Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
February 26, 2005
With every issue of this newsletter we gain new friends to the mail list. Welcome to our new friends just joining us! The newsletters are informal, off-the-cuff writing, without much editing, so please don't hold it (or me) too accountable, legally or grammatically. If others want on the list, they are more than welcome; just have them drop me an email and I'll add them. If anyone wants off the list, let me know that too and I'll be happy to delete.
A mission statement is the guiding light of an organization, the official statement describing just what we exist for. Recently approved by our parent organization, The Bullitt County Genealogical Society, the following statement is now our official mission statement:
"The purpose of the Bullitt County History Museum is to be a repository of historical artifacts, historical information, and genealogical resources related to Bullitt County and surrounding communities; to collect, present, and interpret the history of Bullitt County and its people; to display that history in an interesting, helpful, and educational way, widely accessible to the general public."
Our mission statement will appear on all future newsletters as a reminder to us of what we are about. Thank you for being an important part of it.
Hooray!! We have received our very first grant, from our very first grant application! Many thanks to the Kentucky Historical Society for its support in giving us this grant. To be used for preservation materials, the grant is a small one, but it shows that we indeed can get them. The paper work in a grant application is rather hard to do and I hadn't done one in many years, so I was very happy to see success on the first try. Hopefully we will see that success again this year.
Just for Us, A New Checkout Policy from the Bullitt County Public Library:
Thanks go to Randy Matlow and the Bullitt County Public Library Board of Directors for providing The History Museum with expanded resources for our new microfilm machine. Traditionally, the public library has not allowed any of its microfilm to be removed from the library. But as another sign of mutual cooperation efforts, the Library has approved a special policy allowing film to be checked out through the museum. The exact procedure is posted at the museum office, but basically when someone wants to borrow a roll of film to study at the museum the person in charge at the museum that day calls the library to let them know who will be coming over for the film. A special record slip will be at the library to keep track of the film. Only one roll can be checked out at a time and it must be returned that day, but this is a great enhancement of capabilities with no cost. The procedure should be really handy, since the Public Library is less than a block away from the museum, and it eliminates the need to spend a lot of money buying film that would just be a wasteful duplication of existing services.
>> Signage in the courthouse marking our rooms are finally being installed along with other courthouse office signs. The manufacturer's long delay was a minor frustration for everyone, but that little chore is finally done and we are on the building directory as well.
>> I am very happy to see us becoming more and more of a resource for the community. Paul Peacock stopped by wondering about a family story he had grown up hearing about his relative (he wasn't positive exactly who) outracing a horse from Shepherdsville to Louisville. Spreading the question around to several volunteers, we have already came up with some information: The relative was apparently Paul's grandfather, Edward Peacock. So far we don't have confirmation of the horse part of the story, but in December 1905 the local newspaper, The Bullitt News, reported that Edward was scoffed at for declaring he could walk to Louisville, then more than 18 miles away, in under three hours. A bet was soon made. Edward left the front of the Simmons, Jones, and Summers store in Shepherdsville at 8 a.m. Sunday morning, traveling along what is now Highway 61, and crossed the Louisville city limits at 10:51, "two hours and fifty-one minutes flat". We'll keep watching for a story with a horse.
>> Searching such stories increases our history knowledge for the museum. I try to file such information as we come across it. For example, another question was raised to us about the old iron bridge that is being replaced on Greenwell Ford Road. Someone had asked as to whether the old bridge was built during The Civil War. The style of the bridge seemed to me to be more from about 1910 or so but I didn't know. I took photos of the wooden-floored bridge for our records (it is probably one of the last iron frame/ wood floor bridges in our region), and studied what was left of the broken plaque on top. The date had been broken off the plaque, but it proclaimed the name, "C. P. Bradbury, County Atty.". We determined that Bradbury was County Judge around 1928 and other times through about 1942, so it can be assumed he was County Attorney just before that, placing the bridge at sometime around 1910 at the earliest. Right on target! We then found a mention of the bridges of Bullitt County in old papers describing the bridge as being the third bridge in the county, after the Mt. Washington bridge and just after the first Shepherdsville bridge that was built in 1906. Bingo!
As in all things, new information may change what we think we know, but it sure looks like the Greenwell Ford bridge was built after 1906 and before 1928. I am told state historian Rebecca H. Turner did research on this bridge in 2001, presumably leading up to its planned replacement. I will try to find her so that we can have more information about our last wooden floor bridge for our museum files.
Thanks to Edith Blisset and Betty Darnell for their help on finding this information.
>> Two more new books have been given to the growing museum research library. Mt. Washington author Margaret Hardesty Day has given us a copy of her new book, Paths, Pebbles, and People. Ft. Knox area history expert and museum friend Gary Kempf has given us a copy of his book, The Land Before Ft. Knox. Gary is also going to bring us a copy of his extensive volume of work on the subject.
>> Genealogy researcher Denzil J. Klippel, currently living in New York, has sent us three CDs of his work on Travis, Snawder, and Phillips families. This work is now accessible on our museum computer marked "PC1".
>> Lola Fischer came by and taught me quite a bit on genealogy web sites, as well as helped me clean the rooms (Hey, we do whatever is needed).
Public school representative John Roberts is asking for someone or some group to paint the metal roof of the Woodsdale Schoolhouse. As many of you know, the old original one-room schoolhouse was restored and moved several years ago onto school property next to the Bullitt County Public Schools central office building. Several volunteer organizations have helped maintain it. Shepherdsville Lions Club replaced the front porch a couple of years ago; a group of Masonic Lodge members painted the walls. The roof is now starting to get bad and needs a good coat of paint to keep it looking good and to keep it from going bad.
If you know of anyone willing to take on this roof painting project please call John at the school board office, or call me and I'll get you together.
I am also still looking for good old photos of Northern Bullitt County and for a list of all past jailers and dates of service.
Kenny Blair has made some discoveries concerning the pioneer-days Iron Furnaces. With some help from Bob Druin and others, he has discovered some remains of what might be the "missing" third furnace on the Salt River downstream from Shepherdsville. Actually, I think he has resolved it to be more of an Iron Works than furnace, but we found documentation of a once really significant iron works that had the river damed to power a water wheel and flour mill. What I know is just preliminary. Ken is still working through it all.
Another Great Resource:
The Louisville Genealogical Society's newsletter recently mentioned a web site that I found very helpful. Found at www.epodunk.com, is a database compiled by journalists and draws from hundreds of published sources about localities. I found the cemetery map locator especially interesting.
As always, thank you all for being a friend of Bullitt County History!
Bullitt County History Museum
Museum Phone: 502-921-0161