The Bullitt County History Museum

Museum Newsletter - 16 Oct 2006

Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
October 16, 2006 (Volume 2, Number 15)

Dear Friends,


>> Bullitt County Genealogical Society Meeting October 19.

The subject for the October Bullitt County Genealogical Society presentation will be "Pioneer Salt Making in Bullitt County". The speaker will be me, Museum Executive Director David Strange. Salt Making was the first industry in Kentucky, and the Bullitt County area provided salt for pioneers as early as 1775 and eventually to settlers as far away as Illinois. Natural salt licks still exist in Bullitt County today and often were the focus of fights between Pioneers and Native Americans...and between Pioneers themselves.

David will be discussing the process and the stories, as well as his trip to Saltville, Virginia.

Meeting is at 7 p.m., October 19, at the Shepherdsville City Hall, 170 Frank E. Simon Avenue in Shepherdsville.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

>> DVD's on Cemetery dedication and Civil War Days now available for order.

Back in August, Friend Don Elden set up a Civil War encampment at the Shepherdsville City Park. In cooperation with the Civil War re-enactors, a special event took place to "Re-dedicate" the old Shepherdsville Pioneer Graveyard. It was a fine event that included re-enactors representing a few of the people at rest there.

Well, for those who might be interested, the museum and Michelle LaRock, of TVRock Productions, have created a short DVD of some of the day (Our first official production!). DVDs may be purchased at the museum for $10 or ordered by mail for $12.

Museum Activity.

>> School Annuals donated to museum

As much as I would like to, we really do not have the room to store all of the past annuals from our schools. But we do take some from time to time. We were happy to accept the kind donation today from Pam Daugherty, who had came across some Bullitt County annuals up in Indiana and bought them for us. These annuals include Shepherdsville High School, '62, '63, and '66, as well as a Nichols School annual from 1953 (the first annual), when the school was still a frame building.

By the way, the museum has in storage a school jacket from Bullitt Central. Some day I would like to have displayable jackets from the first years of Bullitt East and from North Bullitt, as well as the ancestor schools, of Shepherdsville, LJ, and Mt. Washington. If I ever get a good collection, I hope to set up a special school jacket display.

>> 1929 county map donated.

Well, a copy of the map anyway. Friend Carmon Stencil recently visited the museum from Edgar, Wisconsin. She came back a couple of days later with a large copy of a county map she had found. The map, made in 1929, was meant as a geologic map, but it is particularly interesting because it shows the locations of numerous long-gone school houses, as well as the old roads of the time. I had heard that some roads used to literally travel the creek beds, and, sure enough, there they are on the map!

Thank you, Carmon! It was sure nice to put a face to a Friend.

>> Looking for help on a mystery tombstone.

Jewett Borden has a mystery on his hands and he is hoping for help. He was recently clearing some brush on his farm off Beech Grove Road at the end of Cundiff Lane, and came across a piece of a tombstone. He searched the area and, so far, has found no sign of a base or of any burial ground in the area. The stone is the style of a basic white military stone, 10" by 18" tall by 4" thick, but the only markings are "M.N.H." and below that, "S.J.H.". The markings are clearly professionally cut, but that is all there is. No dates or symbols of any kind.

Not much at all to go on, Friends, but if you can shed any light on this, Jewett would sure like to treat the marker with respect.

Historic Preservations

I learned a lot at a recent Kentucky Historical Society three-day museum management seminar. From that, I intend to occasionally share, under this heading, some of what I was taught.

For example, there was a lot of discussion about one of a museum's worst enemies...pests. The main theme here is prevention. Once pests such as silverfish or beetles are introduced, they are almost impossible to completely eradicate, and they can destroy photographs and documents almost overnight. So the key is preventing introduction, whether in the museum or in the home.

  • Seal up potential pest access to the storage/display areas. Caulk holes and gaps in walls. Make everything weather-tight so bugs can't come in.
  • Set out bug traps.
  • Promptly isolate new items (for example by placing in a plastic bag) until it is certain to be pest free.
  • Inspect all objects before they are brought into the museum archives. Clean well. Watch for bugs, nests, and eggs.
  • Remove pest attractors such as food, live plants, or dead bugs. (We at the museum already have a policy of not leaving any food around the office or in the garbage cans overnight, and allow no live plants in the museum.)
  • Resist accepting any newspapers or other old paper products. Pests LOVE to nest in them, and many pests that are too small to see will hide there. Even new newspaper material often already contain pests. If a newspaper has important information, scan it to computer and (this might be radical) get rid of the original or isolate it with a completely sealed film.
  • Be very cautious about accepting paper and other materials from southern states or other countries. All sorts of pests that are not normally in Kentucky, can be introduced into archives in this way.
  • One non-chemical way to treat objects for pests is to put them into a freezer for a few days before doing anything with them.
  • Friend Doris Owen suggests microwaving.
  • Use chemical treatment as a last resort, because chemicals themselves can do a lot of harm, especially long-term.

For Your Information...

>> Re-enactor supplies

While attending the huge Perryville Civil War battlefield re-enactment last weekend, I visited some "sutler" tents. I actually bought a shirt and suspenders that I might use if I ever get around to portraying a pioneer salt maker. It is amazing what all is available for re-enactors, and often not at really bad prices. Check out some of it at these web sites: Fall Creek Sutlery at, and Cedar Creek Supply Depot at

Finally..."The Spider in the Window"

I've lost track of how many years my wife and I have been perversely curious about a spider in our kitchen window. It is, of course, not the same spider. But every Spring a baby spider manages to find its way through a tiny drain hole in the storm window and starts busily weaving its web between the outer and inner window panels. It quickly grows too big to get back out and is trapped there for the summer, for the rest of its life, consisting only on the few tiny gnats that manage to find their way near the kitchen light. At first my wife and I would clean out the the web from inside the window, but every year another would come. We (or perhaps just I) became morbidly fascinated with the imagined choice made by the spider. The window space offered total protection from harm, but dramatically restricted any hope of having a really good meal, of "living a meaningful life". The spider found a place of no danger but also of no success. The most it could ever attain would be to barely survive for a season.

Somehow, that spider has become a bit of a philosophical study for me.

I haven't quite got a handle on it yet, but there is a thought there somewhere. We can also make "safe choices" that will bring no harm but cause no good. We can also make reckless choices that can cause much harm and still accomplish no good. Is there an in-between? Should there be?

The spider could have chosen to weave its web right out in the open, where the best catches could be found, but also the most danger. Or it could have found a place of moderate protection and perhaps moderate reward. But it chose the safe choice, and the one of least reward.

Which am I? Which are any of us? Which is really the best choice?

As October quickly comes and goes, our little window spider is coming to the end of its little life.

I do not think I am a "spider in the window" type of person. At least I hope not. Taking some chances, of course, guarantees some failures. The old saying comes to mind about "the only person who fails is the person who tries to do something".

Perhaps some day, near the ends of our lives, each of us will look back and wonder, probably all with some regret, about our choices.

I wonder if the spider in the window does...

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: