Nordic Heritage Museum Vanishing Generation Interview with Robert Campbell

  • By Curtis Jacobson
  • Posted 9/23/2004
  • Essay 5768

This is a Nordic Heritage Museum Vanishing Generation Oral History Project Interview of Robert Campbell (b. 1922), interviewed by Curtis Jacobson on October 11, 2000. Robert speaks of the businesses and organizations in the Ballard area from the 1930s to the present. His father founded C & C Paint Co. with Art Cowman. Included in his recollections are his associations with Ballard Avenue Historical Committee, the Ballard Historical Commission, the Ballard Lions Club, the Ballard Elks, the Nile Shriners, and the Masonic Order.

This is 11 October, 2000, and I'll be interviewing Robert L. Campbell. We are at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Campbell in Maltby -- well, the neighborhood of Maltby. It's actually -- mailing address is Snohomish, Washington. And my name is Curtis Jacobs, J-A-C-O-B-S. I've known Robert for quite a few number of years, so this interview might tend to be a little on the personal side.

Bob, would you go back to the real early days and tell me what you knew of your parents' travels and who they were and when you came into Ballard?

Yeah. Well, let's see. Some of -- well, a little bit of the history of my father's -- on my father's side, the Campbell side. The Campbells all originated in Scotland, and they immigrated to this country through England and Canada. In fact, my dad was born in Nanaimo.

Why did they emigrate?

I just -- they wanted to go to the New World, yeah, right. That was about it.

They weren't forced out or anything like this?

Oh, no. No, they weren't, no.

They were just looking for a different way of life?

Yes, right, yeah, yeah. And yeah -- then when my mother was born in Saginaw, Michigan, and her dad, my grandfather, was a salesman for a hardware store. And he transferred out here to Seattle Hardware as one of their salesmen. And that's where they came from. But he brought the family out, of course, and they settled out here, mostly on -- in doing agricultural work on farms.

But your father came down through Canada?

Yes, uh-huh, yeah, yeah. On my grandmother's side, that's where there's some Scandinavian history and --

Where did they come from?

Well, they were -- they were -- the first I remember them is when they were in Michigan.

But you don't know --

I don't know back how far. Then, prior to that, I'm not -- I'm just kind of --

You said they were Scandinavian?


Do you recollect what countries they were from?


Oh, they're Danish.

Yeah, right, uh-huh. In fact, my grandmother used to tell me that -- when I was a young boy that we originated from Danish royalty. But I don't even know what the heck their name was. There was one cousin that came out here and visited while I was a young man. His name was Diamond. He was a doctor back east. So it might have been -- that might have been their name when they immigrated to this country, I don't know.

But they came into the United States and not into Canada?

Right. Yes, yes, they came right over here.

So your grandfather came down from Canada?

No, my father.

Your father did?


Your father was born in Canada?


Whereabouts in Canada?


In Nanaimo. Okay. And how old was he when he came into the United States?

He was a young man. I would say he was probably in his teens, yeah.

Was there a particular reason for coming down?

Just to get a better lifestyle.

That's his reason for coming in, just as your grandparents came into Canada, for that same reason, from the old country?

Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I guess, you know, in those days, there was a lot of immigrants coming into the country, and that was probably the thing to do, coming into the United States.

Sure. The New World.

Yeah. The New World. From living in an old-world environment, I guess this looked like -- looked pretty good, living in our country.

And your father met your mother down here?

Yes, uh-huh, yeah. He was -- he had quite a marine background, too. He was in the Merchant Marine for quite a few years, my father was. And then he went to work for Seattle Hardware, because my grandfather had -- well, established there. And he worked for Seattle Hardware and also in their paint department, and that's where he got his paint background.

And where did he go from there?

From Seattle Hardware, let's see.

He was married at that time?

Yeah. They were married while he was still working there.

They were married in Seattle?

As far as I know, yeah.

And lived --

And they lived -- their first residence I can remember is over on Boren Avenue. And probably that's one of the reasons my mother stayed in that area. I was farmed out to the Seattle Day Nursery while she worked.

Okay. What brought your father to Ballard?

Well, the paint company. He was one of the owners, one of the founders of C&C Paint and --

How did that come about?

Well, that came about in 1937 when he and another employee of Seattle Hardware got together for lunch one time.

What was his name?

Cowman. Art Cowman.

How do you spell Cowman?



And so, they figured that they would -- they could start their own business. Even though it was the aftermath of the Great Depression years, they did it, and they started a --

This was after 1929, in other words?

This was -- oh, yeah. This was 1937.

1937, okay.

And so they started this little paint company, Cowman Campbell Paint Company, down on Eighth Avenue South just below East Marginal Way.

Do you have the address?

I think that's about all I can -- it was just south of East Marginal Way on Eighth Avenue South.

So they didn't come directly into Ballard, then?

No, no. They started the paint company there, and then that got too crowded and they purchased -- in 1946, they purchased the property that's known as C&C Paint property today.

And what's that address?

And that's at 5232 Shilshole Avenue, right next door to Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel.

All right. Somewhere along the line you were born?


When was that? And whereabouts?

Okay. I was born in Seattle at, in fact, the Swedish Hospital, the old Swedish Hospital in Seattle on March 8th, 1922. And then --

Were you an only child?

Yes, yeah, I was the only child. However, later, after my mother remarried, I do have a half-sister.

Your mother remarried?


What was the family name at that time?

Let's see now. Well, that was when she married into the Lamb family.

So, you used the name of Lamb, did you?

Yes. Used the name of Lamb when my mother and stepfather got married.

Roughly, what time was that?

And that was roughly -- oh, boy -- about 1928.

So you were roughly six years old at that time?

Yes, uh-huh, yeah, yeah.

So where did you go to school?

Okay. First school I can remember is the old school on Boren Avenue. I couldn't tell you what the name of it is; it's probably not even there anymore. But then, we moved out to -- into the Ballard area and -- with my stepfather, of course. It had gotten to then. And the first school, elementary school in Ballard I went to was Whittier Elementary School on -- I don't have an address for that, but it was approximately -- let's see, grade school, 12th -- no. That was on 175th Northwest (sic) and about 13th Northwest. And these addresses are going to be approximate, yeah, but they're close.

Oh, sure. You went through how many grades there?

I went through the sixth grade there. And then that's when the junior high schools were -- let's see, they were seven, eight and nine grades. And when I graduated from Whittier, why, then I went to James Monroe Junior High School and went through the seventh and eighth grades there. And then, at that time, my folks moved out north, and I started -- I didn't go to Lincoln at first. I went to Ronald Elementary in eighth grade and then went into Lincoln High School.

And you graduated from Lincoln?

Yeah, in 1941.

What did you do after that, after high school?

I went to work for Boeing Aircraft Company. Right. That was 1941, but the meantime, why -- no, let's see. Not in the meantime. I was working for Boeings in 1941, and Shirley and I got married in 1941, too, since I had a good job and lots of money. But . . . And then, let's see, I did leave Boeings in 1942. And . . .

Did you go in the service?

Not at that time. No. I went to work for Isaacson's Ironworks, and I worked for them for a year, and then I decided I didn't like that, so I quit in 1944, and that's when I went in the service.

But you didn't work at the paint company at that time?

Off and on I did. On Saturdays and part time I would go down there and help them with the canning and mixing and stuff like that.

Working with your dad?

Yeah, uh-huh, yeah.

But not your stepdad?

Right. I was working with my dad at that time.

That was in downtown Ballard?

No. The first -- no, let's see. Go back a little bit 'cause when I was going to high school, I would work at the paint company part time, and that was when they were down on Eighth Avenue South. And then, when they moved, let's see -- yeah. I went to work for Isaacson Ironworks full time after I left Boeings, and then, in 1944, I was drafted in the service, probably because I had quit some very important jobs in wartime. But it didn't take them long. So, in 1944 I went into the service and served in 1944 to 1946. And then --

What service was that?

