Note: The reason I put this post on my mostly Greenwich Meridian (c) memoir related content blog is because it relates to my past. My husband Ludek Pala and I met at the ZDS school in Stipa, former Czechoslovakia.
Last Saturday, after 41 years, we again sat behind the desks inside the same school together. This time it was at the one room Fallasburg schoolhouse for a ghost hunting (EVP) Electronic Voice Phenomenon session for the Fallasburg Historical Society.
“You get me to all these weird things that I would have never gone to, if it wasn’t for you,” Ludek said later.
“You should be grateful then,” I said. “Who else would get you into something like this?”
Speaking about a time machine…hmmmmmmmmm
“Does it exist?”
“This could become our Halloween tradition.”
Pss…photos from the EVP sessions currently not available due to ghosts. Stay tuned for the pics later.
By Emma Palova
“Put your cell phones in the airplane mode,” advised Edwin Lelieveld, Michigan Paranormal Alliance (MPA) team member.
It was a spooky Saturday night before Halloween at the Fallasburg historical village.
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 in 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.
After 41 years, my husband Ludek Pala and I were inside the same school again. This time in the Fallasburg one room schoolhouse for some ghost hunting. Our teachers were the FHS president Ken Tamke and the MPA members. Our classmates were members of the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) and other organizations.
And overlooking it all was the principal, that is the ghost of Ferris Miller.
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.
The Fallasburg Covered Bridge.
Ludek and I were in the BCBS group with Tamke as docent. 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.
“Two sisters lived here,” said Tamke. “At the time it was normal.”
According to Tamke 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.”
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.
The next EVP session followed at the Misner House. The MPA members usually turn off the lights for the sessions.
“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 an investigation in Allegan.
“Have you been to the old Allegan county jail?” Jason asked.
“Not yet,” said Ludek smiling.
“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.”
This is my latest status update. I am working with clients on social media marketing for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS), CJ Aunt Jarmilka’s Desserts and potential clients the Lowell Women’s Club and Americas Voices.
My first order of business was to set up a blog for them on the WordPress platform using different themes.
For FHS I designed “Fallasburg Today.” Then came social media, that is establishing accounts on Facebook and twitter. And posting on regular basis.
I think the posting on regular basis is the biggest challenge, but also the key to success.
I do have to say that the folks at FHS embraced the social media project 100 percent. They gave me materials, photos and maps.
I don’t think one can do it alone with the quantity of data. I appreciate all their help and their efforts to raise awareness of the 1830s Fallasburg village with modern means.
The village will hold its first annual bazaar on Sept. 19 & 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come and explore. A big deal for the village is the annual Christmas party. Stay tuned for details.
I am looking forward to creating the October newsletters and bringing on board the Lowell Women’s Club and Americas Voices.
Lowell, MI- The “Fallasburg Today” blog with the Lovecraft theme by Andre Nores is up and running with three initial posts, a Facebook page plug-in and a twitter page @fallasburg.
The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) is celebrating 50 years of historic preservation of the 1830s village founded by John Fallass.
I consider it a sign of times that the quaint pioneer village nestled in the northeast corner of Kent County is now marketed on WordPress and on social media.
In an effort to bring awareness to the village, the FHS president Ken Tamke and the board asked me for some technology help last week.
I share their passion and love for history and I live three miles away from the Fallasburg Park. And I love nature at its best.
I embraced the project with fervor because of the dates of the upcoming First Annual Village Bazaar set for Sept. 19 and Sept. 20.
We had a good start: a Facebook page with 245 likes, a website www.fallasburg.org and the excitement of all.
I did the twitter first and then the blog and connected all that. My unifying theme has been “bringing the village alive” so the name “Fallasburg Today.”
Today, there is a live discussion on Facebook and twitter is starting up. People and other organizations like Whites Bridge Historical Society are interested in what is happening at the Fallasburg village.
They are sharing the posts on Facebook and tweeting.
I am a deep believer in progress otherwise we would still be walking and living in caves.
Fallasburg Historical Society celebrates 50th anniversary
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Fallsburg, MI- It was Leonora Tower of the Vergennes Cooperative Club who started the West Central Michigan Society in 1965 with Norton Avery. The goal was historical preservation of the Fallasburg village once a thriving village six miles north of Lowell.
In 1990, the society changed its name to Fallasburg Historical Society, but the same people remained involved. However, the society became bankrupt in 2006.
That’s when the current president Ken Tamke got involved.
“I grew up around there, visited my grandparents all the time,” Tamke said.
His grandparents, the Bradshaws owned the farm on Fallasburg Point, which is now a fancy development.
His passion for historical preservation runs in the family. His dad was involved in history preservation in Berkeley.
“I am a big fan of history,” he said. “Historic preservation is in my blood.”
So, basically, according to Tamke, the modern society grew out of a group of women from the Vergennes Cooperative Club. Also involved was Marcia Wilcox, former Vergennes Township supervisor.
