Before I wrote S Nevada Street, I assumed it was going to be one of the streets created in the 1895 Seattle Tide Lands plat that were named after states, such as Utah Avenue S, Colorado Avenue S, S Oregon Street, S Idaho Street, and SW Florida Street. As it turns out, no — it was originally Rainier Street, and it was renamed in the wake of the 1905 annexation of the town of South Seattle. I found this out by searching the archives of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer; unlike a number of other renaming ordinances, most notably the “Great Renaming” ordinance of 1895, the full text of Ordinance 13271 does not appear in the city database.
It also did not (yet!) appear in my friend Rob Ketcherside’s searchable databases of Seattle street name changes. My article prompted him to do so, however, and last week he published Renaming Seattle in 1906, which “covers neighborhoods across the city, including Ravenna, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Montlake, Capitol Hill, Eastlake, Portage Bay, Madison Valley, Denny-Blaine, Madrona, Leschi, Georgetown, Beacon Hill, and Sodo.” His other such posts include:
- 1895 Seattle Street Renaming, Searchable Table
- Old Ballard Street Names, Searchable Table
- Renaming Streets of Seattle’s Fremont to the U District (covering “Brooklyn [west U District]; Latona; Wallingford [originally Edgewater]; Fremont; part of north Queen Anne; and part of eastern Ballard”)
- Renaming the Streets of South and West Seattle (covering “West Seattle; Beacon Hill, Columbia City, and the Rainier Valley; and Georgetown”)
- Renaming Seattle’s Green Lake Streets
They are an indispensable resource for anyone working on Seattle history.
Born and raised in Seattle, Benjamin Donguk Lukoff had his interest in local history kindled at the age of six, when his father bought him settler granddaughter Sophie Frye Bass’s Pig-Tail Days in Old Seattle at the gift shop of the Museum of History and Industry. He studied English, Russian, and linguistics at the University of Washington, and went on to earn his master’s in English linguistics from University College London. His book of rephotography, Seattle Then and Now, was published in 2010. An updated version came out in 2015.