150th Anniversary of the Fallasburg Covered Bridge

Commemmorative sesquicentennial coins and cookbook available at the pavillion
About the feature photo: The Covered Bridge Centennial Celebration with marker placement ceremony in 1972. Pictured from left to right: Elma Roth, Fred Roth, Leonora Tower, Marian Yates, Ed Mueller.
The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) will be joined by the Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) at the Fallasburg Fall Festival of the Arts on Saturday & Sunday, September 18 & 19, 10AM-5PM, on the South Porch of the Fallasburg Park Pavilion.  We’ll be celebrating the 150TH Anniversary of the Fallasburg Covered Bridge, 1871 – 2021. 
 
To commemorate this sesquicentennial milestone, both organizations, FHS, and KCRC have collaborated to create activities and memorabilia as well as share pictures and artifacts that pay tribute to this iconic structure, arguably one of the most visited and photographed landmarks in Kent County.
 
KCRC, on Fridays in September, will feature on their social media websites “Fun Facts” about the Fallasburg Covered Bridge, a “Trivial Pursuit” of everything you ever wanted to know from behind the scenes about the bridge.  On Fallasburg Fall Festival of the Arts weekend, KCRC will be announcing their “Fall Color Tour.”  The color tour is a collection of different routes one can choose that guide color tour enthusiasts on a variety of roads in Kent County to soak it all in at their own pace.  This year, one of the routes will include a visit to the Fallasburg Covered Bridge and Historic Fallasburg Village.  Don’t forget to sing Happy Birthday when you go!  Additionally, KCRC staff will be on hand at the Festival with pictures and information about the monumental bridge rebuilding in the 1990s, and the nuts and bolts (literally) that are necessary to keep the bridge open to automobile traffic to this day.
 
The Fallasburg Historical Society will be making their 53RD appearance at the 53RD Fallasburg Fall Festival of the Arts and have reprinted and newly minted a couple of nuggets that date back to the Fallasburg Covered Bridge Centennial Celebration in 1971 that will be for sale.  The reprinting is of the “Fallasburg Centennial Cookbook”.  The cookbook is an assortment of recipes contributed by members of the community in and around Fallasburg that reflect what Ellura Frost McPherson describes as “used many, many years ago by our ancestors” in her dedication of the book.  You’ll find recipes from the likes of Tower, Richmond, Rogers, Fallas, and Ford, just to name a few.  The cookbook has generated many a chuckle when leafing through the pages.
 
My late Grandmother, Mrs. C. A. Bradshaw, Stella, holds the distinction of the prize-winning recipe of 1970, “Vinegar Pie”, a favorite of Lumbermen for many years so she claimed.  “Ghastly, is what it looks like me to me.”  “I can’t imagine eating such a thing”.  “There’s no accounting for taste, I guess.”  Food, is not the only topic of the cookbook.  There are recipes for “Grandpa’s Salve”, “Hand Lotion”, and even a remedy for “Inflammatory Rheumatism”.

 The new minting is of a “Fallasburg Covered Bridge Centennial” coin from 1971.  The original has been updated a now features not only a rendering of the bridge on both sides of the coin but has an automobile emerging from the portal on one of the sides, a Buick in keeping with our car manufacturing heritage here in Michigan.  The first coin was introduced in conjunction with the placement of a bronze marker from the State of Michigan Historic Preservation Program indicating the bridge’s inclusion in the State and National Register of Historic Places.
 
Covered Bridge aficionados, Fallasburg Villagers past and present, and local history buffs will all appreciate this collectible trinket
     
 Please make plans to visit the Fallasburg Historical Society and the Kent County Road Commission at the Fallasburg Fall Festival of the Arts on the South Porch of the Fallasburg Park Pavilion and help us start the party for our beloved Fallasburg Covered Bridge. Browse our respective collections of pictures and memorabilia and shop our commemorative merchandise.  Then, take a step back in time and venture just across the Historic Covered Bridge from Fallasburg Park and visit the Fallasburg Schoolhouse, with free admission both weekend days.
 
Find Out More About FHS

Walking tours of Fallasburg village

Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) offers tours by appointment

Fallasburg, MI – Book your tour today for a walk through the 1850s historic village of Fallasburg located just six miles north of Lowell on the banks of the Flat River. You will be delighted by the quaint atmosphere of the hamlet far from the maddening crowds of big cities as you step back in time. The village, which started as a saw-and-grist milling operation, has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1999.

The tour will take you from the one-room schoolhouse with the belfry and the original desks down the Covered Bridge Road past the historic buildings: the Misner House, the recently renovated Tower Farm and the J.W. Fallass House.

The Misner House is home to the village artifacts; these include treasures such as the Fallasburg Footprints, WWI Women’s Registration Cards among many others.

For a digital collection of artifacts go to:

https://collection.fallasburg.org/

You can visit the Fallass House as part of the tour. The tour ends by the Covered Bridge which is celebrating 150th anniversary this year. It’s a wonderful photo opportunity.

For appointment contact FHS president Ken Tamke via the website http://www.fallasburg.org or use the comment section in the blog or email kentamke@comcast.net

Featured photo: A small group tours the village.

Copyright (c) 2021. All rights reserved. Emma Blogs, LLC.

Fallasburg Covered Bridge

Featured on WZZM today. Photo by Bruce Doll.

Stay tuned for the next installment of “Tales From the Burg” series that connects Fallasburg’s past with the present via stories and artifacts.

Fallasburg’s artifacts can be found online in Collective Access at Collective Access

Mr. Goodsell’s letter about the Covered Bridge.

Copyright (c) 2021. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Coming soon “Tales From the Burg” 2

Fallassburgh Cubs

Watch for the next installment in the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) brand new series “Tales From the Burg.”

We will delve deep into the past of the Fallassburg Cubs, the predecessors of the Falassburg Flats. The story will explore the possible connection of baseball player Raymond Miller, who lived in Fallasburg village, with the Fallassburg Cubs.

Another “Tale” will follow-up to the first installment. It’s a letter written in 1857 by a Fallasburgh resident about taking a Ferry boat from Grand Haven to Grand Rapids on the Grand River.

“This is very cool history not only from Fallasburg, but from West Michigan,” said FHS president Ken Tamke.

The debut installment of “Tales From the Burg” was about Mr. Goodsell’s letter reminiscing the construction of the first Covered Bridge.

Copyright (c) 2021. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Featured

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.

FHS salutes our heroes

Yellow ribbons and painted hearts at Fallasburg

During the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) would like to express deepest gratitude to all the health care workers, first responders and to all our essential workers, who keep us well, fed and alive.

To salute you, we tied yellow ribbons around the historical buildings at the Fallasburg pioneer village and painted some hearts.

When the state shutdown is lifted, we sincerely invite you for a visit and a step back in time to this oasis of peace on the banks of the Flat River. Just cross the Covered Bridge and immerse yourself in history.

You can explore online the FHS artifacts on the premier Collective Access platform on https://collection.fallasburg.org/

Visit Fallasburg online at http://fallasburg.org

Featured photo: The John W. Fallass House

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

Fallasburg Historical Society events 2020

Visit the historical Fallasburg village this year for a unique experience during any season.

We start off the year with the Lowell Area Chamber Expo on March 28 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lowell High School. We will be located inside the cafeteria. Watch for our booth number.

Fallasburg events poster

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

Happy holidays

Old-fashioned Christmas in Fallasburg

Fallasburg, MI – Come to the best Christmas party in the area complete with music, a Christmas buffet, libations and a bonfire. Bring a friend to enjoy the old-fashioned atmosphere.

Just cross the Covered Bridge into the 1850s Fallasburg pioneer village. You will step back in time enchanted by the magic of the holiday season. The one-room schoolhouse will be decked out for Christmas for you to enjoy.

The public is invited to the “Christmas in Fallasburg” party on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the one-room schoolhouse. The party will be topped off by a roaring bonfire at the Fallass Field across from the schoolhouse. You can’t miss it. You will be able to hear it crackling into the crisp night, as it melts the snow around it.

Holiday music provided by Hawks & Owls, libations, refreshments and the famous Fallasburg Christmas Buffet. A $20 donation is requested from adults.

“The schoolhouse in Fallasburg has always been a place that joins everyone together. She was built, so we would come; to learn to share and to celebrate,” said Ken Tamke, president of the Fallasburg Historical Society.

“Our schoolhouse, dressed for the holidays, once again stands ready to welcome you. Please join us for our community celebration.”

Subscribe to the Fallasburg Historical Society e-newsletter “Fallasburg Today” to stay in the loop with our happenings.

Copyright (c0 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Shop Fallasburg village bazaar

Find your treasure this weekend among the 30 vendors at the Fallasburg village bazaar this weekend on Sept. 14 & Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Directions from Lincoln Lake Rd coming from Lowell

Take a right onto Fallasburg Park Rd, once you come to the Kent County Fallasburg Park sign hang a right onto the Covered Bridge Rd. Cross the Covered Bridge into the village to shop more artists.

20190913_1313248737223442567598810.jpg

Directions  from McPherson Bridge fork

Take a right on McPherson, cross the concrete McPherson Bridge and turn right onto Covered Bridge Rd. into the Fallasburg village.

Emma’s Book Signing at the one-room schoolhouse from noon to 5 p.m. on both days.

You will be charmed by the historic ambience of the village and the historic buildings: the schoolhouse, the Tower Farm, the Misner House and the Fallass House.

 

Vendors

Two Hot Tamales- Food truck, Authentic Mexican Food

Whimsical Wick- antique vessels filed with wax turned into a candle

31 Consultant, Bags-Totes

Fair Houses- Ecological Access

Ophelia’s Candles, homemade soy candles

Nancy, Leather goods

Creations Limitations Plus, Fractal burned wood products

Expressive Reflections, handcrafted, handstamped jewelry creatively designed

Bob Wojczynski paintings/drawings

Lady K Chimes, unique glass windchimes

The Milk Bucket, Goat milk Soap & other products

Suburban Soaptherapy, handmade artisan soaps

Scentsy, warmers wax and diffusers

Fret Knot Jewelry, guitar string jewelry

Bloom Specialties, LLC, pressure and soft washing

Alice, TreDye Michigan Tees

2 Lane Road, signs carved in wood, wood & clay jewelry

Redpop Originals, handmade meaded wrap bracelets

Sue, Wire-wrapped Great Lakes fossil jewelry

Jewelry Junkie- sterling spinner rings

Paparazzi Jewelry, leadfree, nickelfree jewelry $1-$5 each

Rainbow Ice, shaved ice

Sandy’s Fudge

Pups & Peeps, dog scarves, blankets, tote bags

Half Baked, baked goods-pastries

Outdoor Adventures Campgrounds, Yeti raffle

Frozen Creek Farms, salsa, jams, soups & herbal dips

Rock Art, handcrafted oild candles

Shabby Chicnanigans, unique painted signs, upcycled furniture, lemonade stand

White’s Bridge Group

Also check your inboxes for the Fallasburg Today E-newsletter.

Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Fallasburg bazaar at full capacity

Fallasburg village bazaar with list of participating vendors

By Emma Palova

The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) village bazaar is at full capacity for vendors for this year. Here is an updated list of participating vendors.

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The bazaar is set this year for Sept. 14 & Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the historic Fallasburg village with ample free parking.

From Lincoln Lake Rd. just hang a right onto Covered Bridge Rd. and cross the Covered Bridge into the Fallasburg pioneer village and you will be charmed by the historical ambiance of the museum buildings and a variety of vendors ranging from fairy houses, jewelry to rock art and fudge.

Local author Emma Palova will be signing her brand new book “Secrets” from the Shifting Sands Short Stories collections at the one-room schoolhouse on both days, Sept. 14 and Sept.15 from noon to 5 p.m.

Vendors

Two Hot Tamales- Food truck, Authentic Mexican Food

Whimsical Wick- antique vessels filed with wax turned into a candle

31 Consultant, Bags-Totes

Fair Houses- Ecological Access

Ophelia’s Candles, homemade soy candles

Nancy, Leather goods

Creations Limitations Plus, Fractal burned wood products

Expressive Reflections, handcrafted, handstamped jewelry creatively designed

Bob Wojczynski paintings/drawings

Lady K Chimes, unique glass windchimes

The Milk Bucket, Goat milk Soap & other products

Suburban Soaptherapy, handmade artisan soaps

Scentsy, warmers wax and diffusers

Fret Knot Jewelry, guitar string jewelry

Bloom Specialties, LLC, pressure and soft washing

Alice, TreDye Michigan Tees

2 Lane Road, signs carved in wood, wood & clay jewelry

Redpop Originals, handmade meaded wrap bracelets

Sue, Wire-wrapped Great Lakes fossil jewelry

Jewelry Junkie- sterling spinner rings

Paparazzi Jewelry, leadfree, nickelfree jewelry $1-$5 each

Rainbow Ice, shaved ice

Sandy’s Fudge

Pups & Peeps, dog scarves, blankets, tote bags

Half Baked, baked goods-pastries

Outdoor Adventures Campgrounds, Yeti raffle

Frozen Creek Farms, salsa, jams, soups & herbal dips

Rock Art, handcrafted oild candles

Shabby Chicnanigans, unique painted signs, upcycled furniture, lemonade stand

White’s Bridge Group

Also check your inboxes for the Fallasburg Today E-newsletter coming soon.

Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All Rights Reserved.