Category Archives: Riceboro

Dr. Abner Poter, Riceborough, Ga

Dr. Abner Porter was born in Orange County, Virginia  in 1774, about the time of the Revolution. He studied for the medical profession and then migrated to Riceboro in Liberty County where he established his practice and also became a partner in the mercantile business with R.N. Grove.

At the age of 34, the successful bachelor was enjoying a nice medical practice  successful business venture and was well like in the community. We now have two versions of his troubles which arose and will give both.One says that he cast his affections upon one of the fair damsels of the Community and was repulsed in his attentions. The other story says he was in love with two fair maidens at the same time. One was so good, so clever, the other so beautiful. Which he loved the better he could not decide; his poor heart was torn and bleeding.

On February 7, 1807, Dr. Abner Porter sat at his desk and wrote his will leaving most of his business ventures to his partner; one third of his estate to his friend, Ms. Sarah M. Foster, probable his landlady, and the remainder to his brothers and sisters in Virginia. The will was witnessed by John and William Baker. He returned to his office and with the skill of the surgical training he neatly severed his femoral artery and was soon dead.

The Puritans of Midway Church looked with horror upon such an atrocious deed and refused to allow him to be buried within the confines of the Church Cemetery. The members of the church did allow his body to be buried just north of the boundary at the foot of a large oak tree. A few years later the present brick wall was constructed, at which time the cemetery was enlarged to include his grave and the aged oak tree at his headstone. Today the ever increasing roots of the oak tree are slowly pushing the vault from the ground as if the spirits of those Puritans are attempting to exclude Porter from their midst.


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Riceborough Bowl

This Staffordshire bowl is a drawing of the Riceborough Inn. It was one of the buildings the Architect Thomas Little used to design the Midway Museum. This is shown and described by Mrs. Basil Hall’s book of her travels in North America with her husband and daughter. On March 20, 1828, the stagecoach inn in Riceboro was sketched by her husband, on their trip through Georgia.It was described as follows “a frame-house, being made of timbers squared and fastened together, and afterwards covered with planks at the sides and ends, while the roof is either boarded or protected by shingles, a sort of wooden slate, two feet in length, and six inches wide. Almost all the houses in that part of the country have verandahs, or what they call ‘piazzas’.”

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Posted by on April 5, 2012 in Midway Museum, Riceboro