Guardians of History

I am so excited about our new video “Guardians of History.”

Here is a sneak preview on You Tube:

https://youtu.be/DKw3aEQrzS420180509_1059491048618129.jpg

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24th Annual Covered Bridge Bike Tour

Mark your calendars

Join us for the 24rd Annual Covered Bridge Bike Tour!

Pedal through the beautiful countryside at your own pace.

Date: Sunday, July 8, 2018

Fallasburg historic village is located three miles north of Lowell, Michigan.

Registration: At the school house from 7-9 a.m.
You can also register online by filling out the form below on the Fallasburg website:

http://www.fallasburg.org

For application and waiver go to: http://www.fallasburg.org/bike-tour/

Start location: 13944 Covered Bridge Road, Lowell, MI 49331

Tour options (in miles): 12, 28, 40, 50, 62, 78, 100

Registration fee: $25 for individuals / $35 for family
After deadline (July 2): $30 for individuals / $40 for family

More information: Ken Tamke 616-682-0785 kentamke@comcast.net

Directions to Fallasburg from Lowell:
North approximately 3 miles to Fallasburg Park Drive.
Right to entrance to park.
Angle right on Covered Bridge Road.
Over covered bridge to school house. Park in field across the street.
*Look for county signs alerting you to the Park/Bridge/Historic Village.

Bike Tour Release & Registration

Please submit this form to register if you are not using Paypal.
You may also print this page & bring it to the event or mail it to:
Ken Tamke
215 Greentree Ct NE
Ada, MI 49301-9709
Disclaimer form

All participants must sign the release at the event. (See below.) Payment is for registration purposes only.

Release:
As a participating rider in the Covered Bridge Bike Tour, I understand that:
Riding a bicycle on public streets can be dangerous to my personal safety.
I will wear an ANSI or SNELL approved helmet during the tour.
I will ride according to vehicle codes.
The routes will be over public streets and road exposed to traffic. Some may have cracks, potholes, manhole covers, drainage gates, poorly-maintained railroad crossings, loose gravel, foreign objects and aggressive animals.
I understand that none of the sponsors or organizers can guarantee my safety while participating in such an event.

Parent/guardian signature required for applicants under 18 years. Riders under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult.

By signing/submitting this form, I agree to release from liability the Fallasburg Historical Society, the organizers, the sponsors and the workers for any injuries or harm sustained as a participant in this tour.

  • Name *
    First
  • Last
  • Address

    Street 

    CityState / Province / RegionPostal / Zip Code

    Email *

  • Phone
  • Please select:
  • Individual Rider
    Family
  • Please list rider names & ages.
    Riders in my party are:

    Registration form

    Fallas CBBT-inside-2018(1)

    Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Great finds at Fallasburg village

Historical team finds forgotten treasures, a historian’s dream

By Emma Palova

Fallasburg, MI – During the recent digital cataloging of Fallasburg artifacts, the historical team discovered forgotten treasures from Vergennes Township.

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The treasure hunters: Lisa Plank, Ken Tamke and Calvin intern Grace Bolt.

These included  a remarkable collection of Women’s Committee for the National Council of Defense index cards filled out by women from Vergennes Township in support of World War I in 1917. The Vergennes Township Clerk/Registrar was responsible for undertaking this survey and completing the index cards from women in the community. The collection includes many recognizable names in the community.

Calvin College history intern Grace Bolt resumed the painstaking process of entering the data for Fallasburg artifacts at the Lowell Area Historical Museum (LAHM).  She was working under the mentorship of Lisa Plank (LAHM) executive director and Ken Tamke, Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) president for 14 weeks.

This was the third year of digital cataloging of Fallasburg artifacts in cooperation with  the Calvin College History Department.

“I was familiar with the process of entering stuff like description, dimensions, pictures and saving it,” Bolt said.

Bolt got hands on experience doing museum work as she helped to get the collection organized and to be a part of preserving history.

“This is a historian’s dream out here,” she said about Fallasburg village. “Everything is digitally captured.”

“This will also make the collection accessible to the public,” said Tamke. “Many forgotten treasures were rediscovered in our schoolhouse files.”

The other great finds were Vergennes Women’s Cooperative yearbooks, Flaunting a forgotten era, old leather-bound property tax ledgers, accounting ledgers, and log books of school board minutes, some dating back to the late 1800s.

The Vergennes Women’s Cooperative archives of yearbooks go back to 1850.

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FHS president Ken Tamke holds a box with Women’s Cooperative yearbooks.

“It’s a  valuable cache of Vergennes Township history,” said Tamke.

These items were stored in the basement of the Misner House.  They sat there until 2007 or 2008, safe, but not in a climate controlled environment.

“We noticed signs of deterioration,” he said. “We did retain some of the historical treasures in the schoolhouse.”

Now, the historical treasures will remain in a climate controlled environment stored in proper boxes.

Plank said it was an opportunity for Fallasburg to get their collections organized.

“It benefited all sides,” said Plank. “Fallasburg will have proper archival storage.”

Both FHS and LAHM with digital cataloging have more resources available now.

The largest collection of the WWI support cards is at the  Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council.

For more info go to https://www.ggrwhc.org/projects/wwi/

or

Grand Rapids Public Library

https://grpl.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16055coll5

The Fallasburg Historical Museum, the one-room schoolhouse opens for the season on June 3rd from 2 to 4 p.m. Plan your visit today.

 

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

FHS annual meeting

Mark your calendars for the Annual General Meeting of the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) on Monday, June 18th.

The meeting will be held at the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce at 7 p.m.

The purpose of the Annual General Meeting is to identify and to present to the general membership, a slate of candidates for election to the FHS board.

“Additionally, it is a forum for our membership to lend its voice and to get involved,” Ken Tamke, FHS president said. “Please join us to help preserve historic Fallasburg Village.”

The one-room schoolhouse museum opens for the season on June 3rd from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  It will be open every Sunday through September. Plan your visit with us this summer and fall.

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Fashions through the Ages

Put Fallasburg pioneer village on your spring museum tour this weekend.

emmapalova

Fashions @Fallasburg inside the John W. Fallas House

Immerse yourself into an era when ladies wore hats and gloves for a night out on the town.

The theme of fashion again dominates this year’s “Spring into the Past” museum tour.

Hop on the tour this weekend of 30 participating museums of the Tri-River Museum Network.

You will discover treasures in artifacts and they may inspire you.

Craft your own tour using the map from http://www.commoncorners.com

You can pick up a print booklet at any of the locations.

The museums will be open on Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm, on Sunday from noon to 5 pm.

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Spring into the Past museum tour

Visit Fallasburg pioneer village during your museum tour

Fallasburg, MI – As you plot your museum tour this weekend, stop by in the Fallasburg pioneer village just three miles north of Lowell.

Just cross the Covered Bridge into the 1837 village founded by John W. Fallas. You will have stepped back in time.

You will marvel at the historic treasures like the one-room schoolhouse, the Misner House, the John W. Fallas House and the Tower Farm & barn, all preserved under the auspices of the  Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS).

“Spring Into the Past” is a tour of the museums of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network in Barry, Eaton, Ionia, Kent and Montcalm counties.

The Tower Barn

“We’re continuing last year’s theme of “Fashions through the Ages” with many new displays as our member museums or historical societies roll out their red carpet to show off the unique history of their communities during this annual event,” said  Tri-River Museums Network spokesperson Judy Gager.

Get a descriptive booklet at any of the museums or plan your tour beforehand by downloading a copy of a map at http://www.commoncorners.com

Visit TriRiver on Facebook, too.

Beach wear, bustles and bridal gowns – a variety of timeless “Fashions Through the Ages” will be visible in the museums of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network during the annual museum tour.

The quaint museums are as versatile as the fashions, located in former vintage homes, meeting halls, stores and depots in small communities throughout the Tri-River Network.

Participating museums in the Spring into the Past Tri-River Museums Network.

“They all are eager to share the history of their community both past and present,” said Gager.

Museum hours are usually also varied, but during this annual event all museums are open the same days and hours so visitors can tour several the same day:  Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm and Sunday from noon to 5 pm.

“Fallasburg always Partakes in this annual tour,” said FHS spokesperson Emma Palova.

Get an informational booklet at any museum. Museums are free, but donations are certainly appreciated!

 

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

Happy Easter 2018

Happy Easter to everyone from the Fallasburg Historical Society. May you spend it peacefully with family and friends.

Come and visit with us during the Spring into the Past museum tour through the Tri-River Museums Network on May 5 through May 6.

