Midway National Park (1939)

Horace B. Folsom of Mount Vernon, Georgia, editor and historian, made the main address during the annual meeting of the Midway Society in Midway Church in April 1939. One part of his speech had to do with moving Midway Church to allow a widening of U.S. Highway 17.


“This church,” he said, “was a landmark before Portland cement was known in America. It must not be touched,” he continued, “except as a last resort. Progress and utility are prosaic necessities, but Midway Church is divine in its gran­deur and hallowed ground.”


Folsom said that the problem could be solved by divert­ing U.S. Highway 17 around Midway Church and its ceme­tery, enlarging the corporate limits of the Town of Midway, and making the spot a national park.


“No spot in Georgia could be more easily and economical­ly converted into a national park,” he claimed, “one in keep­ing with the dignity of the nation.” He said, “It is a veritable park as it is, but its sacred relics are constantly endangered by the rapid traffic demand of a fast age.”


Folsom said that the original coastal highway “was born in 1803 when the same six counties now unified in the Coast­al Highway District were united in a road-building project, which, of course, became a necessary and popular roadway during the ante-bellum period.”


The Midway Church building was moved, U.S. Highway 17 was widened, and the spot never became a national park. It remained a historical landmark from the past.