The Bullitt County History Museum

Museum Newsletter - 15 Sep 2007

Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum E-Newsletter
September 15, 2007, (Volume 3, Number 11)

The Bullitt County History Museum is a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society.

Mission Statement Link

Dear Friends,


>>Eugene Cox, Brother of Society Co-Founder Doris Owen, passes away.

We were neglectful to report this in the last newsletter. Doris Owen, one of the main founders and Charter members of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, lost her brother, Eugene Cox, on August 16.

Our sincere sympathies go out to Doris and to the rest of Eugene Cox's family for their loss. And my apologies for not reporting this sooner.

>> Monthly Bullitt County Genealogical Society meeting.

The regular meeting of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Ridgway Public Library in Shepherdsville September 20. Everyone is welcome!

>>Judicial Center building dedication October 30. Have any photos of the old court?

Way too many years in the making, the long-delayed new Judicial Center finally opened last month behind the county courthouse in Shepherdsville. The large new building was worth waiting for. Much bigger than anything Bullitt County has had before, it houses several new courtrooms, as well as the Circuit Court Clerk's office, which takes care of such things as drivers' licenses.

Officials tell me that they have set a dedication ceremony for the building for October 30 (that's October, not September) at 10:00 a.m. I have been asked to set up a historical display for the day.

If anyone has interesting photos of the old courtroom, or something related, please let me make a copy for the display.

>> New volunteer Barbara Ratliff.

Welcome to our new museum volunteer Barbara Ratliff. Barbara, a retired Librarian from Jefferson County Schools, is a valuable addition to our band of workers at the museum. We had been needing someone to help us get our growing book and manuscript collection in more proper order and she has graciously accepted that challenge.

An additional benefit of that work is already becoming evident. As Barbara looks through our books to better understand what we have and how they would best be organized for us, she is coming across information that I did not know we even had. Just the act of her looking through our collection will revitalize our knowledge base.

Welcome, Barbara Ratliff...and thank you for volunteering!

>> Cemetery cleaning day October 20 for old "colored" cemetery on 44 West and Fugate Lane.

Daniel Buxton is planning a cemetery clean up day for what is known by some as the old Shepherdsville Colored Cemetery, on the corner of Highway 44 West and Fugate Lane. The long-neglected cemetery is badly overgrown and in need of the help. Date & time is October 20, at 8:00 a.m.

Contact Daniel for details.

>> 1917 Train Wreck Memorial planned for December 20.

It is not official yet, but we expect to have a memorial meeting of some kind at the courthouse to remember the 1917 train wreck, in which 51 people died just outside our museum. There are no details yet, but I am looking to have it take place at 5:27 p.m. December 20 at the upstairs courthouse hallway window where our museum memorial display overlooks the site. That will mark the time of the tragedy as well as the ninetieth anniversary of it.

Please begin to spread the word to those who might have had family or other connections to that awful Christmas-time accident.

Museum Activity.

>> Lots of research being done. Lots of visitors.

I am happy to report being both pleased and overwhelmed with the number of researchers and casual visitors coming by our museum research room almost every day now. It is not a "crowd" of museum visitors so much as a constant flow of individuals coming by to do research, or to give us information, or to just come by and chat. Seems like most every day now, it will look like a slow day, then boom, boom, boom. One person after another comes by, and the day is over before we know it.

I love it!! Such great exchanges of information. Such beneficial activity. Such good new friends to meet all the time.

At the same time, though, it sometimes overwhelms us as we at the museum try to help one, two, three researches at the same time, while trying to get some regular work done as well. Our operations model up to now has generally been to have one volunteer at the museum during all operating hours. I am beginning to see a need to have two volunteers on busy days. That will present some problems for us to find enough volunteers while at the same time not overstaffing on slow days.

But growth is a great problem to have! We'll be studying on how best to handle it.

>> Courthouse Iron Benches

As reported before, I had been asked to be on a committee to place iron sitting benches around the outside of the courthouse. We are now nearly ready to order, but still $507 short of enough. If you can see fit to donate to the cause, please send checks written to "Bullitt Fiscal Court" and mail them to the museum, P.O. Box 960, Shepherdsville, 40165, marked for the benches. I sure would like to get them in this Fall.

Many thanks to those who have already donated.

>> Alma Lesche display to phase out soon.

The museum will probably be phasing out the Alma Lesche fabric-art display over the next month, and will be replacing it with a display on old cameras and photographs, as we follow our policy of regularly changing and updating our displays. So come by soon if you want one last look at the work of our own internationally-known local fabric artist that passed away some years ago.

For Your Information...

>> Virginia German Genealogy

Friend and Volunteer Bob Cline does a lot of research on his German genealogy. He recommends checking if you might have ancestry from various German settlements that existed in Virginia. It lists names of founding settlers as well as much more information.

>> Cemetery locations.

One place to find the locations of local (and other) cemeteries, as well as other data, is the Topozone Site.

>> Other Bullitt County information.

Doris Owen recommends this web site for lots of information on Bullitt County. Try the site.

>> And of course, our new web site!

Don't forget our own new Bullitt County Museum web site. Check it often, as we are constantly adding to it.

Finally..."Ah! September!!"

Ah! September!! What a wonderful month in Kentucky! Fall is in the air!

July and August are most always just months to be endured. Hot. Dry. Miserable. This year was even worse, with record high temperatures in the 100's and high 90's the whole time. And near-drought conditions...brown grass crunching under one's feet. Dust blowing in the hot wind.

But almost as instantly as September came, a small-but-welcome rain came, too. Temperatures quickly cooled.

Just as quickly, peoples' thoughts cooled as well, ready for the long-awaited beautiful Fall Kentucky weather. Some people were so ready for Fall that Halloween decorations came out almost two full months before that questionable-but-fun celebration.

There was an almost audible relief in the air. September! We made it! All is well!

Of course, to some, September Fall is just a reminder that the cold, grey days of February winter are not far behind.

But that's not for me.

September is good enough, with its promise of the indescribably beautiful October Fall colors of Kentucky's vast deciduous forests. Sitting out in the open yard on cool nights, still astonished after all these years at the vastness of the clear sky with its unfathomable sea of bright stars. Listening to the contented chirpings of crickets and frogs. Even some lonesome dog or train in the far distance has a friendlier sound.

Ah, September. Yes, winter is coming. But summer is gone. All is right with the world.

Let it always be so.

Thank you for being a Friend of Bullitt County History.

David Strange
Bullitt County History Museum
Executive Director
Museum Phone: 502-921-0161
Email 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: 17 May 2022 . Page URL: