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.
Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Thank you to all the volunteers and organizers who made the 24TH Annual Covered Bridge Bike Tour a smashing success. For doing your part to help preserve Historic Fallasburg Village with your registrations, thanks to all our riders, the largest turnout in several years. And, thanks to Mother Nature, you gave us the perfect day for everyone to explore some of West Michigan’s most beautiful scenery.
As we closed up shop at the end of the event we had much to celebrate. Again, our gastronomical goodies from volunteers; the “cookie baker network” cookies and the culinary Italian Country-Style meal served al fresco from our Tuscan kitchens, set our bike tour apart. Not possible to walk away from us hungry!
There were sore muscles that night amongst the tourers I’m sure, but no injuries-0. Two blown tires and a broken chain resulted in rides from our SAG Driver (Support and Guidance) back to Fallasburg Village mid-route for a handful. That was the worst of it. An earlier meal at the Fallasburg Village Cyclist’s Café the consequence.
The Fallasburg Historical Society was pleased to contribute to the League of Michigan Bicyclists, “$1 Per Rider” program helping promote cycling in our State and make Michigan a safer place to cycle as we have since 2010.
Plan for the 25th Annual Covered Bridge Bike Tour
Next years event, the 25TH Annual Covered Bridge Bike Tour on Sunday, July 7, 2019 will be a milestone. Planning has already begun after catching our breath from the 24TH. We always welcome ideas, feedback, and participation as we prepare. Contact us through our website at www.fallasburg.org
Fall for Fallasburg
September and October are visitor favorites for fall color viewing in Fallasburg Village, and of special note are: Saturday & Sunday, September 15 & 16, and Saturday, October 27.
Fallasburg Village Bazaar set for Sept. 15 & Sept. 16
On Saturday & Sunday, September 15 & 16, the 50TH Fallasburg Fall Festival of the Arts will unfold in adjacent Fallasburg Park. Venture just across the Fallasburg Covered Bridge from the park after art, get a little history, and take a step back in time. From 10:00AM – 5:00PM both days, the Fallasburg Historical Society Bazaar offers self-guided walking tours of our historic village with free admission to all our museums; the Schoolhouse, the Fallas House, and the Misner House, then come browse our old- fashioned Bazaar of artisans and their crafts under tent. Enjoy food and refreshments. For more information on the Fallasburg Historical Society, and the Bazaar: www.fallasburg.org
Fallasburgh Flats Vintage Base Ball Tournament
On Saturday, September 15 only, the Fallassburg Flats, our 1860’s Vintage Base Ball Club will culminate their season by hosting their annual Fall Finale, The John Wesley Fallass Invitational Vintage Base Ball Tournament in Fallas Field across from the Fallasburg Schoolhouse. Admission is free. Preliminary games begin at 10:00AM with semi-final and final games in the afternoon followed by an awards ceremony around 5:00PM. For more information on the Fallassburgh Flats, and their regular season schedule: firstname.lastname@example.org
Local author Emma Palova book-signing at one-room schoolhouse
Emma Palova will have a book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories on Sept. 15 & Sept. 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the one-room schoolhouse. Come and chat with the Czech-born author about her book. You can buy your copy locally. Check EW Emma’s Writings at http://emmapalova.com for more info about the book signing.
Ghost Walk at the Fallasburg village
On Saturday, October 27th, “Boo”! It’s a “Ghost Walk.” The Fallasburg Historical Society will be hosting a paranormal investigation in collaboration with the Michigan Paranormal Alliance (MPA). Sign in begins at 6:30PM and runs to 7:00PM at the Fallasburg Schoolhouse. You will accompany MPA on your “Ghost Walk” from 7:00PM – 9:00PM to investigate/research 3 historic buildings and the Fallasburg Village Cemetery. We have less than 10 tickets left @ $40 each that include your research w/MPA, beverages/snacks, and an event t-shirt. Call 616-560-9109 for tickets.
Christmas in Fallasburg set for Dec. 8
If you’re a “calendar marker, Saturday, December 8, 6:00PM-8:00PM, it’s “Christmas in Fallasburg”, A Community Celebration! Come for music and merriment at the Fallasburg Schoolhouse, finish in Fallas Field at the Fire!
I share with you a communication we received that sums up the “Fallasburg Experience” whether serendipitous, or scheduled. Come for a visit and see for yourself!
Ken Tamke, President
Subject: just happened to be travelling through…
May 5, 2018
Thanks so much for all that you folks have done along the Flat River there in Fallasburg. My wife and I were trying to take a shortcut from I-96 to M91, and we found ourselves just north of Lowell, saw the signs, and thought, “Why not?” The park, bridge, historical community, and especially the road that lead us east out-of-town was the perfect unplanned way to slow down, enjoy, and spend a spring day in our area of Michigan. We eventually found our way to M91 and headed for home in Remus. But, whenever we have the chance, we’ll be sure to revisit Fallasburg again. Keep up the good work! BTW, I’m sending my $5 fine…I think I went faster than a walk! God bless.
Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Local author book signing at the Fallasburg pioneer village during Fall Fest for the Arts and Fallasburg Village Bazaar
By Emma Palova
Lowell, MI -I find history being the biggest Partner
on my life’s journey. I have to think back to the Soviet invasion of former Czechoslovakia on August 21, 1968, which has formed my life and the career of a writer all the way to the present author.
If it wasn’t for the Soviet invasion, my father former professor Vaclav Konecny would not have defected the occupied country for the USA. He was one of thousands of expatriates who illegally left the country in protest of the suppression of the Prague Spring reformist movement led by Alexander Dubcek.
I write about this in the Greenwich Meridian where East meets West memoir about the Konecny family immigration saga spanning three generations.
My writing has been inspired by the leader of the 1989 Velvet Revolution, late president Vaclav Havel. I embarked on my professional writing career as a correspondent for Czechoslovak Newsweek, based in New York City.
History continues to inspire me, because I find in it similarities to today’s problems and solutions in the society.
“I have a lifelong passion for history & politics which in turn fuel my writing,” Emma Palova said in a recent interview for the Lowell Ledger.
Palova has been writing about the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) events since mid 2000s. In 2015, she designed the “The next 50 years of Fallasburg” campaign for the FHS.
FHS president Ken Tamke commented about the collaboration between the historical society and Emma Palova of Emma Blogs, LLC.
Murray Lake Elementary students at Fallasburg
FHS’ collaboration with Emma Palova was born out of necessity. Our website was old, outdated, and had too many people trying to fix it. Realizing the importance of a viable website integrated with social media, but also realizing that a re-design and launch of something new and fresh would take time and money, FHS sought to take an intermediate step so as not to lose our cyber presence completely. We were familiar with Ms. Palova’s writing as a reporter for the Lowell Ledger. A proposal was drafted. Ms. Palova was able to help publicize ongoing FHS events through social media sites and through a blog she created, “Fallasburg Today,” in this interim period. The same charming coverage present in her writings for the Ledger helped Fallasburg engage its followers and supporters by keeping them informed and up to date while undergoing our website remodel.
Now, three years later, with a sparkling new website, FHS found Ms. Palova’s work to be indispensable. Lacking familiarity and comfort with technology aside, Ms. Palova captures nicely the feeling of Fallasburg and its residents. Her coverage of events attracts people to become involved as volunteers, donors, and participants. Her knowledge of social media fills a gap that in today’s world, is integral in communicating our message. FHS could not be happier with Emma Palova and the contribution she makes to the Fallasburg Historical Society.
In the spirit of collaboration, FHS vice-president Tina Siciliano Cadwallader offered that Emma could use the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse museum for her book-signing events.
A successful first book signing was held at the museum on July 16.
“I couldn’t be happier, so many of my fans from the newspaper years came to the event,” she said. “Moreover, my parents, whom I write about the Greenwich Meridian saga also attended.”
Emma Palova’s next book signing event of Shifting Sands Short Stories will be held during the Fallasburg Fall Festival for the Arts and the Fallasburg Village Bazaar on Sept. 16 & Sept. 17 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the one-room schoolhouse museum. Everyone is welcome.
Come and explore the ambiance of the 1850s Fallasburg pioneer village and chat with the local author and journalist, who has been covering area events for more than two decades.
The feature photo shows FHS volunteers Addie Abel (right) and Dotty Blain (left) doing what they do best. That is assisting at most of the events held at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse, including Emma’s book signing.
“I share the same passion for history with all the FHS volunteers,” Palova said.
Here is something that I put together for the board and the membership of the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) about Facebook status. Please share this with all. It’s also applicable to anyone who has Internet.
Social media: Facebook
The most popular social media platform is Facebook. However it’s far from being the only one. Although it may be the most user friendly, Facebook moves a lot of data while twitter limits posts to 140 characters. It does allow for pictures. Recently, twitter has merged with LinkedIn, the biggest professional career social media site.
Both have news feeds based on your friends or followers.
Anything you post stays on your wall or timeline. You can check other people’s timelines to see what they have been up to.
To open an account on Facebook go to https://www.facebook.com. Enter your email and pick a password. And you can start posting. The most effective posts are short and with photos. Pick anything you like your experience from Fallasburg village, recent or old. I streamline the posting but I will need your help to make the social media campaign Fallasburg Today most efficient.
Posting on Facebook pages and groups
Fallasburg has both a page and a public group. The group is called Fallasburg Today.
You post on fb pages as a visitor in the left column and you post on the group in the main column. The difference between the page and the group is in number of posts by the entire group, so the group page is more dynamic because of the large number of people posting. You have to have a Facebook account to post. I approve the posts so nothing inappropriate appears there.
