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The 'Bottom' historical marker is simply incorrect

Letter to the editor

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POSTED: October 31, 2012 7:00 p.m.

Editor, There, it has been said, Henry Ford apparently had nothing to do with my beautiful neighborhood, Richmond Hill Village, being referred to as “The Bottom.” According to the previous writer, Ms. Ellis, “The land simply was known as a swamp or bottom area.” So I suppose all of Richmond Hill should be referred to as the “bottom” because, Lord knows, there are plenty of neighborhoods sitting in flood zones. Ironically, my home is not in a flood zone, nor is it in a bottom area.

Maybe, to some who are well aware and know our neighborhood, referencing to it as the “Bottom” isn’t disrespectful. However, Richmond Hill has become part of a vast network of folks on the move. I have no problem with locals, in their speech, referring to our neighborhood as the “Bottom;” however, I have a problem with the placement of an incorrect public historical marker specifically placed for touring folks — be they local or from the West Coast — and said marker plainly states this neighborhood is the “Bottom” Village rather than Richmond Hill Village. Where is The “Top” Village?

If it’s true Henry Ford had nothing to do with the “Bottom” reference, and these historical markers are to inform the public of Henry Ford’s contributions to Richmond Hill, then again, it needs to be removed. I have no doubt these historical markers will take their place among the pages of historical reference books, and material handed to visitors. It is just simply, incorrect. I cannot imagine why any organization would take it upon itself to place such a controversial marker in a neighborhood, anyway.

I, too, take great offense should anyone insinuate my neighborhood is such a place as the modern meaning of the “bottom” as referenced in the vast media. And I agree: Anyone who feels my neighborhood is riddled with crime and drugs probably should move to a safer neighborhood. Problem is, I don’t believe there is a safer neighborhood in Richmond Hill.

The bottom line is someone did sloppy research concerning my neighborhood, and that sloppy research was placed on a historical marker. I would not want my name and reputation attached to erroneous historical markers and literature. Sad to say, my neighborhood is referred to, simply, as the Bottoms on page 309 in Mr. Sullivan’s history book, “From Beautiful Zion to Red Bird Creek,” whereas Blueberry Village’s reference is nice and correct. All of the correct information is right there in the deed books in the Bryan County Courthouse.

Why was hearsay accepted rather than the facts?


— Dianne Rutland, Richmond Hill

 

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