By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Help preserve Liberty County history
Liberty lore
Sometimes, good things need to be repeated. That is my intention with this article.
This is an excellent time for you to learn more about the history around you in Liberty County. Pick up a brochure about the Historic Liberty Trail and travel it. Explore the sites listed. Take the time to visit the Midway Museum, one of the best colonial museums in the country. Tour the Midway Cemetery and old Sunbury Cemetery. Be certain you visit the LeConte-Woodsmanston Plantation near Riceboro.
Walk where our ancestors walked.
If you don’t want to travel around and visit these places, I know just the book you need to buy and read while sitting in your easy chair. In 1979, the Liberty County Commissioners sponsored the publication of “Liberty County—A Pictorial History.” Twenty prominent descendants of the county’s early families made up the committee with Virginia Fraser Evans as the compiler.
The purpose of the book was to record and preserve historical facts, traditions and legends in text and photographs of the settlers and their descendants from 1752 until the early 20th century. The history is intended to serve as a tribute to the settlers’ faith, courage and sacrifices in laying the foundations for this historic and important county. I’m certain many long hours were dedicated to the preparation of the publication of this wonderful treasure.
“‘Behold, the glory of God is all about us!’ Benjamin Baker and Samuel Bacon and their families must have exclaimed when on the eastern horizon above St. Catherines Island in the new colony of Georgia as they saw the glorious sunrise tinting the marshes and reflecting soft hues of gold on the Medway River.” This is the first paragraph in the book. (As a matter of pride, I want to point out that Samuel Bacon was my gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-grandfather!)
There are several old maps, historical documents, and original letters that are very interesting. Fantastic color and black and white photos of famous landmarks, graves in several cemeteries, old school houses, churches and homes fill the pages.
There is a map of Sunbury, meaning a place exposed to the sun, showing all 496 lots and a list of their owners. Dr. Lyman Hall lived in Sunbury and owned two lots by the river. Button Gwinnett carried on his public business as justice of St. John’s parish in the town and transacted his private business there. George Walton was sent to Sunbury as a prisoner of war at the fall of Savannah in 1778 being wounded and paroled there until his wound healed.
For 40 years Riceborough was the center of political and commercial activity in the county. The Riceborough Inn was built to accommodate travelers on the stagecoach. Mrs. Basil Hall, author of “The Aristocratic Journey,” was among the famous visitors. Her husband sketched the inn and later copied it as a design on fine china. See a piece in the Midway Museum.
James and William Taylor received land grants in the 1760s on the banks of the Canoochee River and named it Taylors Creek. The Sunbury Road, Hencart Road and Colony Road made connections here. The settlement boomed until 1941 when Camp Stewart came into existence. It was a great educational, religious and cultural center in the county.
Walthourville, named for Andrew Walthour, was noted for its beautiful homes. Charlotte Walthour Baker made a collection of snapshots of the homes in 1912 and had a description with each one which is shown in the book.
Flemington is the home of the historic Flemington Presbyterian Church completed in 1852 at the cost of $1,500.  The beautiful cupola adorning the top of the church building is the artistic work of Irwin Rahn. The once famous Tranquil Academy is part of the social hall now. The Flemington Musical Society of 1888 had 101 members which met every two weeks and performed readings, read poetry, sang, played musical instruments and performed dramas.
One chapter is a chronicle on black history in Liberty County. Miss Plimpton was a teacher at Golding’s Grove at a primary school headed by the American Missionary Society. This was the forerunner of Dorchester Academy built for $1,100 in 1879.
The history goes on and on. All the communities in the county are included in this book.
This book may be purchased at the Liberty County Commission office in the courthouse annex or at the Midway Museum for the low price of $30. Buy one for yourself and more for gifts.
Go by Hinesville City Hall and purchase one of our historical Hinesville-Liberty County 48”x65” colorful afghans for $35. Now, you will be prepared to go home and curl up with history all around you.
Again, I want to express my appreciation to all the folks that participated in producing this wonderful pictorial history book of our county. Please do your part and record family histories and photographs with interesting stories and preserve landmarks of yesterday and today.

Sign up for our e-newsletters