Ridgefield, Washington

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Ridgefield is a city in the pastoral, rolling-hills countryside of northern Clark County, Washington, United States. The population was 2,147 at the 2000 census.

Ridgefield is notable for the significant Native American and Lewis and Clark Expedition history of the area, but is also the home of the beautiful and verdant Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, a primary reserve for migrating waterfowl on the Pacific Flyway, and the somewhat oddly-named Ridgefield High School "Spudders" (reflecting the area's potato-farming heritage). The city is home to several annual community events, such as their old-fashioned Fourth of July Celebration, and also holds a bird festival that attracts bird lovers from around the region and beyond.

While the town of Ridgefield is in itself relatively modest in size, the geographic area that is locally also called Ridgefield is quite a bit larger, extending from the Columbia River to its immediate west, the Lewis River to the north, several miles past Interstate 5 to the east, and south nearly to Vancouver, Washington, encompassing both the Clark County Fairgrounds [1] and the Amphitheater at Clark County [2].

Contents

History

The area has important ties to the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806.

Ridgefield was an important trading center as early as the 1860s, and the city was officially incorporated on August 26, 1909. U-Haul, an American equipment rental company, had its start in Ridgefield in 1945. The community's ties to the Chinookan people was commemorated by the construction of a replica of a Cathlapotle plankhouse at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, which was dedicated March 29, 2005.

History 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 once in 1806 on the return voyage. The Chinook Indians stayed until 1876 when they relocated at the mouth of the Lewis River.

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