Saturday marked the third year that the Midway Museum has hosted its fundraising oyster roast and sit-down dinner in the museum’s lower floor.
Patrons not only could eat on the historic grounds but also on the lower-floor as history surrounded them. On display in the room were different documents signed by George Walton, who also signed the Declaration of Independence with Liberty County residents Button Gwinnett and Lyman Hall. Walton was a prisoner of war in Sunbury after being captured when the British took Savannah.
Midway Museum Executive Director Diane Kroell also noted an early cavalry guidon flag of the Liberty County Independent Troop. A militia unit that traces its roots back to the Revolution sent a group to the Texas border to help Gen. John J. Pershing chase Pancho Villa on the border a year before the United States joined World War I.
The impact of those who were part of St. John’s Parish and Midway Church certainly made their mark on the country’s history. Kroell also showed part of a display she is creating that will show the Southern roots of President Theodore Roosevelt.
“We will have visitors or people working on genealogy that will run across some type of reference to one of the people associated with the area of the Midway Church. It’s pretty amazing the reach this area has,” she said.
Among the current highlights at the museum is an exhibit on loan that shows china and other items of the Charles Colock Jones family. The Jones family not only is considered Southern aristocracy, but also documented their lives through letters and documents in Coastal Georgia as did the book “Children of Pride” by Robert Manson Myers. Georgia author Erskine Clarke also has examined the Jones family and the Midway Church.
However, preserving and displaying history comes at an expense for the museum.
“We have four major fundraisers that we do every year. We host the cemetery tour, the Arts Festival, which coincides with the annual Midway Homecoming weekend, and the upcoming Christmas Tea in December,” Kroell said.
The Christmas Tea will be held from 11-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13.
“All of the money we raise through fundraisers and donations sustains the museum and keeps it going. We are a private, nonprofit museum, so we don’t receive any state or federal funding,” Kroell said.
Besides fundraising, Kroell said that the Midway Museum can use volunteers to assist with tasks that are required for upkeep.
“We are always looking for volunteers for a variety of jobs,” she said. “We are also looking for history majors or those who are graduate programs in history that could assist us in transcribing original documents. One of the things one of our volunteers did was to put our library in correct card-catalog order. We are certainly grateful to all of our volunteers and those who support us through donations and our fundraisers. It all means so much that it helps to be able to tell the story of this area better.”
Those interested in volunteering at the museum can call Kroell at 912-884-5837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.