Winning a City by Losing a Coin Toss

Winning a City by Losing a Coin Toss

This bold, full-bodied, medium roast has hazelnut, macadamia, and blackberry notes; the perfect addition to a brisk, foggy morning out on the Ballard waterfront.

A coin toss can represent different things for many people; a fun game of chance, a way to entertain a child, an easy way to make a decision. For Captain Ballard in 1890, one silly little coin granted him 160 acres of land and initiated the development of one of Seattle’s most beloved neighborhoods. This land had been deemed worthless, stripped of  its potential when the builders of Great Northern Railway abandoned their plans to continue north of Seattle. Captain Ballard was a driven man who refused to allow the land’s undesirable title be the end of its legacy. Utilizing the location’s direct access to the end of the rail line, Ballard turned it into a hub for lumber mills. With new job opportunities and ideal positionality within the Pacific Northwest, thousands flocked to this new city that bore the owner’s name. With locals working hard in the lumber mills, supplying fish for the Greater Seattle area, and the determined example set by the Captain himself, a spirit of hard work encapsulated this industrial town. The city of Ballard was not without its flaws, and soon the inhabitants turned to gambling and drinking in order to cope with insufficient solutions to dispose of sewage and the lack of fresh water. Though many identified as citizens of Ballard and felt most at home among other earnest workers, the burden of these issues became too much for the city to bear on its own, forcing its annexation to Seattle in 1907.

Dig a little deeper and you will see that spirit of independence still alive in Ballard today. Often perceived as a welcomed break from the congestion and fast-pace of life downtown, Ballard’s culture is rich with industry and hard labor. While lumber mills and fishing are not the dominant form of commerce here anymore, this community is still composed of diligent people. Business owners and fishermen alike take pride in the history of Ballard and how it became such a significant area of Seattle after starting as a ‘wasteland’; continuing this tradition of hard work throughout their everyday lives.

“Even though names may change, some things remain the same in Ballard. One of these is the tradition and practice of fishing and the importance of this as a community economic activity and support. What was true over a century ago is still true today for Ballard: the fishermen and their familiars are vital members who contribute identity, a sense of work ethic, community, and entrepreneurship.” - Fred Poyner IV, Filson

A visit to Ballard will allow you to indulge in some of the most acclaimed food in Washington, visit uncommon breweries, and uncover historical and modern characters and their stories. Visit where Sig Hansen’s famous ship from The Deadliest Catch was moored, at the Pacific Fishermen Shipyard, right on the waters of Ballard as well as other recognizable spots.

Also stop by some of our wholesale customers in the Ballard area! Visit Biscuit and Bean for some amazing biscuits and tasty coffee or Preserve and Gather for mouth-watering made-from-scratch jams, pastries, and snacks.

“The history of Ballard offers a glimpse of how one maritime community in the pacific northwest has grown and prospered over time, with the help of a community solidly based in fishing, shipbuilding, and other maritime industries.”- Fred Poyner, Filson 

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