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Letter from the Board

Ballard was a separate city until 1907, when it was annexed to Seattle. Ballard had its own city government, complete with City Hall and Mayor. Our photographic Archives, with over 700 images, documents this interesting history.

Our members are interested in historic research and the architectural preservation of Ballard homes and landmarks. Our very popular Old House Tour showcases the varied styles evident in Ballard residential architecture.  

Our detailed Historic Ballard Walking Tour takes readers back in time as they learn about the rich history of downtown Ballard. 

With other Ballard organizations, we produced two publications: Passport to Ballard, a pictorial history in honor of Ballard's Centennial and Voices of Ballard, a compilation of oral histories from long-time Ballard residents.

Thanks for visiting!

The Ballard Historical Society Trustees


About the Ballard Historical Society:

The Ballard Historical Society was formed in 1988 with encouragement from the Ballard Centennial Committee in celebration of the Washington State Centennial in 1989. The Society is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization of volunteers committed to the research, preservation and public awareness of Ballard history.

Our repository includes the following:

  • Digital archive of over 1000 Ballard photographs

  • Extensive collection of Ballard memorabilia



Meet the Board:

Mary Schile, President

Mary Schile has enjoyed living in Ballard since 1994.  A UW graduate, she found her true calling as a Remax Real Estate agent in 2003.  She has restored two brick homes in Ballard, one from 1940 and another from 1927.  She also is active with the Jr. League of Seattle, the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library and the Salmon Bay Eagle’s Club. Contact Mary


Renee Martin, Vice President

Renee is enamored by the charms of the old world and believes that Ballard is chock full of it. A PNW native with Scandinavian heritage, she doubled-down on Ballard in 2005 when she bought and started the process of preserving two homes in the Bow Addition, one built in 1911 and the other in 1915. Renee studied the history of art and has worked with photography archives. Today, she is a management consultant who helps businesses and non-profits align and scale their organizations. Contact Renee



Lesli Billings, Secretary

Born about 76 years too late, Lesli Billings has resided in Ballard since 1993. She loves all that is old and is resistant to modern conveniences and technology. She's passionate about "the way things were." Contact Lesli


Cass O'Callaghan, Treasurer

Cass has been a resident of Ballard since 1998 when she and her family moved into a 1913 Craftsman. Her professional experience includes bookkeeping and accounting for various non-profit community organizations.  Contact Cass



Laura Cooper, Trustee #1

Marion Hafterson, Trustee #2

Kris Collins, Trustee #3




We receive new acquisitions regularly. If you have something
that you think is part of Ballard's history and would like to
donate it, please contact archives@ballardhistory.org.



Active members are the backbone of our organization. Help us make our organization grow!

Contact: President


Publicity and BallardHistory Wordpress Blog

We have publicity needs for every event and community project. Your skills could contribute to posters, postcards, and the BallardHistory Wordpress blog.

Contact: Kris Collins


Classic Home Tour

Our 2010 Classic Homes Tour was a tremendous success, with nearly 600 tickets sold! Our next tour is Sunday, June 23. House tours require a lot of preparation. If you’d like to help us organize the tour, be a docent, or have your home featured, contact us.

Contact: Lesli Billings


Web site and Blog

We would love your contributions to our Web and blog. Do you have writing, editing, graphic design or Web design experience? Get in touch with us.

Contact: Web Site Information




How to Join:

Become a member of the Ballard Historical Society. It’s fast and easy. Just click here to learn more!


Contact us:

Our blog contains information on volunteering and membership. http://ballardhistory.wordpress.com Contact Mary Schile (president) at the address and phone number below, or get in touch with one of our committees listed above.

Ballard Historical Society

P.O. Box 17775

Seattle, WA 98127

(206) 601-4377

Contact BHS















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Made possible by a grant from the King County Cultural Development Authority

Ballard Historical Society, P.O. Box 17775, Seattle, Washington, 98127. Info@ballardhistory.org   

All text and images on this site Copyright 2009 Ballard Historical Society, unless otherwise noted.

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