Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
December 25, 2010 (Volume 6, Number 13)
>>The Bullitt County Courthouse, and therefore the Museum, will be closed December 30 and 31 for New Years. Happy New Year everyone!
>>Bullitt Genealogical Society does not meet in January.
As normal, the Bullitt County Genealogical Society does not have a monthly meeting in January. The next meeting will be in February.
>>Winter Weather Closing Policy.
The museum was closed three days over the past couple of weeks due to snow and ice storms, and that reminds me to let you know: Our closing policy is pretty simple. If Bullitt County Public Schools are closed due to weather, then so are we. I was once-again shown why I am so proud of the dedication of our staff last week when some of them told me that they believed they could make it in. But I want to err on the side of safety. Of course, common sense should prevail always, so I also tell our Volunteers to always veer to safety and close early if weather looks threatening.
So, especially during our winter season when weather looks bad, I suggest calling ahead if planning to visit us at the museum.
>>Can't resist announcing my son's first book.
Forgive this obvious conflict with my normal newsletter: My son, Nathan D. Strange, is now officially a published author. His first book, published by Indiana University Press and coming out in March, is a walking-trail field guide. A Guide to the Knobstone Trail, Indiana's Longest Footpath represents nearly four years of research and personal experience on the 58-mile long trail. The book can be found at the Indiana University Press web site, and on Amazon.com.
Nathan is in his Senior year at the University of Kentucky, finishing a degree in Natural Resources Conservation and Management.
I like to say Nathan is a chip off the old block, but with this publication he has gone beyond anything his old Dad has done.
And a Dad couldn't be more proud!
>> Slide Scanner Donated. I announced in November that the museum had received a donation from Penny Pack of Tom Pack's collection of over 2500 35mm slide photos of old photos, maps, etc. I said then that our problem was how to translate such a volume of wonderful old photos to a more usable digital format.
Well there's good news on that front. First the bad news: Cost to have the photos scanned to computer was estimated at $2 per slide, which would have quickly added up to a very large cost. Now for the good news: Volunteer Bob Cline donated a new "Ion Slide2PC" slide scanner to the museum. That should not only allow us to scan the current collection of slides, but also give us a new capability at the museum. And new Volunteer Brenda Rittman (I misspelled her name in the November newsletter -- I'm very sorry Brenda.) has offered to start scanning the slides. That will be quite a task, when you consider the large number of slides, so I am sure we will try to spread that chore out over as many people as possible.
But once again our great staff of Volunteers are coming through for the museum! Thank you every one.
I installed the scanning software onto one of our computers, but our old computer was so slow that processing four slides took 15 minutes. WAY too long for so many slides. So, I plan to wait until we receive our new computers before starting the scanning process.
>>Speaking of New Computers: Progress Report.
There's great news on this front. You might recall that, last January, Zappos.com donated $3,000 to the museum to help replace our three aging computers. Then Best Buy and Geek Squad City joined in the project in a big way, donating six computer systems and helping us with software and expertise. With their help, I am happy to report that we have now received a generous donation from Microsoft Corporation of over $6,000 in operating system and MSOffice software.
So it looks like we are now on the homestretch, with our Geek Squad friends thinking we might have our new computer system installed and operating by the end of January.
WooHoo! When that happens, we'll certainly be having some publicity on that and I will be letting you know the plan details.
>> Shepherd Family Pics Donated.
A series of Shepherd family photos, spanning 1909 to 1964, has been added to our collection. Thanks to Lisa Tremble for bringing them by the museum and allowing us to copy them.
>>Volunteer Staff report next month.
I am adding up the numbers for my annual report on the museum and intend to have that the focus of my January newsletter. So far, it looks like we again increased Volunteer hours, as we have done every year, with this year so far looking like over 3500 staff hours (that's actual sign-in hours at the museum, not counting outside and unsigned activity hours). That's a fantastic number of hours. And it looks like we will have met a goal of essentially having an average TWO people staffing the museum during all operating hours (and we are open whenever the courthouse is open).
More on this next month.
>>Web Site Additions.
Follow this link to the page of Latest Additions.
An especially important change to our web site this month is our new Table of Contents page. With so much on our web site, we are working to find better ways for you to find what you are looking for, even if you are just browsing. So we are trying grouping items of similar subject-matter together, and expanding our list. Of course, there is always the "search" capability as well. Let us know what you think!
For Your Information...
>> Another Bullitt County Genealogical FaceBook Site. For those of you that use FaceBook, we've been reporting on some Bullitt County sites. This month, let me suggest searching for "Bullitt County, Kentucky Genealogy" . Brenda Shaw Woods recently set up that FaceBook site.
By the way, my congratulations and thanks go to Brenda, who tells me she has been running her Bullitt County genealogy group site on Yahoo for twelve years. Lot's of information there!
>>Thompson hotel and its boarders.
As part of ongoing research building a list of our past County Attorneys, our museum researchers came across an eclectic list of boarders at J.W. and Martha Thompson's hotel in Shepherdsville in the 1870 census. Listed as living at the hotel (I do not recall for sure the name of the hotel), were J.W. Thompson, Hotel Keeper; Martha J. Thompson, House Keeper; presumably their four children, Phillip, Kate, Nannie, and Edward. There was Nannie Obrian, "at home"; and R.J. Meyler, County Court Clerk (who had also been Bullitt County Attorney). Also at the hotel were Louis Milletz, shoemaker; C.H. Wellington, Painter; James F. Smith, "Ret. Dry Goods Merchant"; Lou Smith, "at home"; Louis Shelton, Laborer; Jennie Shelton, "Hotel servant?; and finally John T. Friddle, Laborer.
I would have loved to set in on supper with those guests one evening to hear what they would discuss.
With holiday travel abounding this time of year, I am remembering some of my family's travels when I was a child.
I was a very difficult child to take on trips. I was always prone to car sickness. Worse, my brother says I was a "spewer", holding the sickness until the last possible moment, then trying to hold it in by putting my fingers to my mouth.
Um, with very little success I might add, except for the resulting exceptional range and coverage of the eruption.
But that subject is for another time.
What I am remembering this Christmas Day is when we were driving to Grandmother's house when I was about five, and our altercation with a herd (well to me as a child it was a herd) of chickens.
Why does a herd of chickens cross the road one might ask? Indeed, Why? Why!?
Certainly they should not when my mother was pushing a hundred miles an hour down that same country road.
My brother and I were in the back seat, and my Dad asleep, when it happened. We all saw the large flock of chickens nonchalantly crossing the country lane up ahead as they probably did every day at that time. But today my MOTHER was driving there!
Mom was full throttle and did not have time or inclination to slow down. We could hear the multiple SPLATs!! Mom just kept on going but my brother was traumatized. "Oh the Humanity!!" he declared (or something similar no doubt).
I was more pragmatic and excited about the spectacle. "There's feathers flying everywhere!" I gleefully shouted as I looked out the back window and as Mom kept on heading down the road, not losing a second of travel time.
May your holiday travels be less eventful.
Thank you for being a Friend of the Bullitt County History Museum.
Bullitt County History Museum
Museum Phone: 502-921-0161
E-Mail address: David.Strange@BullittCountyHistory.org