Tower Farm remodel completes Fallasburg historic village

Walking through the immaculate white rooms still smelling of fresh paint at the Tower Farm with pristine views of the Fallasburg village and the woods in the back, it would take the wildest imagination to transport you back in time before the remodel. The 1850s dilapidated farmhouse was falling apart, when the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) embarked on the ambitious remodel in May of 2020. It was the last missing piece in the total reconstruction of the historic village due to the limited funding and since it was the last building to be occupied, it provided income to the FHS.

However, the roof was replaced in 2011 and the windows were replaced in 2014 to save the structure from extreme decay. In the years past, the FHS peeled off the asphalt/fireboard siding put on in 1954. Within the past year, the FHS was able to secure individual donations to begin a proper renovation.

The Orlin Douglass/Tower Farm was built by Douglass in 1850.  It was later acquired by the Towers. In 1896, the right half of the farmhouse was moved from a nearby location so that sister-in-law’s, Tower and Steketee, could live together with their families.

The outside had greyish brown color and a layer of green fiberboard had been put on circa 1954 and peeled off during window installation, according to Craig Fonger, a volunteer and webmaster. All the mechanicals were replaced and proper fire blocking was installed to prevent fire from migrating to the second floor.

“COVID presented us with an opportunity we otherwise wouldn’t have had,” said Fonger. “This completes our village restoration and allows us to present a finished product to the world. Additionally the rental income will help benefit FHS.”

“I’m ecstatic about the Tower House rehabilitation,” said FHS president Ken Tamke.

  It has been a very long haul on this project, 30+ years, and the result is stunning.  Were it not for a couple of grants, the Lowell Area Community Fund administered by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation that awarded FHS a grant for a new roof in 2011, and the Lowell Cable Television Endowment Fund which awarded FHS a grant for new windows in 2014, the Tower House just might not have survived.

“The job our remarkable volunteers and contractors did that helped get the home to the finish line cannot be underestimated, many thanks to them,” Tamke said.  “They deserve a lion’s share of the credit.”

Fonger said that nothing in the structure was neither square or plumb.

“At almost every turn we were forced to improvise in some way, in some caseseschewing the assistannce of builders squares and levels and just making things fit,” he said.

But, there was also gratification in the fact that the Tower House was the last property in almost 30 lumberring years of rehabilitation- each succession building on the legacy of preceding FHS boards.

Fallasburg Village has undergone an amazing renewal and is finally to a point beyond damage control, but there will always be something, paint here, repair there, TLC all around.  The life of the preservationist is never boring or without tasks.  FHS is up to the challenge!

Over the last decade, the village has continued to improve buildings, according to the treasurer Alan Rumbaugh. First, the stagecoach was redone, then Blackmer, next the Fallas house, and then Betsy Fallas. The Post Office and and Beckwith Tavern have been nicely maintained. The Tower and Fallas barns have both had major repairs with the Tower Barn getting the Barn of the Year 2014.

The School House had a new front porch/deck put on last year and the entire building was repainted. The old shack beside the Stagecoach House has been torn down adn the double wide across the street has been removed and a new farm type house will be built on that property.

Now that the Tower House has been brought to reflect its past, we have a village street that we can start to promote to the public and build a much bigger following for the FHS.

We hope to have the Tower House disdplay farm artifacts in the FHS part of the house, reflecting the history of the “Tower Farm” and water melon crops. The other half of the house will have tenants that will not only give us some income to promote the village, but hope for them to be an active member, living in the village.

The Misner House will be repainted this summer and some other minor work done on it. The displays in that house would be more in line with domestic items, washing machines, spinning wheels, etc.

The Fallas House would be set up as it would have been in the 1800s. The School House will reflect the life in a one-room school, which was in use into 1950s. The other houses on the street are private residents and have noted on the yard signs.

The original plan was to restore the Tower House creating a museum that represented 20TH century life.  FHS has communicated regularly with the Tower Family and has obtained family mementoes, furnishings, pictures, and artifacts that will be displayed.  We hope to hold occasional meetings, gatherings and outdoor functions supported by our new kitchen with this landmark farmhouse and grounds as the backdrop.

According to treasurer Al Rumbaugh, farming artifacts and memorabilia will be stored at Tower the House. The Tower House will also be used as office to work on program planning and archival projects.

Fonger credited much of the work to Rumbaugh and David Cadwallader who spent many hours on the project.

Copyright (c)2021 . Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Sprucing up Fallasburg

Volunteer opportunities

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.  kentamke@comcast.net  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.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Copyright (c)2020. EMMA Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Shop Fallasburg village bazaar

Find your treasure this weekend among the 30 vendors at the Fallasburg village bazaar this weekend on Sept. 14 & Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Directions from Lincoln Lake Rd coming from Lowell

Take a right onto Fallasburg Park Rd, once you come to the Kent County Fallasburg Park sign hang a right onto the Covered Bridge Rd. Cross the Covered Bridge into the village to shop more artists.

20190913_1313248737223442567598810.jpg

Directions  from McPherson Bridge fork

Take a right on McPherson, cross the concrete McPherson Bridge and turn right onto Covered Bridge Rd. into the Fallasburg village.

Emma’s Book Signing at the one-room schoolhouse from noon to 5 p.m. on both days.

You will be charmed by the historic ambience of the village and the historic buildings: the schoolhouse, the Tower Farm, the Misner House and the Fallass House.

 

Vendors

Two Hot Tamales- Food truck, Authentic Mexican Food

Whimsical Wick- antique vessels filed with wax turned into a candle

31 Consultant, Bags-Totes

Fair Houses- Ecological Access

Ophelia’s Candles, homemade soy candles

Nancy, Leather goods

Creations Limitations Plus, Fractal burned wood products

Expressive Reflections, handcrafted, handstamped jewelry creatively designed

Bob Wojczynski paintings/drawings

Lady K Chimes, unique glass windchimes

The Milk Bucket, Goat milk Soap & other products

Suburban Soaptherapy, handmade artisan soaps

Scentsy, warmers wax and diffusers

Fret Knot Jewelry, guitar string jewelry

Bloom Specialties, LLC, pressure and soft washing

Alice, TreDye Michigan Tees

2 Lane Road, signs carved in wood, wood & clay jewelry

Redpop Originals, handmade meaded wrap bracelets

Sue, Wire-wrapped Great Lakes fossil jewelry

Jewelry Junkie- sterling spinner rings

Paparazzi Jewelry, leadfree, nickelfree jewelry $1-$5 each

Rainbow Ice, shaved ice

Sandy’s Fudge

Pups & Peeps, dog scarves, blankets, tote bags

Half Baked, baked goods-pastries

Outdoor Adventures Campgrounds, Yeti raffle

Frozen Creek Farms, salsa, jams, soups & herbal dips

Rock Art, handcrafted oild candles

Shabby Chicnanigans, unique painted signs, upcycled furniture, lemonade stand

White’s Bridge Group

Also check your inboxes for the Fallasburg Today E-newsletter.

Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

September president’s message

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!

 

President’s message

fallas-ken-headshot
Ken Tamke

 

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

 

Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, All rights reserved.

Happy new year 2018

Wishing everyone a great new year from the Fallasburg Historical Society. (FHS).

Visit the pioneer historic village in 2018 for fun and adventure. Check out our events. Join the FHS to help us preserve history for the future generations.

For more info go to http://www.fallasburg.org.

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs LLC. All rights reserved.

FHS president’s message

Dear friends,

Fall, in and around Fallasburg, is truly a very special and scenic place.  Purists might say this hasn’t been an optimum year for fall color or its longevity, but it sure had me fooled, and the “Indian Summer” we enjoyed was exquisite!  I hope you had a chance to visit and soak it all in.

fallas ken headshot
FHS president Ken Tamke

2017 is almost up, and so is another year for FHS as steward of Fallasburg Village!  The job of the preservationist is never done however, although finally weather says otherwise, at least for outdoor projects.  I do believe volunteers would still be out prepping, repairing, and painting properties if we pitched a tent-well, maybe a heated tent.

I guess you really could call this the year of the volunteer!  They have been amazing in the things they have accomplished maintaining our buildings and grounds, and so have they been in the preservation, and sharing of knowledge about our history.  FHS’ cataloging project of “accession” pieces, the stuff people donate to us; pictures, documents, artifacts, old farm tools, our museum exhibits, has been kept on track by volunteers, and our events come off without a hitch thanks to volunteers, as well.

“Hall-of Famers” for fall include FHS members; Alan Rumbaugh, Tina & David Cadwallader, Mark Kuzee, Frank & Patty Brechbiel, Tracy Worthington, Addie Abel, Emma Palova, Michelle Emaus, and JoAnn Childs.  You are tops.  We couldn’t do it without you.  The list of “cookie bakers,” and “foodies” that help us out from our membership is simply staggering.  Thanks to all of you!

Special thanks should go out to Mitchell Tower.  Mitchell recently completed his Eagle Scout Badge Project-the construction of a fenced “community garden” honoring his family’s heritage on the historic Tower Farm in Fallasburg.  It looks beautiful!  FHS can’t wait to get growing.

As the season of giving approaches we at FHS hope you might consider joining us as a volunteer.  Please visit our website, www.fallasburg.org/contact/

And, don’t forget the Christmas Party, “Christmas in Fallasburg, A Community Celebration,” Saturday, December 9, 6 – 8PM at the Fallasburg Schoolhouse.  www.fallasburg.org/events/

Happy Holidays & Seasons Greetings!

Ken

Copyright (c)2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Fallasburg one-room school.

Spring into the Past museum tour

 “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.

wpid-20151012_135949.jpg
New signs in Fallasburg

 “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.

Inside @fallasburg
Ghost hunters inside the Fallasburg schoolhouse museum last October.

 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:

http://www.fallasburg.org

Visit TriRiver on Facebook, too. http://www.addorio.com/TriRiver/TriRiverMuseumNetworkspringintopast.pd

Copyright (c) 2017 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Veterans at Fallasburg Cemetery

Honor a veteran on this Veteran’s Day 2018

Fallasburg veterans biographies

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
Conrad Allan Bradshaw

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

Veterans at Fallasburg. WWii veteran Conrad Alan Bradshaw.
Veterans at Fallasburg. WWII veteran Conrad Alan Bradshaw.

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).

Civil War veteran George Rummel
Civil War veteran George Rummel

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

Michigan Civil War History and Genealogy – The Ultimate Collection – 34 Books on DVD

Source: Faded Footsteps http://www.fadedfootsteps.com

Copyright (c)2016 – 2018 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.