I love the place,” Tamke said. “It’s a little hamlet that became forgotten.”
Truly, time has stopped here. The village sleeps its dream from the thriving 1800s.
Founded in the 1830’s by John Wesley Fallass. The village of Fallasburg includes 42 acres along the banks of the Flat River, the covered bridge, a schoolhouse, village cemetery, the Fallasburg Historical Museum and the Misner House Museum, the Tower House and a barn.
The Fallasburg Historical Society exists for preservation, restoration, and maintenance of the Fallasburg Village, as well as encouraging public support through education, sharing information, and hosting many events.
The one room schoolhouse is actually the museum where artifacts are stored. It is open during summer time on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Fallasburg village was listed as the Fallasburg Historical District in the National Register of Historic Place on March 31, 1999.
“There were initial problems with that, but it did go through and doesn’t give restrictions,” said Tamke. “We’re very proud of this. It’s an honorary designation.”
Now, the biggest project ahead of the society is fixing up the Tower House to give it a new purpose since it sits close to the North Country Trail.
The society received a grant from the Lowell Community Fund and Lowell Cable Fund. The roof got fixed. But, the kitchen, the bathroom and other interior spaces need to be restored. The financial estimate from 1999 to fix the Tower House was $100,000.
“We want to repurpose the building as a meeting place for the historical society, the Lowell Area Historical Museum and other community groups,” he said. “We hosted weddings at the school.”
The quaint village attracts couples to tie the knot, and hundreds of photographers. The restored barn was the Barn of the Year 2014. Also new markers have been placed by the covered bridge. It is the goal to have unified markers by each building.
Fallasburg events include the first and brand new village bazaar will be held during the Fallasburg Fall Festival in September, along with the vintage baseball tournament with the Flats team in the field.
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, it will be a concurrent event, ” Tamke said.
The biggest event is the Covered Bridge Bike Tour coming on July 12. However, the most charming event is the annual Christmas party at the school.
Ladies from the society bring delicious dishes to pass, there is music and Tamke serves up wine and grog .
There are 120 members in the historical society and most actively participate in various events.
Kids from the area schools take field trips to the village. Addie Abel and Mike Organek actually went to the school give tours.
“Parents come with them and gain appreciation for the village,” said Tamke. “It hasn’t been touched by the pass of progress.”
Lowell Area Historical Museum director Lisa Plank will help with mentoring of an intern to help scan and catalogue documents and artifacts.
“We want to raise public awareness because you can forget that it’s out there,” Tamke said. “It’s a hidden gem.”
It’s also a great place to visit for Father’s Day and get some unforgettable photos and to escape from technology.
Following is a picture essay of the holiday season in the Grand Rapids area, Michigan. From big events such as the annual Christmas party for the ABC Undercar employees in Amway Grand Plaza counting 400 people to a small pioneer one-room school house in Fallasburg Historic Park. That all happened in one day on Dec. 13, 2014. I was overwhelmed by the disparity of both events. One was like a magical kingdom, the other inviting like a tiny cottage in the woods. Enjoy.
The humble one-room school house, home to the Fallasburg Historical Society.
Watch for the big story ” 25 years in the USA” Copyright (c) 2014 Emma Blogs LLC, All rights reserved
Lowell, MI- I feel like I have a writer’s block after all this festive pomp. I am still finding memorabilia from the Pala Ruegsegger wedding in October. Each thing I find brings back a memory.
I find things like frozen dough in the freezer for the wedding desserts, Pebbles cereal that no one wanted, taquitos, tops, panties and pantyhose. Samuel’s blue onesies “Star Baby” brought a smile to my face, as well the Barbie doll and sister-in-law’s hair color. Then, there are tons of souvenirs and gifts that I have received from my guests.
And of course, the greatest of all are photos.
I told a friend at the local Meijer store while shopping for Thanksgiving that we survived the wedding.
“And now you’re moving right into the holidays,” he laughed.
Yes, it’s all going by quick. We spent a quiet Thanksgiving at my parents Ella & Vaclav Konecnys in Big Rapids. We had the traditional fare with bonus cream puffs from CJ Aunt Jarmilka’s.
“I am not baking for Christmas this year, mom,” I said with the wedding abundance still in mind.
I did teach my son Jake Pala and his wife Maranda Palova how to make traditional Czech Christmas desserts such as filled baskets covered with chocolate and vanilla crescents.
“I’ll let them bake this year,” I said.
“I can’t blame you after all that wedding turmoil,” mom said.
So, I guess in a big way I already had my Christmas in October. I made new friends, strengthen old bonds, gained a new daughter-in-law and a few pounds, but created sweet memories.
Watch for my stories about the “Three Sundays of Christmas,” a traditional Czech shopping custom on the three Sundays before Dec. 24th.
I will also include some recipes for Czech desserts.