Left: Retirees built a 6-acre Lake that was dedicated by the Governor on 6-26-1955. Click blue button to read entire article. Middle: title and date are self-explanatory , it also mentions the acquisition of the old school building; Right: An article dated only 1960 mentions not only the Church but a "hardwood dance floor" in the Social Hall. This likely refers to the installation of the former school gymnasium floor in the Community Hall Auditorium.  All clippings appear to be from the Longview Daily News.

Ryderwood History Project
303 Morse St.; P. O. Box 114; Ryderwood, WA 98581
Email: RyderwoodHistory@gmail.com 

Welcome to Ryderwood, WA 98581

The Village in the Woods

The Retiree Years 1953 - Present

Senior Estates and Beyond

  • Prior to Harry Kem's 1972 death, Senior Estates attempted to expand the number of homes in order to pay for community health services and required upgrades to the aging water and sewer system. 
  • Senior Estates partnered with Hacienda Estates, who built 13 homes on empty lots in the original "town" plat. There was resistance from the pensioners who feared "rich" people would move in and age restrictions might be lost.
  • 1976: The town turned the water and sewer system over to Cowlitz Public Works who upgraded the entire system allowing for maximum development of the outlying property in the original Long-Bell plat. 
  • 1978: Forum Investments acquired the town and 5 homes were built between then and 1989.
  • ~1989: Wildwood International developed today's Ryderwood. Empty lots were filled and the perimeter properties were subdivided into 4-5 acre lots. While some of those properties do not have the RISA Bylaws attached (it was optional), CC&Rs include a 55+ age restriction.

Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this page from the RHP private collection.

Senior Estates in the news! The top left and bottom photos are from a Collier's magazine multi-page spread dated 1-8-1954 . The TIME magazine article appeared in the Real Estate section (not front page) of the 5-4-1953  issue. Note: There is no evidence that the health clinic or small factory mentioned in the TIME article ever existed.

​ Examples of before and after renovations of the old homes, 1953. Click to enlarge. Courtesy of the Cowlitz Historical Museum.

Click to view full-size.

Above: Senior Estates letterhead; Second: Col. Wm. F. Brandt and his wife, Grace, standing in front of Superintendent's House, 215 Jackson.

Above: 50th Anniversary of the Ryderwood Post Office which is still in service today. This award is posted inside the Post Office.