Reason alone to come to Ballard – if the beer, fine food and waterside parks weren’t enough – is this little gem of a museum dedicated to the brave Nordic pioneers who helped found the neighborhood (then a separate city) in the late 19th century. It brings together a hugely accomplished collection of stories, artifacts and other assorted treasures from Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Icelandic immigrants.
Each country gets their own dedicated room, plus there’s a broad trajectory on the ground floor filled with life-size exhibits of the whole immigrant experience from home country via Ellis Island to the Pacific Northwest.
The museum also acts as a heritage center and has regular readings, events and temporary exhibitions from Nordic Americans in the Ballard/Seattle community.
In early 2018, the museum is scheduled to move to a brand-new purpose-built campus on NW Market St closer to the center of Ballard.