Birch Avenue N

This street was created in 1890 as part of Hunter’s Lake Union Addition to the City of Seattle by Colonel Morton C. Hunter (1825–1896), Civil War veteran and congressman from Indiana. (His son, Frank, was an insurance and real estate man in Seattle, and it was he who requested the recording of the plat.) Absent any evidence to the contrary, I assume it was named for the tree, though it is the only such street in the plat.

Birch Avenue N begins at Halladay Street just east of Aurora Avenue N and south of Canlis, and goes 300 feet southeast to a dead end.

SW City View Street

This street was created in 1905 as part of the Steel Works Addition to West Seattle by Albert C. Phillips. Originally Cityview Street, it formed a trio with Grandview Street and Bayview Street, which are today SW Hinds Street and SW Spokane Street, and was named for its view of Seattle, to the northwest across Elliott Bay.

SW City View Street begins at 35th Avenue SW as a driveway and foot path which becomes a paved street just before 34th Avenue SW and extends just beyond, about 325 feet in all. The right-of-way continues through a greenbelt, and the road picks up at again at SW Admiral Way, where it goes 500 feet east to end at 30th Avenue SW.

Red Avenue E

This short street in the Eastlake neighborhood was created in 1887 as part of Greene’s Addition to the City of Seattle, named for and filed by, among others, Roger Sherman Greene (1840–1930) and his wife, Grace Wooster Greene (1833–1917). Instead of naming a street directly after themselves, they dropped an e and named the north–south streets in the plat for (most of) the colors of the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Indigo, and Violet. Only Red has survived to this day.

Red Avenue E begins at E Boston Street and goes around 150 feet north to a dead end.

Sign at corner of E Boston Street and Red Avenue E, September 1, 2010
Sign at corner of E Boston Street and Red Avenue E, September 1, 2010. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2010 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

SW Maryland Place

This short West Seattle street was created along with Elm Place SW as part of the 1888 First Plat of West Seattle by the West Seattle Land and Improvement Company. Originally Courtland Street, it became joined to Maryland Street when the latter was created as part of the 1895 Seattle Tide Lands plat. When West Seattle was annexed to Seattle in 1907, both were renamed Maryland Place.

(The tideland streets in West Seattle were, with a few exceptions, named after states: Illinois, [New] Hampshire, Arkansas, [New] Jersey, Rhode Island, [New] Mexico, Maryland, Louisiana, Georgia, [North and South] Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Oregon, [North and South] Dakota, and Idaho. Of the ones confined to West Seattle, only Maryland remains [Florida, Oregon, Dakota, and Idaho also, or only, appear east of the West Duwamish Waterway].)

Today, SW Maryland Place begins at Elm Place SW and goes around 130 feet northeast to Harbor Avenue SW.

The West Seattle Stone Cottage, corner of SW Maryland Place and Harbor Avenue SW, December 31, 2020
The Stone Cottage, corner of SW Maryland Place and Harbor Avenue SW, December 31, 2020. The campaign to save the building succeeded, and it was moved into storage on August 18, 2021. Photograph by Flickr user Mark Ahlness, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Elm Place SW

This short West Seattle street was created as part of the 1888 First Plat of West Seattle by the West Seattle Land and Improvement Company. Originally Elm Street, it had companions in Oak, Maple, and Laurel Streets, none of which survive.

Elm Place SW begins at SW California Place and goes 300 feet southeast to SW Maryland Place, paralleling Harbor Avenue SW just over 100 feet to its northeast.

Keen Way N

This street originates in the 1924 plat of Winona Park, an Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by George Emerson Morford (1890–1946) and his wife, Gertrude Alice Keen Morford (1892–1954). According to Florence Helliesen of the Queen Anne Historical Society, George was president of the F.W. Keen Company, a real estate firm owned by his father-in-law, Frederick Walter Keen (1855–1929). The Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project writes:

Two real estate firms, F.W. Keen Company and J.L. Grandey, Inc., organized most of the racial restrictive covenants for Queen Anne from 1928 to 1931… specifying that “No person or persons of Asiatic, African or Negro blood, lineage, or extraction shall be permitted to occupy a portion of said property, or any building thereon; except domestic servants may actually and in good faith be employed by white occupants of such premises.”

In addition to being president of F.W. Keen, George Morford was vice president of J.L. Grandey.

Which Keen was honored by Keen Way N — Gertrude Alice Keen Morford, Frederick Walter Keen, or the F.W. Keen Company — isn’t clear; if it was for George Morford’s wife, that would put Keen Way in the same category as Perkins Lane W and Thorndyke Avenue W.

Keen Way N begins at Aurora Avenue N between W Green Lake Drive N and Winona Avenue N and goes ⅕ of a mile northeast to N 76th Street.

Frederick Walter Keen, from his Seattle Times obituary, August 14, 1929
Frederick Walter Keen, from his Seattle Times obituary, August 14, 1929. I was unable to locate a photograph of his daughter, Gertrude.

Whitney Place NW

This street, originally W 93rd Street in the 1907 plat of Loyal Heights, filed by Edward B. Cox, Harry Whitney Treat (1865–1922), and Treat’s wife, Olive Marion Graef Treat (1869–1945), appears to honor Harry’s middle name, which was also part of his mother’s name and was his grandmother’s maiden name. It begins at View Avenue NW and 32nd Avenue NW and goes just under 300 feet northeast to NW 95th Street.

Cartoon drawing of Harry Whitney Treat riding horse, by John Ross "Dok" Hager, circa 1910
Harry Whitney Treat riding a horse, by John Ross “Dok” Hager, circa 1910

Densmore Avenue N

This street is named for Milton Densmore (1839–1908), a Civil War veteran from Chelsea, Vermont, who, according to Clarence Bagley’s History of Seattle from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, fought in the Battles of Fairfax Court House, Gettysburg, and Rappahannock Station. He returned to Vermont after the war, then moved to Beloit, Wisconsin, in 1867. Densmore came to Seattle in 1871. Sophie Frye Bass relates in Pig-tail Days in Old Seattle that he started out as “one of the captains of the Linna C. Gray, the stocky barge that carried coal from shore to shore in Lake Union.” In 1875, he opened a grocery, which closed in 1887. Bagley adds that

With various interests of Seattle he was closely associated. He laid the first steel rail for the street car system of Seattle, wooden rails having been used previous to that time. He served for two terms as a member of the city council and exercised his official prerogatives in support of various plans and measures for the general good. He served for seven years as a member of the school board and the cause of education found in him a stalwart champion. Densmore Avenue of Seattle was named in his honor and Seattle in many ways acknowledges her indebtedness to him. He did much toward improving property, built residences and otherwise aided in enhancing the attractiveness of the city and at all times was public spirited and active.

Milton Densmore circa 1907
Milton Densmore, from the November 10, 1907, issue of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The story was about his reunion with his brother, Jason Densmore, whom he hadn’t seen in over four decades, since the Civil War ended (Jason was likewise a Union soldier from Vermont).

Densmore Avenue N begins at N Northlake Way, just north of Gas Works Park. It then goes ¾ of a mile north to the Wallingford Playfield at N 42nd Street. Resuming a block north, it goes a further ⅖ of a mile to N 50th Street. It picks up again at the north end of Green Lake, where Green Lake Drive N splits into W Green Lake Drive N and E Green Lake Drive N, and goes ⅗ of a mile to Cascadia Elementary School at N 90th Street. Densmore resumes at N 92nd Street and goes another ⅗ of a mile, past Licton Springs Park, to Mineral Springs Park at N 105th Street. It picks up again just north of N Northgate Way for a couple blocks before being stopped by Evergreen–Washelli Cemetery and UW Medical Center – Northwest. After a short segment north of the hospital, it then forms part of the ring arterial around Haller Lake, going ⅓ of a mile from N 122nd Street to N 128th Street, and finishes up with a ½-mile-long segment from Ingraham High School at N 135th Street to the city limits at N 145th Street. (As with many other North Seattle avenues, the name continues on into Shoreline; its northernmost appearance is between N 202nd Place and N 203rd Place, just south of the King–Snohomish county line at N 205th Street.)

Wickstrom Place SW

This street is named for Peter Wickstrom (1837–1915), who immigrated to the United States from Sweden in the late 1860s. According to Thomas Ostenson Stine’s Scandinavians on the Pacific, Puget Sound, he lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Portland, Oregon, before coming to Seattle. His obituary, which ran in The Seattle Times on January 15, 1915, the day after his death, reads in part:

Peter Wickstrom, well-known pioneer of Seattle and an extensive realty holder, died unexpectedly yesterday afternoon after leaving the dinner table at his residence near Alki Point.… The deceased made his home at “The Old Homestead,” a tract of land not far from Alki Point.… Wickstrom came to this city in 1873 and conducted a hotel prior to the fire of 1889. Subsequent to that time he had not engaged actively in business.

Peter Wickstrom, from his Seattle Times obituary, January 15, 1915
Peter Wickstrom, from his Seattle Times obituary

Wickstrom Place SW begins at 54th Place SW just south of Alki Avenue SW and goes around 500 feet south to a dead end.

Boyd Place SW

This West Seattle street was created in 1920 as part of Sarah M. Boyd’s First Addition to the City of Seattle. I believe Sarah Maria Loudenback Boyd (1853–1932) to be the Sarah M. Boyd in question here.

Boyd Place SW begins at 59th Avenue SW and SW Charlestown Street and goes around 425 feet southeast to Chilberg Place SW and Aikins Avenue SW.

Chilberg Avenue SW

This West Seattle street was created in 1889 as part of Chilberg’s Addition to West Seattle, filed by Swedish immigrants Nelson Chilberg (1840–1928) and his wife, Matilda Charlotta Schanstrom Chilberg (1846–1927). The Chilbergs started out as farmers and grocers before developing real estate interests.

Chilberg Avenue SW begins at 59th Avenue SW and SW Carroll Street and goes ⅕ of a mile southeast to SW Genessee Street just east of Beach Drive SW at the Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook and Me-Kwa-Mooks Park.

Clarmar Place SW

This West Seattle street is really more of a footpath, being narrow, unpaved, and closed to motor vehicles. The public right-of-way runs about 450 feet northwest from Bonair Drive SW as it descends through the Duwamish Head Greenbelt from Sunset Avenue SW to Alki Avenue SW, and the path continues for some 1,150 feet more through property owned by the parks department.

Clarmar Place SW was created in 1941 as part of the plat of Clarmar Crags, which name appears to be a combination of Clara Coumbe (died 1975?), landowner, and mar, for its location above Elliott Bay and Puget Sound.

S Spokane Street

I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks because I’ve been in Spokane, visiting my wife’s family for the holidays and attending the memorial service of my sister-in-law, may her memory be for a blessing. Since there is no Emily Street in Seattle, why not return, then, with a post on Spokane Street?

S Spokane Street looking west from 1st Avenue South, July 5, 2013
S Spokane Street looking west from 1st Avenue South, July 5, 2013. Photograph by Flickr user Curtis Cronn, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic. The barcodes on the support columns for the Spokane Street Viaduct was, in the words of the artwork’s creators, Claudia Reisenberger and Franka Diehnelt, intended “to ‘label’ the many layers that constitute SoDo’s history”; the word visible at upper left, ‘slóóweehL’, is a Lushootseed-language word that, according to Coll Thrush, author of Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place, “refers to channels, or ‘canoe-passes’, in the grassy marsh through which canoes can be pushed to effect a shortcut,” and was a Duwamish place name referring to what is now approximately 4th Avenue S and S Spokane Street. (Incidentally, this is the same word rendered as sluʔwiɫ in the IPA-based Lushootseed alphabet, which was also used as a name for what is now University Village, and is now the official name of a street on the University of Washington campus.)

Spokane Street appears to have been created in 1895 as part of the Seattle Tide Lands plat. 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. The letters of the alphabet and the American cities appear in alphabetical order, but the states appear neither in alphabetical nor geographic order, and the places in Washington do not appear to be in any order whatsoever (except that a number beginning with Q are physically clustered together). They are as follows, listed alphabetically:

* Still exists

(I leave out West Point Avenue [which still exists, but only as a paper street] and Seattle Boulevard [now Airport Way S and Diagonal Avenue S] because the former was named for its proximity to West Point and the latter, it seems, for its prominence.)

It isn’t a list entirely composed of cities, islands, peninsulas, lakes, or rivers… the only things I notice are ⅔ of them are in Western Washington, with Chelan, Klickitat, and Wenatchee being in Central Washington and Spokane being in Eastern Washington; plus half the Western Washington locations (those beginning with Q) are on the Olympic Peninsula. It seems what is today Spokane Street could just as easily have been something else, and what is today such a prominent street wasn’t purposefully named after what was then the state’s third largest city (today, it ranks second).

Trestles over the Elliott Bay tideflats, 1905
Trestles over the Elliott Bay tideflats, 1905. Photograph by Ira Webster and Nelson Stevens. According to the Wikimedia Commons entry for a similar photograph, the trestle in the foreground, running right to left (north to south), is today’s Airport Way S; the parallel trestle in the distance is 4th Avenue S; and running perpendicular from lower left to upper right (east to west, toward West Seattle) is S Spokane Street. The Seattle Box Company plant is visible at 4th and Spokane.
Industrial District, Harbor Island, and West Seattle from above Beacon Hill, with Interstate 5, West Seattle Bridge, and Spokane Street Viaduct, August 15, 2010
A modern view of the Industrial District, Harbor Island, and West Seattle from above Beacon Hill, August 15, 2010. Photograph by Flickr user J Brew, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. The freeway in the foreground, running right to left (north to south), is Interstate 5. Airport Way S is visible just west of the freeway. The Spokane Street Viaduct and West Seattle Bridge can be seen at left heading from Beacon Hill to West Seattle. 4th Avenue S is still a major arterial, though it isn’t nearly as prominent in this photograph as the one taken 105 years earlier.

Today, SW Spokane Street begins in West Seattle at Beach Drive SW, ½ a mile southeast of Alki Point, then goes nearly ½ a mile east to Schmitz Park, the block between 61st Avenue SW and 60th Avenue SW being a stairway. It resumes on the other side of the park at 51st Avenue SW and goes another ½ mile to 42nd Avenue SW. After a few interrupted segments between 35th Avenue SW and 30th Avenue SW, including another stairway, it begins again in earnest at Harbor Avenue SW and SW Admiral Way. From here it goes a full 2¼ miles east to Airport Way S, crossing the Duwamish Waterway and Harbor Island on the Spokane Street Bridge, and for this entire length runs either underneath or in the shadow of the West Seattle Bridge or the Spokane Street Viaduct, the latter of which leads to S Columbian Way on Beacon Hill.

After a short segment between Hahn Place S and 13th Avenue S, S Spokane Street begins again at 14th Avenue S and S Columbian Way and goes ⅔ of a mile east to 24th Avenue S. With the exception of an even shorter segment hanging off 25th Avenue S north of the Cheasty Boulevard greenspace, it next appears in Mount Baker, where it runs for two blocks between 33rd Avenue S and 35th Avenue S (part of this being stairway); then two more blocks between 36th Avenue S and York Road S (featuring another stairway); and two final blocks between 37th Avenue S and Bella Vista Avenue S.

Portion of 1895 plat of Seattle Tide Lands showing Spokane Avenue, now Spokane Street
Portion of 1895 plat of Seattle Tide Lands showing Spokane Avenue, now Spokane Street. The visible portion of Seattle Boulevard is now Diagonal Avenue S, and Whatcom Avenue is E Marginal Way S. Portions of Chelan Avenue, Klickitat Avenue, and Duwamish Avenue still exist, as do Oregon Street, Dakota Street, Idaho Street, Colorado Avenue, and Utah Avenue.

Twin Maple Lane NE

This private cul-de-sac at the end of 24th Avenue NE south of NE 60th Street appears, according to an article in the June 19, 1927, edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, to have been established that very year. According to James Bush writing for the Seattle Sun, Ravenna Park (or perhaps a portion thereof) was once known as Twin Maple Park, and

[William Wirt] Beck is officially remembered by two of the smallest civic gestures ever performed. In keeping with the early practice of giving names to small bits of park property, the concrete-covered triangle of land at the intersection of 15th Avenue Northeast and Cowen Place was dubbed Beck Place. And, his beloved Twin Maples Park is memorialized by Twin Maples Lane Northeast, a half-block street where 24th Avenue Northeast meets the park border.

Note that the typos are in the Sun article, not this post — the sign quite clearly says Maple, not Maples.

Park Road NE

Like its twin, NE Park Road, this street originates in the 1923 Park Home Addition developed by William Wirt Beck. They are the home of Candy Cane Lane, which has been a local Christmas attraction since 1948.

Park Road NE begins as an extension of 21st Avenue NE at NE Ravenna Boulevard and goes around 100 feet north to NE Park Road at Park Home Circle.

NE Park Road

This street and its twin, Park Road NE, date to 1923, when William Wirt Beck developed the Park Home Addition between NE Ravenna Boulevard and Ravenna Park. They are best known for being the location of Candy Cane Lane, which has been a local Christmas attraction since the late 1940s. (The Park Road house of one Eugene Shostrom frequently appeared on The Seattle Times’ Christmas Tree Trail list before then, but it wasn’t until 1948 that the neighborhood as a whole participated — and won the award for best community display. [I wonder where that loving cup is today…])

Candy Cane Lane Season's Greetings sign, December 2013
Season’s Greetings from Candy Cane Lane sign, December 2013. Photograph by Flickr user Frank Fujimoto, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

NE Park Road begins at NE Ravenna Boulevard just west of Ravenna Avenue NE and goes around 350 feet first north, then west, to Park Road NE at Park Home Circle.

Park Home Addition Ad, The Seattle Times, April 30, 1923
Park Home Addition Ad, The Seattle Times, April 30, 1923

E Park Drive E

This street, like W Park Drive E — its twin on the other side of Montlake Boulevard E — was created in 1908 as part of Montlake Park, an Addition to the City of Seattle, and was named after what is now East Montlake Park.

It begins at the east end of E Hamlin Street by the old location of the Museum of History and Industry (currently a staging area for the Montlake Project portion of the rebuilding of Washington State Route 520) and goes 300 feet north to E Shelby Street.

East Montlake Park totem pole, July 2009
East Montlake Park totem pole, carved by John Wallace, July 2009. The pathway is the Lake Washington Ship Canal Waterside trail, which connects East Montlake Park to West Montlake Park along the Montlake Cut. Photograph by Flickr user camknows, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

W Park Drive E

This street was created in 1908 as part of Montlake Park, an Addition to the City of Seattle, and was named after what is now West Montlake Park. It has a twin, E Park Drive E, on the other side of Montlake Boulevard E.

W Park Drive E begins at the west end of E Hamlin Street by the Seattle Yacht Club and goes 300 feet north to E Shelby Street.

West Montlake Park, January 2013
West Montlake Park, January 2013. The body of water is Portage Bay (Lake Union); South Campus of the University of Washington is at right, across the Montlake Cut, and the University Bridge and Ship Canal Bridge are visible in the distance. Photograph by Orange Suede Sofa, Wikimedia Commons, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

S Delappe Place

This street originates in the 1908 plat of De Lappe’s Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by Emanuel Marcellus DeLappe (1854–1928) and his wife, Catherine E. McGeehan DeLappe (1856–1934). According to the North Rainier Valley Context Statement, “[he] was a saddler and harnessmaker who came to Seattle in about 1890”; in the September 1900 issue of The Leather Workers Journal, it was reported that he had recently been elected president of Branch № 66 of the United Brotherhood of Leatherworkers on Horse Goods.

S Delappe Place begins at the end of 27th Avenue S, south of S Horton Street, and goes around 175 feet west to a dead end at the Cheasty Boulevard greenspace.

Anthony Place S

This street originates in the 1907 plat of Cascade View Addition to the City of Seattle, King County, Washington. Originally Della Street, it appears to have been renamed for William Gordon Anthony and his wife, C. Nana Anthony, who filed the plat. William, who died June 8, 1925, at the age of 64, had been working in insurance and real estate since 1910, according to his obituary in the June 10 issue of The Seattle Times. In it, his wife’s name is given as Canana, not C. Nana, as the plat has it. (Curiously, her own death certificate [she died November 6 of the same year at the age of 57] gives her name as C. Nanny!)

Anthony Place S begins at 27th Avenue S just south of S Walden Street and S Della Street and goes less than 100 feet southwest before turning into a private driveway, which turns into an alley, which turns into another private driveway that connects to Cheasty Boulevard S. The undeveloped right-of-way continues southwest for another ⅐ of a mile.