Hickman Historical Society focused on future

There was a time just more than a year ago that Ivan Potter, the President of the Hickman County Historical Society wasn’t sure if the history of the county would be around for future generations.

In February 2013, the building housing more than 120,000 historical documents came crashing down. Potter said with rain in the forecast, volunteers worked non-stop to save what they could.

“One thing paper does not do well with is water, so we had about 40 volunteers work solid for 10 hours and recovered about 90,000 records.,” he said.

Then all of those documents were stored until they could find a new building to move into. They found one, just two block away from the original location and so they began the cleaning process.

“Sometimes when you pull a book out there are rocks in them,” he said. “We thought we covered them all.”

But a few rocks and some sand is the least of his worries. Now, his attention has turned to the future of this history.

“There’s no replacement for these records,” he said. “None of the records are indexed or put in any kind of computer yet. Because it’s been saved, we can work with every historical society in our area. My vision someday is to have all eight counties working as one council to develop tourism around area history.

Potter explained that a lot of the Jackson Purchase Area’s history eventually comes back to Hickman County, the first county formed from the Jackson Purchase in 1822. If they are able to get their records digitized, they would be able to share them around the world, and Potter thinks they could capitalize on that to draw  people to the area.

For now his attention is on letting people know the Hickman County Historical Society is open for business.

There will be an Open House free brunch Saturday April 26 from 10am until Noon. The new location is on U.S. 51 in downtown Clinton, Kentucky.