The Bullitt County History Museum

Museum Newsletter - 14 June 2006

Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
June 14, 2006 (Volume 2, Number 9)

Dear Friends,

Museum Activity. Wow, it been an active month!

>>Ancestral Trails Historical Society Book Fair in Elizabethtown.

Our museum, along with the Genealogical Society, and Betty Darnell, hosted a large, four-table display at this event. We sold a few books (and we bought a couple) but we were mostly there to spread the word about what we have to offer. Betty, Barbara Bailey, Shirley Miller, and myself staffed the tables. It was a good day and we were well received by good people. By the way, "E-Town" has a fine history museum that you should visit sometime.

The next museum booth will be at the Fourth of July "Bullitt Blast" fireworks show at Paroquet Springs in Shepherdsville on, of course, the Fourth of July.

>>Security Camera System installed.

As approved some time ago, the museum has installed a high-quality, digital camera security system. All four rooms, plus the nearby Old Stone Jail, are covered. As our museum collections continue to improve in importance and value, the added security will give additional assurance to those giving items to the museum that their gifts are well taken care of. It will also help our staff volunteers to better serve visitors to the display rooms. This is a pretty significant investment for us but well worth the cost.

Lee Rupley, of MidWestern Alarms of Louisville, did the installation.

>>Obits and Microfilm.

As reported before, the museum research room now has microfilm of all Kentucky death certificates from 1911 to 1955. We also have a collection of local newspaper obituaries covering from 1980 to the present. The obits are the actual newspaper clipping, stored on 5X7 cards in alphabetical order. If you need a copy mailed to you of a particular death certificate, we can do that for a charge of five dollars, which I am told is cheaper than most places.

>> Tour coming Thursday.

A group of about 25 senior citizens will be touring the museum Thursday, June 15. We look forward to their visit!

>>Completing grant report and cemetery project.

A major phase of the restoration project of the old Shepherdsville Pioneer Cemetery is nearing completion. The grant report closes at the end of June, so we are trying to get everything done. Fence is up, with an arched gateway, but we are trying to get stone laid around the columns. Some finish grading and grass seeding needs to be finished and the historic marker needs to be installed. Numerous stones have been repaired. It's really looking good and everyone is looking forward to having a rededication ceremony.

The rededication ceremony date has not been set yet but we hope many will attend, especially those groups who have worked on the cemetery over the years. I am hoping to have re-enactors dressed in pioneer clothing, Civil War clothing and maybe even some turn-of-the-century clothing to mark some of the eras in which people were interred there. I'll let you know as soon as a date is set.

>> Three Day Museum Conference.

I had the opportunity to attend a three day conference in Louisville last week of the Historical Confederation of Kentucky (HCK) and the Kentucky Association of Museums (KAM). These organizations, of which the museum is a member, has provided grants and awards to our little museum over the past year, as well as immeasurable helpful advice. At the convention, I was able to attend seminars on such things as copyright issues, volunteer programs, outreach programs, preservation, and Web design.

Attendees were also given special tours of several excellent local museums, such as the Callahan Museum at the American Printing House for the Blind, The Frazier International History Museum, The Louisville Science Center, The Speed Museum, and the Kentucky Derby museum. The Falls of the Ohio museum was especially enlightening for me. Our own Bullitt County museum is beginning to have a collection of fossils and "pre-history" artifacts and I expect that to grow, but the Falls museum is really where to go to understand just what those fossils were like so long ago.

>> It's Genealogy Time!

Visitation at the museum is picking up noticeably as people come by from other regions and states doing genealogy research.


We have had several items given to the museum lately. Here are a few of them...

>>Miner's Air Pack, projector, tube tester

New Friend John Roehrig, of western Bullitt County, recently gave the museum several items. The most interesting to me was a 1936 vintage miner's emergency air pack. Though unrelated to Bullitt County history as far as I know, I couldn't resist accepting it for the museum, especially remembering that so many miners have died in Kentucky and West Virginia this year. This old pack weighs a ton. I don't see how they could have wore it for long, much less worked in it. John also gave us a 1950's working video projector that might be used to check some vintage film that comes our way from time to time, and a vintage tube tester. Remember all those tubes in old radios and TVs?

>>Book, The Rolling Fork, River of the Knobs, by Dan Lee.

Of course, the Rolling Fork goes through a large part of Bullitt County. I bought this small book and donated it to the museum library. I am trying to find time to read it myself to see what it contains and what can be learned.


>> Re-enactor speakers are featured June 15 Genealogical Society meeting.

Steve and Lisa Lindsey have been portraying Governor and Mrs John LaRue Helm for a couple of years now. They will be doing their portrayal at the monthly meeting of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Shepherdsville City Hall. Gov. Helm led the construction of the Louisville & Nashville (L&N) Railroad, which goes through Bullitt County, in the 1850's. Related to Abraham Lincoln, he was a controversial figure in Kentucky during the Civil War.

Steve (Gov. Helm) will be bringing along his violin, and Lisa (Mrs. Helm) will speak about their period clothing and what women wore in those days.

It should be a great show! The Society meets on the third Thursday of every month and most always hosts some excellent speakers.

>> Red Cross Display phasing out in July.

For the past six months or so, the museum has hosted a special display recognizing the local chapter of Red Cross for over ninety years of service. This display will be coming down in July and many items returned to their owners. So, if you want to see this small-but-nice display, come by soon! Volunteer Dennis Shaffner will be arranging a new display in that location honoring internationally recognized local artist Alma Leshe along with some century-old cloth work from our archives.

>>Electricity display changing

Another change coming to the museum will effect our electricity/radio/TV display. Sometime in July we plan to rework that display. Right now, it shows some of the changes that took place with the coming of electricity to Bullitt County (and to the nation). It starts with a crank-up record player and a hand-pumped, pre-electric vacuum cleaner. Then it progresses through various models of radios and records, to the first TV in Bullitt County. One old TV even plays some of the old TV shows of the era.

We will be keeping some of those display items but rearranging them and reducing the radio section. We will be adding a 1914 silent movie projector that was used in the Shepherdsville Masonic Hall movie house, and we may be rearranging other items to make the display fit more with the theme of other items in the room, more related to transportation and information exchange. That theme, titled "Rivers, Roads, and Railroads", will be expanded to cover prehistory through modern day.

By the way, I am looking for any photos of the old Masonic Hall, especially related to the movie house.

>> Have you checked out the Pioneer News lately?

Our local newspaper, The Pioneer News, is always good about reporting history-related news around the county. This year, the paper includes a section titled, "A Look Back". That article uses the work done by Friend and Genealogical Society member Edith Blissett, who has been transcribing and indexing our old county newspapers for many years. The newspaper looks at her excerpts from newspapers from 100 years ago, along with its own excerpts from ten years and one year ago.

Edith's massive books, covering Bullitt County from (so far) 1901 to 1922, as well as a special one covering WWI, can be found to read or to buy at the museum, or you can write her at 556 Huber Station Road, Shepherdsville, Kentucky, 40165.

>> John Hunt Morgan DVD

I don't know much about it yet, but students from Cambelsville University's Technology Training Center will be presenting information about a wayside promotional DVD and booklet about John Hunt Morgan. Love him or hate him, John Hunt Morgan is a larger-than-life character in Kentucky history during the Civil War. The presentation will be June 19 from 10:30 to noon at the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre in Shepherdsville.

For Your Information...

>> (we have a full-access license on our computers at the museum) has added several new search tools. Some things that have been added: World War II Draft Cards; a new card catalogue tool for finding specific data bases; and Ontario marriage records.

>> The Library of Congress's American Liberty Project looks at Memorial Day and how it became a holiday. Try Thanks to the Courier-Journal for this info. By the way, just type to get some history for any day.

>> If you are Jewish, or have an ancestor who was, this site might be helpful: Try Thanks again to the C-J for this address.

>> Interested in political quotes? Want to impress friends with your deep intellect? Check out

>> Charles Hartley has a fantastic web site about Bullitt County History. Dedicated to Tom Pack, try


Yes, Friends, it's tourist season again! For the museum, that translates to genealogists from all over the country traveling about doing their family research. For me, that translates to some fun times (well, I admit I don't get out much [grin] ). Last summer, the museum research room had visitors from Arizona, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Main, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, and Ohio...not to mention from all around Kentucky.

I think each person found new and unique information. That alone was satisfying to me, but the real payoff was listening and learning from them. Meeting new people and making new friends. Sharing experiences and heritage with Bullitt County descendants who are now settled all over the nation. Many of those far-away Friends receive this newsletter and have written very kind notes in return.

Those visits were like taking a tour of America at its best, with good relatives to welcome me at every stop.

I look forward to meeting the new Friends that this season will bring to our museum door. What is the saying?..."A stranger is just a friend I haven't met yet"?

Ahh!! What an exciting time to be at the Bullitt County History Museum!

Thank you 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: