Montvale Court W

Like Viewmont Way W, Crestmont Place W, Eastmont Way W, Westmont Way W, and Piedmont Place W, this street was created in 1915 as part of the plat of Carleton Park, their common mont element referring to the fact that, as The Seattle Times wrote, the “entire district commands an unobstructible view of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains.” Like Piedmont Place W, Montvale Court W lies at the foot of the western Magnolia hill as it slopes down to Pleasant Valley (of which vale is of course a variant).

Montvale Court W begins at 35th Avenue W south of Viewmont Way W and goes just over 300 feet northeast to Montvale Place W. (When it was originally platted, it formed a horseshoe-shaped loop back to 35th, but at some point the eastern and southeastern part of the street was renamed Montvale Place W.)

Portion of plat of Carleton Park showing original course of Montvale Court W
Portion of plat of Carleton Park showing original course of Montvale Court W

SW Niesz Court

This street was created as part of the 1889 plat of West Seattle Park and named after West Seattle developer and Seattle city councilman Uriah Roush Niesz (1849–1929). According to Images of America: West Seattle,

…In what is now the Admiral District, the now familiar moniker “West Seattle” was first used by Uriah Niesz when developing five-acre homesites in 1885.

Born in Canton, Ohio, Niesz arrived in Seattle in 1883, was elected to the city council in 1887, and was instrumental in the rebuilding of the city after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. According to Clarence Bagley in his History of Seattle from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time,

[He took] a prominent part in the replatting and upbuilding of the city. He with other members of the council had mapped out the whole plan some time previous to the fire, which made it possible to accomplish their purpose.… As a member of the council Mr. Niesz was made chairman of the judiciary, finance and harbor and wharves committees and the last named took up the whole burden of replatting the business and shipping section of the city.… Herculean as was the task of this committee in bringing order out of chaos in this part of the city; in opening the way for land and water traffic to meet at a minimum cost of transshipment; in providing facilities for a marvelous growth in the business of a future great city; in short in giving the city a new birth, yet this great task paled into insignificance compared with the responsibilities resting upon the finance committee, of which Mr. Niesz was also chairman.

I find that contemporary biographies of pioneers tend to read like hagiographies, but in this case I think Niesz’s entire biography is worth a read.

SW Niesz Court begins at 50th Avenue SW just south of the College Street Ravine and goes two blocks east to 48th Avenue SW.

SW Wilton Court

As Phillip H. Hoffman, director of the Alki History Project, tells us in his article “What’s in a Name?,” this street was named after Benjamin Wilton Baker (1860–1934), husband of Julia Curry Williams (1861–1950) and father of Marguerite Baker (1890–?), after whom SW Marguerite Court is named. The Bakers were proprietors of Rose Lodge, a summer resort which once stood where the eastern portion of SW Wilton Court is now.

Benjamin Wilton Baker, 1901
Benjamin Wilton Baker, from the November 30, 1901, issue of The Seattle Times
Rose Lodge circa 1913
Rose Lodge and tents from beach, 1913

SW Wilton Court begins at SW Hinds Street across the street from the Bar-S Playground, and goes just over 700 feet southeast to 63rd Avenue SW between Beach Drive SW and SW Marguerite Court. It is a private right-of-way between 64th Avenue SW and 63rd Avenue SW.

SW Marguerite Court

This street, which is part of the unrecorded plat of B.W. Baker’s Rose Lodge Addition, was named after Marguerite Baker (1890–?), eldest daughter of Benjamin Wilton Baker (1860–1934) and Julia Curry Williams (1861–1950). The Bakers were proprietors of Rose Lodge, a summer resort which once stood where the subdivision is now.

The public right-of-way is a footpath that runs just over 300 feet from 63rd Avenue SW in the southeast to 64th Avenue SW in the northwest. Vehicular access to the homes is from a public alley to the north and a private one to the south.

Mayes Court S

This street was created in 1924 as part of Mayes’ Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by Wilbur Mayes (1871–1949); his wife, May H. Stutz Mayes (1870–1948); and George Moore. According to the reports of their deaths in The Seattle Times, on October 5, 1949, and October 14, 1948, respectively, the Mayeses were married in 1896 and lived in the Philippines, where Wilbur was a lumberman, from 1905 to 1912. They moved from the Philippines to Seattle, where he became an accountant. He apparently became a house repairman after retirement, and died after falling 15 feet from a University District neighbor’s roof.

Interestingly, it appears on the plat map as Mayes’ Court, with the apostrophe, but its official name lacks the punctuation, as do, I believe, all Seattle streets. (We have no streets named O’Brien, O’Reilly, O’Sullivan, or the like; I suppose an exception would have been made in such cases.)