The United States Navy. And I was on a troop transport and visited many ports throughout the world, yeah.

But the Navy didn't call you to spend much time in Ballard?

No, no. I did spend some time at the Naval Training Station down on Lake Union. But no, that was -- they didn't require any time in Ballard.

So, when did you get back to Ballard?

In 1946, after I was discharged, then I went back to the paint company.

Working for your father?

Working for my father. But by then, the divorce had all happened and things had changed quite a bit. Yeah. And then I worked from '46 in the paint company doing factory work, which was -- it's a paint manufacturing company, and I was doing factory work until I decided to go on my own into the hardware business, which was 1965.

And where was that?

And the hardware business was located north of Bothell in Snohomish County. But then, 20 years later, I decided to go back into the paint business, so I liquidated the hardware business and came back to C&C Paint.

In Ballard?

In Ballard, right, yeah, yeah.

Do you remember many of the other businesses around Ballard in those days that you dealt with?

Oh, yeah, sure. There was, of course, Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel. It was right next door to us. And Sagstad Shipyard was right across the street. And Peterson Wholesale Hardware was just down the street on Shilshole. And those are all people that we dealt with. So I got to know a lot of -- renewed a lot of old friendships there, but I worked for -- the second time I came back to the paint company, of course, was after we liquidated the hardware store in 1985, and then I worked in the paint business until about 1998.

Do you see many changes in Ballard through those years?

Oh, yeah, I'll say, yeah, right. A lot of the old -- when I first came to Ballard, there was -- the fishermen had built these little homes, you know, and it was predominately the fishing industry, and it was kind of divided between that and wood products. But the fishing industry, I think, was the dominant one, and so I got to know a lot of guys that their fathers were fishermen and . . .

Who were some of these people? Do you remember any of the names?

Yeah, yeah. There was one fellow that lived right across the street from us when we lived on 75th, was named Jelly Anderson, and he worked for his father in the fishing. They were -- I think they were halibut fishermen.

They had their own boat?

They had their own boat, right, right. And let's see. And so I knew -- of course, I knew a lot of them, but I can't remember a lot of the names, but Jelly, I do remember 'cause we were about the same age and we played around together. Jelly -- In fact, Jelly went on to become quite well known on Ballard's basketball team and also their football team. But then, right next door to us was another fellow by the name of George Bishop. His folks emigrated from Germany. And -- but he was, of course, a kid that I used to hang around with.

Sure. Are his parents still around, or is he still around?

I haven't heard nor hair -- hide nor hair of him for years. But I know another kid that I became quite close to, and that was John Boitano, and he also went on to Ballard and became well known in the basketball and football teams and also to the University of Washington, where Jelly was, too, you know on their -- that would be -- I would like to see one of those guys come down and read this thing. "Bob Lamb? Oh, I know him!"

Bob who?


That was your stepfather's name?

Yeah, right, uh-huh, yeah.

How long did you use your stepfather's name?

Until I graduated high school. That was in 1941.

So you weren't Bob Campbell in high school? You were Bob Lamb?

No, I was Bob Lamb, yeah, yeah.

What Ballard organizations do you belong to?

Well, let's see, how about the Swedish Club?

Well, that's not a Ballard organization.

Isn't it? It's made up of Ballardites. Or they should be, anyway. Okay. I belonged to the Ballard Lions from about 1950 to '65. And the Ballard Elks. Now, that's when they had their building on Ballard Avenue. And . . .

When did you join that?

That was -- let's see. I'm a 35-year member -- yeah a 30-year member, so about 1970, somewhere there.

Any organizations dating back to pre-'50 when you were a youngster?

Well, okay, I was in scouting. I was a member of the charter Whittier Cub Scout troop. I can't even tell you the name of it, but that was about 1933. And they met at one of the portables at Whittier Elementary School. I remember that very clearly. And then, as I -- when I was, let's see, working for the C&C Paint Company in Ballard and also belonged to the Ballard Lions, they sponsored a Sea Scout troop, and they appointed me as the leader of the troop or skipper of the boat.

