The Bullitt County History Museum

Tom Pack's Tree

The following article by Charles Hartley was originally published in The Pioneer News on 21 Mar 2024.

A century ago Main Street in Downtown Shepherdsville was lined with majestic trees, only one of which remains, standing today in front of Eric Farris' law office.

Tom Pack's Tree

But another, much younger tree stands just south of the old stone building that has housed the First Bank Beauty Salon for many years, and it has a particular significance to those of us who are involved in sharing the county's history.

In the Fall of 2003, that tree, then a mere sprig, was planted as a memorial to the late Tom Pack.

It's appropriate that the tree was planted near what is surely the oldest building in Shepherdsville. The first mention we have found of the old stone building was in an 1856 deed when Richard H. Field received it from his father's estate; but it likely was constructed by Abraham Field sometime between 1821-1849.

Later, the Maraman brothers operated a general store in the large brick building near the corner of what was then Main and Second Streets. This building, now in poor condition, will be removed to make room for an entry way into the City Park

As the town looks to the future with a new Town Square leading into a revitalized City Park, it's important that we remember the past. That includes not only the town's oldest building, but also the Magnolia tree beside it that honors the memory of Tom Pack.

Another View

When Tom died in 2003, Steve Thomas wrote "Bullitt County has lost an important link to its past. More important, it has lost a good friend."

Tom was the editor of the 1974 "History of Bullitt County" booklet, one of the first published historical collections of the area.

Doris Owen, member and former president of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, said at the time, "We've really lost a true historian." She said Pack was a member of the society for most of its then 15 year existence.

Steve Masden of Lebanon Junction called Pack a good researcher, perhaps the best in the county.

This was a time when the new courthouse was taking shape, and the historical front was being designated for a new history museum. Burlyn Pike said he believed "Pack's lifelong contributions played a big step in the museum's creation."

Charlie Long, former president of the Mount Washington Historical Society, described Tom as "a kind, genteel man" and that Tom "assembled more history and photographs than anyone in the county."


Tom's ambition was to write a detailed history of Bullitt County, and it would have been a good one; but cancer ended his life before that could happen.

But it did not end his influence. Today, in large part due to his example, the history museum thrives, and history continues to be discovered and shared.

I remember when that Magnolia sprig was planted, and I've watched it grow these twenty odd years into the beauty it is today.

There is a small plaque beneath the tree that tells of its dedication to Tom Pack that helps us remind folks that it's Tom's tree. We're grateful for Tom's life and contributions to the story of our county's past, and trust that his tree will continue to remind all of us of his love for our county's history.

Copyright 2024 by Charles Hartley, Shepherdsville KY. All rights are reserved. No part of the content of this page may be included in any format in any place without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday appointments are available by calling 502-921-0161 during our regular weekday hours. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 30 Mar 2024 . Page URL: