Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
June 20, 2005
First things first. Jim Crepps, one of our most regular volunteers at the museum, has been quite ill. He just recently returned home after more than a week in Audubon Hospital. We sure hope to see him up and around again soon!
We can use volunteers to staff a display booth at these coming events (let me know if you can participate):
>> Bullitt County 4th of July Celebration at Parquet Springs Conference Centre. The museum has been given a free booth space in the conference building for this event. Over 5,000 people attend this celebration and fireworks show. It's a great way to get the word out about our museum. The Centre provides the space and tables. I have the display stuff and intend to be at the booth some of the time. If we can get two or three more volunteers, we'll have a nice presence at this great event.
>> Kentucky Historical Society special event in Frankfort July 9. More is said later in this newsletter, but we have been given a free booth space if we can get the volunteers to staff it.
>> Louisville Genealogical Society Book Fair August 27. If we get the volunteers to staff it, the museum has a free booth space at this event, which should help raise awareness of out organization with our neighbor to the north.
>> At the museum weekdays. If you might be interested in working at the museum weekdays, talk to me. I am sure we can arrange an interesting schedule in which you can participate.
Another Grant Awarded to the Museum
Speaking of having a presence at events like the ones just mentioned, another one of our grant applications has been accepted. The museum has been awarded a $500 grant for outreach programs like these by the Kentucky Historical Society. This grant is to help pay for leaflets, booth space, tent, etc. so we can be out in the community sharing and informing people about our local heritage and what the museum has to offer.
Stories Requested on Abraham Lincoln Family
The Kentucky Historical Society is seeking local stories about Abraham Lincoln and his family. The Society is planning special events connected to the 2006/2008 Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial celebration. I do not have much information in front of me at the moment, but check out their web page or get your story to me and I'll forward them on. For example, I heard somewhere (but do not know details) that some members of the Lincoln family are buried on the Ft. Knox reserve. If you know the facts, write them down for me. I think the Society is particularly interested in good, factual stories.
>> July 7-9. West Point Annual River Days Festival. Call West Point City Hall at 502-922-4260 for information.
>> July 9. Kentucky History Society headquarters renaming. KHS will be naming their headquarters in Frankfort to honor longtime historian Dr. Thomas D. Clark. Complimentary admission to the Kentucky History museum, Kentucky Military History Museum, Old State Capitol, and Historymobile is included. There will be living history presentations, music, and Kentucky food. For more information, call 502-564-1792 X4486, or their web site at history.ky.gov. By the way, the Bullitt County History Museum was recently honored by being specifically asked to host a display booth about our museum at the event. We will be one of a very small group allowed space at this event at which many state officials will participate. If you would like to volunteer for this booth, let me know.
>> August 5/6. Civil War living camp and battle simulation at Shepherdsville city park by the river. Literally within sight of our museum, Don Elden and friends will be setting up a living display of a Civil War era camp and battle. Schedule of events is: Friday August 5, 2005: 5:00 p.m. Camp open for setup. Saturday August 6, 2005: 8:00 a.m. - Camp open to public 8:30 - Roll Call; 9:00 - Drill; 10:00 - Pay Call; 11:00 - Artillery and Weapons Demonstrations; 12:30 p.m.- Civil War Graveside Memorial; 2:00 p.m. - Morgan's Raid Skirmish Camp open to Public after skirmish; 5:00 p.m. - Camp closed
Many people are unaware that the Salt River at Shepherdsville marks one limit of the northern movement of Confederate soldiers in the Civil War. Raiders burned the nearly-new railroad bridge at Shepherdsville three times. (The L&N Railroad had been built only about five years when the war broke out.) Panic broke out in Louisville among civilians, but each time the Confederate raiders, vastly outnumbered by Union troops sent down to face them, would have to hastily withdraw south of the river.
Raiders and soldiers were often hidden in the homes of local southern sympathizers. Guerilla Hollow in Bernheim Forest is named because of Confederates hiding there (people often erroneously think that it is misspelled and should be Gorilla.)
In fact, the museum just received a really nice item in that regard. A wallet with a confederate ten dollar note was found many years ago in Bullitt County, hidden in a niche of an old log house where it is said that confederate soldiers often hid. There are badly deteriorated papers inside that I am afraid to touch right now. What happened to the soldier? Who was he? Is the story even true? What a great mystery to explore!
Activity at Our Museum:
The museum continues to have occasional visitors from around the nation, mostly doing genealogical research. I am happy to say that they nearly always find new information that made the visit worthwhile. We recently had visitors from California and from Florida seeking information on family names Buzan, Wheeler, Field, Stringer, and Gentry, among others. Volunteer Bob Druin explored the Salt River downstream from Shepherdsville the other day, searching for signs of the dam and water wheel that was there around 1800. He found some of the iron stakes still there that held the wooden dam. He even found one loose one along with some other interesting artifacts. We will be examining the items, such as an iron casting with (so far) indecipherable lettering, in the coming days and will let you know more as we go along. The Museum had its first scheduled tour for a group of young people last week and it was a great experience! A class of ten or so 10-16 year-olds from the Davidson Memorial Methodist Church Vacation Bible School asked for (and received) a tour. I asked for their names in advance and had some genealogical research ready to show some of them about their ancestry. Special certificates were printed for each one designating them "Honorary Historians". The students were an excellent group who asked intuitive questions. One particular young lady (I'd guess about ten or eleven years old), for whom our genealogical records did not have an individual family folder, asked shyly if we had anything at all about her unusual family name, whom she had heard had come from Germany to Bullitt County many years ago. After the group had left, her request stuck in my mind. Thanks again to the previous great work of Genealogical Society members, I quickly found her family in the 1830 and 1850 Bullitt County census. I photocopied information that showed her family did indeed come from Germany, the man's wife and childrens' names, and that he was a shoemaker. I took the information over to her at the school the next day. The research really only took about half an hour or so, but her smile when I gave her the information would have made several days of work worthwhile!
Another Great Resource:
The Kentucky Historical Society "Kentuckiana Digital Library" is up and running at kdl.kyvl.org. This is a great and growing resource for old photographs, audio history, and much more.
Also, if you need information on Bullitt County cemeteries and can't get by the museum (we have several books at the museum listing cemeteries and who is buried in them) check out ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/ky/bullitt/cemeteries.
As always, thank you all for being a Friend of Bullitt County History!
Bullitt County History Museum
Museum Phone: 502-921-0161
E-Mail address: David.Strange@BullittCountyHistory.org