Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
December 31, 2009 (Volume 5, Number 15)
>>No Genealogical Society meeting in January.
As is the normal schedule for our genealogical society, we do not have a meeting in January. The next meeting will be normal day and time, February 20.
>> Looking for new Museum Volunteers.
Ever considered volunteering at the museum? As happens over time, we are losing a couple of volunteers at the museum. We are very proud of the work done by our dedicated core of volunteers and are thankful for them. It's really amazing what all gets done! There are all sorts of opportunities to fit a person's interest. Besides simply staffing the museum and helping visitors with research and tours, there is also opportunity to do real research on your own as a subject strikes your fancy. If you live in the area and can provide some time, consider volunteering with us a few hours a week. Give me a call at the museum and we'll discus the possibilities.
>> Sugar Valley. For the next newsletter, I hope to write about the historic community of Sugar Valley, located just south of Mt. Washington. If you have any information or photos of that community, please let me know.
>>Web Site Additions. Several more additions to our web site since last time. Our webmaster, Charles Hartley, spent many hours this month updating our web site so that it is compatible with iPhone technology. I now have an iPhone myself, and it's quite handy to be able to access, say, our cemetery web pages, complete with GPS map, when actually out in the field. Several of the web pages have also been reorganized to better handle the huge and growing amount of material on our web site.
To see what is new, visit our Latest Additions page.
The museum was given three books on the Lewis family. The books, EACH about 2000 (that's thousand) pages, is an extensive genealogical and historical study of that name for several states, including Kentucky. This is actually part of a five volume set, but the donor only had three. Even at that, these books will be a nice addition to our collection.
Also, three books were given to the museum by West Point historian Monie Mathews. Two of these books were the original edition volumes about Civil War era Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. The third book is a modern edition of those original two volumes. Monie knew we have been doing research on this subject and kindly dropped by the museum and gave us the books.
And the Bullitt County Public Library has added a second copy of "William Preston and the Allegheny Patriots". The local public library had a copy in the research room; this second one will be available to be checked out. This book is a great indirect resource for studying the roots from which much of the Jefferson and Bullitt County area began. By the way, our great local library system is very receptive to suggestions of books that should be added to their research collection. The public library, along with our museum research room, and the county clerk's office, makes, as Volunteer Bob Cline says, a "golden triangle" of local research, all in the same city block.
>> Museum decorated for Christmastime.
Right after Thanksgiving, Museum Volunteers, led by Barbara Bailey, nicely decorated the entire museum for the holidays, including a very nice Christmas tree in the hallway. It all looked so great, and the time passed so quickly. We'll be putting it all away next week for yet another year.
>> Old Stone Bank "Bank" brings in money.
A couple of months ago, at the urging of Volunteer Bob Cline, Bill Heilmena, Sr. hand-made a very nice model of the "Old Stone Bank" of Shepherdsville. He made the model to be a real bank into which people are encouraged to place a donation for the benefit of the museum. It sets in the museum office, and is intended to be taken to festival booths, etc.
Well, our first deposit into a real bank from that bank brought us $90 in donations. Thanks to Bob, Bill, and all who donated.
By the way, our working Toll Booth display also brought in $52, and book sales brought in over $250. We are a long way from self-sustaining, but we're getting closer.
>>Museum staff member Jose Rosario marked his first year of working at the museum in December.
It's been fun watching Jose fall in love with researching history and genealogy. He has been a great asset to our museum this past year, and we hope to have him with us for a long time to come.
>> Brooks papers scanning complete.
Steve Brooks and Mike Robison picked up their collections of original documents and photos last week. This was a great cooperative project in which museum volunteers scanned and text-embedded some one thousand photos and documents to computer. These ranged from papers & photos as early as the 1970's to as far back as around 1810. It was a great project and a fantastic addition to our museum research collection.
For Your Information...
Two old books of information have recently resurfaced in Kentucky and are being scanned and preserved for research in Frankfort and the Fayette County Clerk's office. The "Doomsday Book" contains the names of settlers who applied for land patents - property titles, essentially - from 1779 through 1780, when Kentucky was still part of Virginia. Another record book recovered by Fayette County clerks, the "Land Entry Book," contains similar information from 1783 to 1784. Kentucky became a state in 1792. Read the details in the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper article.
Finally ... New Year 2010
2010. Yet another wonderful year of possibilities ahead! It's so hard for me to grasp that our little museum, started in October 2004, is already heading into its sixth year. I am so proud that we have been so successful that I now finally feel that I should drop the "little" from my phrase "our little museum". Though we have won state-wide awards almost from the beginning, I have only in the past several months began to feel like we are really an "established" institution. We are certainly a long way from security, living on a shoestring as we do.
But I see us now as a confident, well respected organization. More and more the "go-to" place for research and information, even beyond our direct Bullitt County area of focus. Over the past year we have found ourselves getting questions about, and solving, historical and genealogical questions that reached several counties away.
And there is SO much more exciting stuff to do! Everyone should be SO proud of our staff of Volunteers, who I love to watch daily taking on new questions as almost a personal challenge to what they can do. They have become so professional in watching over the museum that when I was ill a few weeks ago, they all told me to just stay home and get well, that they had everything covered. And they did!
I enjoy their earnest interest so much that I sometimes find myself hating to leave them for the day.
We once worried about how we could meet my number-two management rule that there would always be a staff member on hand whenever the museum is open (Number-one was that we would always be open whenever the courthouse is open). But today, we often have two people present, and sometimes the research room is so full of interacting volunteers that our little room almost bursts at the seems. I do believe that most people at the courthouse will attest that some days our research room is by far the busiest and most exciting place to be in the whole building!
So on to 2010. We have so many plans and so many projects to do! And there will be so many changes and so many challenges as the museum moves forward and as my election campaign pulls me away more and more from the day-to-day activities.
My favorite movie as a young teenager was "2001: A Space Odyssey", and then its sequel, "2010". I still have a poster in my TV room. Those movies envisioned 2010 as a ultra-modern, ultra high-tech era with Mankind traveling to the planets and astounding, vibrant new things happening. We here on Earth have not achieved some of the things envisioned in those movies back in the seventies, but then again, even they did not envision the iPhone and a hand-portable Internet.
Despite the troubles of recession and war, I see 2010 as an exciting, positive time, with countless possibilities.
May we all fair well in the coming year!
Thank you for being a Friend of the Bullitt County History Museum.
Bullitt County History Museum
Museum Phone: 502-921-0161
E-Mail address: David.Strange@BullittCountyHistory.org