FHS reaches out to students, groups and public at large
By Emma Palova
Fallasburg, MI- You don’t have to be a member to explore the treasures of the Fallasburg historical village or visit the schoolhouse museum open on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. You can make an appointment for a tour with your group, friends and students and visit anytime.
In an effort to reach out to the young generation, the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) will give a lesson in history and a tour through the one room schoolhouse to the first graders from Murray Lake Elementary on May 18.
The tour will expose the young ones to a bygone, more simple era without modern gadgets and technology.
The one-room schoolhouse was constructed in 1867. Founder of the Fallasburg village John Wesley Fallas settled the village in 1840 and donated the land for the construction of a village schoolhouse.
The school building remained in use as a day school, church, Sunday school, and revival center until 1979. It was converted into a museum to house the Lowell area artifacts in 1981. The Fallasburg School has a historical significance as one of the oldest schoolhouse buildings in the Lowell area.
School House Museum – open Sundays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. -with free admission.
Stay tuned for stories from Fallasburg with fourth generation resident Addie Tower Abel. Abel went to the one-room schoolhouse all the way through 8th grade. Abel along with Dottie Blain are avid FHS volunteers. Abel’s mother started the FHS in 1965.
“You have to come to a certain age to appreciate it,” Abel said.
For a tour appointment e-mail Ken Tamke at email@example.com or Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow us on social media, facebook and twitter @fallasburg, #fallasburg, #fallasburgbiketour, #fallasburgmuseum, #fallasburgbazaar and more.
Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Pedal through the beautiful countryside at your own pace
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Lowell, MI- The 22nd annual Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour is set for Sunday, July 10th with registration in person at the one-room schoolhouse from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Pre- registration online is at http://www.fallasburg.org or at the Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour page for $25 per individual, $35 for family before July 6th. After the deadline and in person, there will be an additional $5 charge.
There are several tour options ranging from 12 miles to 100 miles.
The most traveled route is the 28-mile route to Ada and back from the Fallasburg Covered Bridge to the Ada Covered Bridge , according to Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) president Ken Tamke,“It is a reasonably flat and easy ride for families and casual riders,” said Tamke.
The second most popular route is the South 50, which travels along rivers and streams through beautiful farmland.
Although the main reason to bike any of the routes is fitness, the camaraderie and feeling of accomplishment and adventure of a bicycle tour with friends or family is even better.
“It is exhilarating and exciting to set out on a journey and successfully attain your goal, whether it be 12 miles, 28 miles, 50 miles or 100,” said Tamke.
The Covered Bridge Bike Tour has grown from just a handful of registrants to 253 registrants last year. But, 250 registrants means 300 plus riders as family registrations can cover multiple riders.
“We’ve had modest gains, with more people joining the fun each year,” said Tamke.
The riders can select the distance they wish to ride from 12 miles to 100. They can also combine routes to get some variety. The 12-mile route climbs up Covered Bridge Road, over MacPherson to Sayles, then along the Flat River into Lowell and back to the village via Lincoln Lake.
The 28-mile route travels into Lowell along Lincoln Lake, then west along Grand River to Ada Park. The half-way point and rest stop is at the Ada Covered Bridge. The route follows the same path back to Fallasburg.
The 50-mile route south follows the same route as the 28, but turns south at Buttrick and heads down to 100th, then back east to Alden Nash and back up to Lowell and Lincoln Lake.
The 50-mile north route follows briefly the same path as the 12, but continues on into Ionia with a rest stop at the Blanchard House, then on to Saranac and back to Lowell along Riverside and eventually to the Fallasburg Village.
Last year approximately 20 riders completed the 100. They do the South 50 in the morning and the North 50 in the afternoon.
All proceeds from the bike tour go for the continued preservation of Fallasburg Village. The historical society uses the funds to maintain properties and implement educational programs. Fallasburg Historical Society is an all-volunteer organization so monies collected don’t pay a salary, but pay to fix things and teach people about Fallasburg history.
All routes begin and end in Fallasburg Village. The Misner House is the command center and serves as an outdoor lunchroom.
Dorothy “Dottie” Blain cooks a country-style Italian spaghetti and meatball feast and its vegetarian version with garlic bread and strawberry shortcake for dessert.
“Our riders absolutely rave about our food,” said Tamke. Additionally, all routes offer home-baked goodies, fruit and water or Gatorade at rest stops along the way. Each route has a rest stop.
Late Priscilla Lussmeyer came up with the idea of having a bike ride as a fundraiser for the society 22 years ago. She enlisted the help of one of her many friends who was into biking as a means to raise money for the society. It has grown steadily from there.
