Ridgeway, Ontario was settled in the late 1700’s by United Empire Loyalists. It derived its name from the limestone ridge that runs in a north south direction through the village. Ridge Road was built along this ridge and runs from Point Abino, on Lake Erie in the south to Millers Creek on the Niagara River to the north. By the turn of the 19th century this would have been an important inland route.
Ridgeway was also the site of a battle against the Fenians. The Battle of Ridgeway took place on June 1, 1866 in the early morning hours.
The Fenians were a group of Irish Americans who felt that Canada could be defeated. Ireland had been taken over by Britain in 1801 by the Act of Union and it was thought that Canada could be overtaken by the Fenian army and turned into an Irish Republic. However with reinforcements from Port Colborne the Fenians soon found themselves outnumbered and retreated to Fort Erie and back to Buffalo the following day.