Again you can post anything remotely about Fallasburg. I first took the route of asking people for submissions, photos and memories, but that wasn’t efficient at all.
One of my Internet gurus taught me that efficiency on the Internet is a game of numbers. Large groups of people will post a large amount of info.
Plus it leads to new connections as well as old ones. That way a donor or a sponsor may emerge from the crowds. According to an Internet webinar, each follower or a friend transfers into a $1.
It is also important to follow the Fallasburg Today blog at http://fallasburgtoday.org for the same reasons of sharing and spreading info. The blog has sharing buttons, so you share the info on your Facebook and twitter. It’s like a large organized machinery that works.
Lowell, MI- As the leaves turn burning red and the nights grow longer, the forgotten Fallasburg village sleeps its dream from the 1830s.
It was a dream of pioneer John Wesley Fallass who founded the village in 1837 to have a bustling place. He built a mill in 1839 in the village and began manufacturing flour and lumber. By 1850 the village boasted a grist mill and a sawmill that housed a chair factory. The chair factory may be one of the first furniture factories in the Grand Rapids area.
The bustling lumbering village also had a stone-mason, a pair of blacksmiths, horse barns, a hotel and tavern, two general stores, post office, distillery, school, a cemetery and a tannery.
It became a main stage route from Ionia to Grand Rapids, and a thriving settlement on the banks of the Flat River.
But, destiny had it different. Everything changed with the arrival of the D & M railroad line in Lowell instead of Fallasburg in 1858. The village started steadily declining with the post office closing in 1905 and the grist mill was torn down in 1912.
However, what is left of Mr. Fallass’ dream remains treasured to this day. The charming hamlet nestles in the northeast corner of Kent County on 42 acres along the banks of the Flat River. The original 1871 Fallasburg Covered Bridge connects the forgotten village to the rest of the world. The bridge is a perfect Kodak spot favored by photographers and newlyweds.
The village includes a schoolhouse, village cemetery, and house museums: John Fallass House, Misner House, Tower Farm & Tower Barn and Fallass Barn.
The Covered Bridge stretches 100 feet long, 14 feet wide and 12 feet high. Its lattice-work trusses are made of white pine timbers from nearby Greenville.
Currently, it is the only one of two wooden covered bridges in Michigan open to traffic. The area lost the Whites Bridge Covered Bridge due to arson on July 7, 2013. Efforts are in the works to replace the sister bridge.
The entire village is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Take a tour on a picture perfect day, stop by the new interpretive signs in front of the Covered Bridge and get to know the story of the old Fallassburgh from the early 1830s roots to its decline in the early 1900s. But, slow down or you will get a $5 fine for riding or driving on the bridge faster than a walk, according to original 1872 signs.
You will immerse yourself into the past filled with villagers who played out the story. These included the founding Fallass family, the Moon family who were educators in the area, the Tower family and postmaster John M. Waters. The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) has maintained the village since 1965 thanks to resident Leonora Tower who decided to share this gem with the community.
The FHS president Ken Tamke said the lack of continued development has been both a blessing and a curse.
None of the current residents known as villagers wish for any further development other than maintaining the existing historical properties, according to a feasibility study conducted by Vergennes Township.
A county park that surrounds the village is used for weddings, reunions, company and Rotary picnics. You can hike, bike or ride through the park and the village.
It is the hope of FHS to restore the Tower Farm for community meetings and to maintain the house museums. A section of North Country Trail (NCT) runs through the village next to the Tower Barn.
Venture out to Fallasburg during the upcoming Lowell events Girls Night Out on Oct. 15 and Christmas through Lowell on Nov. 20, 21 & 22.
Mark your calendars for the annual “Christmas in Fallasburg” party this year set for Dec. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. Suggested donation is $20.
Villagers have always recognized what a special place Fallasburg is, from the founding settlers to present day inhabitants. Fifty years ago, villager Leonora Tower felt it was time to share this resource with the community at large. So, the West Central Michigan Historical Society was born, which later became the Fallasburg Historical Society.
I marvel at how many visitors, locals and West Michiganders from far and near, are just discovering Fallasburg Village.
“Wow, I didn’t realize this existed,” is the most common response as they browse our museums and learn about this colorful slice of history.
I invite you to help us celebrate this 50TH Anniversary of our preservation efforts by taking a fall color tour through the Fallasburg Park across the Covered Bridge into the charming pioneer village.
Take a walk or a bike ride through the village this fall. Check out the gems of history, the John Fallass house, the Misner House, The Tower Farm & Barn and the one room schoolhouse museum.
The museum is open on Sundays from 2 p.m to 4 p.m. Docent led tours are available by appointment for groups.
Mark your calendars for a vintage Christmas in Fallasburg on Dec. 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 13944 Covered Bridge Road, north of Lowell.
Sign up for Fallasburg Today E-newsletter on our FHS facebook page to stay in the loop.