The Covered Bridge Bike Tour, a success in Fallasburg pioneer village & Coldwater Rest Stop
By Emma Palova
Fallasburg- A total of 120 riders participated in the 25th annual Covered Bridge Bike Tour on Sunday, July 7 under the clear blue skies as the humid air chilled down at the one-room schoolhouse registration.
“Thanks to everyone! The 25THBike Tour was truly a great day. We couldn’t have done it without you,” said Ken Tamke, president of the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS).
86 Total Registrations (48 Advance, 38 Walkups)
120 Total Riders (67 Riders Registered in Advance, 53 Riders Walked Up)
Among the favorite routes through the Kent County countryside was the 28-mile route from Fallasburg to Lowell past the Grand River, and along the Grand River Drive to Ada Covered Bridge.
Most of the participants found out about the bike tour from the Michigan League of Bicyclists.
Members of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Paul Guthrie picked the 100-mile route, while Gordy Vader rode the 62-mile route. They loved the homemade food at the Misner House Museum.
“The food is great,” Guthrie said. “We would appreciate re-assurance arrows and GPS map. It’s a great ride.
For Nancy Short who rode the 78-mile route, it was the first time on the CBBT.
“I ditched my friends behind,” she laughed. “I’ve never done a ride that has a homemade spaghetti dinner with tablecloths on the picnic tables.”
Coldwater Rest Stop
Fallasburg Village Bazaar
The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) next event will take place on Sept. 14 and Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find your next treasure at the Fallasburg Village Bazaar.
Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Thanks to everyone who attended the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) Christmas Party. It was the most well attended and festive gathering in our Christmas party throwing history; the bonfire was magnificent.
To all who have renewed memberships, made donations, or volunteered their time to FHS and our cause for preservation of Fallasburg Village in 2018, thank you. We simply can’t do it without your support! Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Thank you to all the volunteers and organizers who made the 24TH Annual Covered Bridge Bike Tour a smashing success. For doing your part to help preserve Historic Fallasburg Village with your registrations, thanks to all our riders, the largest turnout in several years. And, thanks to Mother Nature, you gave us the perfect day for everyone to explore some of West Michigan’s most beautiful scenery.
As we closed up shop at the end of the event we had much to celebrate. Again, our gastronomical goodies from volunteers; the “cookie baker network” cookies and the culinary Italian Country-Style meal served al fresco from our Tuscan kitchens, set our bike tour apart. Not possible to walk away from us hungry!
There were sore muscles that night amongst the tourers I’m sure, but no injuries-0. Two blown tires and a broken chain resulted in rides from our SAG Driver (Support and Guidance) back to Fallasburg Village mid-route for a handful. That was the worst of it. An earlier meal at the Fallasburg Village Cyclist’s Café the consequence.
The Fallasburg Historical Society was pleased to contribute to the League of Michigan Bicyclists, “$1 Per Rider” program helping promote cycling in our State and make Michigan a safer place to cycle as we have since 2010.
Plan for the 25th Annual Covered Bridge Bike Tour
Next years event, the 25TH Annual Covered Bridge Bike Tour on Sunday, July 7, 2019 will be a milestone. Planning has already begun after catching our breath from the 24TH. We always welcome ideas, feedback, and participation as we prepare. Contact us through our website at www.fallasburg.org
Fall for Fallasburg
September and October are visitor favorites for fall color viewing in Fallasburg Village, and of special note are: Saturday & Sunday, September 15 & 16, and Saturday, October 27.
Fallasburg Village Bazaar set for Sept. 15 & Sept. 16
On Saturday & Sunday, September 15 & 16, the 50TH Fallasburg Fall Festival of the Arts will unfold in adjacent Fallasburg Park. Venture just across the Fallasburg Covered Bridge from the park after art, get a little history, and take a step back in time. From 10:00AM – 5:00PM both days, the Fallasburg Historical Society Bazaar offers self-guided walking tours of our historic village with free admission to all our museums; the Schoolhouse, the Fallas House, and the Misner House, then come browse our old- fashioned Bazaar of artisans and their crafts under tent. Enjoy food and refreshments. For more information on the Fallasburg Historical Society, and the Bazaar: www.fallasburg.org
Fallasburgh Flats Vintage Base Ball Tournament
On Saturday, September 15 only, the Fallassburg Flats, our 1860’s Vintage Base Ball Club will culminate their season by hosting their annual Fall Finale, The John Wesley Fallass Invitational Vintage Base Ball Tournament in Fallas Field across from the Fallasburg Schoolhouse. Admission is free. Preliminary games begin at 10:00AM with semi-final and final games in the afternoon followed by an awards ceremony around 5:00PM. For more information on the Fallassburgh Flats, and their regular season schedule: email@example.com
Local author Emma Palova book-signing at one-room schoolhouse
Emma Palova will have a book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories on Sept. 15 & Sept. 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the one-room schoolhouse. Come and chat with the Czech-born author about her book. You can buy your copy locally. Check EW Emma’s Writings at http://emmapalova.com for more info about the book signing.
Ghost Walk at the Fallasburg village
On Saturday, October 27th, “Boo”! It’s a “Ghost Walk.” The Fallasburg Historical Society will be hosting a paranormal investigation in collaboration with the Michigan Paranormal Alliance (MPA). Sign in begins at 6:30PM and runs to 7:00PM at the Fallasburg Schoolhouse. You will accompany MPA on your “Ghost Walk” from 7:00PM – 9:00PM to investigate/research 3 historic buildings and the Fallasburg Village Cemetery. We have less than 10 tickets left @ $40 each that include your research w/MPA, beverages/snacks, and an event t-shirt. Call 616-560-9109 for tickets.
Christmas in Fallasburg set for Dec. 8
If you’re a “calendar marker, Saturday, December 8, 6:00PM-8:00PM, it’s “Christmas in Fallasburg”, A Community Celebration! Come for music and merriment at the Fallasburg Schoolhouse, finish in Fallas Field at the Fire!
I share with you a communication we received that sums up the “Fallasburg Experience” whether serendipitous, or scheduled. Come for a visit and see for yourself!
Ken Tamke, President
Subject: just happened to be travelling through…
May 5, 2018
Thanks so much for all that you folks have done along the Flat River there in Fallasburg. My wife and I were trying to take a shortcut from I-96 to M91, and we found ourselves just north of Lowell, saw the signs, and thought, “Why not?” The park, bridge, historical community, and especially the road that lead us east out-of-town was the perfect unplanned way to slow down, enjoy, and spend a spring day in our area of Michigan. We eventually found our way to M91 and headed for home in Remus. But, whenever we have the chance, we’ll be sure to revisit Fallasburg again. Keep up the good work! BTW, I’m sending my $5 fine…I think I went faster than a walk! God bless.
Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
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.
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.
WWI support cards
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.
“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.
A letter from Larry Roslund aka Chief BirdBrain on the improvement of the Fallasburg village bazaar
As I discussed with you at the show, the venue is a wonderful place to spend two days but only if there are customers there to look at the booths. Obviously, those customers are close by at the Arts Festival but were not enticed to come over to the Village. I sold $133.00 of items and a normal two-day show would be $500.00 to $1,000.
In talking to a number of customers who visited the Arts Festival, they commented on the lack of knowledge about the Village, did not know there were more booths across the bridge and in a few cases stated that they had driven by but there were not enough booths to entice them to stop.
The Arts Festival is a large, and expensive, gathering of mainly high-priced art. As a juried show many crafters do not make the cut to the final 100 vendors. It is a great draw but many people do not buy.
I believe there is a distinction that can be made that would allow a Village “Craft” Bazaar to be successful.
Fallasburg Village Bazaar
To do so, there must be “draws” that get people to drive over. Having the houses and museum open would be one, food vendors would help, maybe a Model T car show or even music or demonstrations.
I am not sure what your organization currently has within its membership but if not currently there then maybe some non-members can help. Better signage would also be needed. To be enticing, at least 25 craft booths will be needed. These should be hand-made items that are priced under $100.00.
The parking situation also needs to be more clearly defined and restrooms must be provided.
The vendors were also discussing a horse and buggy to bring people from the Arts Festival or golf carts. Maybe someone should be in the parking lot of the Arts Festival handing out brochures about the Village Craft Bazaar. Better signage is a must.
You need to play up the historical aspect of the Village since that appears to be what you are trying to preserve. The ball game seems to be trying to do that but there were no people watching and it was not publicized to the general public. The time of the game seemed to be early and there were no signs to direct people to it.
We discussed your Facebook postings but the vendors were not added to your Facebook page. This should happen automatically upon getting an application submitted. In addition, brochures should be available to be handed out at earlier craft shows to get the 25 plus that you need. I would be willing to help with that effort.
The Arts Festival is in its 42nd year, I am sure they had growing pains to get there. You have much more land to work with, a beautiful shady spot for vendors and can keep prices down to attract more vendors. All of that should make for a successful event.
Note: Larry said he was coming back next year, much like the majority of the current vendors.
Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summer is almost here as spring winds down. It’s been a busy and productive time in the pioneer village for the Fallasburg Historical Society. (FHS) March and April showers have in fact brought May flowers, but the rains also delayed our much-needed roof replacement on the Fallas House.
Through the benevolence of the late Harold Englehardt of Lowell and his bequest, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Lowell Area Community Fund, awarded monies to FHS to get the job done in what we hoped would be mid-March. Mother Nature strikes again, yet Villagers and volunteers came to the rescue. Craig Wood’s young crew scaled the slippery slope and patched new critter invasion routes which just seemed to appear as soon as we got the last ones secured. Not to worry. The weather did improve and Risner’s Roofing & Home Improvement of Lowell installed a beautiful new roof. Thank you, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Lowell Area Community Fund, Risner’s, and timely help from Village volunteers. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Speaking of timely help, Fallasburg Historical Society’s Calvin College History Department Intern, Brianne Lynn, under the direction and mentorship of Lowell Area Historical Museum’s Executive Director, Lisa Plank, has completed her term assignment. Brianne has brought FHS ever closer to having all their accession pieces (the stuff that people donate, and the treasures we acquire) digitally cataloged in a wonderful software program and website developed by the Lowell Museum’s software guru, Jeff Ostrander. The site, “The Past Online,” allows anyone with a computer, tablet, or smart phone to access documents, pictures, and artifacts that comprise our collections, for research, or just out of historical curiosity. Have a look: www.thepastonline.org
And, while you’re surfing check out www.fallasburg.org Last December, FHS engaged Addorio Technologies, LLC, of Lowell, to redesign and launch a new website. The first steps were to create basic “Home” and “Contact” pages for the Society which went live in January. The subsequent work, the fun part, has been in development and has just gone up on our site. This work comes courtesy of the Lowell Cable Television Endowment Fund which awarded FHS a grant for the implementation of additional Internet pages. These pages will highlight and provide a means for registration and payment for “Events” like the upcoming 23RD Annual Covered Bridge Bike Tour on Sunday, July 9, and the Fallasburg Farmhouse Soiree on Saturday, August 5.
On another Internet page, you’ll find links to other organizations like “The Past Online,” Lowell Area Historical Museum, and the Fallassburgh Flats, our Vintage Base Ball Team. Of course, there’ll be a “Photo Gallery” page with four seasons of village pictures and historical tidbits. But, the page I’m most excited about is “History’s Mysteries.” Every museum has them, pictures you can’t identify of people and places, artifacts that baffle-what is that? Well, Fallasburg has their share, and you’ll be able to play history detective. We’ll put them up on the site, and who knows what might happen. Thank you to Addorio, and the Lowell Cable Television Fund. Technology is daunting to us old-schoolers, but you’ve helped us broaden our horizons and share our resources as only technology can do!
Murray Lake Elementary students at Fallasburg
Murray Lake Elementary school students at Fallasburg
Lowell Community Expo at Lowell High School in late March brought together Fallasburg Historical Society legends Ed Roth, Dottie Blain, and Addie Tower Abel, along with current FHS Treasurer, Alan Rumbaugh, Board Members Melanie Brim and Tracy Worthington, all as goodwill ambassadors from the Village. The group was out to make new friends and so they did. A local Boy Scout, John Lothian, in pursuit of his Eagle Scout Badge wants to follow up on our new roof and paint the Fallas House for his community service project. Recently retired from Grand Valley State University, Communications Specialist, Mark Kuzee, stopped by. He has relocated to the Lowell Area with his wife Sue, has a penchant for woodworking, and finds exciting the challenges of maintaining historic properties just like our man of many hats, Alan Rumbaugh. We’ve already pressed Mark into service making custom siding patches for critter holes in the wildlife refuge we call Fallasburg Village.
Spring cleaning in Fallasburg was undertaken in several Saturday morning sessions. Tina Cadwallader polished up the Schoolhouse and got it ready for Murray Lake Elementary School’s 1ST Grade Class visit. Alan Rumbaugh, Lisa Sostecke, Mark Kuzee, Frank and Patty Brechbiel and even Fallasburg Intern, Brianne Lynn spiffed up the Misner House filling a dumpster. And, yours truly recycled what amounted to the evolution of the personal computer: old monitors, keyboards, CPU’s, printers, and yes, mice, too.
“Spring into the Past,” a creation of the Tri-Rivers Museum Network on the first weekend in May is a collaboration of what has grown to 41 local museums that share the geography of three rivers. The Flat, the Thornapple, and the Grand Rivers roughly define a boundary. All FHS museums were open for the weekend as were other network museums, free of charge, with regional tours encouraged. Fine weather and sunshine insured a steady stream of visitors and the Fallassburgh Flats, FHS’s Vintage Base Ball Team initiated their 2017 season with an intra-squad scrimmage on Fallas Field. For more information on the Flats and their season schedule: www.fallassburghflats.com
On Monday, June 19, 2017 at the Lowell Chamber of Commerce, 7:00 p.m., FHS will hold our Annual General Meeting. This is an opportunity for our members to have a voice and our friends to offer an opinion. Most importantly, it’s a chance to get for all of you to get involved! We can’t do it without you! We hope you’ll come out and join us!