As a seventh generation Masden in Bullitt County, and a charter member of our local genealogical society, Steve Masden takes local history pretty seriously. He has spent over thirty years collecting photos and stories on the Lebanon Junction area, and authoring several books and documents of his own on the subject.
Steve Masden was recently the guest speaker at the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, telling the story of Lebanon Junction.
In the 1850s, the Louisville & Nashville (L&N) railroad was built, running through the middle of Bullitt County. In 1857, a junction was built, extending a branch track from the L&N line to Lebanon, and soon a small railroad town sprang up at that junction. The “Lebanon” Junction. The town incorporated in 1895.
From 1900 through 1950, Lebanon Junction was the largest town in Bullitt County, with over 1200 citizens.
Several large buildings were built in the town in 1912. But from the Great Depression on, the town’s number of railroad jobs began to diminish.
The new diesel engines were replacing the coal fired ones, and there was just not as much need for the old railroad town anymore. In 1970, the county consolidated its three high schools into one big one at Shepherdsville, causing LJ to lose its high school, and yet another facet of its sense of identity. Though the town has a population today of about 1800, it is now a small town compared to much of the rest of the county.
But much good is happening in the town. For example, a large new LJ public library opened recently, which includes a permanent LJ history research room.
Most of the shelves of photos, videos, and documents in that room were provided by Mr. Masden, who is glad to finally have a good place for people to learn about the history of the wonderful small town of Lebanon Junction. In fact, there is so much history there, there is already talk of the need to expand the room!
The Bullitt County Genealogical Society meets on the third Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m., at the Ridgway Memorial Public Library in Shepherdsville.