For over a hundred years the North Seattle neighborhood of Ballard had been predominately a blue-collar Scandinavian "ghetto," and while it still is home to a thriving fishing and boat repair and supply industry, the noisier and smellier businesses, such as the lumber mills and industrial foundries, have all moved on — taxed out and/or chased out by a city that no longer wants or needs the pollution they make or the grimy, dangerous jobs that they offer.

Throughout those early, grimy years, however, dozens of bars and taverns came and went along Ballard's waterfront, catering to the men who worked there; and the transient, seasonal nature of the fishing industry in particular gave this part of town a well-deserved rough and tumble reputation.

In fact, prior to Prohibition this area was NOTORIOUSLY rowdy. Since Ballard was a separate city at the time, it didn't share Seattle Proper's Sunday "blue laws," which made it a Sunday Mecca for drunks throughout the Seattle area. Hardcore alkies from downtown would flock to Ballard every weekend and get so hammered that at the end of the night the local cops would load them all onto a cattle car attached to a street trolley, where they would be hauled off and dumped back where they came from like so many sacks of potatoes. Ahh, those were the days!

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