Stop by today at the FHS booth by the Showboat. Board member Craig Fonger will share his historic insights. And you can buy a cookbook or a coin commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Fallasburg Covered Bridge.
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Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) offers tours by appointment
Fallasburg, MI – Book your tour today for a walk through the 1850s historic village of Fallasburg located just six miles north of Lowell on the banks of the Flat River. You will be delighted by the quaint atmosphere of the hamlet far from the maddening crowds of big cities as you step back in time. The village, which started as a saw-and-grist milling operation, has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1999.
The tour will take you from the one-room schoolhouse with the belfry and the original desks down the Covered Bridge Road past the historic buildings: the Misner House, the recently renovated Tower Farm and the J.W. Fallass House.
The Misner House is home to the village artifacts; these include treasures such as the Fallasburg Footprints, WWI Women’s Registration Cards among many others.
Welcome to our series “Tales From the Burg” designed to connect the readers with the Fallasburg Historical Society’s (FHS) prescious treasure of artifacts known as Collective Access. You can find individual artifacts by clicking the link below:
The series will have the logo of Mr. Goodsell’s letter.We encourage your input and feedbackby commenting below or on social media. Enjoy the first installment about Mr. Goodsell’s memories of the construction of the Fallasburg Covered Bridge.
Tales From the Burg
Flat River Days, Building a Bridge
In 1821, John Orton Goodsell, originally from Oneida, New York and ninth son of Goodsell Family patriarch John Sr., purchased 190 acres in Vergennes Township at the end of what is now known as Beckwith Drive. The property, framed by the Flat River on three sides, looked down upon the river, and what would become the location of the Fallasburg Covered Bridge, gateway to Fallasburg Village founded in 1839 by John Wesley Fallass.
Clark W. Goodsell (C.W.), John Orton Goodsell’s son, was born in 1859, one of two children from his father’s second marriage. The following reflections come in the form of a letter dated August 7, 1932 from C. W., who grew up just a stone’s throw from Fallasburg to Villager Hermann Jones. Here are links to the original letter and land abstract from the Fallasburg Historical Society Collection.
Dear Sir, I received your letter O.K. but have been busy of late fishing for company.
Well, I guess I know more about Fallassburg than anyone left now. I was born up on the hill west of the
Burg in 1859, so I can remember a lot. On a 2 X 4 on the northwest side of the old bridge is my name dated June 18TH, 1880, the day I first left home.
That bridge was built by a Frenchman by the name of Jerard Buzee. He built 9 such bridges after Flat River. That bridge was built 1867 as near as I can make out. I was about 8 years old when Buzee and his crew boarded at our house while they framed the bridge.
I rode rafts of lumber down the Flat before they ran any logs, many times. Ed Lewis, Charlie Richmond, and I have rode over the shoot on logs when we were boys. I could ride anything that would hold me up or wore hair. I rode a horse for John Fallass in the first fair at Lowell. I weighed 48 pounds, so small they had to strap me on. I rode runners until I was 26. John Wright can tell you about my riding. Give Billie Rex my regards.
Four other bridges (not covered) preceded the Fallasburg Covered Bridge, the very first being built in 1839. By 1849 the first two had failed. The third bridge, a sturdier affair, lasted until 1860. Enter bridge builder Jared N. Brasee & Co. For $249.50, Brasee reconstructed the third bridge, now the fourth to span the Flat River. In the spring and into summer of 1871, for $1,500, Brasee & Co. built the fifth-the Fallasburg Covered Bridge. Villager, F.A. Geill adorned the portals of the bridge in 1872 with the signs, “$5 Fine for Driving on This Bridge Faster Than A Walk”, which are still in place today.
2021 will mark the 150TH Anniversary of the Fallasburg Covered Bridge
It is hard to ignore that Villager, Hermann Jones, recipient of C.W. Goodsell’s letter in 1932 was not related somehow to Frank Jones. Jones ran a General Store and a Tavern in Fallasburg Village in the mid-to-late 1800’s, was an avid hunter, fisherman, and trapper, living in a variety of dwellings within the Village, one of which was a small summer cottage on River St. sitting just above the covered bridge. Here’s a picture of Frank Jones with his Flat River bounty, a Pike as tall as he is:
Descendants of the Goodsell Family are today, still present in West Michigan and beyond. The farmhouse John Orton Goodsell built in the early 1820’s stood until 1950 when the property was purchased by Clarence and Stella Bradshaw. Unable to save the original, the Bradshaw’s had to tear it down and start again. Here is the 125-year-old Goodsell Farmhouse in 1950 before, and the Bradshaw home in 1951 after.
Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Fallasburg, MI -The following information is from Faded Footsteps website by Alan Teelander of Lowell. Teelander is dedicated to compiling military information on veterans from all over the USA.
World War II
Conrad Allan Bradshaw, US Navy, World War 2, Lowell, MI 49331 N42°59.034, W085°19.109
Conrad Allan Bradshaw in the U.S., Naval Intelligence Personnel Duty Locations and China Muster Rolls, 1942-1945 Record Image Index-only record Add alternate information Report issue Name: C A Bradshaw Rank or Rate: Ensign Branch of Service: United States Navy Arrival Date: 1 Apr 1944 Muster Roll Date: 30 Apr 1944 Duty Unit or Comments: Personnel In India Duty Location: Calcutta, India
C A Bradshaw in the U.S., Naval Intelligence Personnel Duty Locations and China Muster Rolls, 1942-1945 Record Image Index-only record Add alternate information Report issue Name: C A Bradshaw Rank or Rate: Ensign Branch of Service: United States Navy Muster Roll Date: 17 Oct 1944 Duty Unit or Comments: Change Rank To Lieutenant Jr. Grade
C A Bradshaw in the U.S., Naval Intelligence Personnel Duty Locations and China Muster Rolls, 1942-1945 Record Image Index-only record Add alternate information Report issue Name: C A Bradshaw Rank or Rate: Lieutenant Jr. Grade Branch of Service: United States Navy Muster Roll Date: 30 Nov 1944 Duty Location: Calcutta, India
C A Bradshaw in the U.S., Naval Intelligence Personnel Duty Locations and China Muster Rolls, 1942-1945 Record Image Index-only record Add alternate information Report issue Name: C A Bradshaw Rank or Rate: Lieutenant Jr. Grade Branch of Service: United States Navy Arrival Date: 1 Apr 1944 Muster Roll Date: 31 Dec 1944 Duty Location: Jorh, India
C A Bradshaw in the U.S., Naval Intelligence Personnel Duty Locations and China Muster Rolls, 1942-1945 Record Image Index-only record Add alternate information Report issue Name: C A Bradshaw Rank or Rate: Lieutenant Jr. Grade Branch of Service: United States Navy Muster Roll Date: 31 Aug 1945 Duty Location: Jorh, India
Civil War veteran
George Rummel (Rommel), Company K, 16th Michigan Infantry, Fallasburg, Michigan 49331
George was born in Germany as was his wife Anna Spencer as evidenced by son George Rummel Jr’s death certificate (in the gallery).
U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865 about George Rummel Name: George Rummel Side: Union Regiment State/Origin: Michigan Regiment Name: 16 Michigan Infantry Regiment Name Expanded: 16th Regiment, Michigan Infantry Company: K Rank In: Private Rank In Expanded: Private Rank Out: Private Rank Out Expanded: Private Alternate Name: George/Rommel Film Number: M545 roll 36
The 2nd annual Fallasburg village bazaar will be held on Sept. 17th & Sept.18th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the historical village located in the northeast corner of Kent County.
Fallasburg Covered Bridge connects to the past.
Fallassburgh Flats vintage baseball team
Cross the covered bridge into the 1850s pioneer village founded by John W. Fallass. You will immerse yourself in historical atmosphere of a time gone by. Get your Christmas shopping done early here at the village bazaar.
“In my opinion, the village is a more relaxed atmosphere. One of my favorite parts of last year’s event, was the camaraderie among the vendors – most of us had not met prior to the event! I am happy to share that a number of vendors this year, were vendors last year,” said bazaar organizer Michelle Emaus.
The Fallasburgh Flats vintage base ball team will play the last game of the season on Sept. 17th.
Share the Fallasburg Historical Society message with your friends. Follow us on social media, sign up for the Fallasburg Today E-newsletter to stay in the loop.
Watch for full story with a list of vendors coming soon. What would you like to see at the village bazaar?
Note: This is the second part of a story about a former Calvin College history intern Katelyn Bosch. Bosch completed her internship at the Lowell Area Historical Museum and the Fallasburg Historical Society this summer.
Bosch has laid a foundation for future organizing and computerizing of the FHS artifacts dating back to 1839 when John W. Fallass came to the site.
Fallasburg, MI -The internship has strengthened the bond between the two like-minded organizations, FHS and LAHM, while collectively taking part in preserving, and disseminating the knowledge of the local history, according to FHS president Ken Tamke.
It is the hope that the project of cataloguing and digitalizing the FHS artifacts will continue through another internship.
“It’s been wonderful to experience the whole process of accessing the artifacts and to be the person touching them,” said Bosch. “I’ve enjoyed meeting all the people like Ken and Lisa, who are passionate about this. They were mentors to me.”
Bosch, who will study public history at the West Virginia University in a two-year program views history as an intellectually dynamic field.
“I like to see how people interacted,” she said. “The public history field is very interdisciplinary. It’s about culture, economics and political systems.”
That fits in well with Bosch’s love to travel. She took an off-campus program in Great Britain about British film and media.
“The Internet is the key to get publicity and to find out about history,” she said.
Bosch said she would volunteer again at the local small town museums.
The Fallasburg village, although frozen in time, is moving ahead with its artifacts and pioneer stories coming alive due to modern technology. As such, the village stands at the intersection of two major study disciplines: strategic communications and history.
“It’s interesting how people will be looking to find historical documents in the right place,” Bosch said.
“The Past Online” project is currently under development, according to LAHM director Lisa Plank. “We will be making an announcement when it’s ready.”
However, in the meantime, a lot of historical facts, documents and pictures can be found on social media like Pinterest. You can go to Pinterest and put in the keywords Fallasburg or Fallasburg Historical Village, and you will find a collection of information pertaining to the village. You can also contribute your news and artifacts pertaining to Fallasburg.
Bosch said that the FHS needs to be as interactive as possible with the public.
“It’s a neat set up here already, you have the main town street preserved and the museum buildings,” she said. “The covered bridge is a huge asset to the village.”
FHS seeks input on annual Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour in a survey
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
The enclosed link to the survey will help improve the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) signature event. That is the annual Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour (FCBBT) held mostly on the Sunday following the July 4th holiday.
Fallasburg bike tour 2016 registration with Tina Siciliano Cadwallader & Devon Siciliano.
Lunch stop at the Misner House museum.
The routes have been designed for all riders regardless the level of experience. The shorter 12 & 28 mile routes are great for families. The 12-mile route is a loop around the beautiful Fallasburg Park located in northeast Kent County. The 28-mile route goes from the Fallasburg Covered Bridge to the Ada Covered Bridge. All routes are on paved roads and they include public bathroom stops.
The FHS makes every effort to assist riders in need with SAG (supportandgear) aka broom wagon.
Mark your calendars for the next FHS event. The 2nd annual Fallasburg Village Bazaar will be held on Sept.17 & 18 in the historic village of Fallasburg. So, come and explore our house museums: the one room schoolhouse, the Fallass House & the Misner House.
Don’t forget to stop by the Fallassburgh Field to see the vintage Fallassburgh Flats base ball team play the game without gloves on Sept. 17.
Follow us on twitter @fallasburg, #fallasburg, #puremichigan, and on other social media.
Please fill out the survey by clicking on the link. The survey is a public document for anyone to see.
