Luther Bushong Issued Land Patent in 1891
In 1869, a 16-year-old Virginia native named Luther D. Bushong ran away from home to embark on an epic journey. That wanderlust took him via steamboat to New Orleans, on a cattle drive from Kansas to Idaho, and to a Los Angeles he described as “a little Mexican town of not more, I am sure, than five hundred people.”
Before settling in Texas, Bushong, his wife and five children lived in Kitsap County. On November 26, 1891, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer announced that a government land patent for Bushong was available for pick up at the United States Land Office in Seattle. The patent, for 160 acres just west of Appletree Cove, was granted just one year after the aspiring town of Kingston was platted and two years after Washington became a state.
Fast forward 70 years when part of the Bushong claim was purchased by Merlin and Louise Knapp. In 1962, they built a nine-room home designed by a celebrated Norwegian-American architect that was valued at a princely sum of $22,500. By then in their late 40s, the Knapps were well-known members of the Kingston community for Merlin’s time in the forest service and real estate.
Kinam Sohn purchased the Knapp Estate shortly after Louise’s death in 2003. Born in South Korea, Sohn had lived on Bainbridge Island for 20 years. Initially marketed as the Retreat at Sycamore Hill, the 15-acre property was recast as “Kingston House” in 2013. Two years later, construction was completed on a new event hall and owner’s apartment and Sohn’s son acquired 12 acres adjacent to the property.
Some 125 years after Bushong received his original land patent, today, Kingston House welcomes neighbors and travelers from around the world as guests. We know we’re lucky to call such a beautiful part of the Pacific Northwest home and look forward to sharing it with you.