Dartmouth Avenue W

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.

Utah Avenue S

Like Colorado Avenue S, this street was created in 1895 as part of the plat of Seattle’s tide lands. As I wrote in that post,

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.

Sears building, 1918
The most famous structure on Utah Avenue S was built between 1912 and 1915 as the West Coast catalog distribution center for Sears, Roebuck and Company. It was once the largest building west of the Mississippi River. This photograph was taken in May 1918.
Starbucks Center, 2016
A Sears retail store opened in the building in 1925. The distribution center closed in 1987; Starbucks made the building its world headquarters in 1997, and the retail store closed in 2014. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons user Coolceasar, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Duwamish Avenue S

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.

Portion of 1895 plat of Seattle Tide Lands showing Duwamish Avenue, as platted from Spokane Avenue (now Street) in the northwest to Seattle Boulevard in the southeast. The visible portion of Seattle Boulevard is now Diagonal Avenue S, Whatcom Avenue is now E Marginal Way S, and Grant Street is now Airport Way S.

Ashworth Avenue N

This street is named for William Ashworth (1840–1906). According to the Haller Lake Community Club, Ashworth was born in England, emigrated to the United States in 1861, and came to Seattle in 1872.

Ashworth platted a town called Edgewater on the northern shore of Lake Union.… This area is now roughly the eastern part of Fremont and western portion of Wallingford.… Ashworth served as Edgewater’s only postmaster from 1889 until the area was annexed to Seattle two years later. As real estate development moved northward, so did the street bearing Ashworth’s name. Ashworth continued to live in Edgewater until his death in 1906.

Here is an article by local historian Paul Dorpat on Edgewater, on which it looks like I commented 13 years ago. And we learn both from the HLCC and Valarie Bunn of Wedgwood in Seattle History that the land on which berry farmer Ashworth’s home once stood is now the North Transfer Station (i.e., the city dump).

Today, Ashworth Avenue N begins at N 35th Street and goes ⅔ of a mile north to N 43rd Street. It resumes at N 55th Street and goes ¼ mile north to E Green Lake Way N, then begins again on the north side of the lake at Winona Avenue N and W Green Lake Drive N. From here, it goes another ⅔ of a mile to N 90th Street. Picking up again at N 92nd Street, it goes a further ⅞ of a mile to the Evergreen Washelli Cemetery at N 110th Street. It resumes one more time at N 120th Street and Stendall Drive N and goes 1¼ miles north to the city limits at N 145th Street, becoming a footpath for two short stretches west of Haller Lake. (As with many other North Seattle avenues, the name continues on into Shoreline; Ashworth Avenue N continues north of the city limits as far as N 200th Street, just south of the King–Snohomish county line at N 205th Street.)

Ashworth Avenue N street sign at N 130th Street
Ashworth Avenue N street sign at N 130th Street, September 2012. Photograph by Flickr user Robert Ashworth, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Fuhrman Avenue E

This street, created in 1890 as part of the plat of the Denny-Fuhrman Addition to the City of Seattle, was originally named Randall Street. I haven’t been able to pinpoint the reason for or date of the name change, but it first appears in The Seattle Times and in the city’s ordinances in 1906. The street and addition were named for Henry Fuhrman (1843–1907), who developed the area with David Thomas Denny (1832–1903) (Denny Way).

Fuhrman, who had come to Seattle in 1890, was a German Jew. According to his Seattle Times obituary, he “came to this country from Germany when a boy.… He was engaged as a mercantile solicitor in the early days, but later started a small drygoods business in Fremont, Nebraska, where he has since become famous as the pioneer wholesale drygoods merchant west of Omaha.… It is estimated that his fortune amounts to at least a million dollars.”

Fuhrman and Charles Cowen (né Cohen) (1869–1926) (Cowen Place NE) are the only Jews I am aware of who have Seattle streets named after them.

Henry Fuhrman, from his Seattle Times obituary, August 23, 1907
Henry Fuhrman, from his Seattle Times obituary, August 23, 1907

Fuhrman Avenue E begins at the north end of Fairview Avenue E, under the Ship Canal Bridge, and goes nearly ½ a mile southeast to E Shelby Street, where it becomes Boyer Avenue E. (A short segment begins about 150 feet to the east of Boyer, heads about 225 feet to the south, and mainly functions as a driveway for a number of houseboats; and another short segment begins at the north end of 15th Avenue E at the E Calhoun Street pathway, heads about 275 feet to the northeast, and serves as a driveway for an apartment complex.)

Sign at corner of Fuhrman Avenue E, Eastlake Avenue E, and Portage Bay Place E, August 24, 2009
Sign at corner of Fuhrman Avenue E, Eastlake Avenue E, and Portage Bay Place E, August 24, 2009. (Portage By Pl is an error; it should read Portage Bay Pl E, as it’s [[Portage Bay] [Place]], not [[Portage] [Bay Place]]. The original Red Robin restaurant was founded at this intersection in 1940. It has since been demolished, but I’ve seen imagery of this sign — including the error — on the walls of other Red Robin locations.) Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2009 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

Wetmore Avenue S

This street originates in the 1890 plat of the Byron Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by Byron Andrew Young (1845–1926) and his wife, Jane Wetmore Young (1850–1925). It would seem to be named after his wife’s maiden name, she being one of the children of Seymour Wetmore (1828–1897). Whether or not it was named after her or her father (a real possibility, as we’ll see) is unknown. (If her, that puts it in the same category as S Kenny Street, Sturgus Avenue S, Perkins Lane WThorndyke Avenue W, and Keen Way N.)

Wetmore “founded Seattle’s first tannery and shoe making business in 1855” with Milton Daniel Woodin (1800–1869), who was the father of his wife, Ann Woodin Wetmore (1829–1886). (Woodinville, located northeast of Seattle along the Sammamish River, was named after the Woodin family.) He homesteaded land in Rainier Valley, which later became the subject of a lawsuit against him by all his children except Jane. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on September 17, 1892,

Seymour Wetmore is an old settler in this section, who took up a government claim of 160 acres of land, which lies across the present line of the Rainier avenue electric railway. With the growth of Seattle Wetmore, by the increase of the values of property, found himself quite a wealthy man.… After the death of his wife her share was divided among the seven children, each of whom received $5,500. The amount that the father has kept for himself is now valued at about $25,000.… Last July a petition was filed… asking for the appointment of a guardian for Seymour Wetmore, on the ground that he was an habitual drunkard and incapable of taking care of himself.… The eldest son… swore to the petition, which set out that the father was addicted to dangerous excess in the use of intoxicating liquors, and was in the habit of going around in the company of lewd women and squandering his money.… [Wetmore] admitted that he drank. He had always been a drinking man and always would be. But he indignantly denied the charges that he associated with lewd women. By his answers he intimated that the… proceedings were due to a desire on the part of the children to tie up his property so that they would be sure of it in case of his death.

Finally, in February 1895, the matter was settled, as the Post-Intelligencer reported on the 28th under the headline ‘Seymour Wetmore Will Be Free to Squander His Wealth — He only yearns to spend it’. The article first recapped the origin of the lawsuit:

He felt as rich as any of the lords of creation, and worked himself up to the intoxication of enjoyment by spending money for the sole pleasure of seeing it go. He went about, his pockets lined with $20 pieces. This sort of thing grew tiresome to his prospective heirs, who became desperate on learning that Wetmore had entered into a deal with Byron Young, of Tacoma, whereby the latter received, in return for a bauble, $8,000 in money and 50 lots in Byron addition.

Excerpt from Seattle Post-Intelligencer article on Seymour Wetmore's guardianship case
Excerpt from Seattle Post-Intelligencer article, from February 28, 1895, issue on Seymour Wetmore’s guardianship case, in which Wetmore argues for his right to do whatever he wants with his money, including destroying it

The case dragged on for a while, but, as it turns out,

Pending the decision of the supreme court the property involved had been transferred and retransferred again and again until an abstract of title would make a formidable document. In consequence the case of [Wetmore’s guardian] vs. Young was dismissed by stipulation in the equity department last Saturday. There is now nothing left to fight over, and the inevitable conclusion is that the aged ward will be found able to take care of himself.

Wetmore Avenue S begins at 30th Avenue S just south of S Hanford Street, crosses S Byron Street, and goes 800 feet southeast to S Walden Street. There is another short segment — around 150 feet long — south of S Estelle Street, which turns into a footpath of about equal length connecting to S Spokane Street.

Rainier Avenue S

This street follows the route of the Rainier Avenue Electric Railway Company’s Seattle-to-Renton line, which began to be built in 1891. Both the rail line and street were named for Mount Rainier (təqʷubəʔ), itself named by Captain George Vancouver for his friend, Royal Navy Rear Admiral Peter Rainier (1741–1808). As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer noted on September 3, 1890, “the avenue points straight toward Mount Rainier, which mountain will be in plain view all the way.”

Rainier Avenue S begins at the intersection of S Jackson Street, Boren Avenue S, and 14th Avenue S, and goes nearly 8 miles southeast to the city limits. From there, it continues around 3¾ miles south to the intersection of Interstate 405 and State Route 167 in Renton.

Looking south on Rainier Avenue S from S Jackson Street, with Mount Rainier in background, and two Metro route 7 buses, July 2011. From https://flickr.com/photos/95482862@N00/5914713222
Looking south on Rainier Avenue S from S Jackson Street. “The mountain is out” on this July 2011 day. Metro route 7 trolleybuses follow the route of the old interurban from here to 57th Avenue S. Photograph by Flickr user Oran Viriyincy, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
Aerial view of Rainier Valley looking north, 2001
Aerial view of Rainier Valley, Beacon Hill, and Downtown, May 22, 2001. Rainier Avenue S is the tree-lined street running up the middle of the photograph. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, Identifier 114373.

Cecil Avenue S

This street was created in 1905 as part of the plat of Southside Garden Tracts, filed by Crawford & Conover, a partnership of Samuel Leroy Crawford (1855–1916) and Charles Tallmadge Conover (1862–1961) (E Conover Court). It appears to have been named after Charles’s son Cecil Tallmadge Conover (1897–1967).

Cecil Avenue S begins at Beacon Avenue S and 37th Avenue S and goes nearly 900 feet southwest to a dead end in the greenbelt above Interstate 5.

Frater Avenue SW

I first came across the Alki History Project while doing research for my article on SW Bronson Way. I’m not sure how I missed it before. The paper that mentioned Ira Bronson was “If at First You Don’t Succeed…,” a fascinating history of municipal governance and elections in West Seattle, and when I looked at their list of other papers I was thrilled to see among them “What’s in a Name?” — an investigation of Alki street names, both current and those changed long ago. Frater Avenue SW is the first of a number of posts in which I will be citing this paper, written by Phillip H. Hoffman, director of the project.

Frater Avenue SW originates in the 1955 plat of Anderson’s Soundview Terrace Addition № 2. Why Anderson, Caple, or Knowlton weren’t chosen instead for the honor (this being the only new street in the small subdivision, and those being the surnames of the three couples who filed the plat) isn’t clear. But, as Hoffman notes, SW Frater Street and SW Frater Place (both of which have since been vacated) were just to the west in the adjacent plat. In addition, an earlier Frater Avenue SW had existed, until it was vacated in 1942, just southeast of where today’s Frater Avenue begins at SW Spokane Street. The current Frater Avenue must have been named after one of these three streets.

But, of course, that leaves the question of who those three streets initially honored, and according to Hoffman,

Frater Avenue first appears in the plat Partition of Crawford Tract as ordered in King County Superior Court, Cause № 64110, June 17, 1915. [A.W.] Frater was the presiding judge.… The court commissioners assisting in the adjudication of a land title and ownership dispute before Judge Frater that resulted in the Crawford Tract plat probably named Frater Avenue in 1915, along with all the other streets appearing in the plat.

