The 2021-22 Guide to Richmond Hill, Georgia 2021-22 - Page 98
PLAY LIKE A LOCAL
J . F . Gregory ’ s home is still standing , occupied by the planning and zoning commission just across from City Hall . “ We used to love visiting granddaddy there . The driveway started about where Plantation Lumber is now , and took us down a winding path lined with pecan trees all the way back to that house ,” recalls Margaret . “ He would fish in the pond and farm the land ; it was beautiful .”
Skee describes the fences that Ford , with the help of J . F . Gregory , constructed along Highway 144 . “ They were adorned with Cherokee Roses and always pristinely maintained ,” she notes . The granddaughters recall when every home in The Bottom had an oak tree planted in the front corner under the supervision of none other than their grandfather . “ I remember Mr . Ford used to say that people should do what they can to help others — and that ’ s exactly what he and granddaddy did ,” says Margaret .
On September 29 , 1960 at the age of 72 , J . F . Gregory passed away from stomach cancer . In the late 1990s , Gregory ’ s granddaughters heard the city was considering names for the parkland just behind their grandfather ’ s former home . “ He was always the quiet man , content to be in the shadow of Mr . Ford , but without granddaddy , there would be no Richmond Hill ,” Skee says . In October 1998 , the park was officially dedicated in their grandfather ’ s name . “ He would have never believed that his backyard would be a community park ,” exclaims Margaret . “ Much less the park named after him ,” Skee chimes in- as the two laugh just thinking of their grandfather ’ s reaction to such news .