How old were you at that time?

Well, at that time, let's see. Now, this is 1958, because, of course, you had to have an adult.

What was the name of the boat?

It was called the Ses Sea Venture. It was a 38-foot Navy wooden hull that had been remodeled and equipped with a mast to hold one big main sail, and so we were able to sail as well as motor.

And this was for the Sea Scouts?

This was for the Sea Scouts, yeah, yeah yeah. Because of my -- probably one of the reasons was because of my experience in the Navy and in and around boats and stuff, why, they kind of talked me into that. But let's see. I guess the Swedish Club was not a . . .But the scouting I guess that was -- that was mainly what I was doing. There was a lot of the kids -- and I can't tell you their names, but a lot of the kids that were in the crew, were Sea Scouts and they were kids from 13 to 17.

Were they all from Ballard?

They were. The majority of them.

Predominately Ballard kids?

Right, because the Ballard Lions sponsored the ship.

They arranged for the purchase of the ship?

Yeah. The ship was already purchased, but what the Ballard Lions had to do, was to help with repairs and maintenance. That was probably their biggest -- and docking facilities. I remember one time there -- now, we're getting kind of out on the edges of Ballard, but Greer Thomas Lumber, who was out on 85th, he was -- Vern Greer was a member of the Ballard Lions at the time, and he donated all the planking for the dock. That was a big operation.

Where was that dock?

That was on North Northlake Way on Lake Union.

Not in Ballard?

No. But another person that did help us out a lot in Ballard was the Ballard Oil Company. We used to purchase our fuel there at a good discounted price.

Who owned that, do you remember?

Oh, let's see. Well, Don Olason, I think, is one of the owners now, and I don't think he was there at that time, though. He was a younger fellow. Now, I can't remember the names of the fellows that did run it at that time, but they were sure nice to the scout troop.

Did you do much business with Ballard Hardware?

Oh, yes. Oh, yes. We --

Do you remember who owned that?

Well, as far as I know, Jim and Lyle were the partners.

Do you remember their last names?

Lyle Holte.


Yeah, that's close. And Jim -- and I can't remember his last name. Jim is still a member of the Ballard Elks, and I do see him once in awhile at some of their golf tournaments and things like that. But when C&C Paint started up the factory there in Ballard, they bought all their hardware and miscellaneous stuff and tools from Ballard Hardware.

And your dad started that in what year, again?

1937, but then we didn't move to Ballard until '47.

Any other businesses that are long gone that you can remember by chance? Ever deal with Seattle Cedar?

We'd --I think we'd purchased some scrap lumber for making tests on paint products.

Paint samples?

Yeah. Paint samples. In fact, I remember when Seattle Cedar burnt down. And that was a catastrophe for Ballard.

Did that concern you people at the paint company?

Oh, yeah. Boy, it sure did. Yes. I think that when I first noticed the glow in the sky, I think I was downtown Seattle somewhere, and that was a terrible, hot and big fire. So they were only up the street from us about a block, and the embers were flying all over the place. And we thought sure as heck, all of Shilshole Avenue and paint company and Salmon Bay and there was another company there that was making foul-weather gear for the fishermen, Johnson Clothing, I think it was called, and we thought that the whole block was going to go.

Do you remember what year that was?

Oh, boy, no, I don't think I can. When we noticed the fire, of course, we rushed over to the plant to see if there was anything we could do to help, and the cinders were all over the place. And I remember looking up to the peak of the roof. It went along the old cedar drying shed, and I saw two or three firemen up there with hoses. I thought, boy, those guys are in a dangerous position. But they controlled it. but that's about all I remember about the Seattle Cedar Fire. And . . .

Any other notable events?

Okay, all right. The hospital, the Ballard Hospital. Now, it used to be right on Ballard Avenue and 20th, and one of the doctors there was a doctor by the name of John Arnason.

