Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum E-Newsletter
July 10, 2009 (Volume 5, Number 9)
>>Next Genealogical Society Meeting to Visit Iron Furnace July 18. A great one!
Our many dear "Friends" readers that live far away should be sad that they must miss this special opportunity.
First, Fred Rogers, who is a partner in a historic restoration company, as well as a teacher at University of Kentucky, will be the featured speaker. His subject will be the pioneer-era iron furnaces of Kentucky, especially the "Red River Two-Stack" furnace in Estell County.
We will also discuss the iron furnaces of Bullitt County.
After the presentation, we are all invited to drive over to the Belmont Furnace, just south of Bernheim Forest on private land, to see a pioneer furnace up close.
As a special bonus, Genealogical Society President Barbara Bailey tells me that Dr. & Mrs. Kuntz might also attend. They are the long-time owners (and protectors) of the property that the Belmont furnace sets on. We will be able to discuss with them some efforts being explored at long-term protection of the furnace.
Meeting is usual place and time, 10:00 a.m. at Ridgway Memorial Library in Shepherdsville. We will have a short business meeting, then the presentation, then the field trip. Unlike our last field trip. The furnace is easy-access. We can drive right up to it.
Activity...LOTS of Activity!
I spoke to a group of middle-school students this week about what historians do. One of the students asked if I am like Indiana Jones. I laughed, but with all the things we have been doing recently, I am beginning to think about getting one of those brown Indy hats
>>June field trip to Bullitt's Lick salt lick.
Last month's meeting of our genealogical society included a trip to the old site of Bullitt's Lick, one of the first industries in Kentucky and a supplier of salt as far away as Illinois in pioneer times. About a dozen of us trekked up and down a steep hill, along muddy trails and knee-deep streams (and ticks and chiggers...Indy never complained about ticks and chiggers) to get there.
Among the original group, only the intrepid Mike Eddington and myself made it the whole way.
Nathan Walls then led us all over to Walls Hollow, where he showed us a location of natural salt water and a vein of iron ore.
I'll try to put together a report and photos for our web over the next couple of weeks.
>>Research Trip to Shaker Village.
My wife Bonnie and I spent three days at "Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill," about a hour and half drive from Shepherdsville. I got to spend a day at their research and archives rooms and found some interesting stuff. I was able to verify that at least certain iron stoves there were made in the Shepherdsville iron works in the 1840's. I also found that there were many family connections between Shaker Village and Bullitt County. They would often come here to recruit members and take in orphans to add to their congregation (they did not believe in procreation, believing instead that everyone in their faith should live like brothers and sisters). Some family name connections are: Wilhoit (Wilhite), Shain, Spencer, Sapp, Ricketts, Price, Pennebaker, Mariman, Landers, Johnson, Guest, Hatfield, Deates, Dalton, and Carpenter. Again, I'll try to get together a report for our web site and quarterly in the next couple of weeks.
>>Presentation at Bullitt Lick Middle School.
As I said earlier, I spoke to a group of about 40 students at a summer program at Bullitt Lick Middle School. It was supposed to be a career-day talk, but they seemed to respond more to county history, so I just sorta went with the flow, talking and allowing questions to lead the conversation. I was pleased that they were interested, and I think it went pretty well.
>>Cave exploration off Wilson Creek Road.
Just this week, Volunteers Mike Eddington and Jose' Rosario, along with myself and guides Larry Kitterman Jr. and Jacob Marshall, went spelunking. Larry had told us about the cave and that we really needed to see it right away, so off we went like sheep to the slaughter. We understood that it was big enough for a truck. Well, I must be a semi-truck, then. It was tight quarters for old guys. Halfway in, most of us were seriously wondering if this had been such a good idea. Only Mike and Jacob did well. The rest of us had knees, backs, and everything else hurting. If Mike hadn't already gone ahead, some of the rest of us might have turned around.
I'm glad we didn't. The cave really was quite nice, complete with active stalagmites and stalactites, and a "fat man's misery" that most of us had a very hard time getting through. Some areas were tall enough for us all to stand upright; other areas required us to almost crawl, through stream and difficult rocks. I would guess the length to be about 800 to a thousand feet long, entering at one end and exiting the other.
The cave is on private land, so I am not at liberty to say its location here, other than to say it is in southern Bullitt County. Most people are surprised to learn that there are actually several quite nice caves in the county. It's no telling what caves might be just below out feet around here, but just have no surface entrance large enough to explore.
>>Field confirmation of Pine Tavern.
Jose' Rosario has been researching the actual location of "Pine Tavern" down near Lebanon Junction. Very early county maps refer to Pine Tavern as the name of a political district, but no one seemed to recall anymore just where the name came from. Jose', with the help of a couple people such as Steve Masden, found the location where the actual old tavern had once been, and he and Daniel Buxton went out to the site and recorded GPS co-ordinates.
>>More Cemeteries documented.
The cemetery documentation team continues to do its good work, despite summer heat, ticks, chiggers, and snakes, documenting more of our old county cemeteries. Check our web site for the updated listings. They do plan to take a break for a while now for the summer.
Come to think of it, maybe the entire volunteer team needs Indy hats.
>>History Marker installed.
We reported in earlier newsletters about our public library agreeing to pay for and install a historic marker near the site of the 1917 Train Wreck. That has now been done and stands on library property on the corner of Walnut and Second Street. Check our web site for photos. We might have some sort of ceremony later on. Many thanks to our great library folks for doing this.
>>Web Site Additions.
New additions to our web site, this time, besides the latest cemetery work, our web site has added photos and text of the 1917 Train Wreck Historical Marker; Info about the 1888 Bardstown Junction Train Wreck; Added info on our Time Line Project; added Photo Albums; Added interesting info on Bullitt County Agriculture - 2007.
>>Lots of visitors/researchers.
I love this time of year because we get so many visitors at the museum research room from around the country. So far, as I recall, we have had visitors from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Maine, California, Tennessee, Washington State, Washington D.C., Virginia, Oregon, Michigan, and all around Kentucky.
Several items have been given to the museum recently, and I will miss some in this message. But thanks go to Jim Cash for his donation of two Shepherdsville High School Rams T-Shirts and two 4-H jackets from the 1950's. The book, among several given to us, "Period Fireplaces", by Judith Miller, was donated by Lynn Eddington.
>>Special donation: Edith Blissett books in digital format.
Eternal thanks go to Edith Blissett, who recently gave the museum a digital (and text searchable) copy of all her many books transcribing old Bullitt County newspapers, as well as her two-book index listing of Bullitt County deaths taken from death certificates. These books represent many years of unbelievably patient, dedicated work on Edith's part. We will be installing those on our museum computers soon, and they will be enormous research helps.
I leave you with this poem titled "Only You". I do not know the author. Perhaps some reader can tell me the author's name.
In preparing for Memorial Day activities a couple of months ago we were given a copy of this poem that a Viet Nam soldier had kept with him throughout his time in the service. The well-worn little clipping was rediscovered in his personal effects many years later.
"It's night time now and the time has come.
To sit in my room and think of home.
And each thought brings back times so sweet,
When I'd say I love you and our lips would meet.
But those times are gone for a while I know,
Until once again I can say I love you so.
But those times will come so don't you fret,
And before long this year we'll both forget.
After this year has all been spent,
Then I'll give you the love thats never been sent.
For I'm coming home to the one I love so true,
And that one I'm speaking of is only you."
Thank you for being a Friend of Bullitt County History.