Edmonson County Hall of Heroes Conservation Project Gets Underway
By Edmonson Voice Editor Darren Doyle:
Members of two local Edmonson County Veterans groups have created a new non-profit organization for the purpose of digitizing each individual veteran photo displayed in Edmonson County Courthouse's "Hall of Honor." It's an honor for me to say that I've been asked to oversee a portion of this project and I'm asking our county to step up and be part of it.
The impressive exhibit that began during WWII, displays photos of Edmonson County veterans from all time periods dating back to the war of 1812. More than 1,200 individual photos are displayed behind glass cabinets down both sides of the courthouse hallway. For many of these photos, they are the only ones in existence. With the possibility that a disaster of some type could ruin these photos forever, a digitization project discussion began earlier in the year by local veterans.
Former VFW Post Commander LtCol USMC (retired) Floyd Houston began reaching out to those who might be interested and shortly thereafter, the Edmonson County Hall of Heroes Conservation Project was born.
"Our modern day hallway curator Maurita Miller, the President of our Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Auxiliary Chapter, dutifully repairs frames, rehangs photos as they fall, updates the cross-referenced index for the collection, and hangs new images of our youngest veterans," said Houston. "But this priceless, one-of-a-kind collection is vulnerable. The photographic paper already shows age and some decay, but more important, they could be destroyed overnight in the event of a fire, flood, or sprinkler activation."
Houston said that non-profit 501c3 status has been secured for the Edmonson County Hall of Heroes Conservation Project, Inc., and work has already begun, initially funded by a generous donation from Nesbit Alexander VFW Post #6937 members from Brownsville. I have been asked to supervise the digitization and database process while Col. Houston will help incorporate community-sourced documents such as medal citations and recommendations, as well as period news stories associated with these veterans.
Funding for the project is needed through community donations and sponsorships, which is the same manner in which the Wiley Willis Memorial Wall was constructed. The group says that each photo on display in the courthouse has to be photographed individually, transferred, edited, saved, and stored digitally, which will be in the form of its very own website, which has been named EdmonsonVets.com. Site construction has begun and some photos have already been stored; however, the site will be in the early stages of building for some time.
Sponsorship packages are available and donations can be made through the organization. My hope is that the entire project can be funded through these donations and sponsorships so that our local veterans can keep their own money. Days have already been invested into the project, which has barely gotten off the ground.
If your business would like to become a sponsor of this project, please contact the Edmonson Voice office at 270-597-6550 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can become part of the new website. For donations not associated with potential sponsorship packages, please send checks to:
Edmonson County Hall Of Heroes Project
200 Clevie James Road
Brownsville, KY 42210
Soon, the site will have the capability of receiving donations via credit card in various amounts.
All funds will be handled by the non-profit and 100% of the money raised will go to complete the digitization of current photos, as well as additional photos submitted by the public in the future and the ongoing maintenance to keep the site up and running.