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Historical marker should be corrected

Letter to editor

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POSTED: April 4, 2013 10:00 a.m.

Editor, It’s sad when something is factually wrong, however right, as far as city officials, presidents, writers, etc. deem the wrong to be right.
I’m again referring to the “bottom” marker placed in Richmond Hill Village. Although all the facts have been presented to the mayor, council and city manager, none has made any effort to make the marker right — yet these same officials have no problem changing the sign ordinance to make signage more pleasing to the eye (forget the incorrect content) and more costly to the business owner.  
As a matter of fact, it appears we have a city government that prefers not to be bothered with silly stuff like an incorrect and demeaning historical marker in a neighborhood. Not only is the historical marker incorrect in Richmond Hill Village, but there seems to be a question concerning the construction date of 1937 on the Henry Ford Mary-Martha Chapel recently placed historical marker, which is now owned by St. Ann’s Catholic Church on Highway 144. The Bryan County Georgia Board of Tax Assessor’s owner and parcel information official account list the church as “actual year built—1920”, and “effective year built1955,” which is about the year the Catholic Diocese of Savannah purchased the building from Interstate Paper or their affiliates and serious remodeling and modifications were made. Now where on the official county record is there a date of 1937?  Oh, by the way, the listed location is Richmond Hill Village.  
According to the marker placed by Richmond Hill Historical Society and the city of Richmond Hill with Mr. Buddy Sullivan writing the text, Mr. Henry Ford built the chapel in 1937 and named it in honor of his mother and Mrs. Ford’s mother. So how did Henry Ford build the chapel in 1937 when the official records indicate the building was built in 1920? According to accounts I have read concerning Mr. Ford,  in 1920 he was quite busy publishing a controversial series of articles in his recently acquired newspaper The Dearborn Independent under the bold headline, “The International Jew: The World’s Problem.”   
So, once again, I am publicly asking the city and the historical society to correct the incorrect marker placed in my neighborhood and to correct the construction date on the Mary-Martha Chapel, now St. Ann’s Catholic Church.  
(PS–I wonder what else the historical society and the city have crowned as a Ford jewel, however incorrect.)
— Dianne Rutland, Richmond Hill

 

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