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.
Ballard Historical Society Classic Home Tour guides.
Crowley, Walt. Seattle Neighborhoods: Ballard--Thumbnail History. HistoryLink File # 983, accessed 6/1/16.
King County Tax Assessor Records, 1937-2014.
McAlester, Virginia Savage.
A Field Guide to American Houses (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Alfred A> Knopf Press, 2013.
Oschsner, Jeffrey Karl
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle, WA: University of
Washington Press, 1994.
Passport to Ballard: The Centennial Story. Seattle, WA: Ballard News Tribune, 1988.
Albert Elkington purchases this lot and the adjacent lot from the Seattle Land and Improvement Co in
1901. Albert was a saw filer and a carpenter over the course of his life. This house was constructed in
1906 and Albert is listed as an occupant with his wife Georgia in 1907. Albert and Georgia had moved
from Michigan to Seattle in 1900. They still lived in the house until 1918.
The Elkingtons appear to have moved out of the house but continued to rent it. By 1920 William and
Mabel Cameron had moved into the house. William Cameron is listed as an engineer in refrigeration.
In 1923 the Kerns family had moved into the house. James Edwin Kerns and his wife Edythe Kerns
raised their son James Wallace Kerns. James and Edythe had both been raised in Ballard and James
worked as a mechanic. Jimmy often did well at the annual Old Woodenface pitching competitions,
and he would go on to become an architect at Phillip F. Spaulding & Associates. The Kerns are listed as
renters on the King County Property Card in 1925 but then are listed in the 1930 Census as owners.
The Kerns lived in the house until about 1940.
After the Kerns, the house appears to be rental due to frequent turnover of occupants. In 1941-1943,
Thomas H Holland, a driver at PF & PCO, lived in the house and his wife, Mabel, joined him in 1943. By
1951, Mensull Larson and his wife lived in the house. In 1955 Allen and Gertrude Fengle occupied the
house and from 1956-1958, Robert and Rae Perkins lived in the house. Robert Perkins worked as a
Karen Rohrer has owned the house since 1990 until the present.
Polk City Directories
King County Department of Assessments
Puget Sound Regional Archives
US Census 1920, 1930, 1940
DCI Side Sewer Card 2295
Seattle Times (11/28/1901, 10/4/1961)