Richmond Hill has a historical connection to industrialist Henry Ford. Ford used the town, formerly known as Ways Station, as a winter home and philanthropic social experiment, building the complex known as the Ford Farms along the Ogeechee River in the 1930s. After just one visit he chose this area as his winter home. Ford’s dwelling was built on the site of Richmond Plantation, which was burned by elements of General William T. Sherman‘s army at the conclusion of the “March to the Sea“. Ford’s holdings eventually totaled 85,000 acres (340 km2) of agricultural and timber lands, most of which is now owned by the State of Georgia or ITT Rayonier, a timber company. Ford was also responsible for the construction of a number of public buildings, including a kindergarten, which now houses the museum of the Richmond Hill Historical Society, and a chapel which now houses St. Anne’s Catholic Church. Both are located on Georgia S.R. 144, also known as Ford Avenue within the Richmond Hill city limits. The Ford Plantation has now been redeveloped as a luxury resort, with vacation cottages, a clubhouse, tennis, and golf. When it was suggested that the town be renamed “Ford”, Mr. Ford declined, and instead Ways Station was renamed “Richmond Hill” after the site of Ford’s home on the banks of the Ogeechee River.
Richmond Hill was incorporated as a city in 1962. The current mayor is Russ Carpenter. The previous mayor, Richard Davis served in that capacity since 1989. The city is governed by a mayor and a four-member city council.*
Richmond Hill Neighborhoods:
Richmond Hill Plantation