For more info go to Fallasburg Today at http://fallasburgtoday.org or

http://www.fallasburg.org

Copyright (c)2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

FHS President’s spring message

Remembering Mr. Edwin Roth

It is with heavy heart that I write my spring message. Charter member of the West Central Michigan Historical Society, former President of the succeeding Fallasburg Historical Society, and lifetime champion of the cause of preservation, Edwin Roth passed away March 8Th at 98 years old. To say Ed lived life to the fullest would be a vast understatement. His spirit will of course live on, his legacy, one of many, Fallasburg Village today.

fallas ken headshot
FHS president Ken Tamke

Everyone who knew Ed Roth has a story. His easy-going, self-effacing manner made you comfortable when you were around him, his sense of humor ever-present. I believe we all marveled at his longevity in our individual quests to find the fountain of youth. Ed’s answer was simple, eat right, live clean, and another nugget he shared with me last Christmas with a large smile, “Don’t go to Doctors”! That was Ed.

I wasn’t around when Ed Roth staked the National Historic Site Marker at the John Wesley Fallas house which was undergoing a major restoration in the 1990’s. I was around when Ed accepted the award from the Michigan Barn Preservation Network for “Barn of the Year,” 2014, recognizing the Fallasburg Historical Society’s work on the Tower Barn. These projects, amongst so many others, we’re the labor of Ed Roth’s love, and he maintained a strong and steady hand in all of them. Thank you, Edwin Roth! You are irreplaceable!

Fallasburg Historical Society-Ed Roth Picture (1) resized

The clipping is from the FHS scrapbook’ circa 1990.

“I ran across some really great stuff,” said FHS president Ken Tamke. “Pretty much all newspaper clippings that chronicle the history of the West Central Michigan Historical Society from the mid-60s and then FHS through the late 90s.”

The historic district status was awarded in 1999.

Calvin College students tour Fallasburg pioneer village

Still in the firm grasp of winter cold, but on a bright and sunny day, the Calvin College History Department’s “Public History” class visited Fallasburg on January 17TH. Professor Kate VanLiere’s students, as part of a month-long intensive study course stopped first at the Lowell Area Historical Museum to get a look at the inside workings of a small museum and a grand tour from Executive Director, Lisa Plank. Then it was on to Fallasburg for a walking tour with yours truly and their outside look at our National Historic District. The group of 30 briefly popped their heads in the door of the Schoolhouse, Misner House, and Fallas House. With FHS’ small museums in hibernation for the winter, and each property unheated, it was actually colder inside than out. Our brisk walk was appreciated and gave our visitors an overview of the entire Village from Fallas Barn to Covered Bridge.

Calvin College students
Calvin College students tour Fallasburg villlage.

FHS gets intern to assist in digital cataloging

For the third consecutive year, the Calvin College History Department has provided a student intern for the Winter/Spring term to assist FHS with our digital cataloging of documents, photographs, and artifacts. Under the tutelage and mentorship of Lisa Plank at LAHM, this year’s intern, Grace Bolt, has focused on the treasures contained in the School. Most remarkable have been the handwritten Attendance Ledgers which chronicle Fallasburg School students, school year by school year, back to the early 1900’s, all completed by the teacher of the day. Grace has painstakingly recorded and photographed the logs. She could now tell you, if you went to Fallasburg School, when you were absent, and what ailed, lots of Chicken Pox, Mumps, and Measles. With a keen interest in Geography as well as History, tech-savvy Grace is working to create an online aerial view map of Fallasburg that highlights all its historic sites, buildings standing or not.

Pictured above Mr. Ed Roth at Lowell Expo 2017 with daughter Jeanne Vandersloot, and FHS members Tracy Worthington and Al Rumbaugh.

Say Hello:

Fallasburg Historical Society, Table #129, at the Lowell Community Expo, Saturday, March 24, from 9AM – 3PM, Lowell High School.

Come Visit:

Fallasburg Village comes out of hibernation, Saturday, 11AM – 5PM & Sunday, 12PM – 5PM, May 5 & 6, the first weekend in May! We’ll participate in the Tri-Rivers Museum Network’s, “Spring into the Past” event. 41 small local museums team up and open up-free of charge!

Sincerely,

Ken

About the feature photo: Mr. Ed Roth with Randy Mouw, Barncats Contractor who fixed the Tower Barn, accepting Barn of the Year award for 2014 from the Michigan Barn Preservation Network.

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Mr. Edwin Roth

Edwin Christian Roth, the founding member of the Fallasburg Historical Society,  passed away on March 8, 2018

Members of the FHS express deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Roth.

