purchased former East Broad Top Railroad passenger cars nos. 18 and 29. Bob maintains his interest in our restoration program as a major supporter of our work in both Robertsdale and Rockhill Furnace. Unfortunately professional obligations prevented Bob from attending this year's reunion, so we were unable to thank Bob in person for the many things he as done for us over the years.
In other 2011 Fall Reunion news, the sale of O-scale models of East Broad Top Railroad equipment and other donated items generated more than $6,500 for the FEBT restoration program, reports FEBT president Hank Inman. The models sold at the 2011 auction included most of the remaining O-scale EBT locomotives, rolling stock, and assembled structures donated by FEBT member James G. Mersereau in 2010. This year's auction combined silent and live bidding. FEBT directors William L. Adams and Andrew H. Van Scyoc set up and supervised the 2011 auction. In addition to the donated models, other models and memorabilia donated by FEBT members Jane and Peter A. Clarke, David E. Crement, Robert L. Harris, and Wade N. Woodcock were sold in October.
The service award and auction were only two parts of the 2011 Fall Reunion. More about the reunion, together with coverage of our 2011 contests, tours of restoration work, and activities at the FEBT Museum, will appear in The Timber Transfer.