How do you spell that?

A-R-N-S-E-N (sic). He was a great big Icelander. Always smoked a cigar. But a good doctor, 'cause in about 1935, I contacted appendicitis, and so my folks rushed me down to that -- to him and he removed my appendix. I was afraid he was always going to get that damned cigar ashes in my incision. But anyway -- and he was our family doctor. In fact, he delivered our first -- Shirley's and I's first child.

How many children do you have?

We had three daughters. They were -- they were . . .

They were born in Ballard, then?

Let's see now. Shari was born --

Is she your oldest?


How old is she?

She was at the Swedish Hospital. She's about 57, now. And Cathy's 40-something. Becky's 40-something. But he also -- Dr. Arnason also set -- I had broken an arm back in -- when I was in junior high, and he set me. He was our family doctor. Great guy. But out of those three daughters, we have seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. You can see why I'm busy all the time.

Helped a little bit in the move from -- no, this was -- no, this was '46, when we moved up from East Marginal Way -- but I did help a little bit in the move up to the new facility there on Shilshole.

So anyway, I first remember going to school -- going back to our school days -- going to Whittier, and one of my experiences there was serving on the schoolboy patrol, and I was made captain of the patrol group. We directed traffic on 15th Northwest and 175th.

That far out?, 75th.

75th, not 175th?

No. Directed traffic on -- for the school kids on -- and that was in sixth -- I was probably a sixth grader then. But at that time, 15th Northwest didn't have any traffic lights.

Oh, is that right?

Oh, yeah. So -- of course, there wasn't as much traffic, either. But that was one of my great experiences at Whittier Junior High. And while we were living -- let's see now. Yeah, one of the places we lived at -- we moved from 75th down to 73rd, 14th and 73rd. And that's when I was going to James Monroe and Whittier also in those years. And we moved -- and when we lived there, why, I lived across the street from a fellow by the name of Carl Fortney, and I kind of lost track of him during the high school days, but I did see his name mentioned a few times later. I think his son was --or his grandson was considered for the -- quarterbacking the Huskies at one time.

And another fellow that lived across the street from us down there on 73rd, was a fellow by the name of Roy Berg, and he and I were pretty close, but I've lost track of him, too. Then we moved up -- we moved from 73rd up to 77th and 11th, and that was the last Ballard address that I can recall.

What kind of transportation did we have back then? Did they still have trolleys?

Oh, yeah, yes. They had -- let's see now. They had a trolley. I think it went right down 15th Northwest and I remember also a trolley going down Ballard Avenue.

Would that have been in front of C&C Paint?

Yes, uh-huh, right in front, right, uh-huh. Yeah. All the tracks are tore up now, of course.

Where did it run?

Well, it ran -- let's see now. I think that one ran down from Market Street, and somehow they switched over to Ballard Avenue. I don't really recall how they did it, because that's a sharp turn there. Well, they were probably coming from the west; probably coming down 32nd or 24th. Those days are kind of foggy.

Was the Locks in operation at that time?


The Locks.

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. In fact, that was one of our pastimes and entertainments as we were going to school, us kids would all go down to the Ballard Locks, and at that -- in those days you could fish off the old wooden pier, and so we would go down there quite often and fish for sea perch off the old pier. Under the pier.

On which side of the Locks? Upstream of the Locks?

No, that was on the Sound side, downstream, yeah, yeah. It headed down towards the old railroad bridge, which was there, too. Yeah, yeah, that was a nice little area and it was a good little park, and everything there has been there as far back as I can remember. Yeah, yeah, the Locks, we used to have a lot of fun there. But now you can't fish from that dock anymore. I guess it's declared unsafe or something.

Remember the earthquake?

Let's see. The earthquake, yes. That was -- let's see now if I can remember when the heck that was. It was around -- the one in 1940?

Well, there's been several.

Yeah. There has been. That's the one I remember is the -- is the one in about 19 -- in the '40's.

