437 Third Avenue
Ballaine House is named after its original owner Frank L.
Ballaine. Frank was the brother of John Ballaine who is considered
to be Seward’s Founding Father. The Ballaines along
with other influential businessmen organized the company known
as the Alaska Central Railway. Their goal was to build a railroad
from Resurrection Bay to Fairbanks. In 1902, the route was
surveyed and the following year the company landed a group
of settlers and workers at the town site, which would later
become known as Seward. John Ballaine filled for and obtained
a patent on most of the land in the town site area. While
John Balliane was primarily concerned with railroad construction
matters, Frank Ballaine was charged with the sale of individual
lots within the town sites. Frank Ballaine arrived in Seward
in March of 1905. Construction on his house was started soon
afterward and was completed that same year.
The Alaska central Railway went bankrupt in 1907. Approximately
70 miles of track had been laid. The US government bought
the railway and build what is known as the Alaska Railroad
today. The original route planned and laid out by Ballaine
and his partners was used.
In addition to being involved in real estate, Frank Ballaine
also founded the town’s first newspaper, the Seward
Gateway. Old newspapers continue to be one of our most important
sources of information about life in early Alaska.
The Ballaine House has been continuously occupied for 95
years. It is in very good condition appearing today very much
as it did when constructed. Some minor exterior modifications
include the addition of a garage and dormer windows on the
north side of the roof. New siding covers the stucco siding
that covers the original wood siding.
Today the Ballaine House provides quality lodging in an historic
atmosphere as a bed and breakfast.