Exploring the Rich Heritage and History of Ridgefield

Exploring the Rich Heritage and History of Ridgefield

  • David Merrick
  • 09/25/23

Located in northern Clark County, Washington, Ridgefield is in a class all its own. One of the fastest-growing cities in Washington, Ridgefield is a perfect combination of a cultural metropolis and a peaceful retreat. Set against a backdrop of wide open spaces, Ridgefield truly offers something for everyone, with the well-appointed, charming downtown beckoning hundreds of visitors daily to relax and enjoy the variety of small shops and eateries.

Ridgefield is a deeply historic community with ties to the Lewis and Clark Expedition and Native American tribes. With fertile farmland, green fields, and abundant marshes, Ridgefield is a beautiful area where residents and locals alike embrace a deep appreciation for culture and tradition. Discover the history of Ridgefield and learn more about what makes this city such a special place to live.

A brief history of Ridgefield

Ridgefield is a city with a vibrant past and a promising future. As previously mentioned, it was visited twice during the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 - 1806. The explorers were amazed by the inhabitants, Chinook Native Americans, and their unique plank houses, constructed using broad cedar planks. Ridgefield remained a vital part of America's history moving forward, dubbed "Union Ridge" after the Civil War, only to earn the name Ridgefield in 1890.

The city retains many links to these cultural touchstones, including a school named Union Ridge Elementary School, after Ridgefield's original name. Ridgefield was officially incorporated in the early 1900s, with electricity and other touches of modernity following not long after.

Ridgefield's cultural heritage and traditions

These days, Ridgefield is a fast-growing community. Many types of homes and architectural styles are displayed, with residential streets boasting Victorian properties, farmhouse homes, and even modern condominiums. However, there are plenty of historic properties around the city, including several buildings with plank-style roofing that impressed explorers Lewis and Clark.

Ridgefield has maintained a strong community feeling. Every month, special events and festivals occur at the city's many parks and common areas, including food truck events and live music. Downtown Ridgefield hosts "First Saturdays" each month, where locals gather to attend concerts, enjoy movie marathons, or learn more about Ridgefield's past. Another local tradition is Ridgefield's "Make a Difference" day, where locals and visitors alike are invited to participate in a non-profit organization or charity of their choice to make a difference in the community.

Historical landmarks and sites

Several sites around Ridgefield either have direct ties to Ridgefield's past or are an important part of the city's modern culture. These sites, from locally-owned wineries to a nationally renowned wildlife refuge, are must-visits for locals and tourists alike.

Must-visit wineries

The Pacific Northwest is known as a prime area for wines, and Ridgefield thoroughly embraces this reputation with several fabulous wineries ideal for day trips or special events. Bethany Vineyard is one of Ridgefield's most famous wineries, with 75 acres to explore and multiple varieties of wine, including a delectable Cabernet. There's also a floating patio that is a visitor favorite, perfect for enjoying scenic views while sipping delicious wine.

Gouger Cellars Winery is a smaller winery but no less charming. This winery is housed in a converted firehouse, giving it a historic feel that invites every guest to stop and stay a while. Gouger Cellars Winery also serves a menu of small bites and savory favorites, including a local crab dip perfect for pairing with one of the winery's signature sparkling beverages. Three Brothers Winery is another popular destination, an established winery with an extensive wine list and a selection of handcrafted flatbreads and pizzas. Refined and elegant, Three Brothers Winery has served Ridgefield residents since 2006.

Important historical locations in Ridgefield

As much as Ridgefield is known for its wineries, it has become a destination for outdoor lovers. The Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is a must-visit for anyone who loves wildlife and nature or who wants to learn more about Ridgefield's past. The refuge covers 5,200 acres of grasslands, woodlands, and marshes and sits on the Columbia River floodplain.

There are multiple walking trails at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, including the popular Oaks to Wetland trail. There are several reasons to explore this walking path, including the Lake River overlook, which offers incredible views, and the Cathlapotle Plankhouse, a faithful reconstruction of the plank houses built by the Native Americans who called the area home many years ago. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does an impeccable job managing the refuge, hosting multiple events and programs throughout the year, many of which are designed to promote nature conservation in the community.

Why do people want to move to Ridgefield?

There are a host of reasons why Ridgefield's real estate market is so hot. A rapidly growing city, Ridgefield offers quiet residential areas with all the big-city amenities residents could want. Homes are spacious and attractive, with most boasting large yards and porches. Pride of ownership is evident along every street in Ridgefield, with residents pulling out all the stops for holidays and special events.

Ridgefield also has fantastic schools and community amenities. The Tri-Mountain Golf Course is a prime destination for golfers, with incredible views of Mt. Hood and a well-stocked clubhouse. Those looking to kick back in a local park are spoiled for choice in Ridgefield. Abrams Park is one of the biggest parks in the city, with 40 acres of space to explore, along with amenities like softball, soccer, baseball, and a horseshoe pit. There's also a private event facility for anyone who wants to celebrate birthdays or other special occasions.

David Merrick can help you buy or sell real estate in Ridgefield

Between the temperate climate, the many fabulous wineries, and the wealth of opportunities for outdoor exploration, it's no wonder why so many people are gravitating to the historic city of Ridgefield. If you're looking for a Ridgefield dream home or want to sell property in the area, David Merrick can assist.

David is a luxury realtor in Washington with experience navigating competitive real estate markets. David can help you develop a better understanding of Ridgefield's history and culture and prepare you for your real estate journey with humor, compassion, and deep insider knowledge. Whether you're a first-time buyer or a seasoned investor, his assistance will be invaluable. Contact David Merrick today to learn more about buying or selling property in Ridgefield.

Work With David

With more than 25 years of corporate retail experience (sales, buying and district management), I strive to give every client the personal service and attention to detail that they deserve. I would love to work with you on your next real estate adventure. Contact me anytime.