Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Bridges of Kent County - Fallasburg

So I decided to go seek out something new today.  A few months ago, I saw a post in the Pure Michigan group on facebook about the various covered bridges in Michigan.  It sounded like an intriguing idea but I ended up putting it on the back burner until now.
 The Fallasburg Bridge was built in 1871 across the Flat River.  It is approximately 100 feet long and is about 5 miles north of Lowell, Michigan.  It was actually pretty easy to get to.
 This area was settled by the Fallas Brothers from Tompkins County, New York in 1837.  This was a stop on the stage route from Ionia to Grand Rapids.  They ended up building a chair factory, sawmill and grist mill.
 This bridge is actually the second to be built here.  The first was built sometime around 1840 but it was destroyed by ice jams and flooding.  There may have been a predecessor to that bridge as well.
 There was quite a bit of grafitti on the inside of the bridge.  I wish people weren't such assholes at times.
 The bridge itself uses the Brown truss system.  The system was patented by Josiah Brown of Buffalo, New York.  It is similar to another system but uses lighter members and less timber.  The system was used in four bridges, three of which stand and the other two will be covered in this blog.
 The bridge currently rests on concrete and fieldstone footings put in place in 1905.  It was built using white pine from Greenville Michigan. 
 The bridge underwent extensive repairs in 1945 and 1994.  In both cases, the people doing the repair tried to remain true to the historical construction, so the bridge is fairly authentic.
 I wish I would have done this in the fall because the setting would be quite picturesque.
 Fairly close to the bridge is the village of Fallasburg.  It was somewhat restored to look like it did back in the day.  This is a schoolhouse.  Kind of reminds me of the one on Little House on the Prairie.
 Another angle of the schoolhouse.  I'd imagine if I came at another time, I might get to go inside.
And the barn.

I will definately have to work my way back here.

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