Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
August 24, 2005
Activity. There's a lot going on!
>> New "School Days" display. Thanks to the work of Barbara Bailey, we have once again refreshed significant portions of our displays. Much of our quilt display has been rotated out for a while, and replaced with an old-time "School Days" presentation, showing items from school days from the late 1800's through the 1950's. Come by and take a look!
>> Civil War Re-enactment. The museum hosted a history museum information booth at the Shepherdsville Civil War re-enactment August 6. It was a very hot day, but made worthwhile by the excellent re-enactors (and their cannon fire). We made numerous positive contacts, including a man that is helping us with a special World War One display that we are planning as part of Veterans' Day. (More about that later)
>> Old Shepherdsville Cemetery. During the Civil War re-enactment day, special ceremonies were performed recognizing the old pioneer cemetery (and its Civil War veterans) being restored next to the city park. Members from the local Scottish Rite group are doing great work restoring the cemetery, as I have reported before. I have applied for $5,000 in grant money to help fence and mark the cemetery. Getting the grant is a long shot for several reasons, but hopefully it will be worth the effort.
>> Videographer Michelle LaRock helped me apply for a $5,000 grant from the Kentucky Humanities Council that would help pay for a professional video we are developing about Bullitt County history. I probably shouldn't say much about the concept for this video right now, until we get further along. It is another long shot, anyway, and a LOT of work. But, it doesn't hurt to try, and it certainly is a "learning experience".
>> Old Stone Jail Tuckpointing Quotes. As I mentioned last time, I am trying to get the Old Stone Jail tuckpointed (mortar repaired between the stones). Quotes are coming in the neighborhood of $5,000 (gosh, that seems to be a recurring number this month). Now all I have to do is find the money to pay for it [grin].
>> Park benches next to Old Stone Jail. As requested, we found several really nice designs for iron park benches to be placed beside the Old Stone Jail. Most of them cost about $1,000 per bench (we need two). I have presented the choices to Judge Executive Ken Rigdon, but not a lot of interest at this time from that quarter.
>> "Jiggs" Buckman Photos scanned. Marilyn Lee kindly loaned us her rather large collection of photos of, and newspaper clippings on, Jiggs Buckman and his family. "Jiggs" was an important figure in Bullitt County history for whom the main street of Shepherdsville is named. The photos have been scanned into our computers and saved to a special archive CD. Ms. Lee not only loaned us the photos to scan, but gave us $100 to pay for that work and for copying a 16mm reel of video for her.
>> Toll Booth Display coming! Now here's a different sort of history than we have displayed so far. As part of our growing "Rivers, Road, & Railroads" display, we may be getting a special working toll-road machine in October. Anyone who was driving the Kentucky turnpikes years ago will remember (not kindly) the toll booths at Shepherdsville, Fern Valley Road, and Elizabethtown, where you had to stop and throw a dime or a quarter into a basket to go further. Many of us have had nightmares about missing the basket. Well, I'll tell you more next time, but it looks like the state transportation department is going to provide us one of those old units, refurbished to take coins as donations (the big traffic light changes when you throw a few coins in). When (and if) I get things firmed up, I'll tell you more details. It's not a sure bet yet. But this is going to be really neat!
>> Penny Pack brought us several old (1937-1940's) local high school annuals. I don't want to get into storing a bunch of annuals, but these old books have some great photos and information, such as longtime local historian and attorney Burlyn Pike as a leader in his school newspaper club.
>> As part of the Toll Booth display, I am looking for good photos and paraphernalia related to those booths. I am particularly looking for a good photo (perhaps from the air) showing the entire toll booth operation at the Shepherdsville interchange, and perhaps a toll-taker badge, papers, or some such item.
>> We are planning a WWI display for late October through November as an unusual display recognizing Veterans' Day (which, by the way, was started as a recognition of the sacrifices made during that war). WWII is often displayed nowadays, but we thought it would be a nice change to do WWI. Museum Friend Glen Smith has provided a WWI uniform, some gear, and even a gas mask. We plan to also redisplay a large bronze plaque that was first shown in the old Shepherdsville High School after 1918 that lists those local men that died in the "War to End All Wars".
We could use a few more interesting items and local photos related to WWI for that temporary display.
Chuck Backus works for the Kentucky History Museum as an advisor and cheerleader for small museums such as ours. He is an is an invaluable asset to us and has helped us many times. Well, one morning last week, I decided to ask him about a great toll booth display that is at the Kentucky museum. I E-mailed him with a message something like, "Hey, it doesn't hurt to ask... Could we possibly get something like that for our museum?"
One thing quickly led to another, and before that day was out, transportation officials had contacted me and offered me as much as an entire ten-foot toll booth! No charge. Shipped to our location. Vintage photographs printed and framed as we like them. Press conference planned with the Secretary of Transportation. And perhaps the Governor coming by. In two weeks. (I explained to the officials that such a display would fill our entire display room, and they are graciously scaling that down to the three foot by three foot actual machine we can use. It may now be ready in October.)
At the end of the day, as I was catching my breath, Chuck E-mailed me. It said simply,
"Hey, it doesn't hurt to ask... does it"
As always, thank you all for being a Friend of Bullitt County History!
Bullitt County History Museum
Museum Phone: 502-921-0161
E-Mail address: David.Strange@BullittCountyHistory.org