Archibald Wanless Frater (1856–1925), according to Cornelius Holgate in Seattle and Environs, was born in Ohio and came to Washington in 1888. Initially settling in Tacoma, he moved to Snohomish the next year and came to Seattle in 1898.

Archibald Wanless Frater
Judge Archibald Wanless Frater, from the front cover of The Seattle Mail & Herald, June 3, 1905

Today’s Frater Avenue SW begins at 57th Avenue SW just north of SW Hinds Street and goes ⅛ of a mile southeast to SW Spokane Street just west of 56th Avenue SW.

Railroad Avenue NE

This street was created in 1946 by Ordinance 75507, “an ordinance accepting a deed from Eva M. Barquist, a spinster, to the City of Seattle for street purposes and laying off East 50th Street and Railroad Avenue Northeast.” This restored the Railroad Avenue NE name to a very short street on the east side of the Northern Pacific tracks, six years after it was changed to NE Blakely Street on the west side.

Railroad Avenue NE begins at NE 50th Street just east of 39th Avenue NE and goes 90 feet south to a dead end, essentially serving as a driveway for a cluster of townhouses.

Sign at corner of NE 50th Street and Railroad Avenue NE, February 3, 2011
Sign at corner of NE 50th Street and Railroad Avenue NE, February 3, 2011. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2011 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

Illinois Avenue

This street, like most others in Fort Lawton (1900−2011), which is now Discovery Park, was named by the United States Army after a state of the Union. I am not sure when the post’s streets were so named or who made the decision, but it can have been no later than 1944, when this map was made by the Army Corps of Engineers. (Here’s a much higher-resolution version from the Seattle Municipal Archives, created in 1973 but based on the older map.) One can see there that what are today Illinois Avenue and Bernie Whitebear Way were originally Vermont Way, Illinois Street, Lawton Road, and Florida Avenue. At some point before 1967 (see this map made by the Fort Lawton Office of the Post Engineer) the four were combined, and in 2011 the middle portion was renamed after Native American activist Bernie Whitebear.

Sign at corner of Illinois Avenue and Texas Way (mislabeled as Kansas Avenue), Discovery Park, October 30, 2011
Sign at corner of Illinois Avenue and Texas Way (mislabeled as Kansas Avenue), Discovery Park, October 30, 2011. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2011 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

Today, the eastern section of Illinois Avenue begins at Discovery Park Boulevard and goes ¼ of a mile north to Texas Way, where it turns into Bernie Whitebear Way. (Except for 45th Avenue W, no street in Discovery Park carries directional designations, nor did they when it was still a fort.) The western section, which is closed to traffic, begins at Texas Way and Discovery Park Boulevard and goes ¼ mile north to connect with footpaths that themselves connect to the North Beach Trail.

Lakeside Avenue

This street first appeared in 1890 as part of Yesler’s Third Addition to the City of Seattle, and ran two blocks from what is now E Alder Street to the north end of what is now Leschi Park. It was so named for running along the Lake Washington shoreline.

Today, Lakeside Avenue begins a block further south, where Lake Washington Boulevard leaves the shoreline and begins winding its way through Leschi and Frink Parks. It becomes Lakeside Avenue S at the north end of Leschi Park, and ends where Lake Washington Boulevard S rejoins the shoreline at Colman Beach, for a total distance of 1¼ miles.

Leschi Marina
Leschi Marina from Lakeside Avenue S, April 30, 2007. Photograph by Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

Ferry Avenue SW

This street, created in 1888 as part of the First Plat of West Seattle by the West Seattle Land and Improvement Company, was originally named Grand Avenue. It was renamed, along with many other West Seattle streets, in 1907, when West Seattle was annexed by Seattle. The name was a reference to the WSL&IC ferry terminal at what is today Harbor Avenue SW at California Way SW. The West Seattle Water Taxi has been operating from the same location since 1997.

