Ryderwood 2018 Spring Fair

Plan a visit to Ryderwood this May for their Annual Spring Fair. Creators of fine hand-crafted arts and crafts are invited to participate in Ryderwood’s annual Spring Arts & Crafts Fair on May 18-19, 2018 from 10am – 4pm both days.

Community Hall’s two large rooms at 305 Morse St. will feature 30+ vendors. The cost is $30 for a 6 ft. space for both days – tables are still available. Contact Sharon, at 360-749-3702 for more information on tables, and the bake sale.

“Grandma’s Kitchen” Bake Sale, the fundraiser for the Ryderwood Women’s Christian Service, will be in the kitchen and the Ryderwood Women’s Club will serve lunch at the Café from 11am – 2pm.

Ryderwood, WA 98581 is located in Cowlitz County, 9 scenic miles west of I-5 exit #59 on SR 506.

Learn more about this town’s unique logging town and retirement community history at ryderwood.org

Known as “The Village in the Woods”, Ryderwood was founded in 1923, the same year as Longview, by the Long-Bell Lumber Company.   Run from 1923-1953 as the “World’s Largest Logging Camp” for loggers and their families, Long-Bell Co. provided complete town services, including a store, theater, cafe, drugstore, bowling alley, creamery, school and church.

1953 and the loggers were gone, and the town was for sale. Senior Estates, Inc. was formed to purchase and develop what is believed to be the oldest “planned community for retired persons” in the United States.

Today, all 272 privately owned homes are reserved for owners and occupants over the age of 55. Ryderwood is managed and operated totally by volunteers, including the Association’s Board, Cafe, Library and Maintenance crews.

The original Long-Bell “Merc” burned in the late 1990’s. The current building of The Cafe was made possible with a Gates Foundation grant and volunteer labor. Unlike other community properties, the Cafe is not supported by Association dues, but self-supporting due to volunteer participation.

Make it a point to visit their Spring Fair and Bake Sale on the 18th & 19th, and shake hands with some of those people that make up this incredible “Town served by Volunteers”. Or visit their still standing Post Office, receiving mail since 1924. Once upon a time, payroll would come in via registered mail, and the carrier had to be armed.

You could also stop into the building at 208 Morse Street, which once functioned as the logging town’s Cafe, now turned honor system Library. The front windows remain intact today, and is a great example of the history of this area.

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