In our road trip today we visited one of only two covered bridges open to traffic in Michigan.
The bridge leads to a village that time has forgotten. John Wesley Fallas and his brother, Silas, came to the area in 1837. Built alongside the Flat River they used the power from the river to construct a sawmill and a chair factory. In 1839 they built the first bridge across Flat River at this site. Today, this is the fourth bridge built here and was completed in 1871.
I loved the sign that indicated there was a fine of $5.00 if you drove across the bridge at a speed greater than walking.
Today all that is left standing of the village is a school house, a cemetery, the Fallas and Misner House museums and the Orlin Douglass/Tower Farm. The old school house was built in 1867 and was actually used as a school until 1961.
At one time the state road from Detroit to Grand Rapids passed through Fallasburgh and the village was a thriving area. The village had a stone-mason, blacksmiths, general stores, mills, a post office and even a hotel and tavern.
Then the railroad came. In 1858 the D&M Railroad came to a nearby town, Lowell. Slowly, the village declined. Most of the area’s hardwoods which supported the mills and the chair factory were depleted by late 1800’s. The founder died in 1896 and by 1905 the post office had closed.
The village continued as a sleepy summer community until today it is only a reminder of the past.
A historical society has been founded and events are held throughout the year to keep the memory of the community alive.
The village is surrounded by a beautiful park. Close to 300 acres of picnic areas, beautiful trees and the Flat River.
We drove along the road near the Flat River on our way home. A beautiful drive. Lots of curves and hills. A perfect end to our visit to Fallasburgh.