The Bullitt County History Museum

Museum Newsletter - 6 Oct 2005

Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
October 6, 2005

WOW! That's the first time that has happened!

Apparently, one month has passed since the last newsletter. I try to send them out every two weeks or so, but I guess time just slipped by. Well...there's a LOT to catch up on!


>> $50,000 donation received.

That's right, FIFTY THOUSAND. Museum Friend and benefactor Nick Simon and Publishers Printing Company gave that very generous amount to the museum when it started up last year. At that time, Mr. Simon indicated that he might do the same the next year. Well, it's next year. Recently, Doris Owen and Sam Hardy (both of whom had talked with Nick at that time) and myself met with him again. Nick readily offered to match the amount a second time.

Enough can't be said about such generosity. Could we have operated the museum without the money? Perhaps, but certainly nowhere near as professionally and attractively.

Our most sincere appreciation goes to Publishers Printing Company and Mr. Nick Simon for the support shown to our little museum.

This, of course, does not mean we have money to waste. Far from it. There is much, much more to do. There is a long wish list, including, as Mr. Simon points out, the need for quality security cameras. There always will be needs. I personally hope to see most of this particular money set aside in reserve for hard times, to show we are solid and here to stay, and worthy of people's trust when they consider donating artifacts to our care, and then depending on other financial donations for normal expenses. People like Joyce Ferring, of Stow, Ohio, who recently donated $35 to the museum, are critical to our long-term day-to-day operations.

We had a press conference this week to announce Mr. Simon's gift. Unfortunately, WAVE-3 TV reported Nick's last name incorrectly. But they have been told pretty strongly how we felt about that clumsy slight, and they have promised to make up for the error.

>> Lebanon Junction Festival.

The museum hosted another of its informative booths at the LJ festival September 30 and October 1. We were very well received. Many people were still unaware that we existed or just what we offered, but now more do know! We also sold several of the books about LJ, titled "Railroad Town", created by local historians Steve Masden and Burlyn Pike. The museum gets $5 of the $20 price for every one sold. If you might want one of his books, we have them at the museum, along with several other selections by local authors.

>> World War One / Veteran's Day Display.

We have just completed setting up a really nice display about WWI as a tribute to Veterans. The display, featuring a WWI uniform with gas mask, has allowed us to bring out a special tablet from storage. The 4' by 2' bronze tablet lists those brave Bullitt Countians who gave there lives in the "Great War". The tablet was originally placed at the old high school in 1924, and later moved to the old courthouse. When a large portion of the courthouse was replaced last year, the tablet was removed to storage along with several others.

I am unabashedly proud of this display. I feel like we get better with every new display rotation. You MUST see this one sometime! For those of you who are too far away to visit, I will include a photo of it next time.

>> Toll Booth Display Coming!

Yet another great new display, this one is a gift of the state transportation department. I mentioned this one was on its way in a previous newsletter, and it has now arrived, though let's keep it our little secret for now. Remember the old toll booths on I65? In the 1950's and 60's, you had to throw in a dime or a quarter at each exit point to go any farther. This is what paid for the new interstate highway at the time.

Well, the department (I hope I am giving correct credit) agreed to provide us one of the old machines, still working, as a history display and as a fundraiser. They even made a special cabinet for it. Throw in a coin, and the light changes, much as it did back then. Its pretty cool......and FREE to the museum!

The display stays under wraps until a special news conference currently scheduled by the state for October 21 at 11 a.m. at the museum. I believe the State Transportation Secretary is to be there. Apparently it's going to be quite a show. Everyone come if you can. I especially invite those Bullitt Countians who worked the toll booths. The Shepherdsville exit actually used real people instead of the automatic machines, but everyone who used the nearby machines has nightmares about "missing the basket".

Please invite anyone you know who worked the booths to come to the unveiling and share their stories with one another. This will be part of our "Rivers, Roads, and Railroads" permanent display.

Coming Events

>> October 13, 11-1. I will be hosting a small museum informative display at a local Chamber of Commerce event.

>> October 21, 11 a.m. Toll Booth display unveiling at the museum. Help me spread the word to past workers of the toll booths to come to this event. But watch my e-mails closely. The date and time could change according to the state's needs.

>> Bad event coming. Good grief, I hate to say this! We are losing volunteer Bob Druin to some foreign county. Bob, who has logged more hours at the museum than anyone but myself, has been an incalculable asset to us all. Not only has he dependably manned the museum every Monday, opening and closing that day every week, but he continually and knowledgeably works on research, field work, and general operations of the museum. Sadly for us, he has purchased land further out in the state and will be moving there soon. This Monday is probably the last day he will be able to volunteer with us.

Bob has been a truly valuable worker and a good friend. He will be sorely missed at the museum,...... and always welcome. I want to fuss at him for leaving us, but he is too good a man. I wish him well in all things.


>> Many wonderful photos.

Marylyn Lee as well as the Hamilton family have brought in numerous packets of fine old photos for us to copy. Some of Ms. Lee's photos were of several old school groups, such as Hebron and Glenn Ella schools. The great part about these photos is that the names of each child and adult is carefully recorded, and when they grew up and married, that info was added. I have made quality copies of the photos and transcribed the text.

>> Our Friend Mr. Kline has given the museum a CD containing digital copies of all the 1986-87 "Kentucky Explorer" magazines.

>> We have been given a huge old copper kettle. More on that in later newsletters.

New to the Museum:

>> Many of you know Edith Blissett has done extraordinary work transcribing volumes of old local newspapers and indexing them to names. Now, as part of our special Veteran's recognition World War One display, she has pulled together her transcriptions related to that war. It is a great book at a great price of ten dollars... and it is selling like hot cakes! There are wonderful vintage articles, reports on "the Boys over there", and touching letters to mothers and family from the soldiers.


>> Someone to build a fire log base for the salt kettles. I just can't find the time to complete this important display.

>> Someone to restore and update a salt making model to go along with the salt kettle display. We have a model (made by "Hogg" Mattingly) showing a pioneer salt making facility, but it is showing its age. Damage to the model needs repairing and a couple of changes need to be made to correct it to what we know now about the process. If you are any good at such things, we could use you to fix this up for display.


We bought our first true display mannequin and are using it to display the WWI uniform. By the way, notice that uniform when you come by. Many people do not know that the "Purple Heart" was not created until 1932, after WWI. This uniform shows the award for injuries given before there was a Purple Heart. It was a red stripe much like a private's stripe. The young man (we had to order a teenager-size mannequin to fit the uniform) had been wounded in action. The owner of the uniform, a collector, Glenn Smith, pointed out the stripe, and what probably marks the wound that earned it. On the uniform, near the left shoulder, is a repaired spot. Washed blood stains on the uniform are partially hidden by the backpack strap. Glenn tells me that it was typical in those days for a wounded man to just repair the damaged uniform and keep wearing it.

Remember our veterans this November 11. They have given so much for us all.

As always, thank you all for being a Friend of Bullitt County History!

David Strange
Bullitt County History Museum
Executive Director
Museum Phone: 502-921-0161
E-Mail address:

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 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. 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: 12 Sep 2020 . Page URL: