S Angeline Street

This street lies mostly in Columbia City, where its name originated, and Seward Park, with a few blocks in Beacon Hill and even fewer in West Seattle. It almost reaches Puget Sound at Beach Drive SW, and does reach Andrews Bay of Lake Washington at Lake Washington Boulevard S.

As noted, the name Angeline Street originated in Columbia City, in this 1891 Plat of Columbia, filed at the request of James Kippen Edmiston by Percy W. Rochester and John I. Wiley of the Washington Co-operative Home Company. 

Princess Angeline was born Kikisoblu, the daughter of Si’ahl [siʔaɫ], better known in English as Chief Seattle of the Duwamish and Suquamish Tribes. Her date of birth is unknown; Wikipedia gives it as ca. 1820, whereas this article posted by the Duwamish Tribe, written by elementary school students based on HistoryLink essays, gives it as 1828. She died May 31, 1896.

Princess Angeline received her English name from Catherine Broshears Maynard, wife of David Swinson (“Doc”) Maynard, one of the earliest Seattle settlers. As the HistoryLink Elementary article puts it,

Chief Seattle’s oldest daughter was named Kikisoblu. She became friends with many of Seattle’s founding families. One of her friends was Catherine Maynard. She felt that Kikisoblu should have a name that would let the white settlers know that she was the daughter of a great chief. So she called her Princess Angeline. She thought that name was prettier than the name Kikisoblu.

Photograph of Kikisoblu, or Princess Angeline, by Frank La Roche, ca. 1893
Photograph of Princess Angeline (Kikisoblu), by Frank La Roche, ca. 1893

sluʔwiɫ

I end my piece on Lushootseed-language place names in Seattle, “Native names abide,” thus:

…Let Carkeek remain Carkeek, but know that it was once and is still kʷaatəb, as Montlake is still stəx̌ʷugʷił, the Locks, which lowered x̌ačuʔ and x̌áx̌əʔčuʔ, still xʷiwálqʷ, and University Village still sluʔwił village, and celebrate that wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ now sits where Whitman and Stevens meet.

wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House is “a longhouse-style facility on the [University of Washington] Seattle campus [that] provides a multi-service learning and gathering space for American Indian and Alaska Native students, faculty and staff, as well as others from various cultures and communities to come together in a welcoming environment to share knowledge.” Its location at the corner of Stevens Way and Whitman Court is significant in that almost all campus roads are named for Washington counties, and these two counties were named after Isaac Stevens and Marcus and Narcissa Whitman:

  • As noted in “Should Seattle rename its streets?” Stevens, governor of Washington Territory, “forced Native American tribes to cede their lands to the federal government.… He also pardoned himself for contempt charges relating to unjust declaration of martial law during the Yakima War, and insisted on the capture of the subsequently executed Chief Leschi of the Nisqually Tribe, even though at that point he had ceased fighting and fled the area.
  • The Whitmans’ story is more complex. The missionary couple were among 13 whites killed by a group of Cayuse Indians in what has become known as the Whitman massacre. A measles epidemic in the mission settlement and a nearby Cayuse village produced a death rate far higher among the Cayuse; Marcus Whitman, who was a also a physician and tried to treat the Cayuse as well as the whites, was accused of poisoning tribe members: “the fact that nearly all of his white patients recovered while his Indian patients died convinced some Cayuses that he was deliberately poisoning Indians in order to give their land to white setters.” Even though this is unlikely, the fact remains that they were missionaries and colonizers, and there have been calls to replace the statue of Marcus that stands in the National Statuary hall.

Now the University of Washington has renamed Whitman Court sluʔwiɫ, after a village that once stood where University Village is today.

Street sign reading sluʔwiɫ on University of Washington campus
sluʔwiɫ street sign at corner of Stevens Way, with Padelford Hall in the distance

The UW Board of Regents made this change in May 2018, but the sign only recently made its appearance. I asked the writer of the University of Washington Magazine piece on the name change, Hannelore Sudermann, if she knew whether “the renaming was official — that Whitman Court no longer exists and the street’s name is now sluʔwiɫ – or if it was honorary and the street is still officially Whitman Court,” and she pointed me to the meeting minutes, which read, in part: 

The Board of Regents chooses to honor the Coast Salish peoples of the land on which the University of Washington sits, and indigenous peoples across the State, by renaming Whitman Court sluʔwił.… In the Lushootseed language of the Coast Salish peoples, sluʔwił is the name for the village site closest to the campus, and means ‘Little Canoe Channel.’… It is the Board’s intention to recognize the native place-names of the region and thereby to enrich the historical context of the campus. The Board feels that this naming action is particularly appropriate, given the proximity of Whitman Court to wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ, meaning ‘Intellectual House,’ a multi-service learning and gathering space for American Indian and Alaska Native students, faculty, and staff.

Even though an earlier part of the minutes reads “Regent Rice moved, Regent Ayer seconded, and the Board of Regents approved the honorific renaming of Whitman Court sluʔwił” (italics mine), given the excerpt above and the presence of the sign without any reference to Whitman Court, my interpretation is that honorific here means “in honor of,” in contrast to honorary meaning “symbolic.” 