The one in '49?

Yeah. I think that was it, yeah. And it seems to me like that was the -- well, no, that wasn't probably the worst one. There was another one later. No, that was. That was it, yes, because I was going to Seattle U. at that time. And that happened about noon. You remember that? And I remember being up on the third floor of the old Seattle University building and running out the door and seeing the -- looking down the hallway, and it looked like a wave going right down the hallway. Yeah, that was -- and then I rushed home and gosh -- Shirley and I were married at that time. But I went to school, of course, on the GI Bill of Rights, which was offered to all service people after the war, World War II.

Were there any ferry docks in Ballard?

You know, if there was, I wasn't aware of it, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there was. The ferry dock I remember, 'cause we used to go over that way once in awhile, was the one on Lake Washington. It went from Madison Street over to --

Madison Park?

Yeah, out to Madison Park over to Kirkland. And we would skip school once in awhile and go on the ferry ride. The Salmon Bay Park, that was up on -- let's see. It was about 73rd and 18th, or something like that.

Why did you move out of Ballard?

For picnics and stuff. Well, 'cause my folks moved out north, out into the Richmond Highlands area, Richmond Beach area. And I think it was just because property values were a lot less out that way, and we could buy a home for a little bit less than you could in Ballard, even in those days. But we did, you know, at one time -- let's see now. We moved back to Ballard, Shirley and I, with the three kids, because we thought the school system in Ballard might be better than the one we were living in, and that was the North Shore School District. But it didn't work. But we bought a house down on 17th Northwest and 77th. We lived there for about a year -- less than a year. But that was kind of -- the kids didn't get along at that school at all.

Do you remember the old City Hall?

Well, now, that was where the -- where Ted Peterson built that bell, I think. I don't know; they probably have a name for it. But that was right up off of Ballard Avenue, where Ballard Avenue and 22nd intersect.

It wasn't too far, then, from the paint company?

No. It was very close, yeah. But I can't remember doing any business there at all. But while I was with the Ballard Lions Club, one of the other members were -- like Ted Peterson, ex-senator from Ballard. And let's see. Mitchell, who was also one of the first members of the Ballard Lions, and there were a lot of members of the Ballard Lions Club that were quite prominent in those days. The architect, Oliver Olson, who had his office right up...

[Tape 1, Side 2]

Like the Penney store closing?

Yeah, yeah, the old Penney store, yeah, closed up, and there's not many clothing merchandisers right in Ballard anymore. I can't remember too many. But Penney's, was, of course, was where everybody shopped in the old days, before Northgate, but I think that did make a difference.

Did you know Ole Bardahl?

Yeah, oh yeah. Ole Bardahl was a member of the Ballard Lions Club for years and years.

You knew him quite a ways back, did you?

I knew him before he built his new facility there on -- let's see. North of Leary Way. Let's see, it's probably about 14th or so. Yeah, in fact, he used to he'd always invite us over to see his -- after he moved to his new location -- to see the hydroplane boats that he had. That was really impressive. But he had Miss Bardahls. He had about three or four of them there in his warehouse, and I remember also there being about 12 engines all lined up ready to go. A big Allison, high-powered thing. So we were always rooting for Miss Bardahl. But his plant is quite an interesting place to go through, too. He brings that oil in, and it all goes through transparent pipes and you can see it going from the tanker truck into their big vats and . . .

Is this recycled oil?

I don't think so. It must be new stuff. Maybe he does now, but I don't recall being recycled, no. Yeah, Ole Bardahl, he was quite a guy. A very active member of the Lions Club, too, Ballard Lions.

He was a friend of your dad's then, too, I suppose?

Oh, yeah, yeah, uh-huh.

Probably were about the same age, perhaps?

