A Concise History of the City of Ballard
Ballard today is known for its strong Scandinavian ties and for
its character as a small town within the big city. Those
reputations spring from its origins as the city of Ballard,
Washington, established in 1889.
city of Ballard prospered primarily because of its
and shingle mills along
1905, more red cedar shingles were being produced in the ten
shingle mills here than in any other community nationwide.
Only a block from the mills, a bustling commercial district
developed along Ballard Avenue. The business district remains
largely intact today and has been protected by a Seattle City
Ordinance as an Historic Landmark District. Its buildings are
listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
many small communities on the outskirts of a growing Seattle,
Ballard quickly outgrew its resources. Primarily due to lack of
adequate water for its population of 15,000, Ballard citizens
voted to be annexed to
Seattle in 1907. But annexation did not put an end to Ballard.
The fishing and boat building industries, begun as small family
operations, were growing in importance. In 1914, Fishermen's
Terminal was established on the south shore of Shilshole Bay.
Its facilities continue to grow today to accommodate one of the
largest fishing fleets on the West Coast.
and the Ship Canal
project (1911-1934), separated
forever the fresh water shoreline from the saltwater tide and
vastly improved the area for industry, providing livelihoods for
generations to follow.
Market Street became the focus of business in downtown
Ballard in the 1930's. The Ballard businesses and the community
continue to seek improvements for the commercial district, while
seeking to maintain a balance of industry, history and
Ballard continues to be known for those aspects of its history
that gave it its unique flavor - its immigrant heritage, its
blue-collar population tied to maritime and lumber industries,
and its wide residential community dotted with church spires. As
you visit our neighborhood today, you will get an "inside" look
at the homes and the people upon whom the community has been