Our History

The History of Riddle Village

Sam D. Riddle

Sam D. Riddle

Riddle Village’s grounds are rooted deep in history and tied to the famous Delaware County native, Samuel D. Riddle. Mr. Riddle owned and operated his family’s woolen mill business started by his father, however, he is more commonly known for being a sportsman and the breeder of competitive race horses. Of the many horses he owned, the most famous were Man O’War and War Admiral. Man O’War has been titled “Horse of the Century” and War Admiral (Man O’War’s son) is well known for being a Triple Crown Winner in 1937.

Upon Mr. Riddle’s death in January of 1951, he specified in his will that his estate be used to provide a hospital for the community of Media. With $2.5 million and 72 acres of land along Baltimore Pike, provided by Mr. Riddle, a charter for the hospital was granted on November 29, 1956. Riddle Memorial Hospital opened its doors on February of 1963, on 34 acres of the land.

It was thought appropriate that the balance for the land be used at a future date in a manner related to the health and well-being of the community. Riddle Village was the project to fulfill that goal.

Donald L. Laughlin, President of Riddle Memorial Hospital for 37 years, looked at the land laying fallow next to the hospital and had a vision. He saw the future of a modern retirement community, providing three levels of care to seniors in a sophisticated environment. He worked tirelessly for more than a decade to make his vision a reality. Without his perseverance, Riddle Village would not be what it is today.

His goal was to open a community that offered quality service at all levels of care, with a stimulating and healthy environment for every resident. Mr. Laughlin wanted Riddle Village to offer comfort, security and a friendly family atmosphere. He insisted the décor be elegant and tasteful, featuring a spacious lobby, large apartments, relaxed dining rooms, indoor parking and attached buildings to eliminate encounters with unpredictable weather of the four seasons. Riddle Village welcomed its first residents in October of 1993.

After his retirement on December 31, 2000, Mr. Laughlin and his wife moved to Riddle Village to spend their retirement years in the community he always knew he would eventually call home.

(Riddle Village is a separate entity from the hospital. It is an independent, not-for-profit retirement Life Care community.)

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