In 1733, General James Oglethorpe established the Colony of Georgia, named for King George II of England, and laid out its first city, Savannah. It wasn’t long before the earliest English colonists began branching outward to the surrounding regions. One of the earliest grants made by Oglethorpe was in 1734, for 2,000 acres on the Ogeechee River at Sterling Bluff where present-day Ford Plantation sits. The grant was made to Hugh and William Sterling. The Sterlings ultimately abandoned the grant, and the land passed to John Harn, who named it Dublin Plantation and began cultivating rice as part of an agricultural enterprise. In 1747, Harn planted the now massive Live Oaks that form the letter “H” at the entrance to The Main House.
Dublin Plantation was later renamed Richmond Plantation. It, along with neighboring plantations Silk Hope and Cherry Hill, was used primarily for growing rice up until the American Civil War. Today, The Ford Plantation encompasses much of what was once the Silk Hope, Cherry Hill, and Richmond Plantations.