On our first tour outside of Vancouver we explore historic downtown Ridgefield, Washington. The original inhabitants of the Ridgefield area were a Chinook tribe whose village was located along the banks of Lake River. The Lewis and Clark Expedition visited the area twice, once in 1805 enroute to the Pacific Ocean and the next in 1806 on the return voyage.
At a special election held in 1909 the people decided by a vote of 62-12 in favor of incorporation, and the city of Ridgefield was born. The established businesses for the City in 1909, as advertised in the Ridgefield Reflector, were two general merchandise stores, a department store, two lumber mills, a water well contractor & driller, two contractors and builders, a boat builder, meat market, hotel, livery and draying, boot & shoemaker, creamery, barber shop, blacksmith, realtor, and a weaver. From the start of the settlement the Cartys, Shoberts, and other prominent families played an important role in the progress and development of Ridgefield. Descendants of these families still reside in Ridgefield.