California Avenue SW

This West Seattle street was established in 1888 as part of the First Plat of West Seattle by the West Seattle Land and Improvement Company. As “most of [its] capital came from San Francisco,” I would assume that is why California Avenue was given its name.

California Avenue SW — a major West Seattle arterial connecting the Admiral, Alaska, and Morgan Junctions (three commercial hubs named after long-gone streetcar line intersections) — runs 4½ miles from California Lane SW in the north, past which it turns into California Way SW on its way down the hill to the waterfront, to SW Sullivan Street in the south. Beyond there it exists as a few short segments, then briefly as part of the SW Brace Point Drive–SW Barton Street arterial, and lastly as a nearly mile-long residential street that ends at Marine View Drive SW.

Sign at corner of SW Donald Street and California Avenue SW, July 4, 2011
Sign at corner of SW Donald Street and California Avenue SW, July 4, 2011. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2011 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

Fauntleroy Way SW

This 4-mile-long thoroughfare runs from the west end of the West Seattle Bridge to Brace Point, passing Morgan Junction, Lincoln Park, and the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal on the way. It was named for Fauntleroy Cove, location of that terminal, from which riders depart for Vashon Island and Southworth, on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Fauntleroy Cove was itself named after Robert Henry Fauntleroy by George Davidson, Fauntleroy’s future son-in-law. They were both members of the U.S. Coast Survey. He is one of three Fauntleroys whose names appear on Seattle street signs — Ellinor Drive W and Constance Drive W are named for Mounts Ellinor and Constance in the Olympic Mountains, themselves named by Davidson after his future wife and sister-in-law, respectively.