Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum E-Newsletter
February 2, 2008 , (Volume 4, Number 1)
Please pardon this longer than usual letter as this includes an annual report for the museum.
Announcements...Two very important changes.
>>Change in date and time of Bullitt Genealogical Society meetings.
Barbara Bailey, the President of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society (which is the parent organization of the Bullitt County History Museum), announces a new meeting day and time for Society meetings.
The next meeting will be SATURDAY, February 16, at 10:00 a.m. Location is the same, the Ridgway Memorial Public Library meeting room located on Walnut Street in Shepherdsville.
Genealogical expert Betty Darnell will be the guest speaker this month, whose subject will be "Matched and Dispatched," researching marriage records and probate records.
The Society will be meeting on the third Saturday of the month, at 10:00 a.m. for a while to see how members like that.
>>Change in Museum E-Mail Address.
Due to some changes being made by the county judge/executive's office with its Internet service, the Bullitt County History Museum will be needing to change its E-Mail address.
After three years of marketing the old address, I really hate changing, but as long as we need to, we are going ahead and changing up to an address that is part of our new web site that can grow with the museum and be controlled by the museum.
Please change your address books, web site listings, etc. from the old BullittCountyHistory@Alltel (or Windstream) address to our new Museum@BullittCountyHistory.org. I will now also have a personal museum address of David.Strange@BullittCountyHistory.org. For now, both new addresses will come directly to me, but the "Museum" address is intended for more for general museum publication as the museum grows, and the "David.Strange" address is intended to always go personally to me for so long as I am with the museum.
My personal home address of David_Lee_St@msn.com remains the same.
Some time over the next couple of months, the old Alltel/Windstream address will be eliminated, so please do remember to make any changes you need to do, so I won't miss any messages from you.
>> African-American Cemetery Research Project.....a message from Daniel Buxton.
My Name is Daniel Buxton and I am the chairman of The Bullitt County Genealogical Society Cemetery Committee. The goal of the committee is to document every cemetery in Bullitt County. This documentation includes reading, mapping, photographing, and taking GPS readings of each cemetery. As part of this project the committee is attempting to document (or re-document) all of the African American Cemeteries in Bullitt County. At this time we have personally visited and documented 8 African American Cemeteries. They are as follows:
Any information that you can give on any of the above cemeteries would be greatly appreciated. [Leave a message for Daniel on the museum contact page.]
Activity Report for the year 2007
Our museum and related activities continue to flourish, and 2007 was another banner year!
2007 was a year that focused more on field work, research, and documentation. The actual display rooms themselves were probably a bit neglected compared to previous years, but we'll work on renewing and refreshing our regular displays in 2008!
Of course, "neglect" of displays is not really true, because the museum produced its most expensive (and successful) single display to date...the $3,000 display memorializing the terrible Train Wreck of 1917, as well as producing the highly-moving memorial event on December 20.
Major field work featured the resurgence of documentation and preservation work on the many old cemeteries in the county, some of which is evidenced by the message from Daniel Buxton above. Volunteers such as Lynn Edington, Barbara & Ken Bailey, Bob Cline, and others are getting out into the county once or twice every week rediscovering the old cemeteries, photographing them, and locating each one on our new GPS (Geospacial Position Satellite) device. That GPS work itself will be invaluable in the future, because locations will no longer depend on aging directions such as have been used before. For example, "the cemetery is located several hundred feet past the road where Uncle Fred used to live" does little good when no one remembers who Uncle Fred was or the road itself no longer even exists. A GPS unit can help you find the exact spot of a cemetery of other historic locations, even if the spot itself (or even any landmarks) no longer exists. In addition, Ken Bailey has managed to obtain a ground measuring radar device that he hopes to get functional in 2008. That device will allow researchers to actually check into what is below the ground beneath our feet, without actually disturbing the ground.
Also in 2007 field work, David Strange recreated the local pioneer salt-making process, actually dressing up as a pioneer salt maker and successfully making salt. Dave also spoke at several schools and other organizations about Bullitt County and its history, as well as gave tours to several groups at the museum. Local awareness of history as improved dramatically.
