Fort Stewart Community
Bryan County was created by legislative act Dec. 19, 1793. It was named for Jonathan Bryan, 1708-1788, a Revolutionary patriot and a member of the Executive Council. Parts of Bryan County were taken from Chatham County, Effingham County and Liberty County.
Bryan County was physically divided when the U.S. Army acquired some of its land for what is now Fort Stewart. The county seat is Pembroke to the north. The city of Richmond Hill is in the southern part of the county.
The city of Pembroke is called “a 19th-century railroad town.” It was named after Judge Pembroke Williams, a prominent local resident of the late 1800s. The city was a rail hub for naval supplies and farm produce for most of its existence. Chartered by the state in 1905, Pembroke is a bustling small-town community just 20 minutes from Savannah, Statesboro, Claxton and Hinesville, with easy access to the interstate highways. Pembroke is the county seat of Bryan County.
Located about midway between Fort Stewart and Savannah, Richmond Hill is a thriving community along Georgia’s Colonial Coast and is one of the fastest-growing communities in the nation. Located in southern Bryan County, 20 miles from Savannah, it is growing as an alternative to the increasing population in Savannah.
Richmond Hill boasts a rich heritage. In 1924, Henry Ford came to what was then called Ways Station. Ford built school houses, kindergartens, medical clinics, a church, a sawmill and his own winter retreat mansion called Richmond Hill, thus the namesake for the city.
In the early 1970s, Richmond Hill was discovered as a bedroom community for Savannah. Richmond Hill is booming and is ranked as one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. Industry in Richmond Hill includes Hobart Corp., makers of restaurant equipment, and Coleman-American Moving Services Inc. Shrimping and fishing in nearby waters also supports many in the Richmond Hill area. The community is also home to a prekindergarten center, and primary, elementary, middle and high schools. More information can be found at www.richmondhill-ga.gov.
Historic Fort McAllister’s fall during the Civil War marked the real end of Sherman’s march to the sea. Its December 1864 loss made further defense of Savannah useless, and seven days later the city was evacuated. Located on the south bank of the Ogeechee River, east of Richmond Hill on Georgia 144, Fort McAllister is an outstanding example of the earthwork fortifications that guarded Savannah from attack by sea. The fort has been restored. An excellent museum there contains many mementos of the fort, as well as the famed Confederate blockade-runner, Nashville, destroyed in 1863 by the monitor Montauk in the Ogeechee River above the fortification.