Evicted from their crofts on Lewis Island, the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, 109 families settled in Ripley and area to work the land here. Named after a town in Derbyshire, England, the post office opened in 1857. From 1874 to 1880, the community was known as "Dingwall", before reverting back to Ripley. The first village store was a liquor store operated by Mr. Carter. The completion of the Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway in 1873 placed Ripley on the business map. By 1886, Ripley was a thriving community with a jewellery store, barber shop, harness shop, four general stores, two blacksmith shops, a grain elevator, two grocery stores, a carriage works, a flax mill, a brick school, a furniture store, three hotels, a bookstore, two shoe stores, a planing mill, a township and society hall, an oatmeal mill, a hardware store, a bakery, three hotels, a drugstore and four churches of various denominations.The village was incorporated in 1925 and the first election was held on June 1, 1925. John B. Martyn was the village's first reeve and R.H. Martyn was the first clerk.
Ripley has recently redone their Lewis Lion's Park, with new playground equipment and a splash pad. They have put brickwork on the ground.