Tamke is hoping for 275 registrants and over 300 riders, 75 degrees, sunny and no humidity or wind – a perfect West Michigan day.
“I hope no one gets hurt, everyone has a fantastic time and tell all their friends about it so they can participate in the 23rd annual Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour,” said Tamke.
Tour options (in miles): 12, 28, 40, 50, 62, 78 or 100.
Registration fee: $25 for individuals / $35 for families.
For more information, call Ken Tamke at 616-682-0785 or e-mail email@example.com
Directions to Fallasburg
From Lowell: North approximately 3 miles to Fallasburg Park Drive.
Right to entrance of park. Angle right on Covered Bridge Road.
Over covered bridge to schoolhouse. Park in field across the street.
There will be county road signs on Lincoln Lake Road and Fallasburg Park Drive, alerting you to Park/Bridge/Historic Village.
Follow FHS and the Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour on twitter @fallasburg #fallasburg #fallasburgbiketour #fallasburghistory #fallas and other social media.
Copyright (c) 2016. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Lowell, MI-I was pleasantly surprised last night when I received an update from Germany about the making of the bridge model.
Bene Hofmann sent me photos of the replica well on its way now. It is three feet long and six inches wide and in height. The floor is out of oak and the truss sides out of pine.
“It’s been a lot of fun working on the model,” Hofmann said. “It will take a while.”
Hofmann used the 1994 rehabilitation plans of the covered bridge from the Kent County Road Commission to scale the project.
His professor told Hofmann about the covered bridges during his visit. Out of all the covered bridges in the USA, Hofmann picked the one located three miles northeast of Lowell in Kent County.
The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) is very pleased that the signature landmark will put its imprint abroad as well.
The bridge is the pride of the FHS and the entire area. Annually it serves as a venue for many events such as the Covered Bridge Bike Tour in July, the Fall Festival for the Arts in September and the Fallasburg Village Bazaar.
Copyright (c) 2016. All rights reserved Emma Blogs, LLC.
From obscurity to social media & eblitz, FHS launches E-newsletter Fallasburg Today on 10-1-2015
By Emma Palova
Lowell, MI- The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) has emerged from a forgotten 1830s pioneer village of the past as a leader of historic preservation into the future. The vibrant society has 50 years of experience in the field, an active board, volunteers, members, sponsors and supporters.
The FHS president Ken Tamke took the lead in getting the society on the fast track with social media marketing and blogging after a stagnant struggle to increase public awareness.
The FHS website at fallasburg.org with a Facebook page plug-in and a donate paypal button is stocked with good information, but lacks the dynamics and connectivity of blogging and social media blitz.
“Our goal is to double the membership and increase the participation in our events,” said Tamke, “to build up on our current events and new events.”
As of today, Oct. 1 the FHS has a brand new E-newsletter with all the sharing buttons. Partners and sponsors images are linked to their websites.
“We’re very excited about the progress we have made since the inception of the society in 1965,” he writes in his president’s message.
The new Fallasburg bazaar held in September generated a definite interest in the village. Twenty people came from a distance looking for the historical buildings, according to pioneer bazaar vendors.
“We met our goals of increasing public awareness of the village of Fallasburg,” said FHS marketer Emma Palova of Emma Blogs, LLC. “We will continue to move forward with our projects.”
And it is a long list of projects with funding yet to emerge. The FHS will pursue grant funding from local and regional sources, donors and sponsorship.
The ongoing repair of the Tower Farm with a price tag of $100,000 has been on the FHS radar screen for a long time. The roof has been repaired, but the rest of the exterior and interior need work.
The archived materials need to be transferred into digital form. An intern from the Lowell Area Historical Museum will be working on that, according to Tamke.
An E-brochure “Fallasburg Today” and an E-book “50 Years of Fallasburg Historic Preservation” (c) and a mobile app are in the works.
The Fallasburg Today blog will introduce a new “Fall back in time” (c) reading series from the news and the FHS archives to get through the long winter months. This will dovetail with the E-book project.
“My goal is to transport the readers of this series back in time when John Fallas founded the village in 1800s,” said Palova, “But I want to keep it lively and entertaining with a dramatic twist.”
The series was inspired by the Bannister community of Czech origin keeping the Czech agricultural heritage alive in the middle of nowhere.
The FHS is also a part of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network that links together small town museums in Barry, Ionia, Kent & Montcalm counties. The network of 27 museums is located along the Flat, Grand and Thornapple Rivers.
Chair Sally Johnson said she will present the proposed “Fall Back in Time” 2016 tour at the joint meeting in Grattan Township on Oct. 20 at 10 a.m.
The tour would be modeled after the successful “Spring into the Past” museum tour in May.