New volunteer Daniel Buxton brought together several groups to restore an abandoned African-American cemetery and is doing extensive research on African-Americans and their cemeteries in Bullitt County. Dave Strange led a very successful project restoring and re-fencing the Trunnell Cemetery. Arrangements were made to get the famous "Lone Grave", that was badly damaged in 2007, repaired (that is on schedule for Spring). Numerous other cemeteries have also had some repairs done. And the Baileys have continued their work on preserving cemeteries as they have for some years.
Bob Cline has done extensive documentation and genealogical work at the museum, and staff volunteer Judy Richardson has really taken to the research office, quickly becoming a dependable member of our team, ever-helpful to office work and to visiting researchers, as well as doing transcription of old files for easier access.
New volunteer Dorothy Bentey has taken on the job of organizing our growing library resources.
And several others that I am going to miss naming here such as Lola Fischer, Betty Darnell, Doris Owen, Edith Blissett, and others (forgive me, friends, that I surely have forgotten someone at this late hour) are always quick to help on special research whenever asked.
In 2007, there are probably more unrecorded volunteer hours than there are recorded ones. We only record staff hours at the museum itself, not those spent doing field work. But those staff hours alone are impressive, totaling 2291 (including my hours). Some of those who dedicated the most hours:
We are always looking for new volunteers at the museum, so think about joining us if you haven't already done so.
David Strange recorded 1250 hours at the museum, but he (me) is partly paid. To say "partly" means: paid by contract $5,400 for the year. That much for 1250 hours, not counting nearly as many in after-hours work. Well, you can do the numbers.
Which leads us to the financial numbers as I have them here. The following figures are put together just before sending this newsletter and I haven't double checked them. They should substantially be correct, but do not hold me to them. More detail is available through the museum office. (Note special projects for the 1917 train wreck display and the Trunnell Cemetery restoration were paid for by special donations for those projects).
Expenses for 2007:
Income for 2007:
That is pretty much it for 2007. We do a whole lot with just a little! Again, don't hold me to exact accuracy on these particular totals, but I think they are accurate. All details are available at the museum office.
For Your Information...
>>The Bullitt Family in Washington State.
I just came across an interesting web site: www.bullitt.org is for an organization in the Washington-state area dedicated to reforestation and other "green" endeavors.
The family descendants, quite successful and prominent in Washington, came from "Alexander Scott Bullitt, a southern attorney", and have Burnham/Bernheim connections as well (Some of the Bernheim family, of Bernheim Forest fame, later changed their name to Burnham). The Washington-state Alexander Scott Bullitt was the great-grandson of the Alexander Scott Bullitt for whom our county was named. On the same subject, try www.historylink.org/essays/output.cfm?file_id=7184.
It is just interesting to see such a connection from so far away.
>> Bullitt County Fiscal Court has a new web address.
Thanks to a state program, Bullitt County government has a new web site, www.bullittcounty.ky.gov.
>>Another Bullitt County links site.
You might also check www.census-online.com/links/KY/Bullitt/. It has links to a number of Bullitt research sites, some of which are already on our museum site.
January has passed. February is here.
Blah! to January in Kentucky! Hoorah! for February!!
Yes, February in Kentucky is usually pretty bleak and snowy itself.
But January is just plain "ugly". It is the only month of the year that I do not like. I seem to stay groggy and a bit (only a bit!) grumpy.
Everyone seems to be fighting a cold. And cold weather sinks deep into your bones.
The sky seems always grey.
The trees and shrubs, almost all deciduous around here, have lost their leaves and the "deadness" of it all is depressing.
All the roads and cars are filthy with the salt used to fight the ice and snow. And there is an always-present dampness of cold, mud-sloshing rain.
And even the snow is usually no fun...just enough to be troublesome and dangerous...seldom enough to play in.
It is always threatening cold rain. It is always threatening car accidents and trouble.
Blah! January. Blah!, I say. Good riddance, with everyone and everything just hunkered down and waiting for it to be over.
Welcome February, with all its possible snow, but with all its promise of Spring close-by.
Spring isn't far away now. The first sprouts of jonquils and early daffodils are already beginning to show themselves. Buds are showing on the dogwoods, the maples, and the apple trees.
Blah January. Go back to your grave for another year. You will come again soon enough.
Welcome February! Warmth, Life, Health, and Hope comes back happily with you.
Welcome February! The skies are still cold, but they are blue again. Seeds will soon sprout. Spring is not so awful far away any more.
Thank you for being a Friend of Bullitt County History. It's going to be another great year!