The Ford family, Master Butchers, originally from Ermington, but making their fortunes in Plymouth in the 1860s, sent their eldest son to Winchester from where he became a Civil Engineer.
The younger son Clift became a Building Works Manager, and between them they jointly purchased a large area of land in Newton Ferrers in 1891
In a short space of time the proposed River Yealm Hotel was designed, builders employed and work commenced. The original idea for the hotel was that it would provide accommodation for potential purchasers of the building plots into which the bulk of the land had been divided. It opened for business in 1898
Originally, part of the plan for the hotel was to make use of the new railway between Yealmpton and Plymouth, a spur from which was to have reached the hotel. This rail link was never built and James Ford bought an ex-Admiralty Pinnace and christened her Yam Yam(local pronunciation for Yealm) to transport visitors from Steer Point Station to the hotel.
The hotel was eventually sold to Red Earth in 2017.
Check out full sets of pictures here