Tympana are the semi-circular arches atop early headstones, usually featuring an iconic relief sculpture. In early America, the most common of these icons is the “winged death” head, usually represented as a cherubic face or skull above a pair of wings. New England churchyards and burying grounds abound with these earliest forms of American sculpture, but they’re rarities in the Deep South. Charleston has the largest concentration, with other examples scattered around the low country of South Carolina; Savannah has a few examples but Midway has the best variety in Georgia.
This headstone is half-buried [see first photo]. Wilson was born at the Salem Plantation, Beaufort County, South Carolina.
Elisabeth Bennett married William Way in Liberty County on 4 September 1794. In regards to design, this is the most important headstone at Midway. In Early Gravestone Art of Georgia & South Carolina (UGA Press, Athens, 1986), Diana Williams Combs wrote: “As far as I know, the nimbus has not been employed elsewhere during this period of American gravestone art. In this context it emphasizes the salvation of the deceased.”
Susanna Stacy was the daughter of John and Sarah Winn and the wife of James Stacey.
Margaret Stacy was born at the Salem Plantation, Beaufort County, South Carolina. She was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Wilson and the wife of John Stacy. She died soon after giving birth to their fourth child.
Sarah Winn was born at Dorchester, South Carolina, the daughter of John and Sarah Winn. [not the same Sarah Winn whose headstone is pictured above].
This is one of two Sarah Stevens stones in Midway. The other stone marks the grave of Sarah Milner Stevens (1731-1767). I’ll investigate this further when I can.
I believe this marble marker dates to 1793. I will update it soon.
There’s always a nice view of Midway Congregational Church (1792) across US Highway 17 from the famous brick wall surrounding the cemetery.
National Register of Historic Places
So am I, Russell. His daughter, Rosa Florence was my great-grandmother. Do you know the book Lyddy? It was written by Eugenia Jones, another daughter. It’s a novelistic treatment of their life on their plantation. I’d love a picture of their house.
I have material related to the Towers family, and their tie here is Laura Jones, who married Raleigh Camp. I have what is thought a photograph of her and one of the prior generation. My email address is email@example.com. I can send to you if I have your email address…Best, Russell Hicks
My Mother, Evelyn Jean Butler Palmer was from the Butler family of Bryan County, Ga. They were early settlers and most were rice planters. I am in the SAR/SR organizations and have trouble tracing all the Butlers. My Maternal GM Mary Etta Richardson Butler was from Liberty County. I have the Buddy Sullivan book on Bryan County.
I noiced that the writing on most of the stones are close to worn off. does anyone care or know anything that can be done to save these.
I want to tell you how much I enjoy your blog! My relatives–the Moses Liberty Jones family–owned a plantation, Green Forest, in Liberty Cty that purportedly looked like a little “New England town.” No trace remains, I guess. Your evocative photos and historical research are wonderful! Thank you!
I’m looking for information about Moses Liberty Jones…Russell Hicks
I really like your photographs Brian. Ginger Birdsey
On Sat, Jan 17, 2015 at 12:35 PM, Vanishing Coastal Georgia Photographs by
Dear Brian, It is always a pleasure to receive your posts. Perhaps we will have the opportunity to meet? We’d love to have you speak to our community at ThincSavannah, and showcase your photography. Next time you are coming to Savannah, please let me know. Otherwise, I’ll be on Sapelo next weekend (with Leadership Southeast Georgia), then I plan to visit Jekyll on Sunday the 25th for the Transcontinental Centennial. Hope you’re well, and thank you for sharing your talent. Cheers, -ASH W. Ashley Bowersox 912.604.3356
Sent from my iPhone