Liberty County celebrated the 1OOth anniversary of the founding of Midway during three days of activities commencing on December 5, 1852. All of the celebration took place in or around Midway Church, focal point for so much of Liberty County history.
Plans to celebrate the occasion were initiated on March 10, 1852, during the annual meeting of the Midway Society. W.S. Baker proposed a resolution.
"Whereas, December 5, 1852, will be a century since the settlement of this community in this place; therefore, "
Resolved, that in token of respect to the memory of our ancestors, and of gratitude to our preservers, we will celebrate that day with suitable observance, and further,
"Resolved, that a committee shall be appointed by the chair consisting of 13 in number, from the different parts of the community, to make all necessary arrangements."
The resolution was adopted by the Midway Society. A committee was appointed to produce the celebration. It was composed of W.S. Baker, L.J. Mallard, H.H. Jones, T.Q. Cassels, W.G. Martin, John W. Stacy, W.Q. Baker, T.S. Malland, Thomas Quarterman Sr., Nathaniel Varnedoe, W.M. Jones, T.B. Barnard, and Thomas W. Fleming.
The first day of the celebration was on a Sunday. Reverend I.S.K. Axson, pastor of Midway Church, preached a sermon in the morning, and another in the afternoon, appropriate to the occasion. The church was filled to overflowing with white persons on the main floor and slaves in the gallery. There was a picnic lunch around the church at noon.
The firing of a cannon by the Chatham Artillery from Savannah, Georgia, signified the beginning of the second day of celebration. A procession of persons formed on the Sunbury Road and marched into Midway Church to music by the Chatham Artillery Band. They heard a historical speech by John B. Mallard, and then more music by the band.
The audience left the church and formed outside around a site selected for the laying of a cornerstone of a monument to be erected commemorating the centennial celebration. It was directly in front of the church, and in line with the south wall of the cemetery. Current coins, historical papers. pamphlets, and various other items were placed inside the cornerstone. which was then laid with appropriate ceremony.
There was then another picnic lunch on grounds of Midway Church. In the afternoon the audience returned to Midway Church for more music by the Chatham Artillery Band and a speech by William Law.
The third day was a time of family reunions. Families from all over Liberty County met their kin at Midway Church for a full day of talking. still more music by the Chatham Artillery Band, and business meetings of the various reunions inside Midway Church. There was, of course, another picnic lunch on church grounds.
From "Sweet Land of Liberty, A History of Liberty County, Georgia" by Robert Long Groover; Page(s) 40; Used by the permission of the Liberty County Commissioners Office