After serving more than three decades as the park manager of a popular state historic park, retirement is a return to the simple things for Danny Brown — spending time with his family, connecting with his community and putting down some roots.
After 33 years as the head of Fort McAllister State Historic Park, including 29 spent living and working at Fort McAllister, Brown says he is excited about the change of pace — and finally buying a house in a community that has become like family over the years.
Brown and his wife, Maria, and their two daughters, Evelyn and Emily, are settling down in Richmond Hill.
“Raising our kids with a 1,700-acre backyard was amazing, but my wife is excited to decorate and really personalize our home for the first time,” he said.
The role of park ranger was a dream job for Brown, a U.S. history major and anthropology and museum studies minor at Armstrong Atlantic State University.
“It was a perfect fit. I always wanted to be a park ranger and this was a perfect way to use my education,” Brown said.
His passion for history was evident to all who knew and worked with him.
“I loved to work with Danny because he knew everything about history,” said Christy Sherman, who works in the visitor center at the Fort and worked with Brown for the last three years.
“It seems like I could ask him any question and he would go to his files, pull out a folder or turn to an exact page of a book in his vast library and there would be the answer. His expansive research was a clear indicator of his interest and passion for the history of Fort McAllister, Richmond Hill and the Civil War,” she said. “He sure will be missed by all of us who know him as a colleague, mentor and friend.”
After 29 years living in the park, Brown has more than just a few fond memories of the power of the Richmond Hill community. He noted the fundraising group the Friends of Fort McAllister, local schools and volunteer re-enactors helped grow the park and have supported its many programs.
Brown said putting down roots in Richmond Hill was the obvious next step for his family.
“We wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” he said.
While he doesn’t have any activities in mind, he said he is eager to experience more of the community’s amenities and living a relaxing life as a private citizen.
“I’m looking forward to getting involved in the community that has so supported me and the park over the years,” he said.
The job posting was just announced, so no replacement for a park manager has been confirmed. Brown said he hopes that the person coming into the position has a love of history and the management ability to oversee the dynamic offerings of the Fort.
“Get involved in the community, support your staff and enjoy yourself,” Brown said.