Historic Fort Ward Neighborhood on Bainbridge Island

A home in the Historic Fort Ward Neighborhood on Bainbridge Island

A home in the Historic Fort Ward Neighborhood on Bainbridge Island.

The Historic Fort Ward Neighborhood is perched on the sunny south end of Bainbridge Island, just above South Beach and Rich Passage.  It is also adjacent to Fort Ward Park, which offers miles of scenic trails (some waterfront), picnic areas, and a public boat launch.

The neighborhood is centered around the historic open-space Parade Grounds, the a convenient central meeting place for neighborhood gatherings.  Historically, Fort Ward was established in 1890 as one of several US Army Coastal Artillery Corps installations built to defend Puget Sound from enemy warships. Its primary objective was to protect the nearby Bremerton Naval Shipyard. Coastal artillery batteries like Battery Vinton were located at Fort Ward.  The artilleries guarded an underwater mine field placed across Rich Passage. The guns were removed on July 19, 1920, never having been fired for defense, and were shipped to France.

Then, in the 1920s, Fort Ward was placed on inactive status, but a small number of men were still stationed there. In 1928, the fort was essentially left abandoned. The fort remained abandoned for several years, until 1935 when it served as a state-operated summer camp for inner city children from Seattle.

Three years later in 1938, the US Navy took over Fort Ward from the US Army. The US Navy found the fort to be attractive after tests had shown that it was an outstanding location to eavesdrop on radio communication transmitted from the Far East, chiefly Japan. In August 1939, the US Navy relocated the Astoria, Oregon intercept site to Fort Ward. This was the beginning of the development of Fort Ward as a top-secret military listening post.

Rhombic antennas were installed on the Parade Ground, and the old post exchange/gymnasium building was converted into a top secret listening post code-named “Station S.” Inside “Station S,” men and women worked 24 hours a day, listening in on Japanese naval communications, which were transmitted in the Japanese Morse Code. Also during World War II, a submarine net was placed across Rich Passage.

Views of the open space on the Parade Grounds. Many homes line and back to the Parade Grounds. Views of the open space on the Parade Grounds on Bainbridge Island. Many homes line and back to the Parade Grounds.

Views of the open space on the Parade Grounds.  Many homes line and back to the Parade Grounds.

Old Jail, now a home in the Historic Fort Ward Neighborhood on Bainbridge Island

Old Jail, now a home in the Fort Ward on Bainbridge Island

From 1910-1923 the above building was a Guardhouse and Jail.  However, during World War II, the above building was code-named “Station S,” and was a top secret listening post.   Meanwhile, the Navy developed a “cover story” for what was happening at Naval Radio Station Bainbridge Island. The story was that it was one of the few Naval Reserve Radio Schools in the nation, where military officers learned and executed Morse Code. From 1938-1945, it was known as the (Morse) Code School.  This building is now a private residence, which sold for $625,000 in December of 2009.  The home is just over 3,500 square feet.

A classic home in Fort Ward. The majority were built in the early 2000's and many, like the above have charming front porches.

A classic home in Fort Ward. The majority were built in the early 2000’s and many, like the above have charming front porches.

A view from Parkview Drive of Rich Passage. The Parade Grounds are off to the right.

A view from Parkview Drive of Rich Passage. The Parade Grounds are off to the right.

A home in Fort Ward on Bainbridge Island

A colonial style home sits high on the hill of Douglas Drive.

A custom home in Fort Ward built by Jefferson Fine Homes.

A custom home in Fort Ward built by Jefferson Fine Homes.

A custom, modern style home in Fort Ward.

A custom, modern style home in Fort Ward.

A charming colonial style home sitting atop Fort Ward Hill Road. Homes on this side of the street have a stunning, unobstructed view of Rich Passage.

A charming colonial style home sitting atop Fort Ward Hill Road. Homes on this side of the street have a stunning, unobstructed view of Rich Passage.

A peek at the Rich Passage view homes on Fort Ward Hill enjoy. A home just sold this month on Fort Ward Hill Road (May 2010) for $736,000. The home is just under 3500 square feet.

A peek at the Rich Passage view homes on Fort Ward Hill enjoy.

Click here to see all homes currently FOR SALE in the Fort Ward Neighborhood.

 

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On May 28, 2010, in Neighborhoods, by

Frisbee Dogs, Talent Shows . . .

and Cute Puppies!

A fundraiser sponsored by

Paws of Bainbridge Island . . .

A fun, very Bainbridge afternoon


Wagest 2010 on Bainbridge Island

On May 16, 2010, in Activities, Community, by
57 single family homes are currently pending
214 homes are active on the market
82 homes have sold this year to date (last year at this time it was 59)

Taking a quick look at selling price per square foot:
June 09 – $221
Aug 09 – $243
Dec 09 – $217
Mar 10 – $234

Activity is swifter, prices are trending up, interest rates are low.

data from NWMLS and Zillow

On May 13, 2010, in Real Estate Business, by
Home on Lovell on Bainbridge Island - sold by Jen Pells
Congratulations to my buyers who closed last week on their new house on Lovell.  The well-built, efficient home with a great in-town location will work very well for their growing family.
Closed 5/3/10
Last List price $355K – was originally $375K
Sale Price $339K
1650 square feet
Year Built 1998
for more info, send me an email
On May 13, 2010, in Real Estate Business, by