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December 12, 2013

Hyde Hall lights up covered bridge

Friends of Glimmerglass State Park and the New York State Covered Bridge Society co-hosted the Christmas first lighting of the Hyde Hall Covered Bridge at the Glimmerglass State Park on Dec. 6, in conjunction with the fifth annual Festival of Trees. 

The decision to decorate the bridge after almost 188 years was “in the cards.”  Christmas cards, that is. 

According to Trish Kane, resident of Sherburne, and long time member of the NYS Covered Bridge Society, “My husband Bob and I have always sent out pictures of covered bridges for our Christmas cards. I have three criteria: covered bridge, snow and lights.” 

Built in 1825, and considered our country’s oldest covered bridge, Hyde Hall Bridge had never been lit, but Kane had an inspired plan. “We went to talk to Karen Sheckells and her husband, Rich Sheckells, Chairman of the Friends of Glimmerglass, and Park Supervisor, respectively to discuss the possibility,” she said. 

Rich decided he could supply the generator and lights while Karen worked hard to include the momentous occasion as the kick-off for the Festival of Trees Celebration. It all came together Friday night, giving everyone in attendance the thrill of seeing a spectacularly lit-up bridge, inside and out, and the excitement of participating in the beginning of the holiday’s newest annual ritual. 

Despite bad weather forecasts, Kane welcomed a crowd close to 50 people in the park’s Lake View Room in the park. The night offered refreshments and music performed by the Four of Hearts Quartet. “We won’t let a little rain or snow dampen our spirits, nothing can stop us from such an historic event,” she said.  

Kane spoke further, acknowledging the bridge was lit ahead of schedule, and that Donna Freeland, President of the NYS Covered Bridge Society, had to leave before the reception began due to the inclement conditions, but summarized, “nonetheless, it’s exciting for everyone here to be a part of it.”

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