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 eventually 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 in Kitsap County, 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 Swedish 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.
The People of Kingston House
Kinam is the Owner of Kingston House. She is also managing broker at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. A native of South Korea, Kinam has lived in the Pacific Northwest – specifically Kingston and Bainbridge Island – for over 30 years. A proud mother and grandmother, she has long championed many charitable causes, including Korean American, mixed heritage, arts and LGBT organizations in the Greater Seattle area. Kinam is a licensed real estate agent in Washington State.
Matt is Kingston House’s Events & Marketing Director. He’s also an award-winning writer, consultant and the principal of Pantagraf, a communications and destination marketing company. He also owns and manages Maple Tree Corner, an adjacent farm and wholesale nursery.
Eric is Kingston House’s Grounds Director. He’s also an award-winning builder whose homes have been featured in trade magazines and on the Seattle “Street of Dreams” tour. A native of Minnesota, he has lived in the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years. A father of three, Eric is also very active in the community, by channeling his love of singing to considerable support for arts and music organizations in Kitsap County.