Throwback Thursday: Ballard Railroad Bridge in the 1930s

It’s that time of the week again where we take a look back at “old” Ballard in our weekly Throwback Thursday post.

This week we are sharing a photo of Ballard Railroad Bridge before Shilshole was completed back in the 1930s.


According to information from the Seattle Municiple Archives, in the 1930s Shilshole Ave was described as “dirty, dusty and disgraceful” in The Ballard News. A few things have changed since then…

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.

Photo and information courtesy of Seattle Municiple Archives.

6 thoughts to “Throwback Thursday: Ballard Railroad Bridge in the 1930s”

  1. Where exactly in this picture is the ‘Shilshole Ave’ of which you speak? My 1907 map of Ballard shows Seaview Ave. and Shilshole Way, but no Shilshole Ave. And judging by the shadows and the bridge in the background, we are looking north from the Magnolia side of the canal.

  2. Great observation Charles.
    There is no way that is either Shilshole or Seaview and looks very much like a north-facing view as you mentioned.

    However, if we are talking Seaview (home of the missing link), it looks very similar with the train tracks and crappy road.

  3. This photo is actually looking northward from Magnolia. Judging from the look of the hill in the background, this picture was taken earlier than the 30’s, most likely 1914 when the railroad bridge was completed.

    Prior to the railroad bridge being built, northbound trains entered Ballard across a bridge just west of where 15th is now and actually did run up Shilshole where the missing link tracks are now.

  4. The wasn’t any Shilshole Ave until until enough fill dirt was dumped to build it. Prior to Shilshole Ave the only real way to get to Golden Gardens was to go down the hill from 67th or 85th, both of which were Trolley car destinations.

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