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Tales From the Burg

Welcome to our series “Tales From the Burg” designed to connect the readers with the Fallasburg Historical Society’s (FHS) prescious treasure of artifacts known as Collective Access. You can find individual artifacts by clicking the link below:

https://collection.fallasburg.org/

The series will have the logo of Mr. Goodsell’s letter. We encourage your input and feedback by commenting below or on social media. Enjoy the first installment about Mr. Goodsell’s memories of the construction of the Fallasburg Covered Bridge.

Tales From the Burg

Flat River Days, Building a Bridge

Prologue 

In 1821, John Orton Goodsell, originally from Oneida, New York and ninth son of Goodsell Family patriarch John Sr., purchased 190 acres in Vergennes Township at the end of what is now known as Beckwith Drive.  The property, framed by the Flat River on three sides, looked down upon the river, and what would become the location of the Fallasburg Covered Bridge, gateway to Fallasburg Village founded in 1839 by John Wesley Fallass.

Clark W. Goodsell (C.W.), John Orton Goodsell’s son, was born in 1859, one of two children from his father’s second marriage. The following reflections come in the form of a letter dated August 7, 1932 from C. W., who grew up just a stone’s throw from Fallasburg to Villager Hermann Jones. Here are links to the original letter and land abstract from the Fallasburg Historical Society Collection.

Clark Goodsell.

https://collection.fallasburg.org/Gallery/14

                            https://collection.fallasburg.org/Gallery/13 

                                                                                                              

Harrisville, August 7 – 1932

Mr. Hermann Jones,

Dear Sir, I received your letter O.K. but have been busy of late fishing for company.

Well, I guess I know more about Fallassburg than anyone left now. I was born up on the hill west of the

Burg in 1859, so I can remember a lot.  On a 2 X 4 on the northwest side of the old bridge is my name dated June 18TH, 1880, the day I first left home.

That bridge was built by a Frenchman by the name of Jerard Buzee. He built 9 such bridges after Flat River.  That bridge was built 1867 as near as I can make out. I was about 8 years old when Buzee and his crew boarded at our house while they framed the bridge.

I rode rafts of lumber down the Flat before they ran any logs, many times.  Ed Lewis, Charlie Richmond, and I have rode over the shoot on logs when we were boys.  I could ride anything that would hold me up or wore hair.  I rode a horse for John Fallass in the first fair at Lowell.  I weighed 48 pounds, so small they had to strap me on.  I rode runners until I was 26.  John Wright can tell you about my riding.  Give Billie Rex my regards.

Yours Truly,

C.W Goodsell

Epilogue

Four other bridges (not covered) preceded the Fallasburg Covered Bridge, the very first being built in 1839.  By 1849 the first two had failed.  The third bridge, a sturdier affair, lasted until 1860.  Enter bridge builder Jared N. Brasee & Co.  For $249.50, Brasee reconstructed the third bridge, now the fourth to span the Flat River.  In the spring and into summer of 1871, for $1,500, Brasee & Co. built the fifth-the Fallasburg Covered Bridge.  Villager, F.A. Geill adorned the portals of the bridge in 1872 with the signs, “$5 Fine for Driving on This Bridge Faster Than A Walk”, which are still in place today. 

2021 will mark the 150TH Anniversary of the Fallasburg Covered Bridge

It is hard to ignore that Villager, Hermann Jones, recipient of C.W. Goodsell’s letter in 1932 was not related somehow to Frank Jones.  Jones ran a General Store and a Tavern in Fallasburg Village in the mid-to-late 1800’s, was an avid hunter, fisherman, and trapper, living in a variety of dwellings within the Village, one of which was a small summer cottage on River St. sitting just above the covered bridge.  Here’s a picture of Frank Jones with his Flat River bounty, a Pike as tall as he is:

Descendants of the Goodsell Family are today, still present in West Michigan and beyond.  The farmhouse John Orton Goodsell built in the early 1820’s stood until 1950 when the property was purchased by Clarence and Stella Bradshaw.  Unable to save the original, the Bradshaw’s had to tear it down and start again.  Here is the 125-year-old Goodsell Farmhouse in 1950 before, and the Bradshaw home in 1951 after.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

In observance of Veterans Day

Pause to remember a veteran today for his or her service to our country.

Enjoy this post:

Click on the link below to read about veterans at the Fallasburg Cemetery in Vergennes Township.

Veterans at Fallasburg Cemetery

Featured Image -- 61120

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Tower Farm renovations-phase II

The next phase of the Tower Farm restorations has begun.

The crew has mostly painted the outside of the Tower Farm.  The foam insulation is being installed.  Then the sheet rock insulation will start.  The four porches are getting new decking during this time also.  The heating will be completed. Once the sheet rock is done, painting the inside will begin.  Then all the cabinets will be installed and plumbing finalized.   Long process that may be completed by the end of the year.

https://wordpress.com/post/fallasburgtoday.org/123492

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Tower Farm renovation enters next phase

Tower Farm in Fallasburg village at night.

