The Scandinavian sites of Ballard

As Syttende Mai approaches, MyBallard examines Ballard’s Scandinavian heritage. Last week we looked at the Scandinavian culinary gems, and today we tour some of the neighborhood’s historical and cultural markers.

A drive or walk along Seaview Avenue at the western edge of Ballard takes residents and visitors right by the Leif Erikson memorial, where a statue of the Norse explorer looks out over Shilshole Bay and the boats moored in the marina.

A Shilshole icon for decades, the statue was a gift to the city from the Norwegian American community, and was unveiled during the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962. It now sits surrounded by rune stones bearing the names of Scandinavian immigrants, a relatively new tribute to Scandinavian immigrants, which the Leif Erikson International Foundation, or LEIF, unveiled in October 2007.

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