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Richmond Hill is worth discovering

Around town and beyond

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POSTED: January 16, 2012 8:00 p.m.

Many have heard of or have visited Savannah, but Richmond Hill has to be discovered.
We were heading north from the Florida Keys in our motor home, which I call my land yacht, on March 17, 2000. It was late in the evening and we were looking for a place to tie up for the night. Being dog tired and weary of the highway, we looked for a place all that afternoon, but none was to be found.
Finally, we stopped at one RV park and the attendant reminded us it was St. Patrick’s Day and that every place in the area was filled to capacity. But he said there may be a place further up the highway on U.S. 17 that may have an opening. Grabbing at every whimper of an opportunity, we rushed up the highway and stopped at that place on the bank of the Ogeechee. We waited for the same sad luck response.
The attendant, a lady, said, “I’m sorry but we are filled up.” As we were just about to leave, she said, “But wait! Maybe, there’s something we can work out.”
She pointed to a grassy area in front of the reception office. “You can park there, but I can provide you with only a water hose and an electric extension cord from another guest area for just tonight. The tenant will not be here tonight. I am sure he won’t mind.”
I paid the lady full price without any arguments or complaints and asked for the location of the closest town?”
She said, “We are about two miles north of Richmond Hill.”
The next day, we headed south. At that time, there wasn’t much at the intersection of highways 144 and 17. Now look at it – Richmond Hill is growing by leaps and bounds. From everywhere, businesses and homebuyers are moving in.
There had to be some magnet that attracted the industrial giant Henry Ford, who must have considered other locations with just as many attractive features that could have suited his purpose. Probably, it was here that he discovered what he was really looking for – something other than his original purpose, something more challenging.
What was it, I wonder? The life-size sculpture of him standing in City Hall attracted me so much that I had to stand beside it to compare myself to a giant.
We have visited places here and nearby, like plantations developed and operated by renowned persons of history, of whom I have read but never knew the names of exact locations. We enjoy discovering how people lived, their lifestyle, mannerisms and other characteristics that have long since vanished.
There are still places here in Richmond Hill that have not yet been replaced by the 21st century, places that coincide with my childhood. My wife and I have discovered some of these places on day trips, and a time or two have gotten lost.
Since we located here in April 2004, some places and events that I never thought existed were discovered.

Bond lives in Richmond Hill and can be reached at fsb007@aol.com.

 

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