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A service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society is the Bullitt County History Museum that is located on the first floor of the new Bullitt County Courthouse, 300 South Buckman Street, in Shepherdsville, KY.
      Bullitt County History Museum
      P.O. Box 206
      300 South Buckman Street
      Shepherdsville, KY 40165
Phone: 502-921-0161
E-Mail: bullittcountyhistory@alltel.net


The History Museum is located in the two front rooms on the first floor of the Courthouse, with their office located on the second floor.

Historical artifacts and displays are open free to the public Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (closed holidays). There are also resources available to assist in genealogical searches.
Bullitt County is situated in the Middle Western part of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It is bounded on the north by Jefferson County, the east by Spencer County, the south by Nelson County and the west by Hardin County. Salt River runs through the middle of the county, in an east-west direction. Floyds Fork, one of two tributaries, empties into the Salt just above Shepherdsville and the Rolling Fork, forms a common boundary with Nelson and Hardin counties, joining the Salt at Pitts Point, site of a once prosperous but now extinct town.

Parts of Bullitt County were inhabited several thousand years ago. This being determined by archaeological digs along Salt River and Floyds Fork. Evidence of early inhabitants has been found in caves and several rock outcroppings or overhangs.

Captain Thomas Bullitt discovered the salt lick that bares his name in 1773 while surveying lands for French and Indian War soldiers.

{ Bullitt County Court House (circa 1910) }
Most of Bullitt's first settlers came from Virginia, the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York. Earliest settlement of the county did not occur until after 1777, the year of Indian raids into Kentucky.

A salt works was erected at Bullitts Lick in 1779. Salt was produced here and at other licks in the County for many years. Kentucky's first commercial industry was the production of salt in Bullitt County.
{ Woodsdale School (restored) }

Immigration into Kentucky and Bullitt County increased at a rapid pace. Kentucky was made a separate state in 1792. The area now known as Bullitt County was a part of Fincastle County, Virginia; Kentucky County, Virginia; Jefferson County, Virginia; and Jefferson County, Kentucky. As the population of Kentucky increased new counties were formed. Citizens petitioned the Kentucky General Assembly for a new county in 1796. By an act of the Legislature, Bullitt County was created on December 13, 1796. The land comprising Bullitt County was taken from Jefferson County (north of Salt River) and Nelson County (south of Salt River). The county was named for Alexander Scott Bullitt, a nephew of Captain Thomas Bullitt, owner of Oxmore in Jefferson County and a person influential in early Kentucky politics. Bullitt was Kentucky's first Lieutenant Governor.

A pie shaped wedge was added to Bullitt's land area in 1811 by taking more land from Jefferson County. In 1824, part of eastern Bullitt was taken and given to the new county of Spencer. Present-day Bullitt covers 300 square miles.


{ Old Lebanon Junction Mill (circa 1910) }
Salt production and iron production were two of Bullitt's early industries. Salt was produced from 1779 until the 1840s. The discovery of new salt deposits and cheaper methods of production forced salt making in Bullitt out of business. Iron was produced from circa 1825 until the Civil War. As with salt, discovery of richer iron fields and cheaper means of ore extraction caused the iron business in Bullitt to go out of business.

Paroquet Springs, a mineral water spa, enjoyed a long period of popularity in Kentucky and through out parts of the south. The water was thought to have medicinal properties that could cure a variety of illnesses. Many people came to Bullitt County for the season, which usually was from June through August. Here they would drink and bathe in the mineral water. The first development of the springs began in 1838 when 20 acres were opened with accommodations for about 200 people. Over time, the grounds were further developed and more people could be cared for. The Civil War caused the restriction of travel and thus a corresponding decline of Paroquet. In 1871, a group of investors from Louisville tried to revive the springs. A new hotel was built and accommodations for up to 800 people developed. This revived popularity was short lived because the hotel burned to the ground in 1879. The water was still sold until circa 1915, and the old buildings were still used for a number of years after the fire, however the height of Paroquet's popularity was just prior to the Civil War.
{ L&N Bridge across Salt River (circa 1910) }

During the 1850's, the L & N Railroad constructed tracks from north to south through Bullitt County. This opened the county for trade with Louisville and other major points along the road. Prior to the construction of the railroad, timber, hay, livestock and other goods were shipped via Salt River and its tributaries.

America's Civil War touched Bullitt County as it did other counties. The railroad participated by transporting troops and equipment as well as produce and goods both north and south of Bullitt County. Railroad property, including the bridges at Shepherdsville and Lebanon Junction were frequent objects for destruction by Confederate troops. Many Bullitt county men fought for both sides.

In 1918, the Federal Government began to expand Camp Knox in Hardin County by purchasing land from Bullitt. The name was changed to Fort Knox and the Federal Government continued to purchase Bullitt land. Today, there are over 21,000 acres of Bullitt County that are in the Fort Knox Military Reservation.

{ New Bridge over Floyd's Fork }
From 1900 to 1910, Bullitt County experienced a period of internal development. Roads were taken over by the county and attempts were made to improve old ones and build new ones. A new courthouse (first one built in 1804) was constructed in 1900. Modern road bridges were constructed across Salt River at Shepherdsville and Greenwell Ford. Many smaller bridges were constructed during this period also.

From 1900 until 1950, Bullitt remained primarily an agricultural county. The population remained about the same and little economic development was carried out. During the 1950's, the Kentucky Turnpike was constructed from Louisville to Elizabethtown. The turnpike was a modern 4-lane limited-access highway. There was a full interchange and toll booth at Shepherdsville and a limited interchange at Lebanon Junction. This road changed the county. Quicker access to Louisville caused people in Louisville and Jefferson County to move to Bullitt. New businesses were opened and small industry began to move in.

During the 1980's, the Federal Interstate Highway System was developed. The Kentucky Turnpike was made a part of this system. Again the county was given access to new markets and economic development continued at a greater pace. By the year 2000, plans were being made for three industrial parks.
{ Main Street in Mt. Washington (before 1920) }

Incorporated cities
of Bullitt County:
  • Fox Chase
  • Hebron Estates
  • Hillview
  • Hunters Hollow
  • Lebanon Junction
  • Mount Washington
  • Pioneer Village
  • Shepherdsville
Population
of Bullitt County:
  • 8,521 in 1900
  • 11,347 in 1950
  • 43,346 in 1970
  • 47,567 in 1990
  • 61,236 in 2000
  • 68,474 in 2005