Grain elevator in Ballston
|Founded by||Isaac Ball|
|Elevation||184 ft (56 m)|
|Area code(s)||503 and 971|
Ballston was founded in 1878 by pioneer Isaac Ball on his donation land claim. Ball and his family arrived in Oregon via the Oregon Trail in 1848. Ball named the town "Ballsville" and it had a post office of the same name. The name of the post office was changed to Ballston in 1880. The post office was discontinued in 1953 when it became a rural station of Sheridan; it was discontinued all together in 1969.
Ballston was a station on the Dayton, Sheridan and Grande Ronde Railroad (DS&GR), later the Oregonian Railway. Isaac Ball was an early promoter of the DS&GR when it was originally a narrow gauge railway line. The line changed ownership again to become part of the Southern Pacific Railroad; as of 2009, Ballston is a station of the Portland and Western Railroad.
The 1855 Ballston School building, no longer in use as a school, is thought to be the oldest school building still standing in Polk County or perhaps the entire state. Ballston County Park is located in the community and includes the school.
The Ballston Community Club meets in a newer former schoolhouse originally moved from Airlie, another community on the railroad line. The Community Club hosted an annual turkey dinner for many years.
- "Explore Polk County". Polk County Itemizer-Observer. May 22, 2009. p. 77C. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
- McArthur, Lewis A.; Lewis L. McArthur (2003) . Oregon Geographic Names (7th ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. ISBN 0-87595-277-1.
- Hines, Rev. H. K. (1893). An Illustrated History of the State of Oregon. Lewis Pub. Co.
- Scott, Leslie M. (1919). "History of the Narrow Gauge Railroad in the Willamette Valley". Oregon Historical Quarterly (Oregon Historical Society): 144. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
- "Portland & Western Railroad". Genesee & Wyoming Inc. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
- Friedman, Ralph (1991). In Search of Western Oregon. Caxton Press. p. 193. ISBN 0-87004-332-3.
- Klooster, Karl (July 12, 2008). "Bouncing around Ballston". News-Register. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
- Historic images of Ballston from Salem Public Library
- Historic image of railroad crew working on the Ballston section from Yamhill County Historical Society
- Image of Ballston General Store from Flickr
- Ballston unofficial community website