Photos Courtesy of the University of Washington
Ambrose Kiehl, of Port Townsend, was the principal engineer in curating the site for the Fort and also happened to be its first resident. Kiehl, along with his wife and children first moved to the site to live in a seemingly ramshackle “shack” after being hired by the Army in 1896 to supervise the development and clearing of the land for Fort Lawton.
After the construction of the First-Lieutenant’s home, Kiehl, despite not being a lieutenant himself, became the first official resident of the Fort as a military outfit. By 1900, seven of the Fort’s first buildings had been built, with the Kiehl family remaining in residence until only 1905.