Ballard Hardware & Supply Co. opened its doors to the public on April 5th 1952. Lyle Hartje and Jim Freyberg bought the business and property of Bohon’s Second Hand Store from the proprietor's widow.
Lyle brought experience in pipe valves and fittings while previously working for Pacific Waterworks and Jim brought experience in fasteners while previously working for John Perine Co. Bohon’s sold tools, used furniture and some pipe and fittings. Bohon also repaired and sold wood and coal ranges of which some were sold to commercial fisherman as well as renting the upstairs rooms of the original building as apartments. Business was so lean in those early years Jim once said that he sometimes had time to read the paper in the morning.
Ballard Hardware began to gradually expand. In 1965 the “Across the Street” warehouse, formerly a bowling alley and auto repair garage, was purchased and in 1977 the Pipe Yard, formerly Berg Fuel and ITT Harper was purchased. Then in 1990 the “Ice House” was purchased, a 5 story brick cold storage building, formerly Kolstrand/Sunset Marine. It took two years to completely rebuild from previous fire damage.
Jim is still active in the company, while his son Doug, and Lyle's son Greg now manage the day to day operations. The company has grown considerably over the years and looks forward to continuing the same traditions for many years to come. We thank all of our loyal customers!