Reflections Holiday Issue | Volume 17, Number 5 - Page 17

LEGACY and LORE

RICHMOND HILL HISTORICAL SOCIETY Past , Present , and all of the Possibilities

BY CHRISTY SHERMAN

In April of 1987 , twenty community-spirited Richmond Hillers decided to form the Richmond Hill Heritage Society . The founding officers were Patricia Starling ( president ), Dr . Leslie Long ( vice president ), Dale Mitchum ( secretary / treasurer ), Jackie Mitchum ( assistant secretary / treasurer ). Their objectives were to "( A ) Serve the people of Georgia and the United States by exposing them to the knowledge of factors in the heritage of Richmond Hill and Bryan County , Georgia ; ( B ) extend this knowledge for the maximum benefit of individuals and society by establishing an interpretive museum ; ( C ) strengthen public awareness of the influence that the auto magnate , Henry Ford had on the development of this region through changed lifestyles and the conduct of its peoples ; ( D ) use the Richmond Hill Heritage Headlines as a magazine portrayal of past , and present accomplishments of the Richmond Hill and Bryan County heritage preservation efforts ; ( E ) acknowledge and record the efforts of the people who helped shape the heritage of this region , both past and present ; ( F ) encourage the continued expansion of industry and tourism in Bryan County ; and ( G ) encourage the historic preservation of architecture and sites in the Bryan County area ."

As memorialized in photo albums and scrapbooks , it is clear the early society members worked hard to achieve their objectives and had a lot of fun along the way . The photos show members enjoying dinners together , field trips , parades , and hosting their annual Yesteryear Festival , which showcased antique cars , toys , recipes , and clothing from the 1930s and 1940s .

In 1995 , the organization changed its name to the Richmond Hill Historical Society to qualify for an affiliation with the Georgia Historical Society ( GHS ). This partnership gave them access to a statewide network that provided assistance in research , advice , and a speakers bureau . Todd Groce , the newly appointed Executive Director of GHS at the time , explained to the group that the word " heritage " usually relates to genealogy rather than history exclusively .

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