During the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) would like to express deepest gratitude to all the health care workers, first responders and to all our essential workers, who keep us well, fed and alive.
To salute you, we tied yellow ribbons around the historical buildings at the Fallasburg pioneer village and painted some hearts.
When the state shutdown is lifted, we sincerely invite you for a visit and a step back in time to this oasis of peace on the banks of the Flat River. Just cross the Covered Bridge and immerse yourself in history.
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.”
Villagers have always recognized what a special place Fallasburg is, from the founding settlers to present day inhabitants. Fifty years ago, villager Leonora Tower felt it was time to share this resource with the community at large. So, the West Central Michigan Historical Society was born, which later became the Fallasburg Historical Society.
I marvel at how many visitors, locals and West Michiganders from far and near, are just discovering Fallasburg Village.
“Wow, I didn’t realize this existed,” is the most common response as they browse our museums and learn about this colorful slice of history.
I invite you to help us celebrate this 50TH Anniversary of our preservation efforts by taking a fall color tour through the Fallasburg Park across the Covered Bridge into the charming pioneer village.
Take a walk or a bike ride through the village this fall. Check out the gems of history, the John Fallass house, the Misner House, The Tower Farm & Barn and the one room schoolhouse museum.
The museum is open on Sundays from 2 p.m to 4 p.m. Docent led tours are available by appointment for groups.
Mark your calendars for a vintage Christmas in Fallasburg on Dec. 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 13944 Covered Bridge Road, north of Lowell.
Sign up for Fallasburg Today E-newsletter on our FHS facebook page to stay in the loop.
From obscurity to social media & eblitz, FHS launches E-newsletter Fallasburg Today on 10-1-2015
By Emma Palova
Lowell, MI- The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) has emerged from a forgotten 1830s pioneer village of the past as a leader of historic preservation into the future. The vibrant society has 50 years of experience in the field, an active board, volunteers, members, sponsors and supporters.
The FHS president Ken Tamke took the lead in getting the society on the fast track with social media marketing and blogging after a stagnant struggle to increase public awareness.
The FHS website at fallasburg.org with a Facebook page plug-in and a donate paypal button is stocked with good information, but lacks the dynamics and connectivity of blogging and social media blitz.
“Our goal is to double the membership and increase the participation in our events,” said Tamke, “to build up on our current events and new events.”
As of today, Oct. 1 the FHS has a brand new E-newsletter with all the sharing buttons. Partners and sponsors images are linked to their websites.
“We’re very excited about the progress we have made since the inception of the society in 1965,” he writes in his president’s message.
The new Fallasburg bazaar held in September generated a definite interest in the village. Twenty people came from a distance looking for the historical buildings, according to pioneer bazaar vendors.
“We met our goals of increasing public awareness of the village of Fallasburg,” said FHS marketer Emma Palova of Emma Blogs, LLC. “We will continue to move forward with our projects.”
And it is a long list of projects with funding yet to emerge. The FHS will pursue grant funding from local and regional sources, donors and sponsorship.
The ongoing repair of the Tower Farm with a price tag of $100,000 has been on the FHS radar screen for a long time. The roof has been repaired, but the rest of the exterior and interior need work.
The archived materials need to be transferred into digital form. An intern from the Lowell Area Historical Museum will be working on that, according to Tamke.
An E-brochure “Fallasburg Today” and an E-book “50 Years of Fallasburg Historic Preservation” (c) and a mobile app are in the works.
The Fallasburg Today blog will introduce a new “Fall back in time” (c) reading series from the news and the FHS archives to get through the long winter months. This will dovetail with the E-book project.
“My goal is to transport the readers of this series back in time when John Fallas founded the village in 1800s,” said Palova, “But I want to keep it lively and entertaining with a dramatic twist.”
The series was inspired by the Bannister community of Czech origin keeping the Czech agricultural heritage alive in the middle of nowhere.
The FHS is also a part of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network that links together small town museums in Barry, Ionia, Kent & Montcalm counties. The network of 27 museums is located along the Flat, Grand and Thornapple Rivers.
Chair Sally Johnson said she will present the proposed “Fall Back in Time” 2016 tour at the joint meeting in Grattan Township on Oct. 20 at 10 a.m.
The tour would be modeled after the successful “Spring into the Past” museum tour in May.