Recipe for Success: Henry Ford Bakery Restored and Opens as New Visitors Center and Art Gallery
After an extensive two-year restoration process, the former Ford Bakery opened to the public on Saturday, April 6, 2019 as the new home of the Richmond Hill Convention & Visitors Bureau and Arts on the Coast Art Gallery located at 10750 Ford Avenue.
New Historical Markers Dedicated
Ford Plantation Bakery
Henry Ford implemented the construction of the Bakery building in 1941 to provide fresh baked goods for the employees of his Richmond Hill Plantation. The Bakery was operated in tandem with the adjacent Commissary and Post Office buildings, thus providing convenient shopping access for Ford employees and other area residents. Ira C. Womble, Sr. managed the Bakery during the Ford era at Richmond Hill. A unique aspect of the Bakery operation was that soybean flour was provided for experimental purposes by well-known agriculturist and Ford friend George Washington Carver of Tuskegee Institute.
Ford Plantation Commissary
The Commissary building and complex was built by Henry Ford in 1941 to serve the local community and the employees of Ford’s Richmond Hill Plantation. It sold groceries, dry goods and general merchandise at reasonable prices and specialized in fresh meats and vegetables. Also here was the Bakery, familiarly known to locals as the "Sweet Shop", and operated for a number of years by Ira S. Womble. In 1941 a building adjacent to the Bakery was refurbished to serve as the new post office for the community renamed that year as Richmond Hill.
Henry Ford Bakery Wins Preservation Award
The Henry Ford Bakery in Richmond Hill was one of three area sites that received statewide preservation awards from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation during its 42nd annual Preservation Awards ceremony on April 12 in Thomasville.
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