Monday, March 19, 2007

Apple #232: Fallasburg Park and Bridge

This is the second Apple in the What's Your Favorite Place series. Here's the request:

Lowell Michigan Covered Bridge, please. Fallasburg Park. I won't ask you to explain why -- when you climb up inside and spit down -- the spit makes a hard curve just after it reaches the bottom of the bridge. Life needs to have a little mystery in it, after all.

As requested, I will not investigate the physics of falling saliva, but will only focus on Fallasburg Park and its covered bridge.

  • Fallasburg Park is located three miles outside of Lowell, Michigan.
  • Lowell lies 16 miles east of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has about 4,000 residents.

Lowell is too small to make it on this map, but it is just east of Grand Rapids, in southwest Michigan.
(Map from Charlotte Public Schools)

  • Lowell used to be a lumber and flour mill town, but in more recent years, it has become a bedroom community for people who earn their living in Grand Rapids.
  • Today, Lowell boasts an observatory, a YMCA and a Senior Center, and growing historic and shopping districts.
  • The Lowell high school teams are known as the Red Arrows.

  • Fallasburg Park is located in the bend formed by the Flat River and its little offshoot, Page Creek.
  • Some of the land that belongs to the park was donated in 1955 by Lena Eickhoff, nee Reusser, whose family originated in Switzerland.
  • Amenities include:
    • Horseshoe pit
    • Baseball diamonds
    • Fishing areas
    • Nature trails
    • Enclosed and open shelters (people use these for weddings)
    • Picnic areas
    • Playground
    • Restrooms
  • The Meadowview Polo Club practices and plays polo in Fallasburg Park.
  • You can also go on a biking color tour to view the fall leaves and raise money for MADD in October.


Fallasburg Covered Bridge
(Photo from the Ohio Barns pages on covered bridges around the country)

  • The Fallasburg Covered Bridge is a favorite with photographers, apparently, since many photos and posters are available -- for a price.
  • The bridge was built in 1871, for a cost of $1500. It was repaired in 1905 and again in 1945.
  • The Fallasburg bridge was built to make it easier for horses and carriages to get back and forth between a lumber mill and a flour mill that had been built along the Flat River.
  • The two mills were built by John Wesley Fallass and his brother Silas. They arrived in the area in 1837, the year Michigan became a state.
  • The lumber was sent down the Flat River to the Grand River to furniture makers in Grand Rapids or into Lake Michigan where it could be sent to even bigger businesses.
  • Their lumber and flour mills did a good business and more people moved to the area, which became known as Fallassburgh.
  • After the Civil War, however, rail tracks were laid closer to Lowell and Grand Rapids, and Fallasburgh's growth slowed. It lost its post office in 1905, became Fallasburg, and then turned into a historic district.
  • Today, you can see the Fallass' frame homes in the Fallasburg Historic Village, which is adjacent to the Park.
  • You can also go on a bike trip, for distances ranging from 12 miles to 100 miles, which starts near the Fallasburg Covered Bridge and ends with a homemade meal, for $15.

If you would like to find out more about your favorite place, enter your request in the comment field of this entry.

Access Kent County, Michigan, Fallasburg Park
Descendants of Samuel Reusser
Meadowview Farm Polo Playing Program
Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce
Fallasburg Historic Village
West Michigan Tourist Association, Fallasburg Covered Bridge
Michael Frazier's covered bridges page on Fallasburg Bridge

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