Residential Ballard is generally described as extending from the 8th Avenue NW to the east and the bluff to the west, and from NW 85th Street on the north to NW 65th Street to the south. The area primarily contains single family houses, but also includes a collection of mutli-family dwellings, commercial buildings, schools, churches, and other buildings. Most of the historic buildings in Ballard are modest cottages and builder's houses, and were not architect-designed. Building styles include, but are not limited to, Victorian (primarily Queen Anne), vernacular, Craftsman, American Foursquare, Colonial Revival (including variations), Tudor Revival, Minimal Traditional, and Ranch. The historic building fabric of Ballard is threatened by a rapid pace of development.
The City of Ballard was incorporated in 1890. It was the first community to incorporate after Washington achieved statehood in 1889. Although population increased rapidly, north Ballard was still relatively rural. In 1907, primarily due to lack of adequate water for its population of 15,000, Ballard citizens voted to be annexed to Seattle to ensure a good water supply for the area.
After annexation Ballard’s street names were changed to conform to Seattle’s: Ship Street turned into 65th Street, Main Street became 15th Avenue. During the Great Depression and World War II, construction in Ballard nearly ground to a halt, with the exception of some houses built by Earl F. Mench. However, following World War II, fueled by the G.I. bill and the rise of the automobile, Ballard boomed again, and new housing followed. In recent years, the demand for new housing has spurred a tremendous amount of change in Ballard, with old, modest houses being replaced by large box houses and multi-family units. These changes threaten to alter the character and feeling of this historic neighborhood.
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According to the Property Record Card, this house was built in 1888. It is located in the Gilman Park Addition (1889), Block 28, Lots 13 and 14. The home known as the “Baker St. House” was added to the Washington State Register of Historic Places in 1998, and the nomination form includes a more extensive analysis of the construction, architecture, and early residents. The house has been restored in several stages by its owners over the past 30 years.
Henry Schmidt, a saloon keeper, bought the property from the West Coast Improvement Co. in February 1890, and his wife Catherine appeared in a second deed six months later from Sam Cosel and his wife Rosie. The house was built on Baker St. [now 60th] at the corner of 2nd [now 20th]. The streets were not yet paved, many of the building lots in downtown Ballard were still vacant, and just a few blocks to the north the ancient cedar forests were still surrendering to the loggers' saws. The earliest entries found for this property in the 1893 Ballard City Directory is for Henry Smedt [sic], a saloon keeper in Everett. In the 1895 Seattle City Directory, he is listed at the same address with the correct spelling of Schmidt. A couple of years later in 1897, Catherine filed for divorce, alimony, and custody of their children.
Peter Hillen bought the property from the Schmidts in 1894, and sold it to James H. Boyce (1862–1911) in 1899. Boyce was born in Missouri, was a county commissioner (elected in 1896), and the co-proprietor of the Boyce & Pyle saloon. The other proprietor, Frank R. Pyle, was deputy sheriff of King County, and together they built a large brick building on Ballard avenue, opposite the city hall. In 1898, Boyce is indicted by a grand jury for his role in the Heaton affair, a case in which several county commissioners signed off on bills for road work by Heaton that were never performed. Despite the indictment, he didn’t resign, but justice was somewhat served as Boyce was confined to his room with the measles. Boyce and his Canadian wife Annie (1862–1911) lived in the home in 1900. James was on the Democratic ticket for Representatives of the 42d District in 1902, and was listed in the 1904 and 1905 Ballard City Directories living at 202 Baker. In 1905, Anne Boyce secured a divorce from James on grounds of non-support and abandonment covering a period of over a year. The case was not contested. A year later, Boyce was accused of using county funds (about $30 per month) to pay for “eating his fill at Seattle restaurants and country hotels, and paying other traveling expenses”. Boyce died in 1911.
Michael A. Malloy (1877–19??), a street grade laborer born in Nebraska, lived in the home in 1906 and 1907. In 1910 he lived in the home with the owners of the property - his brother-in-law Ralph P. Mitchell (1883–19??), a North Dakota born logging camp Foreman, and sister Tessie/Theresa E. Mitchell (1880–19??).
By 1920, Patrick J. Lynch (1863–1950), an Irish laborer, and his wife C/Katherine/Katie (1873–1958) and family lived in the home, and in 1922 a basement was added using heavy timbers for support. According to census records, they rented the home in 1920 and owned it by 1930. Patrick immigrated in 1888 and was a laborer working as a “street flusher” on city streets. While working in 1920, one of his horses fell and became entangled in its harness, and when trying to extricate the horse, Patrick fell under the animal and broke his leg at the hip. Catherine was born in Syracuse, New York, went to Tacoma in 1889 and came to Ballard in 1907. Following Patrick’s death in 1950, Catherine continued to live in the home until she died in 1958.
Herbert Tulin owned the property in 1950, Bethany Assembly in 1963, and Kenneth Neil Johnson in 1970. Subsequent owners include: Perry and Arda Martin (from 19??–1976); Edwin L. and Verna Dahlbeck (from 1976–1976); Melvin K. & Charlene Haug (from 1976–1984), who submitted a City of Seattle Landmark Nomination Form on the property in 1978 – at the time they were restoring and renovating the home; Theodore H and Lezlee A. Delooze and Kenneth D. Short (from 1984–1987); Don E. and Patricia Dutoit (from 1987–1990); Robert H. and Amy Hughes (from 1990–2003); Helen Farrel Goss (from 2003–2003); Frederick A. Hill (from 2003–2009); and the current owners, as of May 2016, Barbara K. Gray and Silva Alfred Joseph (from 2009–).
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