Mayes Court S begins at S Carver Street and goes about 350 feet northwest to a cul-de-sac.

S Dean Court

This street, created in 1946 along with S Vern Court as part of the Wm Culliton Addition, was named by Jules Vern Nadreau (1894–1979) and his wife, Geraldine “Dean” Mable Harvey Nadreau (1897–1958), after Geraldine’s nickname.

S Dean Court begins at Beacon Avenue S and goes 285 feet west to an alley.

S Vern Court

This street was created in 1946 as part of the Wm Culliton Addition, filed by Jules Vern Nadreau (1894–1979) and his wife, Geraldine “Dean” Mable Harvey Nadreau (1897–1958). It appears to have been named after Jules’s middle name, Vern. (My assumption is that he was himself named after French novelist Jules Verne.) Its sister street, 300 feet to the south, is S Dean Court, named for his wife.

S Vern Court begins at Beacon Avenue S and goes 275 feet west to an alley.

E Remington Court

This street, which goes 600 feet from 12th Avenue in the west to 14th Avenue in the east, a block south of E Jefferson Street, was named as part of Greene’s Replat of Block 10, Squire Park Addition to the City of Seattle in 1903 by William Kimball Greene (1869–1940), transferring the Remington name a block south from Jefferson, the street it was originally applied to in 1890 by Watson Carvosso Squire (1838–1926), who had been territorial governor of Washington from 1884 to 1887 and Washington’s senator from statehood in 1889 to 1897.

Squire married Ida Remington in 1868; the next year, William Kimball Greene was born to Ida’s younger sister, Catherine, and her husband, Elijah Priest Greene. Ida and Catherine’s father, Philo, was the son of Eliphalet, who in 1816 had founded what became E. Remington and Sons, predecessor of Remington Arms and, via Remington Typewriter Company, Remington Rand and its successor, IT company Unisys.

Because Squire was the first to apply the name to a street, I count E Remington Court as ultimately being named after his wife, Ida, though one could say Greene’s preservation of the name, after the E Jefferson Street name had been extended by ordinance in 1895 from First Hill to Lake Washington, might also have been to honor his mother, Catherine.

Watson C. Squire and his wife, Ida Remington, circa 1910.
Watson Carvosso Squire and his wife, Ida Remington, circa 1910

E Florence Court

This street runs around 650 feet from 34th Avenue E, just north of E Denny Way, to 37th Avenue East. It was established in 1903 as part of Waddell’s Madrona Park Addition to the City of Seattle by, among others, Albert and Florence M. Waddell.

Advertisement for Madrona Park Addition, The Seattle Times, April 7, 1903
Advertisement for Madrona Park Addition, The Seattle Times, April 7, 1903

E Jansen Court

When I saw that E Jansen Court fell within Jansen’s Addition to the City of Seattle, filed in 1889 by Mary Jansen, I thought “Ah, another case of a landowner naming a street after themselves,” though I did note it was rare to see a single woman’s, and no one else’s, name on such a plat. But once I got a good look at the plat map I realized that, as is often the case, things weren’t quite that simple.

There’s no Jansen Court on this map — instead, John Street keeps its name as it crosses Mulford Street (now 20th Avenue E). So what happened?

In 1954, E John Street — the arterial east of 21st Avenue E — and E Thomas Street — the arterial west of 20th — were connected directly to each other by lopping off a small part of Miller Playfield (creating Miller Triangle in the process). As part of this, a one-way extension of John was built east of 20th, connecting with the arterial just before 21st. But this meant what is now Jansen Court needed a new name (remember, it originally remained John Street after crossing 20th). The powers that be decided to simply name it after Mary Jansen (or her subdivision). So even though she hadn’t named it after herself, 65 years after she filed her plat Jansen finally had her name on a street sign.

E Conover Court

This cul-de-sac, which runs about 300 feet from the end of 35th Avenue just south of E James Street, was named by journalist and real estate developer C.T. (Charles Tallmadge) Conover after himself. Unlike many developers, he didn’t do this when his plat (“Conover Park”) was first filed in 1907, but rather 15 years later when a new street was established in the subdivision. Perhaps his most lasting achievement was Washington’s nickname, “The Evergreen State,” which he coined in 1890.

CT Conover in 1893
C.T. Conover in 1893
Cover of Washington the Evergreen State and Seattle Its Metropolis brochure
Cover of brochure “Washington the Evergreen State and Seattle Its Metropolis”