Native names abide

Before white settlers came to to dzidzəlalič in 1852, before they came to əgwaliču in 1832, even before they first sighted the shores of x̌ʷəlč in 1792, the dxʷdəwʔabš were here, living at sluʔwił and šilšul, babaqʷəb and t’uʔəlalʔtxʷ, and paq’ác’ałčuʔ and səxʷt’ičib, by the lakes called c’alq’ʷadiʔ and sisałtəb and dxʷƛ’əš and x̌áx̌əʔčuʔ, and most of all x̌ačuʔthe lake — the smaller ones being fed by springs like liq’təd where the waters run red, the lake being fed by the river whose mouth was at ƛ’ax̌ʷadis, but one by one their names were replaced by the settlers, who though they named the city for siʔał and the river for the dxʷdəwʔabš nevertheless named places Pioneer Square for themselves, or Fremont for where they came from, or Brooklyn for that which they aspired to be, and while šilšul became Shilshole and liq’təd became Licton, other dxʷləšúcid names were left unwritten and hardly spoken for decades but still remembered — so let Carkeek remain Carkeek, but know that it was once and is still kʷaatəb, as Montlake is still stəx̌ʷugʷił, the Locks, which lowered x̌ačuʔ and x̌áx̌əʔčuʔ, still xʷiwálqʷ, and University Village still sluʔwił village, and celebrate that wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ now sits where Whitman and Stevens meet.


This piece (originally titled “Lushootseed names remain”) appeared as the first item in One-Sentence Stories: An Intriguing New Anthology of Stories Told in a Single Sentence, Book 2, compiled by Val Dumond in 2018. Apparently I was the first potential contributor to ask if the story could be non-fiction. There was a minimum length of 200 words — this comes in at 203.

The names are in the dxʷləšúcid or Lushootseed language, spoken by many of the Coast Salish Native American tribes in the Puget Sound region. They are written in the Lushootseed alphabet, which is based on the International Phonetic Alphabet.

I selected most, though not all, of the names by using the Burke Museum’s Waterlines Project map. They appear below, along with their translations and the current, settler-given names.

  1. dzidzəlalič — Little Crossing-Over Place — Pioneer Square
  2. əgwaliču — Extensive Sand Banks Over Which the Water Is Shallow/Big Tide/Long Run-Out — Sequalitchew/Fort Nisqually/DuPont
  3. x̌ʷəlč — Salt Water — Puget Sound
  4. dxʷdəwʔabš — People of the Inside (Elliott Bay) — Duwamish
  5. sluʔwił — Little Canoe Channel — University Village
  6. šilšul — Tucked Away Inside — Shilshole, one of two unchanged Native names within Seattle city limits
  7. babaqʷəb — Little Prairie — Belltown
  8. t’uʔəlalʔtxʷ — Herring’s House — West Seattle Industrial District
  9. paq’ác’ałčuʔ — Brush Spread on the Water — West Point
  10. səxʷt’ičib — Place Where One Wades — Lakeridge
  11. c’alq’ʷadiʔ — Blackcaps on the Sides — Magnuson Park
  12. sisałtəb — Calmed Down a Little — Haller Lake
  13. dxʷƛ’əš — translation unknown — Green Lake
  14. x̌áx̌əʔčuʔ — Small Lake — Lake Union
  15. x̌ačuʔ — Lake — Lake Washington
  16. liq’təd — Red Paint — Licton Springs, the other unchanged Native name within Seattle city limits
  17. ƛ’ax̌ʷadis — The Growing Place — Squawk (Squak) Slough, mouth of the Sammamish River at Kenmore
  18. siʔał — personal name — Chief Seattle (Sealth)
  19. dxʷləšúcid — Salt Water Language — Lushootseed
  20. kʷaatəb — Dropped Down — Piper’s Creek at Carkeek Park beach
  21. stəx̌ʷugʷił — Carry a Canoe — Montlake Cut 
  22. xʷiwálqʷ — Lots of Water — Commodore Park (Magnolia side of Ballard Locks)
  23. wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ — Intellectual House

SW Seattle Street

What better way to start things off than with SW Seattle Street?

SW Seattle Street is a minor residential street in West Seattle that runs about ³/₁₀ of a mile from 42nd Avenue SW in the east to Sunset Avenue SW in the west.

It might seem strange that such a short street would be chosen to bear the city’s name — it was the only one to do so until 2010, when the first two blocks of Airport Way S were renamed Seattle Boulevard S — but this has more to do with unimaginative naming than with civic pride.

On August 4, 1869, Ike M. Hall — the executor of the estate of Norman B. Judkins — filed the Judkin’s (sic) Addition to the Town of Seattle, located just southwest of where the interchange between I-5 and I-90 is today. From north to south, the east–west streets are named Norman, B, Judkins, Addition, Town, and Seattle.

Portions of the original Seattle Street were vacated over the years (for example, in 1900, 1957, and 2000), and the construction of I-5 took care of the rest. However, when the city annexed West Seattle in 1907 it changed the name of Maple Street to W Seattle Street as part of rationalizing the street grid… and so the name lives on.

(The city itself, of course, was named after Si’ahl [siʔaɫ], better known in English as Chief Seattle of the Duwamish and Suquamish Tribes.)

So, why SW Seattle Street instead of Seattle Street SW?

In Seattle, east–west streets have the directional come first, and north–south avenues have it come last. The Wikipedia article “Street layout of Seattle,” which I helped write, has a more comprehensive description of Seattle’s addressing system, including the answer to this question:

Why was it W Seattle Street in 1907 but SW Seattle Street now?

In 1961, city ordinance 89910 “established a standard system of street name designations” so that in almost all cases streets within a given zone would carry the same directional. West Seattle avenues already carried the SW designation.