J. F. Gregory Park
Phone: (912) 756-3345
Address: 520 Cedar Street
Richmond Hill, GA 31324
335-acre multi-use recreational area
“Home to the Veterans Monument and Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival”
A great deal of history surrounds the park located on Cedar Street. In the nineteenth-century, the park encompassed one of many prosperous rice plantations, which fed confederates in our community. Union forces marched along the southern bank in December 1864 to attack and capture Fort McAllister. Eventually this land was purchased by Henry Ford in 1925. The park was named after Henry Ford’s plantation foreman, who resided and cultivated the land. In 1998, the land was cleared and restoration of the historic trails and land began. The park features…
Wetland Education Center,
2 Restored Henry Ford Era home, 3-Mile Nature Trail
10-Acre Lake, Hiking, Bird Tower, Coastal GA Greenway Bike Trail
Covered Pavilion, Fishing, Veterans Monument
The preservation of historic resources and land is one of the primary goals for the city of Richmond Hill. J.F. Gregory Park, 335-acre multi-use recreational area, has evolved into a community asset, thanks to the collaboration and partnership of many organizations.
A great deal of history surrounds the park. In the nineteenth-century, the park encompassed one of many prosperous rice plantations, which fed confederates in our community. Union forces marched along the southern bank, in December 1864, to attack and capture Fort McAllister. Eventually this land was part of the Henry Ford purchase in 1925. The park was named after Henry Ford’s plantation foreman, who resided and cultivated the land. In 1998, the land was cleared and restoration of the historic trails and land began.
Today, the park is ideal for picnics, sports activities, canoeing, birding, fishing, hiking, a leisure stroll, or a gathering under our cover pavilion. Attractions include a ten-acre lake, a 3-mile walking trail built on the 300-acre historic rice field, a bird tower, and two restored Henry Ford era homes (built to house Ford’s employees). Wildlife inhabit the area and can be spotted while walking the trail. The covered pavilion, the only one of its kind in Coastal Georgia, is an all-purpose facility for the community. The Wetlands Education Center educates the community about the surrounding coastal area. The park is continually evolving. Portions of the walking trail are being paved to provide access for all residents, exercise equipment has recently been added to the nature trail, and the Richmond Hill Veterans Monument has been constructed to honor local veterans and their service to our country. The park provides an extraordinary educational experience with the natural pleasures of greenspace.
Improvements have enabled this project to become a success. The park promotes heritage tourism in our community as a member of the Georgia Colonial Coast Birding Trail and Coastal Georgia Greenway.
Annual events like the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, sponsored by the city and Chamber of Commerce, have drawn over 26,000 visitors in October. This three-day festival has evolved from a small “hometown event” to a regional attraction. The festival offers live entertainment, amusement rides, art and crafts, fireworks, and some of the best fresh seafood in coastal Georgia. Other community events such as; Annual Ol’ Time Picnic, Chili Cook-off, Holiday Parade, Blue Grass Festival, Hee Haw Festival and the 4Th of July Festival have made the park their home.
Various organizations have contributed to the park’s success. The Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Transportation have financed the Wetlands Education Center and the paving of the 3-mile walking trail. The Historic Landscape and Garden Grant Program enhance the beauty of the park by providing the local Garden Club assistance. The Historical Society shared their knowledge by providing historical landscape data. The Georgia Garden Club donated time and money to landscape the historic J.F. Gregory home. The bird watching tower was endowed to the city and private donations funded the Mary Bean Bridge and the Veterans Monument.