Looking ahead to an exciting 2018, and restoring the historic bakery building

FORT WARD, BAINBRIDGE ISLAND – It’s been a while since our last newsletter, but on the doorstep of the new year, Friends of Fort Ward would like to greet you with exciting news for 2018:

Restoration of Fort Ward’s historic bakery building is about to get underway.  

Our project team of Friends of Fort Ward, the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District, OTWB Project Management and the Fort Ward Sewer District is finalizing formal launch of the building renovation, to begin early in the year.

Is our fundraising done? Not yet! This is a great time to give through One Call For All.

But at this milestone moment, we have the ongoing generosity of you, our many supporters, to thank. These past 12 months have seen a phenomenal outpouring of support for our campaign of historic preservation, education and community building. A few of our 2017 highlights:  

  • Another sold-out Living History Walk, in partnership with IslandWood and the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, as we guided visitors through our neighborhood’s historic homes and landmarks. This year saw publication of a limited-edition tour booklet, chock full of historic photos;
  • The discovery – and donation to our campaign – of the bakery building’s original front doors and fanlight windows, thanks to some very generous neighbors. We can’t wait to put these back into the building, after so many years “in exile”;
  • Our first-ever Let’s Make History music gala at IslandWood, with a live performance by Seattle’s excellent retro-jazz combo Sundae + Mr. Goessl;
  • Fort Ward history presentations at the Bainbridge Island Library, the Historical Museum’s annual meeting, and SWERV, and an exciting codebreaking exercise as part of the Museum’s History on the Move fall fundraiser. We made many new friends at each stop;
  • A full slate of FFW-sponsored activities for “kids of all ages” in our Parade Ground park throughout the summer;
  • Continued, outstanding grant support from the Bainbridge Community Foundation, Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation, the Suquamish Tribe and others; business and professional sponsors like Wenzlau Architects, Browne Wheeler Engineers, Fairy Tale Dental and Bainbridge Island Outfitters + Depot; and many, many generous contributions from island families and individuals (including some INCREDIBLY magnanimous recent gifts – you know who you are, and we are SO grateful).

This last item points, in turn, to our new year’s news:
 We’re ready to get started on the building restoration, as we begin taking the fort’s little bakery “back in time” to its original 1910 look and feel, creating a new community hall for all of Bainbridge Island to use and enjoy. Expect to see regular updates through this space, and our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.

Fundraising will continue through each stage of the restoration – we still ask for your help! We’ll also be looking for contributions of materials from local vendors. (If anyone out there happens to have 1,100 square feet of hardwood flooring sitting around, we’d love to hear from you.)

But we’re deep enough into the campaign to confidently project success, and dedication of the hall for community use in the not-so-distant future.

So … If you’ve thought about contributing to the Fort Ward Community Hall campaign, but have been waiting to see things really get underway – or you want to make a new donation for some year-end tax advantage – this is a really great time!

Please consider a tax-deductible contribution in these final three days of One Call For All campaign, or directly to Friends of Fort Ward at 1948 Parkview Drive, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.

Thank you all for your continued enthusiasm and support, and we look forward to an exciting 2018.