Edwin Roth
Edwin Christian Roth

Full obituary

Roth, Edwin Christian Age 98, passed away on March 8, 2018. He is survived by his 3 children, Steven & Barbara Roth, Jeanne Vandersloot, Nancy & Michael Moore, sisters-in-law June Roth and Phyllis Petersen, grandchildren Aaron & Barb Roth, Aletha & John VanValkenburg, Ryan & Renae Roth, Kyle Roth, Trenton & Jessica Roth, Nicholas & Missy Vandersloot, Nathan & Beth Moore and Brett & Melanie Moore and 18 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Doris June Roth, her parents Arthur and Ila Edmonds, his parents Godfrey and Rose Roth, son-in law Glenn Vandersloot and brothers Fred, Alfred, Rudy, Walter and sister June Houser.

Visitation will be at Roth-Gerst Chapel at 305 N Hudson, Lowell on Friday March 16 from 2:00-4:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm. The funeral service will be at the First United Methodist Church at 621 E Main, Lowell on Saturday March 17 at 11:00 am with visitation one hour before the service at the church. Rev. Brad Brillhart officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Lowell FFA, Fallasburg Historical Society, Lowell Historical Society or Lowell Arts.

His parents came from Switzerland in 1909 and met on the boat immigrating to America, and settled in Michigan. Ed was born August 20, 1919 on the original family farm in the Clarksville area. His parents later bought the farm north of Lowell and packed up all the children and belongings and went by horses pulling sledded wagons to the new family farm. Ed then grew up on the dairy farm north of Lowell and began helping to milk the cows at age 11.

The family only spoke Swiss and learned English while attending the one room country school. There was no electricity at that time. Food was grown on the farm with fruit and nut trees, a large garden, chickens and other farm animals along with the dairy cattle for milk production. Fields were plowed with horse-drawn equipment. He took a short-course semester at Michigan State University  (MSU) after high school graduation and learned many skills, especially welding, as he ended up repairing items for neighbors and creating whatever he needed for the farm, such as wagons and tractor accessories. He saw the installation of electricity and phone service in later years to the farm. He also has witnessed the greatest time span of technology growth in America during his years of living with farming by hand and horses to huge computer driven tractors.

He met his future wife Doris at the Ramona Park skating rink in Grand Rapids. His introducing line to her was he thought she needed some help skating better. Life on a farm in those days only allowed dating on a Saturday night if all chores were completed. Ed and his brother Rudy ran the farm after their parents retired and moved to Lowell. Ed and Doris married in 1946. When the main barn burned, Ed and Rudy divided the cows and Ed and Doris moved to the adjacent farm 1/2 mile north and farmed with Holstein dairy cows for 50 years. They bought this farm in 1949 and over the years added more acreage from the original 80 to 267 acres. Having knee problems from hand milking, he built the first milking parlor in Ionia County where the milking person stands up instead of kneeling.

He designed and built his own barns from wood sawed from the farm woodlands. He retired from milking in 1981 but continued to help with tractor work into his 90’s as his son Steven had taken over the farm. He cut his own firewood until age 95. He loved to travel and attended the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and several other world fairs and attended almost every National Farm Bureau convention after he retired. He was the oldest Farm Bureau member in Ionia County joining the organization in 1947 for 71 years. Ed and Doris traveled a good portion of the world, with his favorite destination being Switzerland, where he visited many relatives with 4 trips there, and has hosted various Swiss family members in his home also. He was very proud of his full Swiss heritage and still spoke fluent Swiss.

He had a great sense of humor and always had a joke or two to make people laugh. He and Doris were founding members of the Fallasburg Historical Society and he was a member and supporter of the Lowell Historical Society, the Lowell Arts, the Tri-Rivers Historical Society and the FFA program.

“We deeply Sympathize with the family,” FHS spokesperson said.

http://www.gerstfuneralhomes.com

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Tri-River museum network meetings

MEETING DATES FOR 2018 – TRHMN

2/20/2018 Lyons/Muir

3/20/2018 Graan

4/17/2018 Eaton Rapids, Michigan

5/15/2018 Edmore, Pine Forest

Printing Display @Schuler Books

6/14/18 Sunfield, WelchMuseum

7/17/2018 Belding – Annual Luncheon

8/21/2019 Portland

9/18/2108 Byron Center

10/16/2018 Middleville, Barry County

11/13/2018 Cedar Springs

 

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