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.
A City of Seattle Sewer permit card indicates that the house at 8302 13th Avenue NW was built in 1916 by a P.H. Nelson (possibly Peter Nelson), but no further documentation has been found. The side sewer contractor of record is S. Pentti who is listed as having built many side sewers in Ballard.
The next known occupant was Robert C. Roberts (born 1864) who purchased the house 8302 13th Avenue NW in 1925, moving to Seattle from Spokane with his wife Eva and two daughters. Sadly, Eva passed away that same year. Robert continued to live in the house with his daughters; the 1930 census lists Robert as a brakeman who was born in New York of Welsh parents. The 1934 Seattle Directory still lists him at 8302—and he may have continued to live there until 1937 when the house was purchased by the McLeans. In 1940 Robert was living with his older daughter Margaret and her husband at 321 North 16th Street, Seattle. He passed away in 1944.
In 1937 Allen Hector (born 1874) and Clara Mabel (born 1883) McLean purchased the house after having lived in various other houses in Seattle since their marriage on Vashon Island in 1924. Allen was born in Priceville, Ontario, Canada, and immigrated to the United States via Vancouver, British Columbia, crossing the border at Sweetgrass, Montana in 1923. Allen was listed as a laborer, carpenter and foreman in Seattle Directories; Clara worked as a cutter for a garment factory. Clara passed away in August of 1954, after which Allen moved to an apartment on Phinney Avenue; he died the following October 1955.
Monte D. Palmer (or his parents) purchased the house from Allen McLean in 1954 at the age of 19. He was born in 1935 in Chelan County, Washington, and had lived there as a child with his parents, Richard a logger and Madella a fruit packer. The family appears to have moved to Seattle by 1954 and were living just a block away at 8512 12th Avenue NW. Monte Palmer is still living in the house today.