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.
According to the online King County Assessor’s Report and the Property Record Card, this house was built in 1903 or 1906, respectively. It is located in the Leary Addition to Ballard (1901), Block 3, Lot 12.
William Schur (1866–191?) and his wife Benedicta (1867–1958) bought the property from James P. Ferry (1853–1914), likely the son of former Governor Elisha Ferry, in 1904. The house was built on Polk St. [now 63rd] just west of 5th [now 26th], and the first entries in the 1905 and 1906 Ballard City Directories show Jay D. Beach, a clerk for the G. L. Holmes Furniture Co., living there with an address of 519 Polk. William G. A. Schur, a German born merchant tailor, is listed there in 1906 and 1907 with a similar address of 509 Polk.
William disappeared from the records after 1910 and apparently died by 1920, when Benedicta is listed as a widow. Benedicta continued to live in the home through 1935. She was born in Germany, immigrated to the U.S. about 1885, and came to Seattle in 1904. The King County Property Record Card provides the following remarks about the home and its location: “average houses to this block all old buildings. Two blocks to car line. One block from grade school.”
In 1936 and 1937, the home was advertised as a furnished rental house, with five-room cottage, yard, large garden, trees, garage, and a nice location. Following the advertisements, residents changed nearly every year. In 1948, the home was offered for sale with automatic electric hot water, a double lot, with lots of fruit trees and near a school and bus.
From 1951 to 1977, Barbara E. McDonald (widow of Bernard McDonald) and her family lived in the home. By 1975, Barbara had remarried to Earl A. Drake. Following Barbara’s death in 1980, the property was sold by Barbara’s son Robert Kelly and others to Paul M. Strick and Lynn Carrigan.
Subsequent owners include: Joyce E. Erickson and Kenneth Brown (from 1994–1998), Judith D. Suther (from 1998–2006), who added a 1st and 2nd story addition with alterations including changing the roof line, and Carolee and Stephen Grumm, the current owners, as of May 2016 (from 2006–).
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