Help the Leif Erikson Lodge find photos of past lodge presidents

Historians from the Leif Erikson Lodge are on the hunt for photos of past presidents of the club.

The lodge just celebrated their 114th anniversary this year – it was formed on May 13, 1903 – and they’re asking locals to help locate photos of some of the missing past presidents.

Here is the list of the missing presidents’ photos:

  • William C. Berg, July 1905-December 1906
  • Sam P. Oien, 1908
  • Gerhard Relling, 1910 (found in Norway see attached photo) Mr and Mrs Relling were married here in 1906. In 1914 they went back to Norway and raised a family there.
  • Andrew Anderson, January-May 1930 (no relation to the current historian)
  • Ole Hoff, 1928 (photo from 1914)

“I am hoping someone in our broader Nordic community and local community may either be descended from these men or somehow related or even family friends,” Christine Anderson, lodge historian tells My Ballard. They’re also looking for a photo of Albert S. Ryland from 1937-38 to replace an old one from the 50s that currently hangs on the president’s wall.

“Thanks for any help you can provide in completing this long overdue project,” Anderson says.

To contact Anderson with any information, email her at

Ballard Girls Basketball fall season registrations now open

The new school year is just around the corner, and the Ballard Girls Basketball program is now accepting registrations for the fall season.

Basketball coach Sara Weststone says the team runs trainings and camps for girls in 3rd grade up to high school. “From beginner to advanced, we find the right fit for each girl,” Wetstone tells My Ballard. “Our professional and positive coaches are dedicated to building player confidence and competence while building a strong and healthy community.”

The fall/winter season runs from Sept. 5 to Feb. 18, and tryouts for girls in 4th grade through to high school are this week. If you can’t attend a tryout, email Wetstone for other options at

For more info, visit the Ballard Girls Basketball website.


Community meeting planned to discuss Webster School renovation

A group of Ballard residents are hosting a meeting to discuss concerns over Seattle School District’s plans to renovate and reopen Webster School (currently the Nordic Heritage Museum) starting in 2018. The meeting is Tuesday, August 29 from 6 to 7:30 pm at the Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 NW 67th St.

According to Seattle Public Schools (SPS), Webster School was originally constructed in 1908. It was closed in 1979, when it was then leased to the Pacific Nordic Council. Since 1980, the building has housed the Nordic Heritage Museum. However, because the museum will be moved to its new location in early 2018, SPS wants to reopen Webster School in the building.

SPS proposes to reopen the school with a capacity of up to 450 students. Plans include updating the building and retrofitting the interior, and constructing a building addition to house a new gymnasium.

According to SPS, the project will include:

  • Demolition
  • Seismic improvement to the original unreinforced masonry 1908 building;
  • An addition of 7,700 square feet on the west side of the property housing a new gymnasium and covered play area;
  • Structural, mechanical, electrical, data/telecom, modernization/upgrades; and
    Life safety and sustainability upgrades.
  • Portions of the building’s exterior and interior were designated as a Seattle Landmark by the City of Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board in June 2015. Features to be preserved include the site, the exteriors of the 1908 building and 1930 addition, the 1930 meeting room/auditorium, the 1930 library reading rooms, and the halls and stairs of the second and third floors in the 1908 building.

Tuesday’s meeting will be hosted by local school activist Chris Jackins with Seattle Committee to Save Schools. His concerns, outlined in a letter to residents, include the following:

  • City zoning code would not be met: lot coverage, building height (17% taller), on-street bus loading.
  • Loss of 69% of significant trees, and endangering an exceptional tree: Chinese photinia at SE corner.
  • Loss of playground space and open space: at least 11% of the playground would be lost, and probably twice that amount.
  • Loss of on-site parking: the current 67 on-site spaces would be reduced to 5.
  • Historic and Cultural Preservation: the covered play area should not be demolished. The School Board has requested that the State exempt the Seattle School Disctrict from City Landmarks regulation, putting historic features at risk.

