The city of Ludowici held a ceremony Saturday to celebrate its history. The event, which was called “Ludowici: The Town, the History and the Company,” was sponsored by Ludowici Roof Tile and organized by local businessman Tim Works. About 70 people attended the event.
“For those of you who don’t know, I’m a big history buff,” Works said. “That’s a part of how I came up with this idea for today.”
Works also led the crowd in saying the Pledge of Allegiance and singing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” followed by Long County Chamber of Commerce president Kerry Hunt saying a prayer. Works’ grandson then sang Lee Greenwood’s hit “God Bless the USA.”
One of the guest speakers for the event was Ludowici Roof Tile spokesperson Rachel Baiter, who gave a brief history of the company, which now is located in Lexington, Ohio, and still employs 150 workers. She also told the crowd that the company still is thriving and has completed projects for the Savannah Courthouse and television personalities such as Dr. Oz.
Following Baiter, Long County lifelong resident Barbara Moody gave a brief history on the city of Ludowici. According to Moody, the town was first called Johnston Station as the small community grew around the old train station. She said Ludowici Roof Tile founder William Ludowici donated $1,000 and a clay roof to help build a new high school, so the town voted to change the name to Ludowici.
Lt. Col. Heidi Hoyle, who attended on behalf of 3rd Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Robert “Abe” Abrams, spoke to the crowd and told them how thankful the military is for the hospitality of Long County.
“With military life, where you hang your hat, it is your home, and I know all the soldiers who live over here are very proud of the support that you give all of them,” Hoyle said.
Works recognized Ludowici matriarchs Sarah Johnston, 96; Mary Simmons, 96; Bessie Bacon, 91; and Frances Daly, 78; and patriarch Hilton Fraser, 91.
Local dignitaries on hand included Ludowici Mayor Myrtice Warren, Long County Sheriff Cecil Nobles, Long County Commissioner Wallace Shaw and Long County Development Authority Vice Chairwoman Lillian Simmons.