Tours at the Fallasburg school.

2016 Fallasburg village in retrospect

1880s Fallasburg pioneer village emerges as a historical treasure in 2016

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Fallasburg, MI – No pun intended, but 2016 was a year for the “history books” for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS).

It was a transformative year from a sleepy village lost in time for more than a century to a rejuvenated historical treasure waiting to be discovered.

Better known for the Fallasburg Covered Bridge, which connects the hustle from the Lincoln Lake traffic to this hamlet, the Fallasburg village in 2016 emerged on its own merit.

With the new FHS events, increased online presence in “Fallasburg Today” blog, E-Newsletter & social media, and the updated website, the village connected with the right audience. That is with the lovers of history scattered around the world.

 Starting in the spring of 2016, FHS volunteers scrubbed and cleaned to get its signature museum, the one-room 1867 schoolhouse with the belfry, ready for the season.

Annually, the FHS participates in the “Spring into the Past” museum tour organized by the Tri-River Museum Network on the first weekend in May.

Mark your calendars, this year the “Spring into the Past” tour falls on May 6, 7, 2017.

The event opens up the Fallasburg village located inside the Fallasburg Park for the tourist season. The museum is open from 2p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays from May to October, or by appointment.

Much like the park, the village reflects the colors of the season throughout the year. It’s yours to explore at any time of the year with walking, hiking and biking trails running through village.

The Falassburgh Flats Vintage Base Ball team starts its season on the ball field located at the village with the first game in May.

The biggest fundraiser of the year, is the annual Fallasburg Covered Bridge bike tour. The 23rd annual bike tour will be held on July 9th with several bike tour options. For complete info visit http://fallasburgtoday.org or www.fallasburg.org.

The tour gives you a unique opportunity to explore the pioneer village and the northern east region of Kent County in Michigan.

The fall in Fallasburg brings robust colors with epic events. These include the annual Fallasburg village bazaar inside the pioneer village. This novelty event in its third year coincides with the Fallasburg Fall Festival for the Arts.

Both events will be held on Sept. 16 & Sept. 17, 2017.

The FHS was included in the “Past online” pilot by the Lowell Area Historical Museum launched in the fall of 2016. Intern Katelyn Bosch from Calvin College assisted in the online project.

Bosch said that she likes the village as a historic entity because it has streets, unlike most museums which are single buildings.

The brand new Ghostbusters @ Fallasburg event was held last year on Oct. 29th. It featured village haunting and the haunted walk.

“We attracted visitors that would not have otherwise come to the village,” said Ken Tamke, FHS president.

But the crowning jewel of 2016 was the annual “Christmas at Fallasburg” party held on Dec, 10 inside the one-room schoolhouse with the signature bonfire. The party attracted a record number of visitors, according to Tamke.

From newcomers, drawn in by the social media, from as far as Ukraine to the oldest Fallasburg resident of Swiss origin, Edwin Roth, 94, the party was a smorgasbord for the history lover.

“I’ve never been to a Christmas party inside a museum,” said Irina from Ukraine, a student at the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) graduate program in Grand Rapids.

Currently, the FHS is in the process of updating its website. Stay tuned for more progress at this emerging Fallasbirg gem in the rough.

This post is also in response to the Daily Post “Retrospective” at

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/retrospective

Subscribe to the Fallasburg Today E-Newsletter below:

For more info check the following links:

Fallasburg at www.fallasburg.org

Fallasburg Today blog at http://fallasburgtoday.org

Tri-River Museum Network at www.ioniahistory.org/tri-river-group.html

Fallassburgh Flats Vintage Base Ball Club at www.fallassburghflats.com

Past online at www.thepastonline.org

Copyright © 2016. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Heating up the night at Fallasburg

Christmas party at Fallasburg scores high

FHS president Ken Tamke speaks about the annual Christmas party held last Saturday at Fallasburg:

In the grips of the polar vortex once again, the cold and the snow, we didn’t quite know what to expect for “Christmas in Fallasburg.”  Party planners take note of the scouting motto, “Be Prepared.”  Not only did we have one of our best turnouts ever, but the diverse mix of guests, young and old, Villagers and visitors, created a positive party vibe that swept the crowd right up inside it.  Bruce and Becca Ling’s Hawks & Owls String Band played inspired.  Patty and Melanie’s food was fabulous and so were all the potluck contributions, thanks.  Everything was gone at the end of the evening.  And, the bonfire…  Well, I’ve said all along, it was almost a shame to light it.  It was so artfully constructed by Villager, Craig Wood.  Enjoying those flames and that heat with those gathered was a most magnificent cap to the evening.  Thanks to all who attended and thanks for your support of the Fallasburg Historical Society and our efforts to preserve Fallasburg Village.  Happy Holidays!!!

