Sheckells spoke next, commenting on the beauty of the trees around the room and thanking all the sponsors, donors, volunteers and park staff for their contribution to the Annual Festival of Trees. After telling the group of “a wagon ride after the ceremony down to the covered bridge,” Sheckells ended with, “please come and see us this winter.”
Bill Elsey, supervisor for the town of Springfield, took the podium as well. “This is an historical night for Springfield. When Trish called me, I told her I didn’t want to miss it, but I didn’t know much about the bridge. Trish told me by this time I would have all the information, so, I probably sound like an expert but believe me, I’m not,” he said.
Elsey gave a brief history of the bridge, explaining that it was built by Cyrenus Clark, Andrew Alden and Lorenzo Bates, crosses the Shadow Brook and though originally used for transport, today it is used only as a footbridge. Mentioning Hyde Hall was celebrated as the oldest standing covered bridge on Dec. 9, 2006, Elsey remarked it was an honor for the town to be home to such a national treasure.
Closing out the speakers, Kane took the mike again on Freeland’s behalf, pointing out that covered bridges are, “a picturesque reminder of times past, a link to a simpler life of family farms and small communities.” Because of the hard work of the NYS Covered Bridge Society, there is increased focus on preserving these American treasures. Kane concluded her speech lightheartedly.
Thanking everyone involved, she explained the reason there would be no words from Park Supervisor Sheckells. Upon completion of decorating the bridge from the road side, as planned, Kane begged Sheckells to do the other side as well. Kane laughs, “His condition? He would not have to speak at this event,” she said.