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LaRue County Genealogy Society finds a home in police station

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Organization members

By Linda Ireland

After a three-year wait, the LaRue County Genealogy Society has found a home.

The historical research group will move to the Hodgenville City Police station on North Greensburg Street after the first of the year – just as soon as the police have relocated to another building. The new police station will be in the educational building formerly owned by First Baptist Church on West High Street.

Last week, members of the historical society met with Hodgenville Mayor Terry Cruse to hear his plans for accommodations for the group.

“He (Cruse) said he didn’t want to come to us until he had a definite answer,” said Janet Marcum, treasurer for the society.  “We’re really tickled. We feel like it was a really nice Christmas present.”

The old police station also will contain offices for the city’s maintenance department and supervisor Tommy DeSpain. Officers and the road department will continue to share the maintenance bay at the back of the building, Cruse said.

In September, members of the society made a plea before Hodgenville City Council for an office and storage area for records. President Plez Polley said members are storing historical records in their own homes and needed a place that was accessible to the public.

The group hoped to find a home in the civic center – the former First Baptist Church. Former mayor Roger Truitt was working on accommodations for them in 2005; however, the move fell through for economic reasons.

The society is non-profit with its only income coming from dues and book sales – so they were unable to pay rent.

There was speculation the group could have a space in the educational building, but it was determined the police station would move closer to city hall, said Cruse.

Marcum said the former police station would be ideal for the genealogists.

“Out of the three places, really, this one is the best,” she said. “It’s on one level, there’s plenty of parking at the building and it will have a handicapped ramp.”

“We’ll also have a window there and have our name put on it,” she added.

Besides research books from LaRue and other counties, the building will house several volumes donated by McDowell Publishing, folklore videos compiled by Beverly Heath and Dolly Marcum and antiques. A grant will provide tables and chairs for the research area. Paul Michael and Sarah Hornback donated a showcase to the group.

The society also will sell books the members have compiled, such as “The People and Stories of Lincoln’s Birthplace,” a volume of about 200 “passed down” tales of the area.

The society has 89 members and meets monthly at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Monday at Sunrise Manor Adult Daycare. Meetings will be held in the North Greensburg Street building after January. Annual membership fee is $15 which includes four quarterly newsletters.

A grand opening will be planned, Marcum said.

For more information about the group, e-mail lcgenealogy@yahoo.com or call Marcum at 325-4308.

Police moving next door to City Hall

Hodgenville City Police will move to the former First Baptist Church educational building next to city hall by the first of the year. The two-story brick building was dedicated in 1953 and was purchased by the city about three years ago with Lincoln Bicentennial funding.

Police Chief John Cottrill said the new building will contain several offices on the ground floor. He and Lt. Steve Johnson will have private offices while the other officers will share a larger squad room.

No definite plans have been made for the second floor.

Hodgenville Mayor Terry Cruse said it will be convenient to have the police department next door to city hall.

“We’ll have them right there so we don’t have to go halfway across town to talk,” he said.