Ballard was founded in 1880 at the location of a Wells Fargo stage line station, being named after the proprietor.
Today, Ballard is a combination of sleepy village and upscale bedroom community. Noted for its excellent elementary school, it is a prized residential area. The surrounding area is noted for its thriving and well-respected wine industry. The wine producing region around Ballard was featured in the Academy Award nominated film Sideways. A world-renowned equine hospital is located nearby. The only commercial establishment currently operating in the main village is The Ballard Inn a four star restaurant and bed and breakfast inn in the heart of the village.