By Emma Palova

Fallasburg, MI -Okay, the Christmas party last week at the one-room 1867 Fallasburg schoolhouse was a smash in spite of the fresh snow outside, freezing cold inside and that some folks have mistaken the bonfire for a real fire.

“After all these years, I think they pretty much have it under control,” said a spectator taking a selfie by the bonfire.

“Can you hear it crackling?”

Yes, the huge bonfire crackled, melted the snow around it, attracted snowmobile riders and heated up the night.

Some area residents claimed the snow-capped logs of wood and carved their names in them.

“It was our biggest party ever,” said Ken Tamke, Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) president.

Inside the schoolhouse people mingled to the sounds of the strings by the Hawks and Owls band nestled in the far corner by the cold stove.

Not only were there newcomers from near such as Saranac, but there were newcomers from as far as Ukraine like Irina.

Irina, a grad student of history at Grand Valley State University, came to the party with friends.

“This is so authentic,” she said. “I had no idea you could go inside the museum buildings.”

Absolutely. Thanks to the recent efforts of the FHS team, most of the buildings of the Fallasburg historical village dating to 1837 are accessible to the public.

The flagship Fallasburg School serves as the official museum of the FHS, and is open from May to October.

The only exception to public access currently is the gray-bluish Tower Farm, built circa 1850. However, the FHS is working relentlessly to get all the museums up to date.

Recently, the FHS has applied for a grant for some roof repair and website upgrades.

The Christmas party tradition, as a fundraiser for the FHS maintenance of the buildings, has been going strong, according to old-timers.

Edwin Roth, 94, the oldest Fallasburg resident has been coming to the party for at least a decade.

“I am 100 percent Swiss,” he bragged. “My parents came from Switzerland.”

Roth farmed in the area in the 1940s and for many decades beyond. He makes it a point not to miss the annual Christmas party. Long time volunteer Frank Brechbiel escorted Roth into the schoolhouse.

The schoolhouse was beautifully decorated for the season with a dinner buffet and a grog station set up by the windows.

The good people of Fallasburg lovingly called as “villagers” brought in food and desserts.

FHS board member Tina Siciliano Cadwallader made her entrance with a wooden box labeled as “Dangerous Explosives” full of bags of popcorn and other goodies.

Volunteer Patty Brechbiel manned the food station featuring among other dishes three different types of meatballs.

“Are these all the same?” Irina asked.

“No, try them all,” I said.

The party provided an excellent opportunity to check out the “little room in the back” with collections treasures. A young history lover explored the model of the Fallasburg village locked in a glass case.

On display on the shelves were class photos. There was Mrs. Richmond’s class from 1947 and a Fallasburg village plat map on a wooden board.

As the bell rang in the belfry, the chatter and music in the schoolhouse continued into the night. A drive through the lighted Fallasburg Covered Bridge was a perfect ending to a perfect party.

Come visit Fallasburg, located northeast of Lowell, throughout the year. You will treat yourself to a lesson in American pioneer history from the 1830s that started with founder John Wesley Fallass.

You will marvel at the treasures the village has to offer.

Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

White Christmas in Fallasburg pioneer village

Visit Fallasburg tonight for a memorable white Christmas

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Fallasburg, MI – Experience a white Christmas of the past inside the old 1867 Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse located at the pioneer village three miles northeast of Lowell.

Cross the wooden covered bridge across the Flat River into the sleepy hamlet and enjoy camaraderie with old friends. Most of them you will probably know from the past.

Sample Dottie’s famous Christmas buffet and Ken’s signature grog that will warm you up instantly.

The band Hawks and Owls will play Christmas music.

If you find Fallasburg resident Bruce Doll and tell him a good story, you may get a 1971 Fallasburg commemorative coin with the covered bridge.

You might run into some old-timers telling their stories of Christmases of the past.

The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) volunteers make things happen. Thank them tonight.

A huge bonfire at the Fallasbrug base ball field tops off the night with flames reaching high up into the dark sky.

The suggested donation for adults is $20 to benefit the Fallasburg village maintenance.

The second tiled picture mosaic features some of the FHS events and volunteers from around the year.

See you there tonight. The Christmas party runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2016.

Have a merry merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

From all of us at the Fallasburg Historical Society

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Copyright(c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.