The Bullitt County History Museum

Museum Newsletter - 28 Feb 2011

Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
February 28, 2011 (Volume 7, Number 3)

Dear Friends,


>>Bullitt Genealogical Society Meets March 19 with a Very Special Program. Widely renowned researcher Betty Darnell will be the guest speaker this month, and will lead us on a field trip across the alley to the County Clerk's office, who will show us some of the new research resources available there, such as computerized and searchable access to wills, deeds, and marriages. As always, the meeting will be held at the Ridgway Memorial Public Library located in Shepherdsville at North Walnut Street and Second Street. Meeting time is 10:00 a.m.

>>Genealogy Classes at Ridgway Library. Classes are in progress at our public library on genealogy. The next session, March 19 is on resources for genealogical research. Call the library at 502-543-7675, ext 5, to register, or e-mail Allison at You can also register online at the programs page of the library web site.

Trivia Question. Collings Hill Road, in southern Bullitt County, was once known by another name, and it can matter if you are searching for the location of something in that area. What was the earlier name of the road?


>>Great Genealogical Society meeting. Large attendance. Our Bullitt County Genealogical Society enjoyed a re-invigorated monthly meeting in February, with over 25 in attendance. Lebanon Junction Councilman and historian Steve Masden spoke about LJ history and the new research materials at the new LJ public library. Following the meeting, there was a class sponsored by the Society and the Library on genealogy.

>>Publicity on African-American Display. Our February special display on local African American history was recently praised in a Courier-Journal newspaper full page article. Publicity about that display is bringing us new information for our archives. For example, Joseph Hurst came by the museum to tell us of Dr. Clay, a Shepherdsville veterinarian in the 1950's through maybe the 70's. He lived in a large house that still exists just past the Salt River railroad underpass. If anyone can provide us a photo or more info on Dr. Clay, please do.

>> Salt Concentration Report. I have reported to you before in these newsletters about my interest in renewing use of our local natural resource of salty water, perhaps as salt brine for roads in winter; and perhaps as a source of special chef's salts. I also reported last summer that a group of geologists from Illinois had came to Bullitt County checking into our old "salt lick" sites.

Well, I received a results report from those geologists, and the information is quite interesting. For one thing, the concentration of salt in the water at the old Bullitt's Lick site proved to be right on what was reported in the late 1700's. Those old reports said that 300 gallons of water, boiled down, would provide a bushel of salt. Mr. Samuel Panno reported that his tests last year matched that estimate almost exactly, showing in more scientific terms, a "NaCl concentration of 21,735 mg/L." We have the details of the Panno report filed at the museum, which also list some 25 other mineral contents of the water, and a report on the source of the water. I have given a report to our road department as well.

>>Letters from Scout Troop 100. I reported last month that I was guest speaker at a meeting of Boy Scout Troop 100 in Mt. Washington. Well, I received several nice thank you notes from the scouts. I am always both thankful for and scared of letters from such groups. Thankful to be appreciated. But fearful of what my poor skills might have caused them to "learn" from me. A few excerpts from these letters:

  • "I appreciate you coming here because you didn't have too. I especially liked the train wreck stories."
  • "I thought those rocks and pictures were cool. Almost all the stuff you told, I would have never knew if you hadn't told us."
  • "I am probably going to the Kentucky History Museum. I would like to learn more about the history of Kentucky."
  • "My favorite thing you taught us is the Shepherdsville Train Wreck. I learned to never get on a train."
  • "I learned a lot like how old our town is and how our roads lead to larger places....I hope to spread our town history to others and make history as our town continues to grow."

And thank you, my new young friends. I hope I didn't make you too scared of riding a train!

>>Web Site Additions.

Follow this link to the page of Latest Additions.

For Your Information...

>> Renewed Web site at Ancestral Trails. Chris Lueken tells me that Hardin County's Ancestral Trails historical society has a reworked web site and a reopened book store. Check out

>> An L&N Railroad Dining Car Recipe. This from an old L&N Railroad paper we came across: "Bean Soup. Cover one ham hock with water and boil until tender. Remove ham hock from liquid. Add one pound of cleaned and washed navy beans, two finely chopped onions, three cloves garlic, finely chopped, one pint of tomato juice. Season to taste. Simmer until beans are tender.

Sounds good to me!

And Finally...

"What is NOT reported in the news might be more important in history than what is."

It's been a horrible few months in the news for Bullitt County.

There was the ever-increasing news that the city of Shepherdsville is suddenly in financial trouble because three to five MILLION dollars seems to have been "misplaced" or "misspent". And then there has been seemingly unending other embarrassments: A Mt. Washington police officer charged with numerous offenses including criminal mischief, burglary, and trafficking in a controlled substance. A county deputy jailer arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a minor under age 12. Another man charged, again, with multiple counts of sexual abuse. A $32,000 "skid loader" being bought without city council members' knowledge and then maybe being used in private business and maybe even being "rented back" to the city. An operating "meth lab" being accidentally brought into the county judicial center, causing an evacuation. An abduction. A hostage situation with a guy's own girlfriend. Spouse abuse. A baby's death, and anothers' near death, at the hands of their mother's babysitting boyfriend.

It got so bad one night as I was watching local TV news, that when the next item started about two awful mobile home parks being so unhealthy to live in that they were being forced to shut down (and the owner arguing that he didn't see anything wrong with them), that I said a quick prayer, "Oh Lord please don't let THIS one be about Bullitt County." (It wasn't, THIS time.)

But then I went to a "Boy Scout University" this past Saturday, in which I had been asked to teach some classes on "Citizenship and the Community", and it reminded me about the difference between "recorded history" and "real history" ... and refreshed my spirit.

And it encouraged me a lot.

Now I know that even Scouting can be controversial in this day and age, but think past that with me for a minute as I focus on another point.

That point is that, though the news media must and should report all those terrible news items, it is precisely that.

NEWS; information that departs from the normal.

While those five, ten, even twenty members of Bullitt County were doing terrible, embarrassing, and stupid things, a group of some three HUNDRED adults freely gave their time and resources to arrange a truly impressive event for over 1300 young teenagers from all over our region. Each young person scheduled in at least two classes during an all day Saturday session, using four local public schools, and numerous other locations. A truly impressive job of logistics and caring.

They did this for free and even at their own expense for boys who, nearly all of which, they would never really know or see again.

Many of these adults spent weeks preparing this event and suffering almost no sleep for three days as they did their darnedest to make the event as good as humanly possible.

And they've done this every year...for years.

Now, what does this have to do with history? It reminds us that as we look through our old newspapers researching our history, we should remember that those news items were just that: New and unusual items of the day. Though news, all too sadly, does reflect the "new" or even the "often", it does not so much reflect the "normal"... the countless good deeds that happen daily all over our county, nation, and world, by good people doing good just because it is the thing to do, without regard for recognition or privilege. Without even telling anyone about it.

Our news media friends do a wonderful job doing an often thankless job, and I do thank them for it. They are our valued eyes to what's going on, at giving us a glimpse of the day, shining a spotlight on the evil that then can be chased back into the dark. At helping prevent the atrocious abnormal from becoming normal.

But our people. Our good and numerous good people. They make the history that matters.

Even if the deeds or names of those good people are never recorded in our written history.

Thank you for being a Friend of the Bullitt County History Museum.

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: