Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum E-Newsletter
December 8, 2008 , (Volume 4, Number 13)
>> Update on Old house on Buckman Street. Sure would love for someone to save this old house!
In the last newsletter, I told you about a nice old house that is at risk (address is 155 North Buckman Street in Shepherdsville).
Since the last newsletter, the owners were kind enough to give me, along with a Courier-Journal newspaper reporter, a tour of the house, and it is even better than I thought.
I was surprised at how very nice the house is, especially the inside. Huge pocket doors; very nice fireplaces with detailed iron fronts and cherry wood mantels. Nicely painted walls. A "hidden staircase" with a "magic mirror" (actually a large mirror that was apparently built to fill in a servant staircase). A huge 3rd floor attic. I was especially surprised at how solid the refinished wood floors seemed --- not a squeak to be found!
There is even some "mysterious" penciled text on the wall inside a closet that previous owners have been very considerate to preserve. Actually, I already knew about the old text. The text appears to have been from about 1914. Thanks to the CJ reporter, Emily Hagedorn, we now have a better idea about that text.
"The Flower of the Dusk = Evelyn Croan"
"The Master of the Vineyard = Aunt Fanny Croan"
The Croan family was, I think, the first owners of the house, but Emily figured out that "Dusk" and "Vineyard" are actually the titles of two books of the period (written by Myrtle Armstrong Reed) that appealed especially to young ladies. Presumably, at least one of the Croans was a romantic. Further, I did a little research and discovered both books were made into silent movies, one in 1911, the other in 1918. I think very importantly, there was at that time a silent movie theater less than a block from the old house. I love to imagine a love-struck young Croan girl walking up the street to see these movies, and, as seems to happen with such girls, being forever-changed by the experience.
By the way, thanks to Joe Mooney, that exact silent movie projector is displayed in our museum!
Museum Friend Anita Armstrong tells us the following info about the house:
"Fannie Edwards married James W. Croan in 1887 making her Fanny Croan. James W. Croan was a brother to Clarence Lee Croan who was born in 1866. James and Clarence Croan father was James W. Croan. Their mother was Eliza Lee who was daughter of William Lee and Sallie Younger making her my 2nd great-Grandaughter. Imagine that!! This house was bought by my great grandfather, Luther Nall Patterson in or about 1919. He purchased it from Clarence Croan who I understand built the house. I was told by my Mother, Luther Patterson's granddaughter, that Clarence Croan dug by hand a ditch from this house to the river to be used for the sewer. Long way huh! The house belonged to our family till my great aunt, Inez Patterson, died.. It was then sold to Dr. Harold Byers for his chiropractic Clinic. It was then a bridal shop. There used to be a Stile Block at the end of walk where stagecoaches stopped to let the ladies off. We used to play Mother May I to that block every Sunday. When our family house was sold my Brother, J.E. Lee, purchased the Stile Block. It now sits on the court in his backyard. There is a lot of history for me in this old house but I cant afford to purchase."
Sadly, Amen to that last statement. I have long dreamed about the museum being able to purchase such a house, not for a museum, but as a control investment. That is, we would buy it and then rent it out to business. This would be the beginnings of being able to control and preserve such properties, and use the rent to maintain it and help purchase the next one. I know of one town that has done this over time and owns/controls over 20 buildings, saving the town's history while bringing business back to the downtown.
Alas, we have no money for such a grand endeavor. I suppose my only hope is that someone who cares for history will buy or lease the house, preserving it for at least a while longer. Otherwise, I suppose it is doomed to the same fate as most of our other old buildings in town.
Should someone have an interest in the house, it is for sale for maybe $180,000, or for lease in the area of $1,000 per month. Contact me and I can get you in touch with the owners.
I have included two photos here. One of the outside, and one of one of the several nice fireplaces.
By the way, Emily Hagedorn's CJ article is supposed to be in the newspaper, Neighborhoods Section, Wednesday, December 10. You should be able to see it on line at www.Courier-Journal.com
>> Last Reminder. E-Mail Address Changing.
Friends, remember that this old personal address that I have been using for this newsletter (David_Lee_St@msn.com) will be going away in a few weeks. My new address is DavidStrange@Windstream.net. Please make a note of the change in your address book. My old address will remain active while I transition to the new address, but with good luck, the next newsletter you will receive will be from my new address, so be sure to set that as a safe address on your e-mail, lest your system block future newsletters thinking it to be spam. All of the BullittCountyHistory.org addresses will remain.
>> December Meeting of Genealogical Society is pot-luck dinner at my house...different time and date than usual.
This year, my wife and I will be hosting the annual social for the Bullitt County Genealogical Society at our house, and you are welcome to come!
Be sure to note the change in date and time. This meeting will be held on the second Saturday, December 13. The time changes as well, to 5:00 p.m.
It is informal, pot-luck. Please bring a dish or sack of something if you can. No alcohol please. Contact me via email for the address.
Everyone welcome. Just let me know, please, if you are coming so we know to expect 10 or 100!
>> Daniel Buxton Grandmother passes away.
The grandmother of our very active volunteer Daniel Buxton passed away a couple of days ago, so he will be out of office this week.
Our very sincere sympathies to Daniel and his family, on the loss of his very dear relative.
>> Bullitt County History to be Spotlighted on Radio, but date changing
I reported last time that we will be on a radio show, "State of Affairs" talking about Bullitt County and its history. The date has been moved to maybe January 5. I'll keep you informed closer to time.
>> Museum closed early December 24, and all day December 25 & 26.
Because of the Christmas holidays, the courthouse (and therefore us) will be closed December 25 and 26. We will also close early (probably noon) on Christmas Eve, December 24. Have a happy holiday!!
For Your Information...
>>New database on slave ship transports.
"Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database" is now on line and available. It provides information about the slave trade voyages and the ship inhabitants from about 1514 to 1866. If you do African-American research, you might want to check out www.slavevoyages.org. Thanks to the CJ for this info.
Thank you for being a Friend of Bullitt County History and Happy Holidays!!.