In 1925, Henry Ford of Detroit, Mich., a leading American automobile pioneer who perfected the assembly line concept of auto manufacturing, began acquiring large tracts of land on both sides of the nearby Ogeechee River. He sponsored extensive agricultural and forestry operations, providing the impoverished area with much-needed employment opportunities. Ford also implemented numerous civic improvements for the people of the Ways Station-Richmond Hill community, including medical, educational and cultural. Near here, on the river, Henry and Clara Ford built their winter home, Richmond, in 1936. Ford was active in the local community until his death in 1947.