WTOC is on the road this week, in the City of Richmond Hill. Today's destination is the Ford Plantation, where 2,000 acres of preserved land is what was left after its famous owner passed away. "It's really pretty shocking to come to a small town and to see something like this and the history involved, it's really pretty interesting," said head golf pro CW Canfield.
"After the War Between the States, the property fell into disrepair and was bought in the 1920s by Henry Ford the first, the Bill Gates of his era," said development partner Peter Pollak. "He could have built anywhere, but chose Way Stations, Georgia, for his home."
In the late '90s, the plantation was turned into an exclusive housing community, and despite the development on the main land, the three abandon rice fields have been kept as nature preserves, housing the highest population of nesting bald eagles. "Each one is being managed separately as an individual habitat," said plantation naturalist Jim Tamarack. "Some are in impounded lakes, some are marshes and some are tide-flooded forest. Each one adds to the overall wild life experience."
Tucked away in the small town of Richmond Hill, the Ford Plantation has brought recognition from people all over the world. "That represents a diversity of 27 states and eight foreign countries," said Pollak. "That's sort of the way it should be. It's elegant, it's quaint and it's quiet. Sometimes, they say, the best things come in small packages and that's what we feel we have here."
WTOC will be on the road from Richmond Hill all week long. We'll wrap everything up on Friday with live coverage from the Memorial Health-Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival.