"Quaint railroad town in the heart of the Bluegrass" Midway by Ky_Happy_Dad

Midway Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 7 photos

History of Midway

Midway, Kentucky was founded by the Lexington and Ohio Railroad in 1831. The site was chosen because it was midway on the new rail line between Lexington and Frankfort and crossed the road ab out an equal distance between Versailles and Georgetown. The men that founded the railroad wanted their train to be pulled by a steam locomotive (then a new concept) so they built the track on limestone blocks instead of the wooden cross-ties modern trains use. They thought the stone would last indefinitely. However, after initially pulling the train with horses, when a steam locomotive was finally used in 1835, the weight of the train caused the stones to break and the rails to come loose causing several train wrecks. The railway went bankrupt and was sold at auction in 1842. The Frankfort and Lexington railway rebuilt the line. The streets in the town were named after railroad officials. The railroad continued to be the lifeblood of the town until the decline of commercial train traffic. By the early 1970's few businesses remained. The town was revitalized with the help of former first lady Phyllis George Brown. In 1978, the main business district was placed on the National Register of Historic places. Midway looks much as it did in the 19th century. The train tracks runs down the middle of main street and trains still run through the town. The town has seen a recent revitalization of its quant shops and restaurants and the town is still so small that locals pick up their mail at the post office.

Midway today

Midway today retains its quant small town character, catering to tourists and workers in the nearby horse farms. The downtown has been revitalized and several new restaurants have opened and others are planned. The local restaurants cater to all types of diners. There are several antique shops, a wine shop, a leather shop, a bookstore and a store that sells Irish crafts. This is an excellent place to stop for lunch off I-64 if you drive through between Louisville and Lexington; and if you have time to take a scenic detour, Woodford County has some beautiful horse farms on old Frankfort Pike between Frankfort and Lexington, on the road between Midway and Versailles, and the new four lane highway (new Frankfort Pike) between Frankfort and Versailles. The nearby Pisgah historic district is also particularly scenic. See my Lexington and Versailles pages for photos of some of the farm scenery

Festivals and special Events

Midway hosts two special festivals or shows each year that are worthy of mention: The Francisco's Farm invitational fine arts and craft show at Midway College will be June 10-11, 2006; and the annual Midway fall festival in September. In 2005, this took place on Sept. 17-18th, the same weekend as the Frankfort Folklife festival (see my Frankfort page) and my photos posted on this page. The fall festival is particularly good because of the free music, food, arts, and crafts. For more information about Woodford County and Midway call the chamber of commerce at 859-873-5122. For information about the fall festival, see www.midwayfallfestival.org. Also, see http://www.midwayky.net/ for more information about the town, the time local shops and restaurants are open (usually Wed. to Sat) as well as my description of the local restaurants. I'll add a travelogue soon with photos from area horse farms and the fall festival.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great Mom and Pop cafes and shops for browsing
  • Cons:If you want excitement, keep driving.
  • In a nutshell:Kentucky's version of Mayberry from the Andy Griffith Show.
  • Last visit to Midway: Oct 2005
  • Intro Updated Oct 6, 2005
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