Pioneer Hall is located at 201 Morse, just across Second St. from the lovely Memorial Garden. It is home to the Ryderwood Women's Club, who has been the building's caretaker since the 1970's. The building served as the loggers' First Aid Station, with "Doc" Sulis treating injured loggers, removing tonsils and delivering lots of babies.
History note: The Church was built in 2 stages, the Annex at right completed in 1926. The larger Sanctuary was dedicated 2-2-27. It was the final building Long-Bell architect E. N. Larry designed, who passed away before the building was dedicated.
The Village in the Woods
Ryderwood Improvement & Service Association, Inc. - RISA
305 Morse Street; P. O. Box 143; Ryderwood, WA 98581
T: 360-295-3651; F: 360-295-3690; Email: RISARyderwood@outlook.com
Learn more about Ryderwood's utilities and services and the Retirement Community History:
Located in the middle of town, the Community Hall is the largest structure you see. The first large building built in 1923, it has served multiple purposes for the community for nearly 100 years. The double doors in the two-story section lead to a large auditorium with stage. The single story includes a large dining room and commercial kitchen. Many meetings and activities take place in this building.
Ryderwood Improvement & Service Association
305 Morse Street; P. O. Box 143; Ryderwood, WA 98581
T: 360-295-3651; F: 360-295-3690; RISARyderwood@outlook.com
History note: The original Long-Bell Merc. burned in the late 1990's and the current building was made possible by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and volunteer labor.
All are invited to visit the beautiful and historic Ryderwood Community Church, located at 315 Jackson St. Services are Sundays at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary. Built in two stages, it was completed in 1927. The retirees reorganized the Church in 1954, was incorporated in 1966 as Ryderwood Community Church to be independent, institutionally, of all other Church organizations.
Since 1953, Ryderwood has been a community reserved for retirees. All 275 properties are privately owned with deeds that limit occupancy to those over the age of 55. (RISA Bylaws and/or Cowlitz Co. Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions - CC&Rs). Homeowners belong to the Ryderwood Improvement & Service Association (RISA), whose elected volunteer Board of Trustees manages the town's business and pays the bills. Current Association dues of $40/mo. includes weekly trash collection and street lights along with community property expenses.
While the town is a designated golf cart zone, many residents can be seen walking and riding bicycles. The park, lake, paved streets, and walks in the woods offer many opportunities to get a breath of fresh air. Many social activities, potlucks, gatherings, and volunteer opportunities are available for all who wish to participate.
There is always something happening in Ryderwood! The monthly Ryderwood Reporter and Nextdoor site keeps residents informed about group and service club meetings, etc. In-town dining options include Cafe meals (available 3 times a week), weekly Senior Nutrition meals, monthly potlucks and Veteran's breakfast provide residents with local dining options.
Ryderwood boasts both VFW and AMVETs posts for veterans. They prepare and serve a Town Breakfast of the first Saturday of each month. All proceeds go to Ryderwood projects and veterans' assistance.
The Social Club hosts the monthly Town Potluck on the third Saturdays as well as the sumptuous Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter feasts. They also host and manage various community events, such as concerts and sock hops with Castle Rock High School students.
The Women's Club has been the caretaker of the historic Pioneer Hall for many years. Their fund-raising activities include Spring and Fall Garage Sales and Fall Craft Fair. They meet monthly and serve as community volunteers.
The Ryderwood Tea Hee Red Hatters love to dress up in the red and purple and have a good time. Each month, they Gather at the Cafe on the 2nd Thursday and have an Outing on the 4th Thursday.
The Ryderwood Women's Christian Service (RWCS) meets monthly and holds Bake Sales to support its mission.
The Ryderwood Café is totally self-supporting thanks to generous donations and a part-time meal service for the community and neighbors. Burgers, soups and salads are served from 4-6 p.m. on Mondays; breakfast is served on Wednesday from 7:30-9:30; and a sit-down dinner is served on Fridays at 5 p.m. Call 360-295-4005 to make dinner reservations.
The Cafe is open every morning for self-serve coffee and snacks. It also serves as a meeting place for some groups and functions as well as the town's designated emergency shelter with back-up generator.
History note: This building has been placed on the Cowlitz Co. Register of Historic Places. Photo: RHP private collection, 2007.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this page are in the RHP Private Collection.
The Town Served by Volunteers
Ryderwood has a long history of volunteerism, with residents performing many of the basic maintenance and upkeep of the town and its community properties. Other than the Post Office staff, RISA's two part-time office staff are the town's only paid employees.
History note: Pioneer Hall has been placed on the Cowlitz Co. Register of Historic Places.
Ryderwood's little lending Library is open weekdays. There is a large variety of books (hard bound and paperback), magazines, books on tape, DVDs and CDs, jigsaw puzzles. Ryderwood residents are eligible for library cards from both the Timberland System (Winlock is closest branch) and the Longview Public Library. The building was originally a Café for the loggers.
History note: Community Hall has been placed on the Cowlitz Co. Register of Historic Places. Photo: RHP private collection, 2016.