The Bullitt County History Museum

Museum Newsletter - 30 Jan 2007

Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum E-Newsletter
January 30, 2007 (Volume 3, Number 3)

Dear Friends,


>> Dave's Salt-Making presentation coming to Hardin County Library This Friday February 2nd.

David Strange (that's me!) will be using some salty language this Friday evening at the Hardin County Public Library. He will be speaking about the salt making industry that was so vital to pioneers of the region until about 1850. Salt "furnaces" around the Bullitt County region supplied pioneers with salt as far away as Illinois. It was so important that the Salt River (originally called the Salt LICK River) was given its name because people from many hundreds of miles away knew to go up that river to get to the salt licks. Native Americans made trips to the area to make salt for untold centuries before that.

Dave will be talking about the history of evaporative salt making and the more-complicated-than-you-think process of salt making. He will also talk about a surprising sister region of ours, Saltville, Virginia, which turns out to have direct genealogical connections to our regional salt industry.

The presentation is hosted by the Ancestral Trails Historical Society.

Time is 7 p.m. at the Hardin County Library on 100 Jim Owen Drive, off St. John's Road in Elizabethtown.

Directions to the library, via Ann Sipes: "if you get off the I-65 at # 94 exit at Etown, you'll be on KY 62 and you'll come right downtown-about 2.65 miles. You could turn right onto Dixie (same as 31-W) and go to north a few blocks( and through two lights and take a left at the third light, onto St. John's Rd., (James and Son's Grocery is on the corner as you turn), go to the next light which is the 31-W by-pass, go across it and head up the hill, still on St. John's RD. and turn left onto Jim Owen Dr. which only goes into the library grounds.

Or you could stay on 62, (on corner of 62 and 31-W is the Hardin Co. History museum on your right) go across Dixie or 31-W and go out to the 31-W by-pass which is right past the Prichard Community Center. Take a right onto the 31-W by-pass and go to the second light, take a left onto St. John's Rd. , head up the hill and take a left onto Jim Owen Drive. There is a brick marker- 100 Jim Owen Dr. is the address, but it is really just a drive off St. John's Rd. and only goes to the library grounds."

Thank to Ann Sipes for inviting me. I've been there before, but now I'm not sure I can find it! [grin]

If you know the area, it is sort of near the Pritchard Community Center.

>>Speaking of Libraries, the new Ridgway Public Library grand opening in Shepherdsville.

Over the past six months, the Bullitt County Public Library System has been radically remodeling and expanding its headquarters Ridgway Library.

Well, it's almost ready to open and I "gotta tell ya", it is one beautiful building!

As a board member of the library, I am about to bust my buttons with pride. The building is not only an artistic and practical quantum leap over anything we have had before, it was done on schedule and within budget. There is custom cabinetry, a nice 100-person capacity meeting room with kitchenette, a private study room, new computers, separate areas for different age groups, and a very nice genealogical studies room. The library boasts a total offering of some 80,000 books and tapes.

The grand opening celebration will be held at the library Sunday afternoon February 11, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Ribbon cutting will be at 1:30.

The library will open for regular business Monday February 12.

The Ridgway Library is located at 127 North Walnut Street, beside the Nina Mooney Annex government building in Shepherdsville. That's behind the county courthouse.

The Sunday event is open to everyone, so come if you can. There will be tours and lots of slaps on the back!

>> Bullitt County Genealogical Society does not meet in February. New location and time for March.

The Bullitt County Genealogical Society will not have a meeting in February.

But March will be an exciting time! The Society will begin meeting at the new Ridgway Library in its fine new facilities. The March meeting will feature a special tour of the new building with a focus on its new genealogical studies room and its new microfilm machine.

Officers have also decided to try a different meeting time, namely 4:00 p.m. It is hoped this earlier time will actually be more convenient for many people, allowing them to get home earlier in the evening. The plan is to try it and see how it works out.

>> New Museum Pin for Sale.

A new limited-edition of our custom-made Bullitt County History Museum lapel pin is now available for sale. The pin can be used as a lapel pin or as a tie tack. Price is $10 ($11 if it needs to be mailed) and can be purchased at the museum or ordered by mail (with check made out to Bullitt County History Museum).

>> New Kentucky Almanac available for sale.

The Museum now has the 2007 edition of the Kentucky Almanac available for sale. Cost is $20 at the museum.

Museum Activity.

>> We have had several donation of interesting items.

