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His nephew, also named James Carty, arrived some 20 years later, and that nephew's son, William, became a prominent Ridgefield citizen and long-serving state legislator. Although often referred to as "Columbia Island" on early maps, it has come to be known as "Bachelor Island" after these three spouseless settlers.
Alone No More In 1839, three more bachelors arrived, all of whom were employed in sawmills downstream at St. It was not until passage of the Donation Land Claim Act by Congress in 1850 that this small enclave, still known only by the name of its original Native inhabitants, began to slowly develop as a real settlement.
The first documented visit by a non-Native to Chinook territory was in May 1792 when an American fur trader, Captain Robert Gray (1755-1806), entered the lower Columbia River in his ship .
Although the level of Vancouver Lake and the flow of Lake River have been greatly altered by dams and development, the river remains navigable 12 months a year.Ridgefield is classified as an "optional code city" under state law and now has a city council-manager form of government.It occupies an area of approximately six square miles and its population as of April 2009 was 4,215, more than double what it had been in 2000.He had seen the little town grow from his one rough cabin to an established, if not exactly booming, community, sustained by an economy based largely on agriculture and the timber industry.Within a few years of Carty's death, Stephen Shobert and J. Thompson opened the community's first store (1882), and the following year a Presbyterian church, the town's first church of any kind, was built on land donated by the Shobert family.