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You’re invited to the grand opening of the new Richmond Hill Visitors Center in the former Henry Ford bakery building. The new center will include the offices of the Richmond Hill CVB, interactive displays, tourism information, and an art gallery by Arts of the Coast.

​Henry Ford’s Bakery, known as the Richmond Hill Plantation Bakery, was built in 1941 and worked in tandem with the Commissary next door. Ford had crossed paths with Ira Womble, Sr., a master baker in Savannah, and invited him to operate the bakery. Mr. Womble moved his family to Richmond Hill and worked at the Commissary for a short time while the bakery was being constructed. It took Ford’s carpenters only three weeks to construct the small bakery. Its location beside the Commissary and Post Office and across from the Saw Mill made it the center of the plantation’s business district. The tables and furnishings were constructed at the Trade School and Cabinetry Shop across the street and Mr. Womble brought his equipment from Savannah.

After Mr. Ford’s death in 1947, Womble returned to his hometown of Claxton, Georgia, where he started the Georgia Fruitcake Company. Claxton is now known as the Fruitcake Capital of the World. His bakery is still in operation today and is owned by his grandson, John Womble.

MORE INFORMATION: Afterwards, those who have recollections of the Ford era in Richmond Hill will be invited to participate in oral history interviews. To RSVP, contact the Richmond Hill Convention & Visitors Bureau at 912-756-2676 or www.visitrichmondhill.com