At 12,281 feet, Adams is the second tallest mountain in Washington, behind Mount Rainier. Known by Native Americans as Pahto or Klickitat, it was named for President John Adams (1735–1826), in a rather roundabout way. Unlike Rainier or St. Helens, it was neither “discovered” by George Vancouver nor named by him; instead, the first non-Natives to spot it were Lewis and Clark, who at first thought they had spotted St. Helens. Then, as Wikipedia relates,
For several decades after Lewis and Clark sighted the mountain, people continued to get Adams confused with St. Helens, due in part to their somewhat similar appearance and similar latitude. In the 1830s, Hall J. Kelley led a campaign to rename the Cascade Range as the President’s Range and rename each major Cascade mountain after a former president of the United States. Mount Adams was not known to Kelley and was thus not in his plan. Mount Hood, in fact, was designated by Kelley to be renamed after President John Adams and St. Helens was to be renamed after George Washington. In a mistake or deliberate change by mapmaker and proponent of the Kelley plan Thomas J. Farnham, the names for Hood and St. Helens were interchanged. And, likely because of the confusion about which mountain was St. Helens, he placed the Mount Adams name north of Mount Hood and about 40 miles (64 km) east of Mount St. Helens. By what would seem sheer coincidence, there was in fact a large mountain there to receive the name. Since the mountain had no official name at the time, Kelley’s name stuck even though the rest of his plan failed.However, it was not official until 1853, when the Pacific Railroad Surveys, under the direction of Washington Territory governor Isaac I. Stevens, determined its location, described the surrounding countryside, and placed the name on the map.
Mount Adams Place S begins at Mount St. Helens Place S and goes ¼ mile southeast to S Ferris Place.
St. Helens, of course, is best known for its volcanic eruption on May 18, 1980, “the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in U.S. history” according to Wikipedia. It was variously known by the Native Americans as Lawetlat’la (Cowlitz) and Loowit or Louwala-Clough (Klickitat), and, like Mount Rainier and Mount Baker, was given its official English-language name by George Vancouver on HMS Discovery in 1792. In this case, it honored his friend Alleyne FitzHerbert, 1st Baron St Helens (1753–1839), who at the time was British ambassador to Spain.
Mount St. Helens Place S begins at Cascadia Avenue S and goes just over ¼ mile south to Mount Rainier Drive S at 37th Avenue S.
This street was created in 1907 as part of the Mt. Baker Park addition, named for its view of Mount Baker in the North Cascades. In addition to S Mount Baker Boulevard, the neighborhood featured a number of other streets named for mountains in the Cascade Range, including this one, named after Mount Rainier.
According to Wikipedia, at 14,411 feet, Mount Rainier is “the highest mountain in… Washington and the Cascade Range, the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States, and the tallest in the Cascade Volcanic Arc.” It has been known by a number of other names, including Tacoma (after which, incidentally, Takoma Park, Maryland, was named), which derived from its Lushootseed-language name, təqʷubəʔ (‘permanently snow-covered mountain’). It was given its official English-language name by George Vancouver on HMS Discovery in 1792:
The weather was serene and pleasant, and the country continued to exhibit between us and the eastern snowy range the same luxuriant appearance. At is northern extremity, Mount Baker bore by compass N. 22 E.; the round snowy mountain, now forming its southern extremity, and which, after my friend, Rear Admiral [Peter] Rainier [1741–1808], I distinguish by the name of Mount Rainier, bore N. 42 E.
Mount Rainier Drive S begins at the intersection of S McClellan Street, Lake Park Drive S, and Mount Baker Drive S, and goes ¼ mile southeast to S Hanford Street and Hunter Boulevard S.
Like NW Sloop Place, its twin on the south side of Salmon Bay Park, this street was created in 1890 as part of the plat of Salmon Bay Park, which featured east–west streets after watercraft: Schooner, Canoe, Sloop, Brig, and Ship. When Seattle annexed Ballard in 1907, these streets became 75th, 73rd, 70th, 67th, and 65th Streets, respectively, but the names of Sloop and Canoe were preserved: South Park Place became Sloop Place and North Park Place became Canoe Place.
Today, NW Canoe Place begins at 21st Avenue NW, at the northwest corner of the park, and goes two blocks east — just over 500 feet — to 19th Avenue NW, at its northeast corner.
The annexation of Ballard by Seattle in 1907 required that Denton’s street names be changed. Sloop Street became 70th Street, but its name was preserved by changing South Park Place to Sloop Place. (To the north of the park, North Park Place became Canoe Place.)
Today, NW Sloop Place begins at 21st Avenue NW, at the southwest corner of the park, and goes two blocks east — just over 500 feet — to 19th Avenue NW, at its southeast corner.
This street was created in 1907 as part of the plat of Magnolia Park, filed by the Magnolia Park Company. Insurance man Ferdinand Bosher Edgerly (1881–1966), president of the company, lived most of his life in Manchester, New Hampshire, but according to his obituary moved to Seattle after graduating from Dartmouth College in 1904, returning to Manchester in 1913. It would appear he named Dartmouth Avenue after his alma mater.
Dartmouth Avenue W begins at the end of W Howe Street, just east of Magnolia Way W, and goes just under 300 feet southwest to rejoin Magnolia Way W. Almost all of it, however, functions as private driveways for a number of houses with Magnolia Way addresses; the initial paved portion is less than 75 feet long and serves the only house with a Dartmouth Avenue address.
Like its neighbors S Hudson Street and S Americus Street, S Ferdinand Street was created in 1891 as part of the plat of Columbia. (The town incorporated in 1893 and was annexed to Seattle in 1907, becoming the neighborhood of Columbia City.) Along with Columbus Street, which no longer exists, they were part a of series of streets named after explorers — in this case, Ferdinand Magellan (born Fernão de Magalhães, also known as Fernando de Magallanes) (1480–1521), the first explorer to sail from Europe to Asia via the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
S Ferdinand Street begins at Lake Washington Boulevard S and goes a block west to just past 55th Avenue S. It is a stairway between 54th Avenue S and 53rd Avenue S, then begins again at 52nd Avenue S. After a half block as roadway and another half block as stairway, it begins in earnest at 51st Avenue S by Lakewood Park and goes just over a mile west to 31st Avenue S. It is another stairway for the next block, and then a stub off 30th Avenue S.
On Beacon Hill, S Ferdinand Street begins again at 28th Avenue S and goes ½ a mile west to 20th Avenue S, then resumes at 19th Avenue S and goes a further ⅖ to 13th Avenue S. It finishes up as a short connector from 12th Avenue S to Corson Avenue S by Maple Wood Playfield.
This street was created in 1930 as part of the ordinance establishing Aurora Avenue N and its approaches. Originally Wallingford Way, as it led from the north end of the Aurora Bridge to Stone Way N just south of N 40th Street, it was changed to Bridge Way in 1960. (A counterpart, Fremont Way, was also created, leading from the north end of the bridge to Fremont Avenue N at N 39th Street.)
This street was created in 1891 as part of the plat of Columbia, which incorporated in 1893 and was annexed to Seattle in 1907, becoming the neighborhood of Columbia City. Part of a series of streets named after explorers — (Christopher) Columbus Street (subsequently changed to Edmunds Street), Ferdinand (Magellan) Street, and Americus (Vespucci) Street — it was named for English explorer Henry Hudson (c. 1565–disappeared 1611), namesake of Hudson Bay in Canada and the Hudson River in New York and New Jersey.
After a false start as a dead-end road west of 57th Avenue S, S Hudson Street begins at 53rd Avenue S and goes ⅓ of a mile west to 47th Avenue S, becoming a stairway between 50th Avenue S and 49th Avenue S. It resumes at 46th Avenue S and goes ¾ of a mile west to Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. After another couple of short segments, it begins again at 28th Avenue S and goes ¼ mile west to 24th Avenue S. There are two more short segments on Beacon Hill, and then Hudson Street resumes in Georgetown, going ⅖ of a mile from 4th Avenue S to E Marginal Way S.
In West Seattle, SW Hudson Street begins as a service road and footpath within Puget Park off 18th Avenue SW. Its first appearance as a residential street is at Puget Boulevard SW, where it goes ⅕ of a mile to the West Seattle Golf Course. It then picks up again at 35th Avenue SW, where it goes just over a mile to SW Jacobsen Road, becoming a stairway three separate times along the way.
S Americus Street exists in two short segments: the Columbia City one begins at 42nd Avenue S and goes a block west to 39th Avenue S, and the Beacon Hill one begins at 26th Avenue S and goes a block west to S Columbian Way.
As Seattle expanded to the south, it became obvious that Commercial Street (1st Avenue S) would not be the westernmost street east of Elliott Bay. Fortunately, instead of using zero or negative numbers, they went with states: the first street west of 1st was named Utah, and the next, Colorado. (Some perpendicular streets were named Alaska, Vermont, Connecticut, Texas, Massachusetts, etc. There doesn’t appear to have been any particular order.)
Utah Avenue S begins at S Atlantic Street and goes 1⅐ miles south to S Hinds Street, the block between S Stacy Street and S Lander Street, in front of the Starbucks Center, being closed to motorized traffic. There is another short segment between Denver Avenue S and S Alaska Street, and a final one that stretches ⅓ of a mile from S Hudson Street to S Findlay Street.
This street in the Washington Park Arboretum was, like E Foster Island Road, originally unnamed. It received its current name in June 1957. The Arboretum itself was established in 1934 on the western half of a tract that had been logged by the Puget Mill Company; the eastern half became the gated Broadmoor neighborhood and golf course (see Broadmoor Drive E).
The street, which begins at Lake Washington Boulevard E opposite the Washington Park Playfield, goes nearly a mile north to E Foster Island Road just west of the north entrance to Broadmoor. All but the very northernmost portion, which leads to the Graham Visitors Center, has been closed to motorized traffic for over a decade.
This street was created in 1895 as part of the Seattle Tide Lands plat. As I wrote in S Spokane Street, “Streets in this plat that were not extensions of already existing ones, such as Commercial Street, were named after letters of the alphabet, American cities, American states, prominent local politicians, and places in Washington”; these last included Chelan, Duwamish, Kitsap, Klickitat, Queets, Quilcene, Quileute, Quinault, Spokane, Vashon, Wenatchee, and Whatcom, the ones in italics still existing today. It seems strange to me that the Duwamish name would have been applied to such a short street, it being the name of Seattle’s principal river (dxwdəw) and indigenous inhabitants, the Duwamish Tribe (dxʷdəwʔabš), but there you have it. At least it still exists.
In “Elliott Way” just a placeholder name, I quote an email I wrote to the Seattle City Council and the Waterfront Seattle Program in December 2020 which read, in part, “I urge you… to name [Elliott Way] something else. The Duwamish people, for example, have Duwamish Avenue S named for them (actually more likely for the river…), but it is an insignificant street 2/10 of a mile long hidden under the Spokane Street Viaduct and the Alaskan Freeway. Perhaps Duwamish Avenue would be a better choice, if the tribe approved?” I still think this would be a good idea (and it would give us another naming opportunity as well). They did respond favorably, said they had been thinking along the same lines, and as of January 2022 “continue to coordinate with the tribes and other partners on a proposed name.” I hope they come up with something soon, as what is still being referred to as Elliott Way is due to open by year’s end!
As I mentioned in my email, Duwamish Avenue S is 2/10 of a mile long, beginning at E Marginal Way S and ending at a Port of Seattle road just south of the West Seattle and Spokane Street Bridges.
This street was named for Lincoln Park, which occupies Williams Point in West Seattle. Originally called Williams Point Park in the Olmsted Brothers’ 1908 report to the city, the 135-acre park was intended to be named Fauntleroy Park. However, when it opened in 1922, it was decided to name it after President Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) instead, according to Seattle parks historian Don Sherwood. This required that Lincoln Beach, just to the north, be renamed Lowman Beach, and that Lincoln Park Playfield on Capitol Hill (named for the adjacent Lincoln Reservoir) be renamed Broadway Playfield. (Today, the entire tract is known as Cal Anderson Park, which contains the reservoir and the once-again-renamed Bobby Morris Playfield. A Fauntleroy Park was finally established in the early 1970s.)
Lincoln Park Way SW begins at Beach Drive SW and 48th Avenue SW and goes ¼ of a mile southeast to 47th Avenue SW between SW Myrtle Street and SW Othello Street. The park begins 500 feet to the south, at the corner of 47th Avenue SW and SW Fontanelle Street.
…was from Triangle, New York, and moved to Seattle in 1887. He was a prominent attorney with offices in the Lowman Building downtown starting in 1890. He went to the office almost every day until his death in 1938. Mr. Lewis was elected to the Washington State Legislature in 1895; he was also a member of the Scottish Rite Masons.
Lewis Place SW begins at SW Hudson Street between Erskine Way SW and California Avenue SW and goes just over 550 feet northwest, then north, to Erskine Way SW just west of California.
Rutan Place SW goes around 350 feet south from SW Edmunds Street between 44th Avenue SW and 45th Avenue SW to a dead end just short of 45th, though the undeveloped right-of-way does continue to that street.
This street, which was created as part of the unrecorded plat of R.B. Wark’s 2nd Addition, is named for the Chinook Jargon word tillikum, meaning ‘people’.
Tillicum Road SW begins at 46th Avenue SW just south of SW Thistle Street and goes ¼ mile southeast to SW Donovan Street, with a short interruption between house numbers 8470 and 8471 on the northwest and 8487 and 8488 on the southeast where the public right-of-way seems to be blocked by a private fence, effectively converting the road on either side into private driveways.
This street in Seattle’s Windermere neighborhood runs around 350 feet on either side of NE Windermere Road (so 700 feet total) just southeast of the neighborhood’s main entrance off Sand Point Way NE. It appears to have been named either after the Lake District village of Coniston, in the county of Cumbria, England, or Coniston Water, England’s fifth largest natural lake. Coniston is about 4⅔ miles west of Windermere, England’s largest natural lake, after which the neighborhood was named.
This street in Seattle’s Windermere neighborhood runs just over ⅕ of a mile from Kenilworth Place NE in the west to NE Ambleside Road in the east. It appears to have been named after the Lake District town of Penrith, in the county of Cumbria, England. Penrith is about 18¾ miles northeast of Windermere, England’s largest natural lake, after which the neighborhood was named.