Lakewood was a vibrant community long before it incorporated in 1996, though cityhood helped give the area one name and identity. In the mid-19th century, Lakewood was the site of British farms and the first US military base in Washington Territory. Men who became famous in the Civil War, such as George Pickett, served there. Native American leader Leschi, the victim of “judicial lynching” by civilians, spent his last days there. As Lakewood became a retreat for Puget Sound’s rich and famous, names such as Carman and Alexander—as famous in their day as the name Weyerhaeuser was and is—settled here, leaving behind reminders like Lakewold Gardens. One of Lakewood’s most famous residents was Ivan, a captive gorilla who captured the hearts of animal lovers worldwide.
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