Midway Renaissance
Midway Renaissance
Preserving the past. Ensuring the future.

About Us


Our Town

City Hall is located at: 
101 East Main Street, Midway, KY 40347

As most of Central Kentucky knows, Historic Midway was the first town in Kentucky founded by a railroad, but the town’s history began long before that when the area was inhabited by Indian Mound Builders. Two large Indian mounds have been identified on farms nearby Midway, as well as several smaller such structures in the outlying areas where they still exist today.Settlers visited the area as early as 1771 when Kentucky was still part of Virginia. Many of them were surveyors and liked the land so well that they stayed. By 1788, residents successfully fought to break off from Fayette County to form Woodford County.

Nearly 45 years passed before the town of Midway came into existence. Then, when the Lexington and Ohio Railroad was incorporated in 1830, the town became a hub of activity with the accompanying construction. Lodging was needed for the railroad workmen as well as food, supplies, and other dry goods. By 1832, the railroad carried its first passengers from Lexington with horse drawn cars. The line was completed to Frankfort in 1834 and by January 1835 the first steam locomotive passed through Midway (also know as Middleway) from Lexington, bound for Frankfort. Both cities celebrated the successful journey of the “Iron Horse” with a grand ball. Many accounts of those early years of the railroad related tales of the engineers not only stopping for water and wood, but also to open and shut farm gates, since the train traveled through private pastures.

It was around this time that the town of Midway was surveyed and laid out by the railroad company. In honor of their work, many of the streets in Midway were named after the railroad company directors. These streets continue to exist today.

Midway continued to prosper along with the railroad. Electricity was introduced in 1911. In 1915, a fire destroyed a large part of the south side of Railroad Street. During the railroad’s heyday, the 1930’s and 40’s, up to 30 trains a day rumbled through the middle of town. The passenger trains dwindled until the old depot (located where the caboose now stands) was closed in 1963. The last passenger train traveled through in May 1971.

Midway’s downtown followed the railroad’s fortunes and by the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the few remaining businesses primarily served the local agricultural community.

Revitalization and rebirth began in the mid 1970’s when several antique shops and galleries were established and the Midway I Village Guild was formed. In 1978, 176 buildings in Midway were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Now, Historic Midway once again thrives and enjoys its present reputation as one of Kentucky’s favorite spots for antiques, crafts, gifts, restaurants, and clothing. Several freight trains still make use of the active tracks running through Railroad Street, preserving Midway’s unique history and atmosphere.

Today, Midway continues to be a uniquely friendly and quaint town with a noticeable spirit. Embellished with local shops, cozy tea rooms, restaurants, and beautiful local architecture, the streets of Midway offer visitors an exceptional, relaxing experience. Because of its special charm and small town appeal visitors always leave Midway in high spirits.



Our History

In 1980 the National Trust for Historic Preservation  developed the National Main Street Center to encourage economic development in cities.
In 1997 Governor Paul Patton launched Renaissance Kentucky. The program is designed to encourage and help our communities revitalize their downtowns by developing businesses, housing and rental opportunities. 
"All Kentucky communities should have downtown centers thriving with activity to pass on local traditions and treasures to future generations."                     - Governor Paul Patton
The Kentucky Legislature sets aside $11 million annually to distribute to cities in the Renaissance Kentucky program.
Communities are divided into tiers of: Gold, Silver, & Bronze.
The City of Midway joins Renaissance Kentucky in 2001 as a Silver tier city after a year long application process.
Midway Renaissance, Inc. is set up as non-profit  501(c)(3) organization. Bylaws and the Board of Directors is established.
Through the non-profit  all volunteer Midway Renaissance, Inc. $2.4 million dollars were channeled through the City of Midway for projects.
The most significant project is the reconstruction of the downtown streetscape, and purchase of the Rau Building for a new City Hall.
Midway Renaissance, Inc. received $2 million dollars for the downtown streetscape project and Rau Building purchase and renovation.
The streetscape project included: all utilities buried, improved storm drainage, new sidewalks, stone walls along the railroad tracks, pedestrian crossovers of the railroad tracks, improved parking, street lights, & landscaping.
The Rau Building was purchased and renovated into the new Midway City Hall. A parking lot was constructed behind the building for City Hall staff, tenants, and the public.
Governor Ernie Fletcher (2003-2007) restructured Renaissance Kentucky into Renaissance on Main.
State of Kentucky legislative funding for the program is decreased.
Midway Renaissance left Renaissance Kentucky Main Street Program in 2011.
After a two year dormancy 2013/2014 Midway Renaissance, Inc. reactivated in 2015.
After much discussion the current Board Members decided that re-joining the Main Street Program was economically not possible.
Midway Renaissance, Inc. is an independent organization now Francisco’s Farm Arts Festival is its primary source of income.
Midway Renaissance committees: 
Started tree nursery at the cemetery
Greenspace became the Walter Bradley Park group in conjunction with the City of Midway in 2016
Social & Cultural:
Midsummer Nights in Midway
Francisco's Farm Art Festival
Living History:
Midway High School Bluejays 1937 Kentucky State Basketball Champions Celebration
Midway History Days
Historical Document Scanning Event
Provides the historical display in City Hall








Our Vision for Midway

Preserving the past while ensuring the future. 








Debra Shockley- President - dshockley@rosstarrant.com
Katie Vandegrift- Vice-President kmv815@gmail.com
Peter Fisher- Secretary,  pegafish64@gmail.com
Leslie Penn- Treasurer, pennwma@aol.com
Kim Skeeter, bkskeeter@msn.com
Milan Hamilton, milan.bush@live.com
DeeDee Roach , mgrinky@aol.com
Kenny Smith, kenny@kennydid.com
Joy Arnold, ejoy1944@gmail.com
John Batts, johnbatts@aol.com
Julie Morgan, morganjjm5@gmail.com
Peggy Angel, angelacres@att.net
Christy Reaves, reaves.christy@gmail.com
Jeff Harris, jeffharris@ymail.com
Rob Mills, rmills8372@gmail.com
Susan Shelton, susan.shelton17@gmail.com
Judy Jones, judytwoponies@yahoo.com