Yeah. They could have been; yeah. My dad was 81 when he passed away, and that was about 1982. He was born in 1901, my dad was. And Ole probably was pretty close in there. Had a nice place on Mercer Island. That's where he lived. And when I was active in the Sea Explorer program, why, he was also a member of the Ballard Lions, and he invited us over to stop there every once in awhile. Had a nice dock, and we could pull up there, and the kids could get out and terrorize his family. But, yeah, Ole was a neat guy. But he came over to this country without a dime. By the time he passed away, he was probably a multi-millionaire.

Did he have any offspring?

You know, I can't remember if he did. Seems to me like I did hear about some offspring occasionally, but . . .

Ever do any business with Olympic Stain?

Well --

They were almost a competitor, weren't they?

Yeah, they were probably more of a competitor than a business friend. But we did do business with them, because if we would get a -- we were getting jobs from architects in Seattle, and a lot of times Olympic Stain was specified along with our products, too. So we would have to -- you know, if we knew the general contractor, why, that he was going to run his accounts through us, we would get Olympic Stain.

Were you ever involved in any political activities in Ballard?

Yeah. I was elected to the Board of the Ballard Avenue Historical Committee, I guess you might say.

What was that for? What did they do?

They reviewed any plans for improvements to any businesses along Ballard Avenue.

When was this?

Well, let's see. This was just two or three years ago, yeah.

What? You're talking about 1999, '98?

Yeah, '98. In fact, I was on there for about, oh, about six years, so, yeah, go back to about 1992. And we would review any improvements that came through. All the plans had to come through the Ballard Historical Commission to get approved for any improvements on Ballard Avenue. And what we were looking for was any big changes. We wanted to keep Ballard Avenue as -- like it was at the turn of the century. So there were quite a few developments that we had to turn down because they wanted to tear down the old Ballard Avenue stores.

What type of developments?

Well, if somebody wanted to re-do the front of his building, anything on the outside, even the color of the paint, we had to review that if they wanted to repaint or something like that, or put in windows or new doors. It had to be in that old style that Ballard Avenue was famous for. Now, I think that Wilson Ford and all that property has been sold there up there, and because they had some property that bordered on Ballard Avenue, that had to be approved by the Ballard Historical Commission.

Did your father ever get involved in these types of things?

Huh-uh, no, he didn't. He was involved mainly in paint association organizations, like the paint manufacturers group and anything relating to that. But they were mostly national groups or state-wide groups that didn't have much to do with Ballard.

Even though he was a Ballard businessman, he wasn't that involved?

No, he didn't.

Was he a Mason?

Yeah, yeah, he was a Mason. In fact, he's the one that talked me into joining the Masons, the Masonic Order. He was on the Drum and Bugle Corp for the Shriners, the Nile Shriners.

Is there a lodge in Ballard?

There is, yes, uh-huh. And I can't tell you what the name of it is, but it's right there on 20th and Market Street. And I've been to it, I've visited it. I knew quite a few of the fellows that were members there, but my lodge was --

You're a Mason?

Yes, I'm a Mason. I went through the Masonic Order, became a Mason and also went through the Scottish Rite, the organization which is kind of in between Masons and Shriners. And then after I completed that work, why, I joined the Nile Temple, Shriners Group, and became a member of the golf club.

Back in the '50's we had the Olympic Manor Golf Course. Did you ever play that, since you're a golfer?

Yes. That was before I became really serious about the game, but I did -- we did go up there for one day and played on the old Olympic Manor Golf Course.

Where was that located?

And that was just off of 85th Northwest and about 24th. Right in there. And that was a nice golf course, and we thought at the time it was a real asset to the neighborhood, and people were quite sad to see it developed into housing.

Why was it developed?

Well, I think it was somebody got greedy and . . .

Okay. Why was Ballard Avenue such an important thing? Why do they still keep it open?

I think they keep it open because of its historical value, historical value, right, 'cause that was the old Ballard City, and then, of course, when Ballard started growing, they were going -- they started growing north, and Market Street became the main street, but Ballard Avenue was the main street of Ballard at one time.

Do you remember that?


Audio cassette interview Robert Campbell by Curtis Jacobson, October 11, 2000, Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle.

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