Today, Ferry Avenue SW begins at California Way SW and goes about ³⁄₇ of a mile southwest to just past California Avenue SW, at California Place park (built on the site of a former streetcar terminal; before that, a cable car ran up the Ferry Avenue right-of-way from Elliott Bay to this location). It resumes on the other side of the park at SW Hill Street and goes a further 600 feet southwest to SW Walker Street.

Sturtevant Avenue S

This street, established in 1913 as Sturtevant Place, was named for real estate investor, banker, and antique store owner Cullen Kittredge Sturtevant (1865–1946), who developed a number of tracts in what is now Rainier Beach. Unlike many developers, he didn’t name this street after himself; it was added by the city nearly a decade after he filed Sturtevant’s Plat of Rainier Beach Acre Tracts.

Cullen Kittredge Sturtevant (1865-1946)
Cullen Kittredge Sturtevant (1865–1946), courtesy of Find a Grave user SturtevantBV

Today, Sturtevant Avenue S begins at Rainier Avenue S between 51st Avenue S and 52nd Avenue S and goes ⅕ of a mile southeast to 52nd Avenue S and S Roxbury Street. Sturtevant Ravine, through which Mapes Creek runs on its way from Kubota Garden to Beer Sheva Park and Lake Washington, lies to its west.

Ad for Sturtevant's Rainier Beach Lake Front Tracts, The Seattle Times, April 8, 1906
Ad for Sturtevant’s Rainier Beach Lake Front Tracts, The Seattle Times, April 8, 1906

Sturgus Avenue S

This street was created in 1900 as part of the plat of the Orchard Hill Addition, filed by Martin Dean, Sarah J. Dean, Elizabeth H. Lewis, William H. Lewis, the W.C. Hill Brick Company, and the First National Bank of Seattle. According to Don Sherwood, it was named for John J. Sturgus, “realtor and agent of [the] W.C. Hill Estate” (Hill had died in 1890).

I do find mentions of a John J. Sturgus, associated with the Hill Company or the Hill Estate, in a number of Polk directories. However, it appears a Dr. John J. Sturgus (1859–1907) was also the brother of Hill’s wife, born Alice Bradley Sturgus (1847–1904).

Article in the (Washington, D.C.) Evening Star, September 9, 1890, on the death of W.C. Hill
Article in the (Washington, D.C.) Evening Star, September 9, 1890, on the death of W.C. Hill, mentioning Mrs. Hill’s mother (“Mrs. Sturgus”) and brother (Dr. John J. Sturgus).

Given the unlikelihood of two completely different John J. Sturguses being associated with the Hills, I’m going to assume that the physician and real estate man were one and the same, and that the street was given its name either because Dr. Sturgus was Hill’s brother-in-law or because Sturgus was his wife’s maiden name (or both). If the latter, that puts it in the same category as Perkins Lane W, Thorndyke Avenue W, and Keen Way N.

Today, Sturgus Avenue S begins at S Charles Street, just east of the Jose Rizal Bridge, and goes ½ a mile southeast, then south, to S State Street. The right-of-way continues a block further, to the S Grand Street right-of-way, but houses with addresses on that block are accessed by a private alley north of 16th Avenue S.

Mayfair Avenue N

This North Queen Anne street originates in the 1907 Mayfair Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by the Mayfair Land Company. Don Sherwood notes that “Mayfair is a fashionable district in London, east of Hyde Park,” which was named after the annual May Fair (1686–1764).

Ad for Mayfair Addition in the Seattle Times, March 8, 1907
Advertisement for the Mayfair Addition in The Seattle Times, March 8, 1907

Mayfair Avenue N begins at Florentia Street between 2nd Avenue N and 3rd Avenue N and goes just over ¼ of a mile south to just past Mayfair Park, where it becomes a private road that goes around 600 feet east to Nob Hill Avenue N. The private section runs through land once owned by the Lorentz family (Lorentz Place N) — in fact, a few members still own houses there.

Mayfair Avenue N street sign, May 28, 2011
Mayfair Avenue N street sign, May 28, 2011. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2011 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

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.

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.

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.)

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.