Wallingford, named after major landowner John Noble Wallingford, was annexed by Seattle in 1891. Before that, in 1882, a mill was built on Lake Union’s south shore; the cutting of old growth trees around the lake picked up steam, which spurred development north of the lake. Stone Way became, and still is, a boulevard of home repair, supply and paint shops. By the 1960s, Wallingford was much like Ballard then, known for its cheap housing and quieter ways. Those who bought homes in those days reaped the reward: Wallingford is one of the most desirable places to live in the city.
Also annexed by Seattle in 1891, Fremont got its name from the Nebraska hometown of two of its founders. The early days were fueled by railroads and trolley, which gave way to the 1930s and 1940s, when Fremont fell into a picturesque decline, prompted in part by the opening of the George Washington Memorial Bridge (aka Aurora Bridge) in 1932 and the end of trolley service in 1941.
Fremont, with cheap rents and a louche air of abandonment, became a counterculture mecca in the 1960s with evolved into the bad biker days of the 1970s. Property owners pushed back. In the 1980s and 1990s the “People’s Republic of Fremont” found its Bohemian equilibrium.
The Fremont-Wallingford boundary west of Stone Way is a talking point. These are the consensus borders. Fremont: South: The Fremont “Cut,” or Lake Washington Ship Canal; East: Stone Way North; North: North 50th Street; West: Eighth Avenue.
Wallingford: South: Lake Union; East: I-5; North: North 50th Street; West: Stone Way North.