Richmond Hill residents can now remember beloved community writer and friend to many, the late Shirley Davis Hiers, just as she said she could be found in the spring – around gardenias.
Before a holiday social Thursday evening, the Richmond Hill Historical Society held a dedication ceremony near a newly planted gardenia bush and plaque at the Richmond Hill History Museum in honor of Hiers and her legacy in Richmond Hill.
“She just had a way of capturing the history of the area in a unique way,” Sarah Volker, Historical Society president, said. “At the museum, we have artifacts, stories and pictures but not the personal stories she had.”
Volker and Historical Society Vice President Christy Sherman said the group wanted to do something to honor Hiers’ memory because of her love for the history of Richmond Hill.
Sherman said the group chose a gardenia bush because Hiers’ son, Tim Hiers, said it was her favorite flower. Shirley Hiers’ personal quote, “I can be found by gardenias in the spring …” is engraved on the plaque that stands before the gardenia.
At age 67, Hiers was the victim of a murder/suicide in August, when the late Richard Earl Bates shot her before taking his own life. Hiers was a freelance writer for the Bryan County News. Having grown up in Richmond Hill, her features often focused on local people, places and traditions she didn’t want to be forgotten.
Read more in the Dec. 10 edition of the News.