Visit Fallasburg pioneer village during your museum tour
Fallasburg, MI – As you plot your museum tour this weekend, stop by in the Fallasburg pioneer village just three miles north of Lowell.
Just cross the Covered Bridge into the 1837 village founded by John W. Fallas. You will have stepped back in time.
You will marvel at the historic treasures like the one-room schoolhouse, the Misner House, the John W. Fallas House and the Tower Farm & barn, all preserved under the auspices of the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS).
“Spring Into the Past” is a tour of the museums of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network in Barry, Eaton, Ionia, Kent and Montcalm counties.
“We’re continuing last year’s theme of “Fashions through the Ages” with many new displays as our member museums or historical societies roll out their red carpet to show off the unique history of their communities during this annual event,” said Tri-River Museums Network spokesperson Judy Gager.
Beach wear, bustles and bridal gowns – a variety of timeless “Fashions Through the Ages” will be visible in the museums of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network during the annual museum tour.
The quaint museums are as versatile as the fashions, located in former vintage homes, meeting halls, stores and depots in small communities throughout the Tri-River Network.
“They all are eager to share the history of their community both past and present,” said Gager.
Museum hours are usually also varied, but during this annual event all museums are open the same days and hours so visitors can tour several the same day: Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm and Sunday from noon to 5 pm.
“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:
1880s Fallasburg pioneer village emerges as a historical treasure in 2016
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Fallasburg, MI – No pun intended, but 2016 was a year for the “history books” for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS).
It was a transformative year from a sleepy village lost in time for more than a century to a rejuvenated historical treasure waiting to be discovered.
Furniture built from local sawmills @fallasburg
The haunted Tower Farm circa 1850.
Better known for the Fallasburg Covered Bridge, which connects the hustle from the Lincoln Lake traffic to this hamlet, the Fallasburg village in 2016 emerged on its own merit.
With the new FHS events, increased online presence in “Fallasburg Today” blog, E-Newsletter & social media, and the updated website, the village connected with the right audience. That is with the lovers of history scattered around the world.
Starting in the spring of 2016, FHS volunteers scrubbed and cleaned to get its signature museum, the one-room 1867 schoolhouse with the belfry, ready for the season.
Annually, the FHS participates in the “Spring into the Past” museum tour organized by the Tri-River Museum Network on the first weekend in May.
Mark your calendars, this year the “Spring into the Past” tour falls on May 6, 7, 2017.
The event opens up the Fallasburg village located inside the Fallasburg Park for the tourist season. The museum is open from 2p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays from May to October, or by appointment.
Fallasburg Covered Bridge bike tour 2016
Lunch stop at the Misner House museum.
FHS volunteer Patty Brechbiel at the catering station.
Much like the park, the village reflects the colors of the season throughout the year. It’s yours to explore at any time of the year with walking, hiking and biking trails running through village.
The Falassburgh Flats Vintage Base Ball team starts its season on the ball field located at the village with the first game in May.
The biggest fundraiser of the year, is the annual Fallasburg Covered Bridge bike tour. The 23rd annual bike tour will be held on July 9th with several bike tour options. For complete info visit http://fallasburgtoday.org or www.fallasburg.org.
The tour gives you a unique opportunity to explore the pioneer village and the northern east region of Kent County in Michigan.
The fall in Fallasburg brings robust colors with epic events. These include the annual Fallasburg village bazaar inside the pioneer village. This novelty event in its third year coincides with the Fallasburg Fall Festival for the Arts.
Both events will be held on Sept. 16 & Sept. 17, 2017.
Ghost hunters inside the Fallasburg schoolhouse museum.
Avid wheelman Jim Steenwyk explains how to avoid torque on the knees when biking.
In front of the Fallasburg schoolhouse museum.
Fallasburg schoolhouse museum.
Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour takes to the road on July 10.
The FHS was included in the “Past online” pilot by the Lowell Area Historical Museum launched in the fall of 2016. Intern Katelyn Bosch from Calvin College assisted in the online project.
Bosch said that she likes the village as a historic entity because it has streets, unlike most museums which are single buildings.
The brand new Ghostbusters @ Fallasburg event was held last year on Oct. 29th. It featured village haunting and the haunted walk.
“We attracted visitors that would not have otherwise come to the village,” said Ken Tamke, FHS president.
But the crowning jewel of 2016 was the annual “Christmas at Fallasburg” party held on Dec, 10 inside the one-room schoolhouse with the signature bonfire. The party attracted a record number of visitors, according to Tamke.
From newcomers, drawn in by the social media, from as far as Ukraine to the oldest Fallasburg resident of Swiss origin, Edwin Roth, 94, the party was a smorgasbord for the history lover.
Lie Kotecki of Michigan Paranormal Society (MPA) conducts an EVP session inside the John W. Fallass House.
“I’ve never been to a Christmas party inside a museum,” said Irina from Ukraine, a student at the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) graduate program in Grand Rapids.
Currently, the FHS is in the process of updating its website. Stay tuned for more progress at this emerging Fallasbirg gem in the rough.
This post is also in response to the Daily Post “Retrospective” at
The schoolhouse in Fallasburg has always been a place that joins us together. She was built so we would come; to learn, to share and to celebrate.
Our schoolhouse, dressed for the holidays, once again stands ready to welcome you.
Please join us for our community celebration.
“Christmas in Fallasburg”
Saturday, December 10, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Come and enjoy:
Holiday music by Hawks & Owls
Libations, refreshments, and our famous Fallasburg Christmas Buffet
A roaring bonfire in the Fallas Field to cap off the evening
Come and share the good news with your friends. We’re in an on-going process of restoring and maintaining our museum buildings located in the Fallasburg historic district. The Tower Farm, built circa in 1850, is in dire need of roof repair and other restoration.
A $20.00 donation is requested from adults.
Fallasburg Historical Society is a non-profit tax-exempt 501(c) (3) corporation
Sign up for the FHS E-newsletter Fallasburg Today right here on our blog.
Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Fallasburg, MI- It was a spooky Saturday night before Halloween at the Fallasburg historical village.
“Put your cell phones in the airplane mode,” advised Edwin Lelieveld, Michigan Paranormal Alliance (MPA) team member.
The Michigan Paranormal Alliance (MPA), the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) and their followers conducted a paranormal investigation inside the Fallasburg museum buildings.
“This has been two years in the making,” said Tina Siciliano Cadwallader, FHS event organizer.
Cadwallader put the first time event together as a fundraiser for the historical society.
The MPA started with an introduction inside the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse museum. We filed behind the old creaking and squeaky desks much like the students did some 150 years ago. The classroom filled up and there was standing room only.
The ghost detecting equipment such as gauss meters, temperature gauges and nitrogen goggles laid on a separate table by the old piano.
The MPA team set up laser purple dot grids and EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) equipment at each location of the paranormal investigation. That is the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse, John Wesley Fallass House and David Misner House, all of which sit on the Covered Bridge Road. An MPA team member was at each location to interpret the recordings of the EVP sessions.
We divided into three groups, each led by an FHS docent.
My husband Ludek and I were in the group with FHS president Ken Tamke and Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) employees. We walked down the Covered Bridge Road lighting our way with flashlights. We briefly paused at the Tower Farm, better known as the Tower House. We could not go inside because of its dilapidated interior. The FHS is currently seeking funds to repair the Tower House.
“Two sisters lived here,” said Tamke. “It was normal at the time.”
Tamke said there have been reports of haunting at the Tower House.
Local resident Addie Tower Abel, who went to the one-room schoolhouse, said there has been a lot of activity.
“I know about the Tower House, I lived there. So, did my son, they saw a lot of activities,” Abel wrote on facebook.
Lie Kotecki of MPA conducted the EVP session inside the 1842 John W. Fallass house. The temperature gauge in the middle of the completely restored living room showed 66.6 F. According to the MPA, the temperature drops when ghosts are present causing cold spots. The ghosts also give out electromagnetic fields.
“Drop the temperature if you are inside the house with us,” challenged Lie.
The temperature dropped slightly to 66.2 F.
“Did you live in this house?” she asked. “We have no bad energy.”
The FHS president Ken Tamke explained the historical facts at each paranormal investigative location aka museum building.
“The furniture was built from the lumber out of a sawmill at Fallasburg,” he said. “Orwin Douglas built the Tower House and John Waters built the David Misner House.”
Back at the schoolhouse, Rosemary Leleiveld reported various ghost encounters.
“I felt a female spirit here,” she said. “Missy or Melissa…..”
But, Tamke said it could have been the ghost of Fallasburg resident Ferris Miller, who had died within the last five years.
“We have modern devices,” said Rosemary, “but we come with respect.”
The next EVP session followed at the Misner House. It is the most completed museum out of the Fallasburg portfolio, according to Tamke.
The MPA members usually turn off the lights for the sessions, although they have done EVP sessions in the middle of the day.
“The atmosphere veil becomes thinner,” said Peggy Kotecki, MPA team member. “We use radio frequencies and cameras,” she said.
Jason Kotecki, IT engineer at VanAndel Institute, analyzed the EVP recording at the Misner House and reported about other findings. The MPA team conducted a session in Allegan.
“Have you been to the old Allegan county jail?” Jason asked.
“Not yet,” said Ludek Pala.
“Well, we heard a giggle there,” he said.
Peggy, a nurse at Spectrum, said that sometimes she questions her sanity.
“It’s mostly a boring thing to do,” she said. “We do a lot of recordings and a lot of listening. But, you go for the whole package and you relive it.”
During the EVP session, Peggy asked questions:
“What is your name? Did you live here? Did you have children? Did they go to the schoolhouse down the road?”
The MPA does not solicit business and the paranormal alliance does not charge for their investigations.
“The purpose of the investigation is two-fold,” Rosemary Leleiveld said. “We do ghost hunting and we have ghost hunting equipment at each location. You do a ghost walk and learn more of a history of a location. The architecture draws me in.”
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.”
Fallasburg village & covered bridge intrigue Calvin College history intern
By Emma Palova
Fallasburg, MI- It was the famous Fallasburg Covered Bridge wooden span over the Flat River, that enticed former Calvin College student Katelyn Bosch to the Fallasburg historical village.
Bosch started the internship offered jointly by the Fallasburg Historical Society and the Lowell Area Historical Museum (LAHM) in February.
She got hands-on experience under the mentorship of LAHM director Lisa Plank and FHS president Ken Tamke.
“The FHS was looking to get their collections organized and preserved,” she said.
Bosch sorted through photos printed on tin photographs aka lithographs.
Bosch especially enjoyed pictures from the area Women’s Clubs, as well as poems from John W. Fallas.
“I helped with organizing of the artifacts so the historical society can effectively manage the collection,” she said.
Bosch mainly worked on artifacts from the Misner House, approximately 170 artifacts. However, there are three times as many left, according to Bosch.
The digitalized collection includes pictures of documents and people connected to the Misner House. An online project under the auspices of the LAHM will make the collections of the area historical museums accessible to the public at large in the near future.
“The goals of the internship were to begin the process of computerizing and organizing the Fallasburg collection while introducing Katelyn to museum collection management methods,” said Plank.
Bosch concentrated on two-dimensional artifacts including photographs, letter and documents.
“Katelyn’s work forms the foundation of the ongoing process of organizing the society’s collection,” Plank said. “In the future, it will be available to the public.”
Tamke said that the digital capturing and cataloguing of the FHS pictures, documents and artifacts is extremely important.
“It will give access, when “The Past Online” goes live, to scholars, history buffs, genealogists and schoolchildren alike,” said Tamke. “It may help us identify pictures without names and fill in some blanks of our history.”
The FHS is proud to be on the ground floor of “The Past Online” website which has been specifically developed for the Lowell museum by Jeff Ostrander.
“Our intern Katelyn Bosch from Calvin College has been wonderful to work with,” said Tamke. “She has helped me to understand and become proficient with the data entry tasks she has undertaken with our accession pieces.”
The FHS wishes Bosch the best in her post-graduate studies in University of West Virginia’s Public Administration program.
“It also cannot be understated, the importance of this collaboration with Lisa Plank and the Lowell Museum,” said Tamke. “Lisa has shared her knowledge with Katelyn Bosch, making her internship of great value in the world of small museum management.”
Mark your calendars for the 2nd annual Fallasburg Village Bazaar to be held on Sept. 17 & Sept.18 at the Fallasburg village.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Emma at email@example.com.
Follow us on social media, facebook and twitter @fallasburg, #fallasburg, #fallasburgbiketour, #fallasburgmuseum, #fallasburgbazaar and more.
Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.