Ballard Oil Company now closed after 85 years in Seattle

Ballard Oil Company, one of the oldest businesses in the neighborhood, has closed after 85 years in operation.

The Ballard Oil Company (5300 26th Ave NW) opened on the Lake Washington Ship Canal just east of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in 1937.* Company president Brandon Millard told King 5 that the reason for the closure is a mixture of less oil dependency and increased taxes and regulations. “It all just fell apart within the last year,” he told King.

One contributing factor, Millard said, is that more residents are using heat pumps and electric heating, reducing the need for home heating oils.

Ballard Oil Company also relied heavily on servicing the Pacific Northwest and Alaska fishing fleets with diesel, lubricants, hydraulic oils, and other supplies. Many of those fishing fleets are sending fewer boats north, which has cut into Ballard Oil Company’s earnings.

The message on the Ballard Oil Company website says fuel is no longer available, and that for furnace and oil services, customers should contact Sound Oil.

Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Ballard Oil Co. is located just right of the Ballard Locks

*An earlier version of this story misstated that the Millard family opened Ballard Oil Co. The original owner was Bob Stewart.