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. Read More