The Bullitt County History Museum

Museum Newsletter - 30 Aug 2006

Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
August 30, 2006 (Volume 2, Number 12)

Dear Friends,


>>Labor Day Closing.

The museum, which is housed in the county courthouse, can be (and is) open whenever the courthouse is open (generally, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays except holidays). That also means we must be closed whenever the courthouse is closed. Therefore, the museum will be closed for the September 4 Labor Day holiday. Hey, we can use the break anyway!

>>Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary.

Jim & Judy Crepps have volunteered at the museum for some time, often overcoming illness and hardship to do so. Jim has put in more than 300 hours with the museum, and Judy, in addition to helping us out there, has served last year as Genealogical Society Treasurer.

Well, Jim & Judy recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. And Judy, let's just say, marked a milestone birthday.

Congratulations to them both. Thank you, Jim & Judy, for all you do.

>>Lloyd House News

Our Friends at The Lloyd House, a historic old frame house in Mt. Washington that serves as a museum there, have several plans in the works.

One is a November 28 event there in which guest authors from the magazine and publishing company Back Home in Kentucky will be speaking and signing books.

The Lloyd House provides a quaint, comfortable atmosphere for such events. I especially remember their Christmastime open house events that were so warm and wonderful.

I think they are planning to bring that back again this year. I hope so.

The folks at the Lloyd House are also starting a new fund raising activity. They will be collecting used cell phones for recycling, so remember them should you be getting rid of your old phones.

>>Fort Duffield Civil War Labor Day Weekend Event

Fort Duffield, located at West Point, Kentucky, Dixie Hwy. (U.S. 31W) at Salt River Drive, is an unknown treasure to many in our area. The Civil War fort located on a hill overlooking the town, has been painstakingly restored and maintained by some very hardworking volunteers. It is Kentucky’s Largest and Best Preserved Earthen Fortification. Even better, they put on a REALLY nice Civil War living history encampment on Labor Day weekends. Union and Confederate Re-enactors will be there.

Schedule (Continuous Presentations):

Sunday, September 3 - Noon until 6 PM
Monday, September 4 - Noon until 6 PM

All programs conclude at 6 PM

~ Additional Presentations ~

Storyteller - Dr. Judy Pierce, Sunday only
Historic Gov. & Mrs. John LaRue Helm, Sunday and Monday
Bourbon City Brass – Civil War Music, Monday only at 1 PM & 3 PM

General Information:

Fort Duffield is on the National Register of Historic Places and the CWPT Civil War Sites Official Guide. Shuttle service is available for those unable to walk the quarter mile trail to Fort Duffield. Suggested donation for living history programs $3.00 per person/ $7.00 per family (parents & all children under age 18)

Take a virtual tour of Fort Duffield online at this site.

For Information or to Schedule a Private Tour contact: Fort Duffield Heritage Committee (502) 922-4574 or

Museum Activity.

>> A Sister of Patrick Henry?

As I reported last time, my wife and I recently visited Saltville, Virginia, as part of a year long conversation with people there who had remarkable similarities in there Salt-Making heritage to that of Bullitt County. So similar, in fact, that the Saltville folks agreed with me that there surely was some genealogical connection to the two areas. Well, we have found one so far. One of the primary people in the Saltville, Virginia, salt-making industry was Mrs. Elizabeth Henry Russell, "a sister of Patrick Henry". While at Saltville, I bought a book about her.

Once again, our own Betty Darnell came quickly through with some interesting information for us. It turns out that Bullitt County local Mariam Bowman Field descends from Cuthbert Bullitt (1785-1855), who was grandson of Col. William Christian and Anne Henry (b. 1762, Hanover, Virginia). Anne was also sister to Patrick Henry and is mentioned as Anne Christian in the Saltville book.

We haven't found any more details yet, but it is fascinating to so quickly find at least a clear family connection to our friends in Saltville.

>> Display Changing Soon (well, pretty soon, I think, if we can get to it)

I have been saying it for a while but sometime in the next two or three weeks the museum will be making major changes to its "Electricity Coming to Bullitt County" display. The display, showing a number vintage radios and TVs, along with some pre-electricity appliances such as a crank up record player and hand-pump vacuum cleaner, has been very popular, but our available space is quite limited and we have some great new stuff to show. We plan to keep the 1948 "first TV in Bullitt County" and the other vintage TV that plays equally vintage TV shows. We also might keep the display of recording methods showing everything from the old Edison cylinders to LPs to 8-tracks to modern microchips. We will try to keep a couple of the pre-electricity items as well. We will be adding a desk that may be the itself the first post office of Mt. Washington (dating as far back as 1838). We will also be finally bringing out of our archive room the old 1914 silent movie projector that was used in the Shepherdsville Movie House that once stood on the corner of Highway 44 and Buckman. And I hope to announce soon another special antique that a donor is considering giving the museum. That too would be added to the display if the offer comes to fruition.

The overall display will further extend the developing general theme for that display room titled "Rivers, Roads, and Railroads. The effects of transportations routes on Bullitt County". Beyond the traditional routes played by our rivers, roads, and railroads in the county, communication routes (Records, Radio, TV, mail, etc) have certainly effected us and the development of our communities, as well. I think you will like it.

For Your Information...

>> Caring for Your Treasures.

Ever wonder just how you should be caring for that extra special collectable or heirloom? The book, Caring for Your Family Treasures (ISBN 0-8109-2909-0), is listed as an authoritative guide for private collectors, small museums, and anyone wanting the best advice on how to preserve precious items and collections. We do not have it at the museum, but it is available at the Bullitt County Libraries, and for our Friends that live away from Bullitt County, I am sure the book can be found at many other libraries around the nation.


Speaking of our Museum Friends around the nation, I am proud to say this newsletter now goes to such friends in some twenty states. And to those special Friends I have a special request that connects a tragic accident now playing out in today's news with an equally tragic accident in our county's past.

Perhaps you have seen on the national news this week the story of the horrible airplane accident in Lexington, Kentucky. In that accident forty-nine passengers and crew died in a fiery late-night tragedy as the airplane accidentally took off on the wrong runway. A runway way too short for that type of plane.

Of course such an accident is being covered heavily in our local news, but I got to noticing that it is apparently being reported quite a bit in the national (and even international) news as well.

It got me to thinking. If the August 2006 plane crash was in national news, as it should be, was the 1917 TRAIN crash in the news as well when it occurred?

I have written before in this newsletter about the terrible December 21, 1917, train wreck in Shepherdsville. That wreck remains the worst in L&N Railroad history, suddenly and viciously killing fifty-one men, women and children as they were headed home from a pleasant day of Christmas-time shopping in Louisville. The crash happened only about 400 feet from our museum. We have some local newspaper and personal accounts from the time, and it must have been a truly horrible scene.

I can't imagine anyone reading either the plane or the train accounts without feeling a bit of trembling in the heart.

I was wondering, Friends who are living away from Bullitt County, has there been news coverage in your area about the Lexington plane crash?

And was the 1917 train crash covered in the news in your area as well?

This is my request of you: Would you please check news archives in your area about the train wreck? Let me know what you find, and, if you will, please send a copy of what you find to me.

Sadly, tragedy always makes the news.

Sadly, there has always been plenty of news to report.

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: