The Lowell Area Historical Museum is offering a weekly feature to explore local history. This week, museum staff is telling us about Page Creek which runs through Fallasburg Park. To learn more about Lowell history, visit the museum website to explore its collection of local artifacts and records.
Part of the fun of a visit to Fallasburg Park is splashing in Page Creek and picnicking alongside that meandering creek before it empties into the Flat River.
What is behind the name ‘Page’ Creek? The name first shows up in 1871 in reference to the creek. The creek flows through land purchased by Caleb Page on 10 August 1841 from the government. He bought 156 acres in today’s Vergennes Township, in the northeast quarter of Section 23. Caleb was born in Vermont, later lived in New York, and then came to Lowell. He worked on a farm the first summer he was here and helped to build the sawmill at Fallasburg.
In 1839, Caleb married Caroline Beard (Baird). Caroline was from New York but was here visiting her sister, the wife of Dr. Silas Fallas, when she was hired to teach “Down to the Mouth” (today’s Lowell). She was the first schoolteacher in Lowell. Her first session totaled 14 students: nine white students including Carl Tracy and eight Robinsons, plus five Odawa students. Her time teaching brought many adventures. Caroline told of adult Odawas coming to her school. Sometimes they would lie down in the middle of the floor and sleep there for hours and she had to step over them in attending to her school duties.
While teachers normally boarded with area families, she grew tired of that and was given permission to sleep in the loft above the schoolhouse. She maintained her privacy by pulling up the ladder with her, preventing visitors.
The Page/Beard wedding was the first amongst the settlers and took a lot of work. The log schoolhouse was utterly transformed. Sheets were fastened to the walls and evergreen boughs were pinned to the sheets. A circuit rider, Reverend Richards married the couple. The wedding food brought by guests consisted of wild turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes baked in the ashes of the fireplace, pumpkin pie and bride’s cake (old fashioned twisted fried cake). The evening ended with songs by Mrs. Rodney Robinson.
Caleb died in 1854 and Caroline died in 1863. Both are buried in Fox’s Corner Cemetery. Of their four children who lived to reach adulthood, daughter Caroline died the same year as her mother. Frances Jane married John Fallas in 1868 but died the same year. Julia married local boy Clark Frazier, lived her life in the area and is buried in the Krum – Blanding Cemetery on Vergennes street. Son Caleb eventually moved to Colorado and lived the rest of his life there.
Much of the Page land became Fallasburg Park in 1927 when the then owner Mrs. Lena Reusser Eickhoff sold it to the county for that purpose. In 2011 the descendants of the Page family held a family reunion at Fallasburg Park, on land originally part of Caleb’s farm. During the reunion they unveiled a memorial at the Page Creek footbridge located below the hill in the park.