Reviewing the year — and getting the lowdown on megalodon teeth — were the main points of discussion at the Richmond Hill Historical Society’s annual meeting Dec. 3 at the Richmond Hill History Museum.
President Christy Sherman gave a presentation on the highlights and facts and figures for the group for the year.
A highlight from early in the year was the group’s oyster-roast fundraiser, which sold out of tickets and yielded net proceeds of about $7,000. The event also was the launch for the documentary on Richmond Hill.
“That was really a big success,” Sherman said.
The group also forged a partnership with the Henry Ford Heritage Association and got a visit from Mark Heppner, the vice president of historic resources of the Historic Ford Estates in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. That meeting led to a visit from Mark Campbell, Clara Bryant Ford’s great-great-nephew and the treasurer of Henry Ford Heritage Association.
The society has been invited to be on the committee for the Clara Ford 150, a commemoration of the 150th birthday of Ford’s wife, with part of the national celebration taking place the weekend of April 23. That will be a big focus of early 2016, Sherman said, adding that she has already talked to Ford Plantation about trolley tours around the house, having an oyster roast there and giving guests the opportunity to stay overnight.
The monthly Cars and Coffee events were the group’s biggest fundraisers for the year, with proceeds totaling about $4,000, which Sherman said was about double from 2014. The group’s membership is about 120.
Revitalization efforts have included new displays and making the museum easier for visitors to move through. Museum workers also have taken Cherokee roses off the fence, painted the building and de-camouflaged the building a bit to give it more visibility, Sherman said.
She added that it is “almost a full-time job to maintain the museum,” although donations have increased.
Other events in which the society participated included the 150th commemoration of Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea near Fort McAllister and hosting a reunion of George Washington Carver alumni for Black History Month, Business After Hours and the Arts on the Coast Spring Art Show.
Board member Peach Hubbard talked about a recent trip some society members made to Dearborn, Michigan, to the Benson Ford Research Center to gather information from the Ford archives. Hubbard said the society took more than 2,000 photos of documents and placed orders for more documents and photographs.
The society’s membership also approved the following slate of officers and board members: Sherman, president; Paige Glazer, vice president; Sarah Volker, past president; Katie Coleman, secretary; Brad Brookshire, treasurer; and board members Art Thumwood, Ron Burns, Hubbard, Dan Grant, T.J. Torre, Mark Bolton, Danny Brown and Marianne Izzo.
The meeting wrapped up with a presentation by divers Bill Eberline and Ray Pittman, who talked about searching local waterways for megalodon teeth. The megalodon was a large shark that existed millions of years ago off what now is the coast of the Southeastern United States. The megalodon would have been about 10 times the size of the shark in the movie “Jaws,” Eberline said. The famous fictionalized great-white shark was about 25 feet long, according to Yahoo TV.
Eberline said searching for the teeth in area waterways means feeling along the bottom of a river and not being able to see anything. The divers also may go a while before finding anything. But when something is found, he said, it’s like being a kid on an Easter-egg hunt.
“It’s treasure hunting. It truly is,” Pittman said.
The divers showed not just megalodon teeth, but also teeth from animals such as a sperm whale and Columbian mammoth.