By Emma Palova
Students from Murray Lake Elementary visited the historic 1850s Fallasburg village for a tour starting at the one-room schoolhouse where they took seats in the old original desks in front of the black chalkboard.
The 1867 schoolhouse came alive as the yellow Lowell Area school bus dropped the kids off and the bell rang to their laughter and chatter.
The one-room schoolhouse is the signature museum of the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) and it remained a functioning school until 1961.
So let the class begin. The teacher and tour guide was Mr. Ken Tamke. Tamke FHS president emeritus and Murray Lake teacher Denise Washburn have established this field trip tradition so long ago that no one can remember.
“This ties into first-grade lesson plans,” Tamke said. “They read Little House on the Prairie.”
Mr. Tamke took the kids by groups on a whirlwind tour through the village where he pointed out the flowering Black Locust tree in front of the newly renovated Tower Farm.
“It is said to be the oldest tree in Michigan,” he said.
At the Misner House, which stores the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) artifacts, the tour took on a funny spin as Mr. Tamke talked about the predecessors of the modern washing machine ( paddle laundry) and microwave.
The 1850 Misner House is the most complete museum in Fallasburg Village with recently installed climate control to preserve the artifacts.
The kids also toured the Fallas House built by founder John Wesley Fallas and his brothers, Silas and Arad in 1842. They loved the wooden “abacus” which was actually used as a wooden playpen to entertain toddlers.
The photo displays on easels attracted the kids’ attention as the closest objects to current times. The tour down the Covered Bridge Rd. included buildings that are part of the village, but not owned by the FHS.
“People live in there?” a child was fascinated in front of the old yellow Stagecoach House aka Fallasburg Inn built in 1859.
And finally, the kids ran across the Covered Bridge only to get fined for crossing at a speed faster than walking.
“I have a dollar,” a child said.
Watch for a story with pictures in the Lowell Ledger.
More action coming from the village as seven-year-old lepidopterist Liam Lopez-Wagner will be planting milkweed as part of his Amigos for Monarchs project on June 11 at 10 am in the historic village.
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