Jackins is also concerned about the plan to construct new buildings on the playground, and points out that there is an inadequate description of the project from the Seattle School District. (For the full document of the concerns, download this PDF of the letter from Jackins, sent to us by reader Amy Janas)

Public comments and concerns about the plans are due by 5pm on September 7 and should be sent to or to Pegi McEvoy, 206-252-0707.

Photo courtesy Nordic Heritage Museum 

Obec Brewing joins the Ballard brew scene

Beer lovers, rejoice: another brewery has opened in Ballard, in the heart of our ‘hood’s brew district. It’s called Obec Brewing, and is just next to Stoup and Reuben’s at 1144 NW 52nd St. They celebrated their grand opening on Friday, with Peasant Food Manifesto food truck on site and a guest appearance from Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

Obec, pronounced “obets”, is a Czech word meaning “community”, and is owned by Wayne Jehlik, who has Czech heritage. Jehlik, with his wife and operations manager Stacey and business partner Brian Gill have a beer list with a nod to old-world Czech, German and British beers, alongside Northwest favorites such as IPAs and sours.

In addition to their 12 house-brewed tap lines, they’re currently serving guest beers from Stoup and Lucky Envelope – just until they can fill it out with their own brews. According to Seattle Mag, Obec has an English porter, English pale ale, a hopped-up red rye ale and a Czech-style bohemian pilsner, with a traditional American IPA and double IPA on the way. They also have wine available from Fall Line Winery and Solera Bravo Wines.

Obec’s hours are Wednesday and Thursday 4 – 10pm, Friday 4pm – 11pm, Saturday noon to 11pm, and Sunday noon to 9pm (closed on Monday and Tuesday). Dogs are welcome, but all patrons must be 21+.

For more info about Obec, visit their Facebook page.

Opening day photos courtesy Obec Brewing

What’s on this weekend

It should be another beautiful weekend in Ballard, with sun and temperatures in the mid- to high-70s. If you’re looking to get outside and listen to live music (and sip on some tasty local beer), check out Stoup Brewing’s family-friendly Yard Party on Saturday. If you have any events to add to this list, email us at

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 25

  • Old Ballard Crayfish Party at the Seattle Maritime Academy (4455 Shilshole Ave NW), 7-11pm. Hosted by the Old Ballard Liquor Co. and Tumble Swede pop-up restaurant. More info here.
  • Live Music:
    • Jazz at Egan’s Ballard Jam House (1707 NW Market St).  7pm: Susan Robinson (vocals), with Darin Clendenin (piano), Clipper Anderson (bass), Robert Rushing (drums) and Travis Ranney (sax) ($13 cover) . 9pm – Colson Jimenez Quartet – Colson Jimenez (bass), Ravi Sharma (guitar), Santosh Sharma (sax) and Dominic Lecouturier (drums) ($10 cover/$5 students)
    • Barna Howard and Jack Grelle at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9pm $8.
    • Warren G Hardings, Rain City Ramblers, and Tom Eddy Band at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9pm. $12.

Saturday, August 26

  • Stoup Brewing Yard Party 2 – 10pm. Live music from Brawns, Silver Treason, Planet Fly, and Golden Idols. Seattle Children’s Museum with family and kids activities, and the following food trucks: Wicked Good Grinders, Nutty Squirrel Gelato, Raney Bro’s BBQ and Beez Neez Sausages.
  • Safe Routes to School & Bike Rodeo at Greenwood Park (602 NW 87th St) 1 pm – 5 pm. “Join us for a Bike Rodeo, Music, Food and Scavenger Hunt at Greenwood Park, just down the way from the new Robert Eagle Staff Middle School! We’ll kickoff the school year and help families learn bike safety and skills and find the safest routes to school.”
  • Live Music
    • Jazz at Egan’s Ballard Jam House (1707 NW Market St). 7pm – “Songs of the City” – Victor Janusz and Friends – purchase tickets online – any remaining seats will be sold at the door. 9pm – Hanz Araki (flutes, whistles, vocals) and Colleen Raney (vocals, bodran, guitar).
    • Jon Hatchett, Zach Bryson & The Meatrack, and Heather Littlefield at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9pm $8.

