Midway Colored School

Historical marker #2348 commemorates the long and varied history of the structure at 215 Walnut Street in Midway.

Constructed in 1872, the building originally served as the home of the Colored Baptist Church, which later changed to Pilgrim Baptist Church. Pilgrim Baptist flourished in the following decades with a congregation that approached a thousand members. By 1911, the congregation had outgrown the building and sold it to Woodford County, which repurposed the structures as a school.

Administered first by Woodford County and later by the Midway Board of Education, classes for local black students were held here from 1911 to 1954. The school taught grades 1 through 8 until its closure, after which students were bussed to Simmons School in Versailles. Subsequently, Walter and Mollie Bradley purchased the building in 1959. The married couple operated the first laundrette in Midway out of the building for decades. The Bradleys also leased the building to a number of business and organizations that worked in the black community including a beauty shop, a shoe store, a fraternal lodge, and apartments. Over the course of its history, the building has seen a fairly representative sample of African American cultural institutions in Midway stretching from the years after Emancipation through the twentieth century.

The marker reads:

Midway Colored School
Erected in 1872, this was the first church building for Pilgrim Baptist Church. In 1911, the Woodford Co. Bd. of Ed. purchased this property in “Haydensville” to be used as Midway Elem. School for African Americans. In 1936, sold to Midway Bd. of Ed. School operated for 43 years, closing at the end of 1953-54 school year. Has since been used as laundry, beauty shop, and lodge.

The marker was dedicated on June 25, 2011.