Fallasburg, MI- Bicycle riders from all over Michigan flocked to the historic village of Fallasburg nestled on the banks of the Flat River three miles northeast of Lowell on Sunday last week.
It was a perfect day. Not too hot, not too cold. A mild breeze curled the water in the Flat River. The trees bowed their crowns over the Fallasburg museum buildings and the banks of the river. The sun, already high up at 8:30 am, cast its golden rays in between the leaves of oaks and maples.
Several bikers ahead of me pedaled through the Fallasburg Covered Bridge much like the early settlers rode on their horses and in coaches.
The atmosphere hasn’t changed. You hear the wheels hitting the wooden deck of the bridge and rolling slowly, no more than five miles an hour, over the planks.
You emerge on the other side of the river in full morning light. And a new day is born.
The bikers registered for the 22nd annual Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour (CBBT) at the one-room schoolhouse museum. The bike tour is the signature fundraising event for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS).
Registrar Tina Siciliano Cadwallader with niece Devon Siciliano were ready sitting behind the school teacher’s desk with an antique lamp.
They had already launched 62 riders with more streaming in by the minute.Outside the schoolhouse, FHS treasurer Alan Rumbaugh handed out route maps.
According to Rumbaugh, the most popular ride was the 50-mile route.
“Yes, I am the map guy,” he said. “You might as well go 50 rather than just 28. It’s a pretty day to do this.”
For Lisa Pohlad of Grand Rapids this was the third year on the Fallasburg CBBT. Pohlad, who was riding solo, decided for the 50-mile route to Coldwater and back to Fallasburg. However, even some tandem bikers picked the 50 route.
“I am doing the 50 route again,” she said. “It’s a great ride.”
Pohlad didn’t think anything needed to be improved with the event.
“It’s good as it is,” she said.
Most registering bikers asked about root beer which was the paired beverage to the Italian lunch. According to volunteers, the root beer is the jewel of the ride.
“Come early or we run out,” said FHS president Ken Tamke.
Tamke said he was worried about how many riders will participate.
“It’s like having a party and nobody shows up,” he joked.
Tamke along with Frank Brechbiel do the SAG (Support and Gear) aka broom wagon ride assisting bikers who need help en route. They sweep the routes for riders who are unable to continue or those who have technical difficulties.
Back at the Misner House museum it started getting busy around noon with hungry bikers flocking to the porch. FHS volunteer Dottie Blain was manning the buffet station. Blain made her excellent meatballs that are also served at the annual Christmas party on the second Saturday in December.
FHS volunteer Patty Brechbiel was in charge of catering the meal for some 120 riders. This included 10 gallons of pasta sauce doctored up for taste with herbs and spices.
“That’s unacceptable to leave it just from the jars,” she said.
Brechbiel was stationed with her grill by the famous Sprecker’s root beer keg from Wisconsin.
“One year we didn’t have it and it was a big disappointment for riders,” she said.
Typically, the crew serves food until 4 p.m.
Enjoying his meatball & spaghetti meal after a 62-mile ride, Jim Steenwyk of Dorr was no newcomer to the tour. Steenwyk, 74, is a member of the Rapid Wheelman biking group. He’s been riding bicycles since he turned three.
“What about your knees,” I asked. “I had to stop riding because of my knees.”
Steenwyk shook his head and sighed.
“Most people are not trained properly to ride a bike,” he said. “You put torque on your knees. It’s all in shifting.”
Steenwyk has 27 gears on his Camden road bicycle.
And what’s the future for the tour?
According to Tamke, some routes may get revamped while staying local. The organizers are considering a new route to Whites Bridge with a kayaking option.
“We attract a niche of riders every year,” Tamke said. “Come and join us for the 23rd annual bike tour.”
The 23rd Fallasburg Covered Bridge bike tour will be held on Sunday, July 9th with registration from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the one-room schoolhouse museum.
Note: Help the FHS improve the bike tour. We are looking for your feedback. Fill out our survey. Thank you.