Sunday, August 27

  • Ballard Farmer’s Market along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Click here to see this week’s specials.
  • Free zumba and fitness class at Ballard Commons Park, 11am. Led by Ballard Health Club.
  • Live Music
    • Open mic at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) sign ups at 7:30 pm.

Another rabid bat found – this time in Ballard

On August 22, a rabid bat was found at the  intersection of NW 73rd and 8th Ave NW in Ballard. This is the second rabid bat found in the area this week; another was found in Green Lake on August 17.

King County’s Public Health Insider recommends that if you had any contact with a bat at this intersection on Tuesday or Wednesday, contact Public Health (206-296-4774) immediately for information on preventative treatment.

From King County Public Health:

A rabid bat was found on the sidewalk intersection of NW 73rd and 8th Ave NW in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard. The bat was noticed by a pedestrian on Tuesday afternoon, August 22. The pedestrian immediately notified Animal Control. The bat appeared sick and subsequently died prior to the arrival of Animal Control. The bat tested positive for rabies at the Washington State Public Health Laboratory on August 24.

If you find a bat:

  • If you find a bat inside your house, call Public Health at 206-296-4774 to discuss the situation and to determine whether the bat needs to be tested for rabies. Public Health tests bats for rabies free of charge under certain circumstances.
  • If the bat is alive, do not let it go! Knock it to the floor with a broom or other object, and cover it with a wastebasket or other container
  • Scoop it into a box or plastic storage container with a secure lid without touching it or wear heavy leather gloves to pick it up and put it in the box.
  • Use a shovel or gloves to put a dead bat in a box for testing. Do not throw it away!

Rabies can be life-threatening, but is preventable if treated before symptoms appear. Read for more details, read this media release and a Public Health Insider Q&A on bats and health.

Photo from Public Health Insider

Fishermen’s Fall Festival coming in September

The 29th annual Fishermen’s Fall Festival is just around the corner, an event that celebrates the return of the North Pacific fishing fleet to the terminal. On Saturday, September 23, the festival will take place at Fishermen’s Terminal (1900 W. Nickerson St., Seattle, WA, at the south end of
the Ballard Bridge) from 11am to 6pm. Admission is free.

“The Festival celebrates the return of the North Pacific fishing fleet to the terminal, works to increase the public’s knowledge of the importance of the fishing industry as well as Fishermen’s Terminal to Seattle while raising money for the Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial Foundation,” the organizers tell My Ballard.

The festival is a family-friendly event, with hands-on art projects with fishing themes, a wooden boat building and “Fishing for Fun” fish pond, live music and fishing information and demonstrations.  Proceeds from the activities within the festival will be donated to the Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial Foundation to assist families of fishers lost at sea.

To learn more, click here.

Throwback Thursday: 110 years since Seattle annexed Ballard

Ballard was its own city from 1890 until May 29, 1907. The City of Ballard’s short-lived independence ceased to exist when it was annexed to Seattle, adding the new neighborhood to the northwest as well as 17,000 people to Seattle’s population.

The vote to annex had passed by 996 to 874 votes on November 6, 1906, following Ballard’s increasing difficulties in keeping its services abreast of a growing population. Particularly problematic was the clean water supply.

On the day the City ceased to exist, the Ballard City Hall was draped in black crepe, and the flag on the city flag pole hung at half mast.

Ballard Avenue from City Hall, Ballard, ca. 1900 postcard


Sources: Patrick McRoberts,, ( Essay 1421, 1999); Walt Crowley, National Trust Guide Seattle (New York: Preservation Press, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998); Myra Phelps, Public Works in Seattle: A Narrative History The Engineering Department 1875-1975 (Seattle: Seattle Engineering Department, 1978), 222; Passport to Ballard: The Centennial Story ed. by Kay Reinartz (Seattle: Ballard News Tribune, 1988), 64; Jeannie Yandel