Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
March 15, 2005
Dear Friends, Things are really looking good. Publicity efforts are paying off. Visitation is up. Resources are growing. The museum has a two page spread, with photos, in the March 2005 edition of the Kentucky Explorer. I have also placed such articles with several genealogical newsletters, magazines, newspapers, and web sites. The word is getting out about the great resource we have! And our number of new Friends increases almost daily. Welcome to those of you who are receiving this newsletter for the first time! 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 send 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.
Well, I'm embarrassed...
You may recall that last time I strongly recommended reading the book Tidewater Sprig by Robert McDowell because the story is based in the Bullitt County area during its pioneer salt-making years. I still recommend it but with one caveat. It is rather explicit in some chapters. I made the mistake of reading only the latter two-thirds of the book (the part about the saltworks) and loaning it to a young friend as an adventure book. Well, it turns out there is a little more "adventure" in the first third than I knew. I no longer recommend it for young teens to read. As a conservative Christian, boy am I red-faced!
Ah well, moving on...
Grant Received and more being applied for:
The check was truly in the mail! We deposited our first grant money last week. The grant, from The Kentucky Historical Society, goes for preservation supplies. I am trying to complete two more grant applications that must be mailed in this month. I am happy to say that it is getting difficult to work on these at the museum because visitors and researchers are coming into the office more often. That's a GOOD thing! I'll just do my writing work in the evenings.
>> You may recall from the last newsletter that we were researching a story for Paul Peacock about his grandfather, Ed Peacock, outrunning a horse from Shepherdsville to Louisville. We had found a 1905 newspaper article verifying that he had won a bet about walking to Louisville in three hours, but that story did not include a horse.
Well, thanks to the work of Bob Cline, Valerie Walls, and Tony Ashcroft, we found the horse story. After much searching, they found the story related in the February, 2001 issue of The Kentucky Explorer, page 86. According to that story, handed down to Irvin Maddox, Ed did indeed outrace a horse and buggy in a real test of endurance in 1904. A problem with the story, though, is that so far it isn't verified in newspaper accounts, and seems to conflict with a 1905 story.
Come by the museum and read the story for yourself. It's another great chapter in the small-town days of Bullitt County.
>> I mentioned last time about researching the old Greenwell Ford Road Bridge that is now being replaced. Well, here's a great lesson... I contacted Rebecca H. Turner at the state highway department and found that they do extensive historical research on any bridge or structure being considered for replacement. She did research on this bridge in 2001, and sent me an entire packet of information, including dimensioned drawings, photographs, and detailed information. I have placed it in our files on old county bridges.
>> The fantastic labor of member Edith Blissett is not going unnoticed. Some of you know of the tremendous work that Edith has been doing with the old local newspapers, carefully transcribing every story in every paper from (I think) about 1902 on and indexing names to them. Angela Hilton spent a few hours at the museum the other day using Edith's books to find mentions of her family ancestors. At times she seemed almost in tears as she found little mentions here and there that brought her closer to loved ones she had barely known in this life. Longtime respected historian and attorney Burlyn Pike came by and also discovered Edith's books, deeply impressed with the huge labor of love that they represent and with the work that our local historians have done.
>> Bob Druin and I have been restoring some of the old Lloyd Mattingly models of Bullitt County buildings and boats that Penny Pack gave us. We have placed some out on display, along with some stories about them, such as The Bellevue steamboat that used to come up the Salt River as far as Shepherdsville.
>> The museum is now a member of The Historical Confederation of Kentucky and the Kentucky Historical Society. Benefits include access to grants, training, discounts on museum supplies, and a network of support from all over the state.
>> The museum now has an official E-Mail address: David.Strange@BullittCountyHistory.org Mail to that address comes directly to me.
Ancestry.com is available:
>> The museum is now licensed with Ancestry.com and the full range of that internet web site is available on our two computers.
>> Thanks to local Economic Development leader, Bob Fouts, and Mike Soto of the State Division of Geographic Information, we have a computerized 2004 color photo of all of Bullitt County. It's beautiful. You can zoom in on it so close that you can see individual trees and houses. I would love to make a copy that would cover an eleven foot section of a wall in one of our display rooms. It would be an outstanding resource in understanding our county.
Another Great Resource and a possibility:
Patrick, Levi, and Logan Underwood, who live near Cincinnati, were in Louisville one recent Saturday. They had read about Bullitt County's Iron Furnaces and somehow found Doris Owen and through her contacted me seeking a guide. Ken Blair and I led them to the furnaces and gave them a short tour. It turns out that they are members of "The Junior Historical Society", a statewide group that promotes youth interest in history. There's nothing like that in our community but it sure sounds like a good organization. They have a state convention April 1. Questions can be directed to the Underwoods at 502-732-5598.
As always, thank you all for being a friend of Bullitt County History!
Bullitt County History Museum
Museum Phone: 502-921-0161