FHS President’s spring message

Remembering Mr. Edwin Roth

It is with heavy heart that I write my spring message. Charter member of the West Central Michigan Historical Society, former President of the succeeding Fallasburg Historical Society, and lifetime champion of the cause of preservation, Edwin Roth passed away March 8Th at 98 years old. To say Ed lived life to the fullest would be a vast understatement. His spirit will of course live on, his legacy, one of many, Fallasburg Village today.

fallas ken headshot
FHS president Ken Tamke

Everyone who knew Ed Roth has a story. His easy-going, self-effacing manner made you comfortable when you were around him, his sense of humor ever-present. I believe we all marveled at his longevity in our individual quests to find the fountain of youth. Ed’s answer was simple, eat right, live clean, and another nugget he shared with me last Christmas with a large smile, “Don’t go to Doctors”! That was Ed.

I wasn’t around when Ed Roth staked the National Historic Site Marker at the John Wesley Fallas house which was undergoing a major restoration in the 1990’s. I was around when Ed accepted the award from the Michigan Barn Preservation Network for “Barn of the Year,” 2014, recognizing the Fallasburg Historical Society’s work on the Tower Barn. These projects, amongst so many others, we’re the labor of Ed Roth’s love, and he maintained a strong and steady hand in all of them. Thank you, Edwin Roth! You are irreplaceable!

Fallasburg Historical Society-Ed Roth Picture (1) resized

The clipping is from the FHS scrapbook’ circa 1990.

“I ran across some really great stuff,” said FHS president Ken Tamke. “Pretty much all newspaper clippings that chronicle the history of the West Central Michigan Historical Society from the mid-60s and then FHS through the late 90s.”

The historic district status was awarded in 1999.

Calvin College students tour Fallasburg pioneer village

Still in the firm grasp of winter cold, but on a bright and sunny day, the Calvin College History Department’s “Public History” class visited Fallasburg on January 17TH. Professor Kate VanLiere’s students, as part of a month-long intensive study course stopped first at the Lowell Area Historical Museum to get a look at the inside workings of a small museum and a grand tour from Executive Director, Lisa Plank. Then it was on to Fallasburg for a walking tour with yours truly and their outside look at our National Historic District. The group of 30 briefly popped their heads in the door of the Schoolhouse, Misner House, and Fallas House. With FHS’ small museums in hibernation for the winter, and each property unheated, it was actually colder inside than out. Our brisk walk was appreciated and gave our visitors an overview of the entire Village from Fallas Barn to Covered Bridge.

Calvin College students
Calvin College students tour Fallasburg villlage.

FHS gets intern to assist in digital cataloging

For the third consecutive year, the Calvin College History Department has provided a student intern for the Winter/Spring term to assist FHS with our digital cataloging of documents, photographs, and artifacts. Under the tutelage and mentorship of Lisa Plank at LAHM, this year’s intern, Grace Bolt, has focused on the treasures contained in the School. Most remarkable have been the handwritten Attendance Ledgers which chronicle Fallasburg School students, school year by school year, back to the early 1900’s, all completed by the teacher of the day. Grace has painstakingly recorded and photographed the logs. She could now tell you, if you went to Fallasburg School, when you were absent, and what ailed, lots of Chicken Pox, Mumps, and Measles. With a keen interest in Geography as well as History, tech-savvy Grace is working to create an online aerial view map of Fallasburg that highlights all its historic sites, buildings standing or not.

Pictured above Mr. Ed Roth at Lowell Expo 2017 with daughter Jeanne Vandersloot, and FHS members Tracy Worthington and Al Rumbaugh.

Say Hello:

Fallasburg Historical Society, Table #129, at the Lowell Community Expo, Saturday, March 24, from 9AM – 3PM, Lowell High School.

Come Visit:

Fallasburg Village comes out of hibernation, Saturday, 11AM – 5PM & Sunday, 12PM – 5PM, May 5 & 6, the first weekend in May! We’ll participate in the Tri-Rivers Museum Network’s, “Spring into the Past” event. 41 small local museums team up and open up-free of charge!

Sincerely,

Ken

About the feature photo: Mr. Ed Roth with Randy Mouw, Barncats Contractor who fixed the Tower Barn, accepting Barn of the Year award for 2014 from the Michigan Barn Preservation Network.

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

FHS new website

The FHS new website at http://www.fallasburg.org is live now. Check it out. We are looking for your feedback. Contact us via the website or Fallasburg Today blog.

The website is user friendly, and responsive for use on your cell phones and tablets.

Submit your news for the winter Fallasburg Today E-newsletter.

Follow the FHS on twitter @fallasburg and on Facebook.

http://www.fallasburg.org/

We hope to see you at the pioneer historical village this year, as well as online with our new projects.

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

Tours at the Fallasburg school.

2016 Fallasburg village in retrospect

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.

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.

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.

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.

“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

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/retrospective

Subscribe to the Fallasburg Today E-Newsletter below:

For more info check the following links:

Fallasburg at www.fallasburg.org

Fallasburg Today blog at http://fallasburgtoday.org

Tri-River Museum Network at www.ioniahistory.org/tri-river-group.html

Fallassburgh Flats Vintage Base Ball Club at www.fallassburghflats.com

Past online at www.thepastonline.org

Copyright © 2016. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Heating up the night at Fallasburg

Christmas party at Fallasburg scores high

FHS president Ken Tamke speaks about the annual Christmas party held last Saturday at Fallasburg:

In the grips of the polar vortex once again, the cold and the snow, we didn’t quite know what to expect for “Christmas in Fallasburg.”  Party planners take note of the scouting motto, “Be Prepared.”  Not only did we have one of our best turnouts ever, but the diverse mix of guests, young and old, Villagers and visitors, created a positive party vibe that swept the crowd right up inside it.  Bruce and Becca Ling’s Hawks & Owls String Band played inspired.  Patty and Melanie’s food was fabulous and so were all the potluck contributions, thanks.  Everything was gone at the end of the evening.  And, the bonfire…  Well, I’ve said all along, it was almost a shame to light it.  It was so artfully constructed by Villager, Craig Wood.  Enjoying those flames and that heat with those gathered was a most magnificent cap to the evening.  Thanks to all who attended and thanks for your support of the Fallasburg Historical Society and our efforts to preserve Fallasburg Village.  Happy Holidays!!!

By Emma Palova

Fallasburg, MI -Okay, the Christmas party last week at the one-room 1867 Fallasburg schoolhouse was a smash in spite of the fresh snow outside, freezing cold inside and that some folks have mistaken the bonfire for a real fire.

“After all these years, I think they pretty much have it under control,” said a spectator taking a selfie by the bonfire.

“Can you hear it crackling?”

Yes, the huge bonfire crackled, melted the snow around it, attracted snowmobile riders and heated up the night.

Some area residents claimed the snow-capped logs of wood and carved their names in them.

“It was our biggest party ever,” said Ken Tamke, Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) president.

Inside the schoolhouse people mingled to the sounds of the strings by the Hawks and Owls band nestled in the far corner by the cold stove.

Not only were there newcomers from near such as Saranac, but there were newcomers from as far as Ukraine like Irina.

Irina, a grad student of history at Grand Valley State University, came to the party with friends.

“This is so authentic,” she said. “I had no idea you could go inside the museum buildings.”

Absolutely. Thanks to the recent efforts of the FHS team, most of the buildings of the Fallasburg historical village dating to 1837 are accessible to the public.

The flagship Fallasburg School serves as the official museum of the FHS, and is open from May to October.

The only exception to public access currently is the gray-bluish Tower Farm, built circa 1850. However, the FHS is working relentlessly to get all the museums up to date.

Recently, the FHS has applied for a grant for some roof repair and website upgrades.

The Christmas party tradition, as a fundraiser for the FHS maintenance of the buildings, has been going strong, according to old-timers.

Edwin Roth, 94, the oldest Fallasburg resident has been coming to the party for at least a decade.

“I am 100 percent Swiss,” he bragged. “My parents came from Switzerland.”

Roth farmed in the area in the 1940s and for many decades beyond. He makes it a point not to miss the annual Christmas party. Long time volunteer Frank Brechbiel escorted Roth into the schoolhouse.

The schoolhouse was beautifully decorated for the season with a dinner buffet and a grog station set up by the windows.

The good people of Fallasburg lovingly called as “villagers” brought in food and desserts.

FHS board member Tina Siciliano Cadwallader made her entrance with a wooden box labeled as “Dangerous Explosives” full of bags of popcorn and other goodies.

Volunteer Patty Brechbiel manned the food station featuring among other dishes three different types of meatballs.

“Are these all the same?” Irina asked.

“No, try them all,” I said.

The party provided an excellent opportunity to check out the “little room in the back” with collections treasures. A young history lover explored the model of the Fallasburg village locked in a glass case.

On display on the shelves were class photos. There was Mrs. Richmond’s class from 1947 and a Fallasburg village plat map on a wooden board.

As the bell rang in the belfry, the chatter and music in the schoolhouse continued into the night. A drive through the lighted Fallasburg Covered Bridge was a perfect ending to a perfect party.

Come visit Fallasburg, located northeast of Lowell, throughout the year. You will treat yourself to a lesson in American pioneer history from the 1830s that started with founder John Wesley Fallass.

You will marvel at the treasures the village has to offer.

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

Fallasburg bazaar press release

First bazaar celebrates 50th anniversary of Fallasburg village preservation

Fallasburg, MI- The first annual bazaar opens in Fallasburg village on Sept. 19th & Sept. 20th  from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will feature area vendors and crafters unique and separate from the Fall Festival for the Arts, which also takes place that weekend.

The pioneer village founded by John Fallas in the 1830s is located across the Covered Bridge three miles north of Lowell. It nestles in the Fallasburg Park with the one-room schoolhouse serving as the village museum.

John Fallass house museum
John Fallass house museum

The purpose of the bazaar is to bring awareness to the quaint village that most people don’t know it exists.

“It’s a hidden gem,” said Ken Tamke, president of the Fallasburg Historical Society. “I love that place. It’s a little hamlet that became forgotten.”

Tents with crafts, food and arts will be set up by the Misner and Tower houses. All buildings will be open for self-guided tours without any admission.

“We’re not affiliated with the arts council,” said Tamke. “It will be a concurrent event.”

The mix of artists will include rock and metal artists, clothing, recycled welding artist, upcycled shabby furniture and home accessories and many more.

Fallassburgh Flats vintage baseball team
Fallassburgh Flats vintage baseball team

“Just cross the bridge into the village and step back in time,” said organizer Michelle Emaus. “We will have a nice mix of artists. Our intent is not to duplicate art at the festival, but to piggyback on a successful event.”

The organizers are testing the water to make the village bazaar into an annual event.

“We welcome feedback,” said Emaus. “We’re hoping to make this into an annual event, if the traffic warrants it.”

On Saturday 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 Fallasburg Historical Society, and the Bazaar:  www.fallasburg.org

For more information on the Fallassburgh Flats, and their season schedule:  fallassburgflats@gmail.com

Following is a list of Fallasburg Village Bazaar participants:

Hubbert’s Kettle Corn – Home of the famous Unicorn Poop – Steve & Becky Hubbert

Kettle corn, cinnamon corn, caramel corn, cheese corn, Hubbert’s mix corn,

Unicorn poop, frozen lemonade, jumbo pretzels w/cheese and bottled water

 Finger Stuck Felts – Kay Backstrom

Wool sculptures made from wool, using needles and wood-burning creations

Kathie’s Roadshow – Kathie Hollebeck

Womens jackets and tops, embellished sweater coats, scarves/jewelry and

deco mesh wreaths

Ava-Del Designs – Christine Dexter

Mixed media jewelry and crocheted hats

avadeldesigns.etsy.com

Mystic Mehndi – Jillian Hawkins/Jamie Shakleton

The service of applying henna to the body as a temporary “tattoo” – done on site with

after care instructions provided

Kropf’s Creations – Scott and Linda Phillips

Slabwood paintings, fabric jewelry, scarves, polished stones, coasters,

log wood furniture and magnets

Thunder Storm Rose Metal Art – Robert Rose (AKA “Franky”)

Recycled welding artist – taking salvaged and scrap metal objects and turning it into

artistic sculptures to be used as yard art

Doug and Marcia Alkema

Rock candle holders, rock oil burning holders and necklaces made of shell rock from        Tennessee – all in its natural shape, cleaned and sealed.  Candles are also available for             purchase

Shabby Chicnanigans – Michelle Emaus

Architectural salvage items and upcycled, shabby furniture and home accessories

Lowell Crew Team

 White’s Bridge Historical Society

Copyright (c) 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

Fallasburg Today newsletter

Sign up for Fallasburg Today newsletter for the latest news from the Fallasburg village, events, museum tours, maintenance projects and message from the president Ken Tamke. The first annual village bazaar is coming up on Sept. 19th & Sept. 20th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is still time to sign up for merchants and crafters. Contact Tracy at gashtote@gmail.com

Fallasburg is at its best in autumn covered in beautiful foliage and gentle breeze.

For more information on the village and the historical society go to http://www.fallasburg.org

Fallasburg Covered Bridge
Fallasburg Covered Bridge

Fallasburg Historical Society

13944 Covered Bridge Road – Lowell, Michigan 49331

Copyright (c) 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.