History of 1 Fort Mason

For nearly eighty years, the generals in charge of the US Army’s vast western territory lived at Fort Mason. Quarters 1 – or McDowell Hall, as this house was later dubbed – was the general’s official residence.

Major General Henry Halleck, the first commanding officer to reside at Fort Mason (1865-1869), chose to live at this post rather than the Presidio, where commanding generals had previously resided. Fort Mason was closer to downtown San Francisco, which is where the army’s headquarters building was located at that time. However, sand dunes separated both posts from the city, making the horse and buggy trip to the office a time consuming affair.

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The last general to live in Quarters 1 was Lieutenant General John DeWitt. When his successor decided to live at the Presidio, in 1943, the historic residence was converted to an Officers’ Club.

Built in 1877, Quarters 1 was home to a succession of more than forty general during the western Indian Wars and every overseas campaign until 1943.

Built in 1877, Quarters 1 was home to a succession of more than forty general during the western Indian Wars and every overseas campaign until 1943.

The most well-known residents at Quarters 1 include:

Major General Irvin McDowell (1877-1882)
Major General J.M. Schofield (1882-1883)
Major General John Pope (1884-1885)
Brigadier General Nelson Miles (1888-1890)
Brigadier General Willian Shafter (1897-1898, 1899-1901)
Major General Arthur MacArthur (1903-1905, 1906-1907)
Brigadier General Frederik Funston (1907-1908)
Major General Douglas MacArthur (1930)
Lieutenant General John DeWitt (1939-1943(

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