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Partners in history

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.

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  Our website was old, outdated, and had too many people trying to fix it.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.

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First book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories at the one-room schoolhouse on July 16, 2017

“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.

Follow Emma’s author journey on Amazon on

https://www.amazon.com/Emma-Palova/e/B0711XJ6GY

Watch for a story about the 3rd annual Fallasburg village bazaar that features local artists, crafters and artisans set in the pioneer village.

Below is an example of a few artifacts at the Fallass House, which is a part of the 1850s Fallasburg pioneer village.

Copyrights (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Social media: Facebook

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.
Fallasburg Covered Bridge
Fallasburg Covered Bridge
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.
If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact me on emmapalova@yahoo.com 
I’ve condensed the information that I have learned over the last three years into this brief statement. And I will share more.
 
 I’ll talk about twitter and mobile apps next time.
 
Thanks to all for your help and for sharing,
 
Emma Palova
Oct. 23, 2015
freelance writer based in Lowell, Michigan
Emma Blogs, LLC marketing

Autumn in Fallasburg

Visit Fallasburg this fall

By Emma Palova

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 road into the Fallasburg historical district from the north.
The road into the Fallasburg historical district from the north.

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.

A thriving settlement in 1850s
Fallasburgh, a thriving settlement in 1850s

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.

The Tower Farm circa 1850 in Fallasburg.
The Tower Farm circa 1850 in Fallasburg.

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.

Interpretive signs before the Covered Bridge.
Interpretive signs before the Covered Bridge.

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.

The one-room schoolhouse is open on Sundays.
The one-room schoolhouse is open on Sundays.

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.

Fallasburg founder John Fallass' house
Fallasburg founder John Fallass’ house

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.

Patronize our sponsors http://www.mainstreetinnlowell.com just three miles south of Fallasburg.

Main Street Inn in nearby Lowell.
Main Street Inn in nearby Lowell.

For more info on nearby Lowell events go to http://www.discoverlowell.org

For more information go to http://www.fallasburg.org.

Copyright (c) 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Message from FHS president Ken Tamke

Come and explore the Fallasburg village today

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.

FHS president Ken Tamke
FHS president Ken Tamke

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.

For more information on the Fallasburg Historical Society go to www.fallasburg.org

For more information on the Fallassburgh Flats, and their season schedule:  fallassburgflats@gmail.com

We hope to see you out there!

Ken Tamke, President

Fallasburg Historical Society

Copyright (c) 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.