Fort Ward Bainbridge Island
Fort Ward is a historical neighborhood with lots of fun places to explore. Located at the southern end of Bainbridge Island, the elevation and openness make it particularly sunny. The local school is Captain Blakely Elementary School. A lovely feature for the waterfront or waterview homes in Ft Ward is the passing of the Ferries. My favorite time is at night when it is lit up and gracefully glides by. The Olympic Mountains in snow in the background seem to have ever changing light, and sometimes a clouded view suddenly becomes clear.
The 1.5-acre, level, sunny, and grass covered park, sits in the heart of the Fort Ward residential neighborhood. Once used for Military marching practice, the park is now filled with flying kites, frisbees, and picnics. Centered by homes, it creates a lovely open space for the community to enjoy.
The fort was built in 1903 and served as an Army coastal defense port until the 1920’s. In 1928 it became a summer camp for needy boys and girls, and in 1938 the Navy took it over as a recreational camp for sailors. In 1939 it became a secret Navy listening post for intercepting Japan’s military messages and helped to track enemy shipping. The Naval Radio School operated it from 1940-1953 when it then became a waterfront state park in 1960. Now, it is a peaceful tree-lined road with bike riders, dog walkers, and picnic tables.
Several old brick buildings remain from the days when Fort Ward was a military post, and many have been renovated. The Fort Ward Community Hall the former bakery for the servicemen and women, stationed at Fort Ward. Years of neglect had left it in ruins until group efforts were made to renovate it into a community hall. The project was funded through private donations and Historical Preservation Grants.