Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum E-Newsletter
August 23, 2008, (Volume 4, Number 8)
>> "Timeline" Living History Festival September 13.
This is the enhanced "Timeline" encampment that I have mentioned to you in the past. Don Eldon is expanding his annual Civil War encampment to include many different times in our history, all in one place. See a timeline of history dating back from the 1700's through the 1900's. Bring the whole family and step back in time. The free event, located in the Shepherdsville riverside park (an expansion of Simon Park) will feature displays from World War I & II, Korea, and Vietnam. Period encampments are planned including Native American, Pioneer, and the Civil War. There will be a Civil War era battle and a World War Two tank battle, as well as weapons and vehicle demonstrations.
The Bullitt County History Museum and the Bullitt County Genealogical Society will host an information booth, and the Shepherdsville Lions Club will have its food booth, featuring funnel cakes, hot dogs & brats, and barbecue & soft drinks.
And I'll be there demonstrating pioneer salt making.
It should be a great event. Activities start about 9:00 a.m. and last until about 6:00 p.m., but there will be night-time cannon fire demonstrations as well.
Call Don Eldon at 502-543-4973 or 502-599-0812 for more information.
>> Fifty Years of Publisher's Printing.
I recently learned that Publisher's Printing Company will be marking fifty years in Shepherdsville this year. Publisher's and its owners, the Simon family, have been fantastic benefactors of the county through those years, and we'll be paying tribute to that later this year.
But for now, Happy Anniversary to Publisher's Printing! Thank you for being such a positive part of Bullitt County!
>> Cemetery Preservation Class in Frankfort
The Kentucky Historical Society is hosting another cemetery preservation workshop this September 27, from 8-5 at the History Center in Frankfort. The registration form is on their web site. Ann Johnson, who taught our class last year, will be the leader for this class as well. The class was very popular when we hosted it here in Shepherdsville, and we have talked about having another one some day. But there are no plans for a local one at this time. So register for Ann's class if you can make it!
>> Dependable Volunteer Barbara Bailey.
Bullitt County Genealogical Society President Barbara Bailey has been elected for another term. More on that below. But I was thinking this week about how much she has helped in other ways, and I just want to praise her a bit.
Barbara has been a dependable volunteer at the museum since its beginning in 2004, not to mention a founder of the museum. When I signed on at the museum, she volunteered to cover Fridays for me, so I could have at least one day off each week. And she has done so almost every Friday for the nearly four years of our operations. Not only does she take care of the museum those days, but she does so so faithfully and so well that I hardly have to think about it. That's a great big help for me, who, after all, does this more as an enjoyable retirement volunteer project than for any pay.
Barbara is also one of our most knowledgeable volunteers. She has many years of experience doing genealogical research. She often travels to other locations doing even more research for her "family line" as well as for the museum.
Barbara is also an active member of our cemetery documentation team, getting out most every Wednesday, and some Saturdays, braving the chiggers, ticks, and snakes to personally document each cemetery in the county.
She and her husband Ken, another key member, have helped clean cemeteries for years.
So, Thank you Barbara, for all you do. You are so appreciated by us all !
The Bullitt County Genealogical Society held its annual election of officers this month. There were a couple of changes.
Barbara Bailey was re-elected President, as was Shirley Miller as Corresponding Secretary, and Lynn Eddington as Treasurer. Daniel Buxton, who has been especially active in the organization over the past year or so, was elected Vice President, and Ken Bailey was elected Recording Secretary. Former VP Sam Hardy was elected to the Board of Directors.
Many thanks to all these good people for taking on these important tasks.
>>Need someone to clip obits.
You might be aware that since about 1980, the Bullitt County Genealogical Society has been clipping obituaries of Bullitt County related deaths from the newspaper, and filing them on index cards. For the past several years, Doris Owen has been faithfully clipping the obits, and Barbara Bailey has been filing them while at the museum.
Well, sad to say, Doris has been struggling with her eyesight and will soon need to retire from that job. By the way, Doris is a former President of the society and a co-founder of it, as well as author of several books. She continues to be an important part of our organization.
But I digress.
With Doris needing to retire from the obituary project, we need someone else to take it on in order to keep the collection going. The primary function is just checking the Courier-Journal and the Pioneer News for obits of people connected to Bullitt County in some way. As I say, Barbara Bailey can then take the clippings, put them on index cards, and file them. The hard part is checking the paper consistently.
This might also be an opportunity to start doing this differently. It has been suggested that this project needs to move into higher technology. Perhaps scanning the obits, and even making them searchable by computer.
That would be up to the new volunteer.
If you might take on this project, give us a call at the museum or send me an e-mail.
>> New to our web site.
Ever wonder where some perhaps-long-gone community was in Bullitt County? Solitude? Browningtown? New to our web site this month is an interactive Community Locations map meant for just that purpose. Just go to our web page and a number of communities will be listed. Run the cursor over a community on the list, and it will be highlighted on the interactive map. Or click on one of the "location pins" on the map, and it will tell you the community. It operates much the same as our cemetery map page that I reported on last month. You can zoom in and out on the map, and even switch between a simple road map to a hybrid road map and aerial photograph. We hope to soon have another such page for historic markers, and, perhaps someday, one for school houses and other historic locations.
>> Intern Possibilities Through KHS.
College student Bridgette Branham got me thinking about it when she volunteered with us this summer. Then I received an e-mail from Chris Goodlett at the Kentucky Historical Society asking about whether we offer internships.
After exploring the possibilities with Chris, who, by the way, has been a tremendous help to museums, small and large, throughout Kentucky, it looks like we might start offering such internships. The internships would be non-paid and a bit informal. But we can offer quite a variety of experience, from record keeping to field work to photography to display design to restoration work. This looks to me to be just a natural progression in the success of our museum.
>> Displays will be changing
We at the museum have all been focused on research and field work over the past year or so and have been a bit neglectful of our actual display rooms. Well, at the urging of a couple of our volunteers, the museum plans to refresh some of our displays starting next month. One major change we are starting to design will be the "Timeline 1917-1941" display. Still in the very early sketch phase, this time frame, which starts just after WWI and ends just before WWII, will allow us to present local artifacts and photos about such things as Prohibition, Moonshining, Quilt Making, The Great Depression, and the 1937 Flood. It will take the place, in part, of our display about electricity coming to Bullitt County. I expect to still be using parts of that display, such as the silent movie projector, and a couple of radios. But alas, my favorite movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" will end its run after two or three years of play. Someone suggested it was time, and another volunteer immediately spoke up, "God, Yes!" So I guess that part of the display will be replaced with a newsreel of Roosevelt and the WPA. Farewell Bedford Falls! I loved thee well!
We will also be changing some of our other displays, "softening" the rooms a bit. I hadn't thought about it before, but the display rooms have become a little too "guy" centric. With the help of Barbara Bailey and others, we will be working on that with such things as period clothing.
>> Got a Screen door?
Speaking of the displays, I am looking for a really antique looking screen door to be part of the "radio fireside chat" part of the new display. You know the kind I mean: kind of Victorian, with lots of spindles, and preferably a whole lot of old coats of paint. Old and comfortable looking. I envision having an old radio at an angle behind the door, just playing away on a cool summer evening.
For Your Information...
>>"Shepherdsville" and "Bullitt" are unique web searches.
In this Internet age, here is something really useful to know: Of all the many thousands of towns and counties in America, did you know that our Bullitt County is the only one with that spelling? I am also told that our county seat of Shepherdsville is the only town in the nation with that spelling (there are several spelled "Shepardsville", etc.). That is really unusual, and useful. For example, I think there are some 32 "Louisville"s in the nation. Our unique spelling can make it much easier to search the Internet for information, or even for finding local web pages.
>>Ever Google "Images"?
Speaking of those unique spellings, have you ever tried to "Google" something? It's often a fantastic way to find information on most anything. Go to Google, type in the name, word, or words you are seeking info on, and dozens, probably thousands, of Internet references will come up. Just be aware that you might GET most anything. The word you use might mean more things than you really wanted to know [grin].
Try "Googling" "Bullitt County" and see what you get. Then try just "Bullitt" and you will find even more. I did that and found a whole new Bullitt family connection out in Oregon.
Oh! And Google also has an Images option that is great. When you do the Google search, notice one of the choices above the search box is "Images". Click that with your search and Google will search the Internet for photos and graphics related to your search. It's amazing how many photos can be found on such things as salt making. Again, be aware that seemingly innocent searches might pop up sometimes shocking images. There's pretty much everything out there.
Forty Years Since Czechoslovakia and History Continues to Repeat Itself.
This week marks the fortieth anniversary of the overrunning of Czechoslovakia by Russian tanks. During that "Prague Spring", the little nation was rediscovering itself and its independence. A fledgling democracy was forming and things were looking up like a fresh new beginning.
But Russia (more correctly the Soviet Union) had other plans. Soon, long columns of tanks rumbled through the nearly defenseless country, running over anything or anybody that got in the way.
Other countries protested and wrung their hands, condemning the Soviets for their hostile aggression, and threatening to "do something" about it.
But they did little else. Within days the little country was gobbled up and pulled behind the Iron Curtain, kept in that dark void for decades. The Soviets withdrew, sort of. They pulled back most of their troops but kept enough in the country to make sure things went their way.
This same week Russian tanks swarmed over the little Republic of Georgia. While the tanks and planes destroyed and killed, other countries "condemned the actions" and "threatened appropriate action". The Russians eventually pulled back some after they were done, but not entirely, keeping a large portion right in the heart of Georgia. Seems yet another fledgling republic is being gobbled up by the Russian bear while everyone wrings their hands.
It's both interesting and sad how history all too often repeats itself...and how little is learned from it.
I think it was Israeli statesman Abba Eban who said, "Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all the other alternatives."
Well Friends, I have run long again, and I didn't even get to tell you about Chiggers. Next time, I promise, and an appropriate quote or two as well.
Thank you for being a Friend of Bullitt County History.