The Bullitt County History Museum

Museum Newsletter - 28 May 2010

Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
May 28, 2010 (Volume 6, Number 5)

Dear Friends,


>>Genealogical Society meeting June 19. The June speaker will be Carl Howell, giving a presentation of his extensive post card collection. Friends, I've seen some of his collection before and it's really something. In years past, people would go from town to town taking photos of the area, and creating post cards to sell. Now those cards are important photos of those days gone by. For example, I have seen post cards of many of our local buildings that have long since been torn down. Our best photo of the "Old Stone Jail" in its heyday is from such a post card.

Meeting place is same as usual. At the Ridgway Public Library in Shepherdsville, at 10:00 a.m.

>>Active museum staff volunteer Bob Cline had eye surgery last week and is doing fine. His vision had deteriorated so badly that he couldn't recognize me just a few feet away from him. He told us this week that he can now see grass again! And he didn't even miss his usual Thursday volunteer day at the museum. Great news Bob!

>>Passing of Friend Jim Crepps. I am very sad to report that museum friend and longtime volunteer Jim Crepps has passed away. Jim and his wife, Judy, volunteered at the museum in the first years of our existence. In recent years, both have been too ill to be with us much. But they have been in our hearts. Our sincere sympathy to Judy and the family for their (and our) loss.


>>Henry Mattingly Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony May 22 went wonderfully well. We have been reporting on Henry B. Mattingly, a Civil War Union soldier buried at Lebanon Junction, who received the Congressional Medal of Honor, and, thanks to Volunteer Jose Rosario, now has a properly marked gravestone. The May 22 ceremony at Pvt. Mattingly's grave site went exceedingly well, with over 200 attending on a beautiful sunny morning. Check out our web page on the event for the story, photos, and video.

>>Web Site Additions. The web site is very active. To see what is new, visit our Latest Additions page.

>>New Boy Scouts Display. The Boy Scouts celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The museum is marking this occasion with a small display in the south display room, with some memorabilia and posters provided by County Attorney Walt Sholar. Barbara Bailey created the display.

>> Book donated. Charles Hartley has donated a very nice book, L&N Steam Locomotives, by Richard E. Prince. The book, showing many photos and data about L&N Railroad locomotives, includes a photo of the express locomotive that was in the famous 1917 Shepherdsville train wreck (check this web page or our book on the subject for more info). The express locomotive was refurbished after the wreck and used into the 1940's if I recall correctly. The book also has a photo of a locomotive that was probably like the smaller engine involved in the wreck.

>>Memorial Day events throughout the county. We plan to be at three Memorial Day events around the county this weekend. Please remember our soldiers wherever you might be.

For Your Information...

>> If you're into train locomotives, here's a web site that might be of interest.

>>New research site. Friend Betty Darnell tells us that our Bullitt County Public Library now offers access to NewsBank from their website. This is obituaries and other news from lots of newspapers. Such information can be invaluable in research. Here is the library web site. And be sure to check the Genealogy tab for even more help.


The Last Ride of the "DaveMobile"

Well Friends, since the election is over for me now (I lost the election for Bullitt County Judge/Executive by just 53 votes out of nearly 8000 cast! Oh the agony!), I guess it's OK (in light of keeping this newsletter politically neutral) to write about a both-humorous-and-sad portion of it in this newsletter.

As some of you know, as part of the campaign, I drove a white 1993 Ford "Econoline" van, with campaign advertising all over it. Stretched across the sides of the van were various campaign phrases such as "Respect for our Past, Vision for our Future", and a life-size picture of me, posing (as I joked) like a bald-headed Vanna White, arms outstretched toward the phrase.

It was gaudy as all get-out, but it sure caught attention. Wherever I went, for the last six months, I drove that old van around, parking it wherever I could find a prominent spot. From door-to-door vote hunting, to shopping centers, to work. Wherever.

Now that's good old fashioned campaigning!

Funny thing was, I've pretty much always driven smaller vehicles, and never really got the hang of driving that long van. But after nearly 8,000 miles, and a lot of lurching over curbs, that rattley old van and I sorta became friends. I had quickly tagged it with the name of "The DaveMobile". It was an all-in-one campaign machine, stuffed with campaign signs, literature, a booth tent, chairs, giveaways, everything needed for a traditional political race except votes.

One thing I quickly became aware of: With it marked so prominently, I sure had to make sure I was extra polite in traffic! It was hard to NOT know who was driving that thing!

Well, the day after the election, there comes the duty of all candidates to get back out and retrieve all those hundreds of political signs that had been put out. Not so bad for the winners. No fun at all for those of us who did not win. So, The DaveMobile and I set out together for that one last lonesome duty, driving all over the county pulling up signs ranging from typical small yard signs to a few five-by-ten footers.

After that long day, I slowly drove the van home, and pulled it into the garage.

The next day, I began pulling all of the vinyl lettering off, the sunrise graphic, and finally that gosh-awful ugly photo of me.

It was all sort of like a funeral.

When I was done, all that was left was a plain white van. Nothing left but a "Bullitt County Proud" logo that I refused to remove.

The DaveMobile was no more.

The next day, when I drove the van again, we were strangers. Driving an unmarked white van like that, I felt half naked. I felt like people thought I was some pervert looking for a child to grab, or a house to rob. (Hey, maybe it WAS still a political machine! But I won't go there. )

I guess I'll sell the van sometime soon and go back to a smaller, much more fuel efficient vehicle.

But maybe I'll drive it a while longer.

For old time sake.

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: