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.

Advertisements

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.

Ken Tamke @fallasburg

Ghostbusters at Fallasburg

A ghost walk and a history lesson at Fallasburg

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

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.

Signing in @fallasburg
Tina Siciliano Cadwallader organized the paranormal investigation @fallasburg

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.

Inside @fallasburg
Ghost hunters inside the Fallasburg schoolhouse museum.

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.

MPA @fallasburg
The Michigan Paranormal Alliance (MPA) conducts investigation @fallasburg

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.

Inside John W. House @fallasburg
Lie Kotecki of Michigan Paranormal Society (MPA) conducts an EVP session inside the John W. Fallass House.

“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.”

Native Indian collection @fallasburg
Native Indian collection @fallasburg

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.

Inside Misner House @fallasburg
Michigan Paranormal Alliance members Peggy and Jason Kotecki listen to EVP recording at the Misner House.

“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.”

For more info on Fallasburg go to www.fallasburg.org

For more info on MPA go to: www.m-p-a.org

For more info on EW Emma’s Writings go to http://emmapalova.com

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

Fallasburg bazaar vendors

Here is a detailed list of vendors of the 2nd annual Fallasburg Village Bazaar to be held on Sept. 17 and Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the pioneer village across the covered bridge.

Thunder Storm Rose Metal Art – Robert Rose – recycled metal welded together to create yard/lawn art and sculpture (return vendor) See featured cover photo.

 

Rock Art – Doug and Marcia Alkema – shale and gypsum rock drilled to hold candles – oil burning rocks – jewelry (return vendor)

Sandy’s Fudge – Sandy Van Dyke – fudge and hot fudge sauce

Crafty Couple – Roberta Hulber – embroidered masks, capes, dolls, bibs, headbands, mittens, etcetera

Ana Maria Pimentel – sustainable handmade gnome and fairy houses, organic accessories, stone jewelry and glass

Rebecca Ueberroth/Theresa Broom – fused glass bowls, garden stakes, wall decor, christmas ornaments, etcetera

Lady K Chimes – Karen Roden – lake superior driftwood with glass chimes and picket fence chimes called “Fency Fish”

Shabby Chicnanigans – Michelle Emaus – upcycled furniture, handpainted signs, handmade soaps, seedballs,  lavender sachets, homemade dog treats and a child-run lemonade stand (return vendor)

Non-profit organizations:

White’s Bridge at http://www.whitesbridgehistoricalsociety.org

Lowell Crew Boats

Share our event with your friends. Follow us on all social media.

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

Fallasburg village bazaar

The 2nd annual Fallasburg village bazaar will be held on Sept. 17th & Sept.18th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the historical village located in the northeast corner of Kent County.

Cross the covered bridge into the 1850s pioneer village founded by John W. Fallass. You will immerse yourself in historical atmosphere of a time gone by. Get your Christmas shopping done early here at the village bazaar.

“In my opinion, the village is a more relaxed atmosphere.  One of my favorite parts of last year’s event, was the camaraderie among the vendors – most of us had not met prior to the event!  I am happy to share that a number of vendors this year, were vendors last year,” said bazaar organizer Michelle Emaus.

Fallasburg village bazaar partners are Whites Bridge historical society and Fallasburgh Flats vintage base ball team.
Nancy Price Stroosnyder of the Whites Bridge historical society at the first annual Fallasburg village bazaar.

The Fallasburgh Flats vintage base ball team will play the last game of the season on Sept. 17th.

Share the Fallasburg Historical Society message with your friends. Follow us on social media, sign up for the Fallasburg Today E-newsletter to stay in the loop.

Watch for full story with a list of vendors coming soon. What would you like to see at the village bazaar?

Visit our partners Whites Bridge historical society at http://www.whitesbridgehistoricalsociety.org

Fallasburgh Flats vintage base ball team at

http://www.fallasburghflats.com

For open slots at the bazaar contact Michelle at michelle_emaus@yahoo.com

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

Fallasburg one-room school.

In search of the Fallasburg past online

Searching for the Fallasburg past online

By Emma Palova

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.

Katelyn Bosch at Fallasburg.
Calvin College intern Katelyn Bosch assisted Fallasburg with computerization of artifacts.

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 Misner House
History intern Katelyn Bosch helped organize FHS artifacts.

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.

Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse.
Calvin College intern Katelyn Bosch in front of Fallasburg schoolhouse.

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.”

 

Follow the FHS on social media. Become a part of the movement into the future, as a member. Go to http://fallasburgtoday.org

Sign up for Fallasburg Today E-newsletter to stay in the loop. You can sign up either on the Fallasburg Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Fallasburg-Historical-Society-444666235652842/ or on the blog.

Join our Facebook public group Fallasburg Today.

 

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

Fallasburg set for bike tour

Get ready for Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour

By Emma Palova

Fallasburg, MI- After months of anticipation, the biggest event of the year for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) opens Sunday, July 10th at the Fallasburg historical village located three miles northeast of Lowell, Michigan.

On average 150 cyclists take to the paved roads on a variety of routes ranging from 12 miles to 100 miles. All the routes have been meticulously perfected and signed over the 22 years of the tour’s existence.

 

The registration starts at 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the one-room Fallasburg schoolhouse museum with the cost of $35 per person.

“We attract a niche of riders every year,” said FHS president Ken Tamke. “We wanted to do something active. We thought a bike ride would be cool.”

It is the plan to revamp the routes to include a route to the Whites Bridge that will be rebuilt this year. This would include a kayaking option on the Flat River.

“We want to keep it local,” said Tamke.

The historic village is a true hidden gem on the banks of the Flat River founded by John Fallass in 1839. It includes the Tower Farm, the Misner House, the Fallass House, the Fallasburg Covered Bridge and the baseball field with the Fallas Barn built in 1896.

The baseball field serves as home field for the Fallasburg Cubs Vintage Base Ball Club.

The Fallasburg covered bridge spanning 100 feet serves as a gateway to the sleepy village lost in time, that was once a bustling town with sawmills and hotels.

The most popular 28-mile route will take you from the Fallasburg bridge to the covered bridge in Ada and back. All the routes begin and end in Fallasburg.

The grand finale of all the tours is a home-made Italian spaghetti meal served in the yard of the Misner House with the help of eight to 10 volunteers.

“Come and join us this year, enjoy the country and our sleepy little village,” said Tamke.

The FHS donates $1 per rider to support the League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) program in memory of ambassador of the bike tour Larry Martin. Martin was hit and killed on the eve of the 17th annual bike tour while riding his bike.

LMB is a lobbying group dedicated to making Michigan a safe place to bike.

 

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

 

 

 

FHS volunteers

A big thank you to volunteers Addie Tower Abel and Dottie Blain for manning booth 129 at the Lowell Expo last Saturday.

The volunteers stand at the heart of the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS). Without them none of the annual events would be possible.

FHS volunteers Addie Tower Abel and Dottie Blain.
FHS volunteers Addie Tower Abel and Dottie Blain.

The upcoming events are:

Spring into Past museum tour          April 30, May 1       http://www.ioniahistory.org

One-room schoolhouse museum opens for the season         June through September Sundays 2 pm to 4 pm http://www.fallasburg.org

Fallasburg Covered Bridge bike tour                                   July 10 for registration go to http://www.fallasburg.org

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

Replica of the Fallasburg Covered Bridge

The making of the Fallasburg Covered Bridge model

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI-I was pleasantly surprised last night when I received an update from Germany about the making of the bridge model.

Bene Hofmann sent me photos of the replica well on its way now. It is three feet long and six inches wide and in height. The floor is out of oak and the truss sides out of pine.

“It’s been a lot of fun working on the model,” Hofmann said. “It will take a while.”

Hofmann used the 1994 rehabilitation plans of the covered bridge from the Kent County Road Commission to scale the project.

His professor told Hofmann about the covered bridges during his visit. Out of all the covered bridges in the USA, Hofmann picked the one located three miles northeast of Lowell in Kent County.

The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) is very pleased that the signature landmark will put its imprint abroad as well.

The bridge is the pride of the FHS and the entire area. Annually it serves as a venue for many events such as the Covered Bridge Bike Tour in July, the Fall Festival for the Arts in September and the Fallasburg Village Bazaar.

Fallasburg Covered Bridge replica.
Fallasburg Covered Bridge replica.
The lattice work.
The lattice work.
Fallas replica 3
The model in the making.

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

FHS at Lowell Expo

Mark your calendars

The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) will be at the 20th Annual Lowell Community Expo on March 26 from 9 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The expo will be held at the Lowell High School located at 11700 Vergennes Street.

The goals are to increase the exposure of our organization to the community and to grow the FHS membership.

Watch for more information.

The Fallasburg historical village.
The Fallasburg historical village.

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