Ridgetown was incorporated as a village in 1875 with just over 2,000 citizens. The name of Ridgetown came from it being situated on a gravel ridge, a remnant of the glacier age.
In 1975, Ridgetown celebrated its centennial. Residents celebrated by dressing in 1875 costumes, conducting beard-growing contests, barbecues, and other activities. As part of the centennial, 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.
Major crops in the area are soybeans, corn, wheat, grains, apples and peaches. There is also a large percentage of dairy farms. As agriculture was the centre of this town, it was logical in the early 1920’s to develop a Research Facility to for variety testing, production trials, and fertility studies of corn, beans, sugar beets and tobacco. The Western Ontario Experimental Farm grew and developed into the Ridgetown College and in the 1990’s became a major part of the University of Guelph’s holdings.