New County Clerk Kevin Mooney, whose family has long valued local history, loaned us several items recently. Kevin loaned us three large panoramic photographs of the developing Fort Knox area in 1918. The one photo shows a large staging area for horses and cavalry training. In a great example of the chnages going on in the military at the time, another photo shows men training with the new "tanks". Kevin also showed us his collection of 33 playbills for the old Saint Clair Movie House that used to be in Lebanon Junction. The museum scanned the images, covering a time from 1948 to 1951, into digital format so we now have some really good copies in our collection. It's kind of fun to look at what movies were being shown at the time. I was also surprised to see that the movie house was open seven days a week with a wide variety of films.

Lynn Edington gave the museum an interesting collection of "Health for Victory" cookbooks that offered to help families cook healthfully, while carefully using their food ration stamps during World War Two.

Valued local historian and Friend Burlyn Pike came by the museum the other day and gave us his collection of documents and photos related to historic markers in Bullitt County. For many years, Burlyn was the local representative for state historic markers.

Steve Masden provided the museum with several photos of the 1917 Shepherdsville train wreck. These photos will be very helpful as we begin to seriously develop a permanent exhibit remembering that and other past wrecks. Steve also gave us some school group photos from 1911 with the people all named.

Magistrate Buddy Shepherd gave us a group photo of Woodland School in 1920 or 1921, also with everyone named. We have a large number of old one-room schoolhouse photos, but is rare, and much appreciated to have names and dates to go with the photos. Buddy also gave us a photo of some people at the 1949 Bullitt County Fair...the last year the fair was held at the old site on Highway 61 near the current Shepherdsville Post Office.

>> Scanning proceeding well!

Volunteers Dennis Shaffner and Bob Cline are probably beginning to wear their index fingers, and patience, to the bone as they have been working hard to scan our hundreds of photos into digital format. When this project is done, our great collection of vintage photos will be protected from loss or damage, and the computerized copies will be searchable. They are about to start volume eleven out of fifteen.

Meanwhile, volunteer Judy Richardson is transcribing a number of Statira Mathis notebooks to searchable text. Ms. Mathis did prolific genealogical work during her lifetime, and we are honored to have some of her papers. Judy is struggling through a lot of not-too-clear handwriting to provide us with some more easily usable text..

Thanks to all for their generosity!!

Historic Preservations

Artifacts and valuables, whether at home or at museums, are often marked with a note written on a sticky label attached to the item.

Don't do that.

Over time, sticky labels can sometimes cause acidic harm to the item, especially if the item is cloth or paper. In addition, the "sticky" eventually loses its stickiness, and the label falls off. We at the Bullitt County History Museum have seen this. We have received gift items from time to time with several items stored together in a box, but the labels all in a pile in the bottom of the box. Can this matter much? Well, for example, early in our existence we received a box of items. Of the labels that had fallen off, one said "This item came over the mountains in one of the first covered wagons". Which item was it? Another box of wonderful old books and bibles had a loose label that said, in part, "This book was used to help teach slaves to learn to read". Which book? Oh how I would love to know for sure just which book it was. But that information, though so very close, may be lost forever.

Do not use sticky paper or even inserted note cards. If at all possible, attach the note more permanently, of course keeping consideration to not damage the item. For example, I have seen notes written on cloth items with ink, resulting in a useless blurred ink spot on the item over time. Use good acid-free labels attached with string to cloth items. perhaps write a pencil code number on the back of a book with a corresponding numbered note card. If it is a stone or ceramic item, consider using a good permanent marker and writing in an inconspicuous place.

Mostly, just think long-term, very long-term. As doctors say, "First do no harm", then remember that someone literally a hundred years from now may be trying to read your label and figure out just what you were trying to say about the item.

Finally...Some old newspaper text, just for fun.

I was recently given a photo copy of a portion of the August 19, 1949 edition of the Salt River News. Among items in the old local paper were these:

"Lindsey Wiggington and Oliver Harris, both of Mt. Washington, today announced that the new Airport Rink and Grill will open next week at Mt. Washington. The rink is located in the old airport hanger and is described as the finest skating rink in the entire state. The management announced that the recreation center will be open daily except Sunday from 4 to 11 p.m. The owners stated that free music is furnished during the evening and they have extended an invitation to folks throughout the area to visit the entertainment they have to offer."

"New Auto Dealer at Lebanon Junction. Announcement was made today that Argenbrights Service Station , Lebanon Junction, has been appointed as dealers in that area for Plymouth an Chrysler automobiles. Russell Argenbright, manager, states that latest models of the two autos would be on display in his showrooms within a few days."

Just a couple clips from history. .

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: