The Bullitt County History Museum

Museum Newsletter - 14 Jul 2005

Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
July 14, 2005

Activity...Gosh, it's been an active couple of weeks!

>>First things first. Hey! Jim Crepps is back! In the June 20 newsletter, I reported that regular volunteer Jim Crepps was seriously ill. Well, I am happy to say that he returned to his Wednesday volunteer duties yesterday, July 13. Welcome back Friend!

>> Bullitt County 4th of July Celebration at Parquet Springs Conference Centre. The Museum hosted an informational booth at this big event. We talked throughout the evening with people from all over the region. Many wanted to know more about county history and the museum. A good number registered to receive this newsletter.

>> Those new "Friends of the Museum" means this newsletter now goes to well over 100 people, and we're growing every week. Welcome to all of our new Friends!

>> Kentucky Historical Society special event in Frankfort July 9. Though this event was dampened somewhat because the planned guest of honor, historian Thomas D. Clark, had passed away just a few days before, it was still spectacular. Chuck Backus and the Kentucky History Museum staff succeeded in producing an enormous event that was attended by the highest state officials (past & present), and hundreds of people from all over the state.

And the Museum was an invited guest in the middle of it all with our very own booth representing Bullitt County! We gave out hundreds of leaflets about the Genealogical Society, the Museum, and about Bullitt County. We came back with several new ideas to enhance our museum work, contacts to help us with future events, and helpful advice from several members of the Kentucky History Museum staff. They are great people to have as friends.

>> Cemetery work in Shepherdsville. Our Friends in the Scottish Rite, made up of members of Masonic Lodges around the county have taken on the work of cleaning up the large old Shepherdsville Cemetery. They have done a huge amount of work. The City of Shepherdsville works department is also helping a great deal, and the mayor is promising to keep it maintained in the future. That's great news for this long-neglected ancient cemetery that is one of the first (if not the first) public cemeteries in the county. If you want to help in any way on this civic-minded work, contact Darrell Vires, C.L. Lane, or Jim Mclure...or me and Ill get you in touch.

>> As has been happening more and more, we continue to have visitors from other states doing genealogical work. Over the recent couple of weeks we have had visitors from Texas, Arizona, Florida, and California.

>> A grand adventure... Walking the River searching for a dam. Last week Bob Druin and several volunteers followed up on his work searching for remains of an old dam and water wheel built on the Salt River almost two centuries ago (and wiped out by flood 150 years ago). And we found it! Five volunteers (Bob, Ken Blair and his son Josh, me, and my son Nathan) waded in ankle-deep water , found, measured, and recorded twenty-one iron bars, bent but still firmly mounted into the stone river bed. That was more than enough to not only confirm the existence of the nearly-forgotten dam, but also enough to determine the layout, including sluice, raceway, and probable location of the wheel. I was amazed that so many bars of iron, probably made at our iron furnaces, had so stubbornly held on the river bottom through all those years. Then again, they are from Bullitt County!

Coming Events

>> August 5/6. Civil War living camp and battle simulation at Shepherdsville city park by the river. Literally within sight of our museum, Don Elden and friends will be setting up a living display of a Civil War era camp and battle. Stop by and support this fledgling event if you can. Schedule of events is: Friday August 5, 2005: 5:00 p.m. Camp open for setup; Saturday August 6, 2005: 8:00 a.m. - Camp open to public; 8:30 - Roll Call; 9:00 - Drill; 10:00 -Pay Call; 11:00 - Artillery and Weapons Demonstrations; 12:30 p.m.- Civil War Graveside Memorial, (honoring a Civil War veteran buried at the old Shepherdsville Cemetery, located next to the reenactment site); 2:00 p.m. - Morgan's Raid Skirmish; 5:00 p.m. - Camp closed.


>> The 1991 train crash that destroyed the railroad bridge in Shepherdsville and threatened to do much worse was a big event. Some have joked that Civil War soldiers tried three times to destroy that bridge, but it took a garbage truck to do it [grin]. Jim Cash, who lives near where the wreck occurred, put together a lot of home video and TV news reports documenting the event. He has given us a DVD containing it all.

>> Gayle Ryan gave us a vintage copy of "Tidewater Sprig", a novel by Robert McDowell that is set in a historically accurate Bullitt County in the 1790's. The book is in good shape, still in its jacket. It is our second copy, but I am trying to collect several of the old books because they are long out of print.

>> We have also been given a nice collection of Magruder Family genealogy. We are also continually adding to our genealogy folders as we come across information.

Help Me Find it:

I have heard that an actual prehistoric saber tooth tiger skeleton exists that was found in Bullitt County many years ago. I think it was once at the KOA Campgrounds but am not sure. I'd love to have that for the museum if we can find it and get it.

Help Me Find Who Was Trying to Find It:

Over the past several weeks, a couple of different people came by the Museum seeking a plat plan of the old Shepherdsville Cemetery that is currently being renovated. Well, one of the volunteers working on the cemetery found one and we now have a copy for our archives, but now I don't recall who was seeking it!

Another Great Resource:

>>Barbara Bailey suggests the website Cecil Murdock researches the Quick and Foster families of Bullitt County, among others.

>> Also, Doris Owen found this website that contains a lot of transcribed articles on Paroquet Springs, the 1800's era mineral water spa in Shepherdsville which has been transformed today to a modern-day conference center. You might find it interesting. Try

The Bullitt County History Museum is a free service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society. The Society meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 7:45 p.m. at the Super 8 Motel in Shepherdsville. Annual membership to the Society costs $15. Information and membership applications can be obtained at the Museum or at any meeting.


Jerry Combest, who does a great job taking care of me and the courthouse building in which our Museum is housed, told me a great story the other day that tells me that the Museum is doing something right: Jerry told me that he had seen a man come into the building in a hurry. As the man passed the entrance to one of our display rooms, the man glanced in and became so fascinated that he forgot that he was still walking.

He walked right into a wall.

After staggering a bit, the man turned into the museum display room and spent some time looking around.

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: