Here is the latest on the remodel from Fallasburg Historical Society treasurer, Al Rumbaugh.
The stone mason has finished redoing all the fallen rocks in the basement and we now have a secure foundation. The new well is active and health department has approved it and the water it is supplying. The plumbers have finished the rough in of the drains and water lines. The general contractor, Choice Contracting, has finished most of the interior work, adding new headers, opening doorways up as was designed, redoing floor and ceiling beams and has replaced the damaged and missing siding on the back of the house.
We are waiting for the approval of the Michigan Historical Society to say we can build the porch with a roof on the east side of the house. The heating contractor will start Monday putting in an entirely new heating system. The electrical contractor came out last week and has started with a preliminary layout of the plan. Estimates are being accepted for sprayed in foam insulation once the other work is completed.
The Tower Farm is the last building to be rehabilitated in the picturesque village on the banks of the Flat River. During the last two years, the Fallas House needed repairs due to major damage from pipes breaking over a winter. The bathroom, kitchen, and damaged walls were redone. A new roof was put on along with a total paint job. The Blackmer House and Betsy Fallas houses have all been rehabbed, the barn was redone and that left only the Tower House. This will be the last one on the Covered Bridge Rd. leading to the Covered Bridge, except for the rundown cottage by the bridge. The Misner House and the School House had been finished long time ago.
“The entire village street will look great with well-kept homes,” said Rumbaugh.
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The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) is looking for volunteers to spruce up the historic pioneer village of Fallasburg.
The FHS has several maintenance projects in Fallasburg Village this summer. We’re looking for volunteers!
Rehabilitation of the Tower Farmhouse. We’ll need help from skilled tradespeople, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and help with general labor.
Preparation and painting the exterior of the Fallasburg Schoolhouse and metal roof.
Preparation and painting the exterior of the Misner House Museum/FHS offices.
Landscaping, tree trimming and cleanup of FHS properties including Vergennes Township’s Fallasburg Cemetery.
If you like to join FHS in our preservation efforts of historic Fallasburg Village we’d love to have you. Work dates and times are flexible. Materials will be provided. Contact Ken Tamke for info. firstname.lastname@example.org 616-682-0785 www.fallasburg.org
Join us for the FHS annual meeting on June 15 from 4 p.m. at the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce.
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FHS intern adds 250 artifacts to the Collective Access platform
By Emma Palova
LOWELL, MI – Sorting through hundreds of pictures intern Darcy Stubbs, a Calvin College student, found some real treasures among the Fallasburg Historical Society artifacts.
The discoveries included two bibles: John W. Fallass bible and a bible with metal clasps given as wedding gift to Charles Beckwith.
“I got to know Fallasburg through the Millers’ chronicles of pictures,” Stubbs said.
“That was a great introduction.”
Coming from Homer, Stubbs picked Fallasburg from a network of internships available for its small-town feel. Her main task was data entry.
The goal of the internship was two-fold: to organize and computerize Fallasburg artifacts and to get exposure to museum work.
“It was a great partnership for getting that accomplished,” said Lisa Plank, director of Lowell Area Historical Museum.
During her internship, Stubbs added 250 pictures to the Fallasburg collection of artifacts- the Collective Access platform.
The pictures are all donations from Elaine Miller Duggan.
And it’s all about appreciating the value of history in places like Fallasburg through the various artifacts.
Some of the work was tedious like sorting through 10 postcards to change the narrative to the Covered Bridge.
“I am grateful because the younger generation is proficient to do this,” Ken Tamke, FHS president, said. “Darcy has been the most well-rounded intern we’ve landed.”
Stubbs also did research for the post office interpretive sign in Lowell for the Lowell Area Historical Museum.
She enjoyed the small-town perspective and making the artifacts accessible to the public.
“Just because the towns are smaller, their history is not less important,” Stubbs said.
Plank said it was a great collaborative project for all the organizations.
Stubbs, a former Navy supervisor and technician, participated in an archeology expedition in Jordan at Umm al-Jimal in June 2019. At the West Church, she enjoyed finding out about the meaning of different layers of floor under the mosaic.
Following is an entry from CA with information about the Bible given to Beckwith. You can search by objects or identifier no:
This leather-bound family bible is embellished with embossed sacred images on the front cover, back cover, and binding, which are painted with gold paint. Especially ornate is the intricately detailed ‘Holy Bible’ title also embossed on the front cover, back cover, and binding. The Bible also has two metal clasps. This Bible is a “The Household Edition” family bible that contains the Old and New Testaments, the Apocrypha, Concordance, Psalms in Metre, Marginal References and Readings, and Fine Foil-Page Engravings, and more. A family Bible given at the wedding of Edmund Alger and Fannie Beckwith. Written in the front cover is “John 3:16”. Note attached says it was given by Edith (Willard) Mueller (her mother lived in the Fallas house), belonged to Mrs. Henry (Mary)Booth (Edith’s grandmother). A separate note says it was found by Theron Richmond in the attic of his former family home, now the Rocking R Ranch. Given in memory of Theron and Ruth Richmond by their children Shirley Smith, Tom Richmond, Barb and Dick Curtis. William Gardner lived in Rocking Ranch house which was his family home. Brother Sidney Gardner was married to Catherine Beckwith. A sticky note poses the question: “How did the Bible get from the Alger house (corner of Burroughs and Lincoln Lake) to the attic of the Rocking R house (near Simyrund (sp?)?Read More
Paper, Leather, Ink
January 1 1886
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Sally Johnson, president of the Tri-Rivers Museum Network, officially cancelled “Spring into the Past” (SITP) museum tour set for May 2 &3.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all the musems of the network have been closed, as spring has rolled in.
“We all like SITP but with all that is going on right now we have to follow the directions of our governor and the health authorities,” said Johnson. “All museums are closed at this time and we are not sure when we will be allowed to reopen. It is not worth the health of our membership to take a chance on opening.”
“I am sorry to say that we will not be having our annual SITP event and we will not be meeting any time soon,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t look like things are going to change for the better anytime soon. When we do meet we will then assess the situation and make a decision at that time.”
The popular spring event that features around 30 area museums may be postponed for fall.
“I am sure you also feel obligated to follow the guide lines that have been put before us,” Johnson said.
Each year, the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) participates in the SITP tour opening up their flagship one-room schoolhouse museum.
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Schoolhouse new wooden deck completed during summer
A picture is worth a thousand words and YOU made this happen. Look what we did on your summer vacation!
Your memberships, donations, volunteerism, bequests, and attendance at events like the 25TH Annual Covered Bridge Bike Tour, July 7TH, which was a smashing success, the upcoming Fallasburg Bazaar on Fallasburg Fall Festival of the Arts Weekend, September 14 & 15, and our Christmas Party, December 14th, make this possible. Thank you for doing your part in preserving Fallasburg Village!
Our historic Schoolhouse concrete patio, like many things do when they get old, began to sag and settle. Water was collecting and draining towards the building instead of away from it threatening foundation timbers and support infrastructure.
We needed to move forward with the project for fear if we waited, irreparable damage could be done. Several bids were secured, but in the end after careful examination, we realized, with volunteer help and expertise, a couple of craftsman contractors to set stone and build the new wooden deck with entry stairs, we could get this done and be open in time for the Fallasburg Bazaar on Fall Festival of the Arts weekend, September 14 & 15.
Maintaining a historic village does demand the skills of a General Contractor. Alan Rumbaugh, FHS Treasurer, has performed magnificently on our behalf. With his contacts, and building renovation know-how, he’s guided the work with a steady hand. David Cadwallader and his crew, including wife Tina, FHS Vice President, spearheaded the removal phase of the old concrete patio, deftly piloting the Bobcat and loading the dumpster. Jack Miedema, our stone mason, reconfigured and reset the stone wall to accommodate the carpentry. Ken Rasmus engineered a beautiful new pressure treated wooden deck and entry stairs while also adding some drainage and foundation water protection features underneath. Villager, Ron Dawson, undertook the re-welding and retro-fitting of the existing iron railing onto the new patio expertly. Jack of all trades, Frank Brechbiel has done a little bit of everything along the way on this much like he does in the village year-round. Adding an exclamation point to the whole project; we were able to keep our concrete ADA compliant Wheelchair Ramp undisturbed, and integrate the former central concrete entry steps at the end of the patio. Come take a look. You’ll be proud of the work you’ve done.
The Fallasburg Historical Society Bazaar I keep mentioning is Saturday & Sunday, September 14 & 15, 10:00AM – 5:00PM. Our bazaar features an old- fashioned collection of artisans and their crafts under tent just across the Flat River and Fallasburg Covered Bridge from the Fallasburg Fall Festival of the Arts. We have over 20 vendors signed up this year. This grassroots event just keeps growing and growing.
Local author Emma Palova will have a book signing of her new book “Secrets” at the one-room schoolhouse on Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday Sept. 15 from 1 p.m. to five p.m.
Stop by for an autograph in the historical ambience of the schoolhouse.
Christmas is coming… “Christmas in Fallasburg”, A Community Celebration! Saturday, December 14, 6:00PM-8:00PM, music and merriment at the Fallasburg Schoolhouse, a phenomenal fire in Fallas Field follows! You’re invited!
For more information on the Fallasburg Historical Society, membership, donations, etc., the Fallasburg Bazaar, and “Christmas in Fallasburg,” go to: www.fallasburg.org
Enjoy the Fall,
Ken Tamke, President
Fallasburg Historical Society
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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.
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.
“Spring Into the Past” and bring the family to tour the small museums of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network in Barry, Eaton, Ionia, Kent and Montcalm counties on May 6 & 7.
“Youngsters will be amazed at how folks got along without all of today’s technology and older folks will enjoy reminiscing the good old days,” said publicity director Judy Gager.
“Fashions through the Ages” is this year’s theme as more than thirty member museums or historical societies roll out their red carpet to show off the unique history of their communities.
Fallasburg pioneer village located three miles northeast of Lowell is one of the 30 participating museums this year. The quaint village is waiting to be discovered. The one-room schoolhouse will open for the season on Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m.
During this annual event museums are open the first Saturday/Sunday in May from 11 am to 5 pm for your convenience. Visit our website for descriptive information and a handy map to plot your tour beforehand or get a booklet at any of the museums.
For more information on the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) as it readies for the new season at the village and the annual Covered Bridge bike tour on Sunday, July 9 go to: