The Richmond Hill Historical Society raised more than $31,000 at fundraisers celebrating Clara Ford’s 150th birthday last month to benefit the society’s Preservation Fund.
"These events offered a rare opportunity to gaze behind the gates of the Ford estate, which is normally closed to the public," said Christy Sherman, the president of the Richmond Hill Historical Society. "I’d like to especially thank the members and staff at the Ford Plantation, whose willingness to host Clara’s birthday celebration is testament to the charm and Southern hospitality found in our little town."
The April 23 events included a trolley tour that showcased Henry Ford’s Southern Town, led by author and historian Buddy Sullivan; three trolley tours that visited the Ford Plantation; and an evening gala attended by 250 people, including Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, State Rep. Ron Stephens, Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler, and other city and county officials. The gala, evocative of when the Fords would have an orchestra brought from Michigan and invite guests to dance on the lawn, featured 18 vintage Ford automobiles lining the drive to Richmond Hill Plantation.
MacAljon Inc. served as the title sponsor for the celebration. Homes of Integrity Construction Inc. was the Magnolia Sponsor and Thomas and Hutton was the Gardenia Sponsor. Additional sponsors included Georgene Brazer and Dorothy I. Watkins, Brookshire Design Custom Interiors, Caesarstone, C.N. Walker Designs, EOM Operations, Fish Tales, Fort McAllister Marina, Galbreath and Sons Inc. Heating and Air, Gonzalez Knife Co., Grant Homes, Kelly Tours, McDonald’s, Old Savannah Tours, Old Town Trolley, Plantation Lumber and Hardware, Richmond Hill Animal Hospital, Richmond Hill City Center, Richmond Hill Reflections, Royal Restrooms, Shell House Seafood Restaurant, SouthCoast Health and RPI. In addition, the Richmond Hill Convention and Visitors Bureau, Richmond Hill Bryan County Chamber of Commerce, Bryan County, the city of Richmond Hill, Fort McAllister and Arts on the Coast served as partners.