The 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
Today the Ballaine House provides quality lodging in an historic atmosphere as
a bed and breakfast.