The Ballard Historical Society was recognized by the Association of King County Historical Organizations on Tuesday evening. We received the Charles Payton Award for Heritage Advocacy for our “Bring the Ring Back to Ballard” project. In January 2011, we were encouraged to write and submit a City of Seattle Small and Simple grant to add a programmable mechanism to the existing bell at Marvin’s Garden on Ballard Avenue. BHS had been previously approached by former Webster school teacher Bertha Davis who said, “I’d really like to hear that bell ring again.” She was part of the original group that installed the brick housing for the bell, but alas the bell still did not ring.
Last summer, the grant funds were used to plan, build and install the mechanism and celebrate a return to the ring of our bell. The “Ballard Bell” originally rung to signal the beginning and end of the work day at wood shingle mill factories, and a city curfew for Ballard.
Not only did the Steering Committee install the mechanism, but Ballard Historical Society secured community commitments and celebrated the career and life of Mrs. Davis. Although Mrs. Davis lived only to hear the initial ringing and not the official celebration, we were pleased to see to fruition this community initiative so long in the making. Thank you to all who helped see this project through.