Throwback Thursday: Trolleys and Streetcars in Ballard

By Joe Veyera

With the Seattle City Council voting earlier this week to select First Avenue as a future streetcar route, and agreeing to seek up to $75 million in federal money to fund the project, this week’s throwback post harkens back to the days when Ballard had streetcars and trolleys running through the neighborhood.

The black and white photo below, taken in 1900, shows the conductor and Motorman on Fremont-Ballard trolley line, car #551.


The black and white photo below, taken in 1904 at Golden Gardens Park, a horsedrawn carriage is in the foreground, as people get off a streetcar in the background.


The black and white photo below, taken in 1910, shows Maud Reid Adams standing on Ballard Bridge, wearing a fur coat, hat, skirt, and high lace boots. The bridge is steel with a trolley and another vehicle in the background.


The black and white photo below, taken in 1932, shows a trolley car running down Ballard Avenue.


Do you have an historical photo or a story that readers would enjoy hearing about? Email us at with Throwback Thursday in the subject line.

Photos and information courtesy of Ballard Historical Society.

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Julie Albright
Julie Albright

The picture with the streetcar and the horses was actually taken ABOVE Golden Gardens at @ 85th and 32nd. The road down to Golden Gardens from the top was too curvy and treacherous for a streetcar. There was no road from the south end; the road we know as Shilshole was built on fill in the 1930s. The two ends of road did not connect until then.

Stephen Edwin Lundgren
Stephen Edwin Lundgren

Julie, good call – it is likely that is Mr. Harry Whitney Treat himself greeting his prospective property buyers? Circa 1906, see Louis Fiset article