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Trip Planner Canada  /  Ontario  /  Chatham-Kent  /  Ridgetown
(10+ reviews from 2 attractions)
Museums Sightseeing
Ridgetown is a community located in south-east Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada. It is home to the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. It has a population of roughly 3,500 and is one of many small farming communities in Chatham-Kent. The town motto is, "The Friendliest Town in Ontario".HistoryRidgetown was incorporated as a village in 1875 with just over 2,000 citizens. In 1975, with well over 3,220 residents, Ridgetown celebrated its centennial. Residents celebrated by dressing in 1875 costumes, conducting beard-growing contests, barbecues, and other activities.The Rotary Club of Ridgetown bought the Galbraith house and formed the Ridgetown Historical Society. The Ridge House Museum is now a living history museum that gets many visitors.The name of Ridgetown came from it being situated on a gravel ridge, a remnant of the glacier age. The families Marsh, Mitton, Watson and Colby were the first settlers. William "Daddy" Marsh, who was known for making up far-fetched stories, once said that at York (now Toronto) where they were from, he climbed up a tall tree, saw the ridge and the plentiful land and said that was the place to be.Today, with over 3.500 residents, Ridgetown proudly shares the outlying areas that produce major crops such as soybeans, corn, wheat, grains, apples and peaches. There is also a large percentage of dairy farms that are operated mostly by eastern European settlers.The water supply is drawn from a number of deep wells around the town and is not connected to a piped system from a lake or river.The railway tracks of the Canada Southern/Michigan Central/New York Central and Detroit River and Lake Erie/Pere Marquette/C&O railways used to run through Ridgetown, though these are both gone now – the last steam train through Ridgetown was in 2005. The railways formed an important part of Ridgetown's heritage, because there had been competition between Ridgetown and Morpeth (now a small hamlet on Highway 3 - Talbot Trail) to get them. Ridgetown 'won' and expanded, to the everlasting cost of Morpeth which had to that point been advantageously situated on the major east-west highway in the area.
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