Erickson Place NE

This street, which runs around 675 feet from 35th Avenue NE at NE 135th Street to Lake City Way NE at NE 137th Street, connecting the two arterials, was named, as local historian Valarie Bunn tells us in Gerhard Ericksen’s Good Road, after Norwegian immigrant Gerhard Johan Ericksen (1860, Molde, Norway – 1920, Bothell, Washington). 

Parade float, July 4, 1908, for Gerhard Ericksen’s Mercantile, Bothell; Ericksen at far left
Parade float, July 4, 1908, for Gerhard Ericksen’s Mercantile, Bothell; Gerhard Ericksen at far left, son George Ericksen at far right

Ericksen, a Bothell merchant and Washington state legislator, was behind the creation of what is now the Washington State Department of Transportation, and the Gerhard Erickson Road (sic) was named in his honor. Bunn writes:

This road preceded the creation of Victory Way (Bothell Way/Lake City Way.)… In Wedgwood today, the Erickson Road route still exists as part of Ravenna Avenue NE north of NE 83rd Street.… as far as NE 110th Street. At the corner where Nathan Hale High School is located… the Erickson Road route took an eastward turn over to what is now 35th Avenue NE. At NE 135th Street, the 35th Avenue NE arterial angles over and merges with Lake City Way NE. The two-block portion from NE 135th to 137th Streets is still called Erickson Place NE.

Why the street is spelled Erickson instead of Ericksen is unknown.

Fischer Place NE

I am certainly not the first person to have been interested in, or to blog about, the origins of Seattle street names. One of the historians whose work I’ve been inspired by is Valarie Bunn, who writes Wedgwood in Seattle History (though she does not restrict herself to Wedgwood).

In “The Fischer Farm in Meadowbrook,” from 2013, she writes about August and Wilhelmine Fischer, who came to Seattle from Saxony, Germany, in 1888, and lived here until they died in 1940 and 1941, respectively. In 1922, they established what is now Fischer Place NE as Fischer Street in the plat of Fischer’s Highway Garden Tracts. (“Highway” because of Victory Way [now Lake City Way NE, part of State Route 522] and Pacific Highway [now Ravenna Avenue NE]. The latter lost its Pacific Highway designation to the former that same year, and the designation shifted farther west to what is now Aurora Avenue N a number of years later.) I highly recommend this article and her entire blog.

Exterior of LaVilla Dairy building on Fischer Place NE, August 2017, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seattle_-_Lavilla_Dairy_03.jpg
Exterior of LaVilla Dairy building on Fischer Place NE, August 2017. Built in 1922 by Ole Blindheim, son-in-law of the Fischers. Photograph by Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

Today, Fischer Place NE runs about ¼ mile from NE 102nd Street and Lake City Way NE in the southwest to NE 105th Street in the northeast.