A beautiful night picture of the renovated Tower Farm as we draw closer to Halloween.

The Tower Farm in the Fallasburg village has entered the next phase renovations. Take a scenic ride through the village this fall and winter. Stay tuned for full story.

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Correction to the Fallasburg Today E-newsletter

Here is a link to our fall newsletter followed by the correction to Craig Fonger’s length of absence from Lowell to set the historical record straight.

Source: Fall back in time in Fallasburg

Tireless volunteers, and jacks and jills of all trades: Alan Rumbaugh, Lisa Sostecke, Frank Brechbiel, Mark Shellenbarger, and David & Tina Cadwallader, were joined by new FHS Board member Craig Fonger who had just moved back to Lowell from San Francisco after a 22-year absence, doing anything and everything that needed to be done.

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Fallasburg Virtual Arts Festival

The 52nd annual Fallasburg Arts Festival will be virtual this year. It will take place on Sept. 19-20, 2020 on Saturday and Sunday. Visitors will walk through the festival via an on-line, interactive map that will “open” at 10 a.m. on Sept. 19, the original start date and time for the festival. The map will be available at http://www.lowellartsmi.org, and will include links to explore artwork, music, children’s creations, craft demonstrations, and more.

The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) has alway participated at the Arts Festival in the picnic shelter on the porch.

This is info about the FHS:

The Fallasburg Historical Society was organized in 1965, originally as the West Central Michigan Historical Society, to collect, preserve, advance, and disseminate the history of this area, and more specifically, Fallasburg Village. These efforts however began in earnest over 100 years ago by the Vergennes Cooperative Club who nurtured the dream of sharing these remarkable pioneer stories and the village they created for future generations to enjoy and learn from. Fallasburg has had many shepherds since John Wesley Fallas founded her in 1839, all with a common goal; preservation. Today, Fallasburg Village remains a picture postcard of early American life. Please visit us:

www.fallasburg.org

http://collection.fallasburg.org

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Fallasburg-Historical-Society-444666235652842/

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/fallasburg?lang=en

On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/1016340627/fallasburg-historical-society/?hl=en

Or do it the old way and c’mon out!

Feature photo: newly painted one-room schoolhouse. Watch for the FHS newsletter in your inboxes about all the accomplishments at the Fallasburg Village over the past summer.

Copyright (c)2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Old publications found @Tower Farm

Fallasburg, MI – During the recent remodel work on the 1850s Tower Farm at the Fallasburg historic village, the crew found publications from 1951 including American Weekly from May 13, 1951.

We encourage our followers and fans to submit their photos from the Fallasburg village to us. Fallasburg will soon be decked out in its autumn glory. Get your cameras ready.

For Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) artifacts go to Collective Access at https://collection.fallasburg.org

Note: The FHS annual village bazaar will not take place this year. Our neighbors- the Fallasburg Arts Festival has gone virtual on Sept.19-20 with a raffle of the “Blue Lagoon” quilt by Dawn Ysseldyke. On Sept. 20 at 5 p.m., a live-streamed “pulling of the winning ticket” ceremony will be held to announce the winner of the quilt.

Blue Lagoon by Dawn Ysseldyke.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Tower Farm remodel update

 The Tower Farm $75,000 remodel is on schedule

Here is the latest on the remodel from Fallasburg Historical Society treasurer, Al Rumbaugh.

The stone mason has finished redoing all the fallen rocks in the basement and we now have a secure foundation. The new well is active and health department has approved it and the water it is supplying. The plumbers have finished the rough in of the drains and water lines. The general contractor, Choice Contracting, has finished most of the interior work, adding new headers, opening doorways up as was designed, redoing floor and ceiling beams and has replaced the damaged and missing siding on the back of the house. 

We are waiting for the approval of the Michigan Historical Society to say we can build the porch with a roof on the east side of the house. The heating contractor will start Monday putting in an entirely new heating system.  The electrical contractor came out last week and has started with a preliminary layout of the plan. Estimates are being accepted for sprayed in foam insulation once the other work is completed. 

The Tower Farm is the last building to be rehabilitated in the picturesque village on the banks of the Flat River. During the last two years, the Fallas House needed repairs due to major damage from pipes breaking over a winter. The bathroom, kitchen, and damaged walls were redone. A new roof was put on along with a total paint job. The Blackmer House and Betsy Fallas houses have all been rehabbed, the barn was redone and that left only the Tower House. This will be the last one on the Covered Bridge Rd. leading to the Covered Bridge, except for the rundown cottage by the bridge. The Misner House and the School House had been finished long time ago.

“The entire village street will look great with well-kept homes,” said Rumbaugh.

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