Madison Street

Madison Street — another of Seattle’s “first streets” — was named for James Madison, president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. It is the only street in town that stretches, uninterrupted, from the salt water of Elliott Bay and Puget Sound to the fresh water of Lake Washington.

Madison Street begins on the Elliott Bay waterfront at Alaskan Way and ends 3¾ miles northeast of there at a small fishing pier, just east of 43rd Avenue E and north of Madison Park Beach. Apart from a slight bend to the northeast at 22nd Avenue, it is as straight as an arrow from beginning to end.

Marion Street

Marion Street, like James Street, was one of the first streets platted in Seattle on May 23, 1853. It, too, was named by Arthur Armstrong Denny after his younger brother, James Marion Denny (1824–1854). 

Marion Street runs ⅖ of a mile from Alaskan Way to 6th Avenue, where it is interrupted by Interstate 5. It picks up again at 7th Avenue and runs about the same distance to Broadway, where the Seattle University campus begins. East of there it runs in sections of varying lengths until it ends for good at 38th Avenue and Madrona Park.

James Street

James Street, one of the first streets platted in Seattle on May 23, 1853, was named by Arthur Armstrong Denny after his younger brother, James Marion Denny (1824–1854). Histories of Seattle report that James was too sick to leave Oregon and come to Puget Sound with the Denny Party and, indeed, he died in the town of Sublimity, Oregon, just a year after the street was named for him. Nothing I have found reports an actual cause of death. Marion Street is also named after this brother.

James Street runs ¾ of a mile from Yesler Way just east of 1st Avenue to an alley just east of Broadway. It appears east of there in a few short stretches and finally as a stairway from 38th Avenue to Lake Washington Boulevard at Madrona Park.

Dorffel Drive E

This street runs just over ¼ of a mile from 37th Avenue E in the north, by Lakeview Park, to E Howell Street and 39th Avenue in the south. It was named for George and Otilde Dorffel, who might otherwise be best known for giving Ravenna its name.

In the original 1901 plat of Denny-Blaine-Lake Park, the Dorffel Drive name was given to what is now Madrona Place E, and what is now Dorffel Drive was then 37th Avenue. The change, which took place in 1906, would seem to have been done to eliminate the oddity of 39th Avenue becoming 37th Avenue as it crossed E Howell Street.

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

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.

Brygger Drive W

Anna Sophia Brygger, the Norwegian immigrant mentioned in NW Brygger Place, is also the namesake of Magnolia’s Brygger Drive W, a short street that runs not quite a tenth of a mile from 34th Avenue W just north of W Government Way to a dead end at Kiwanis Memorial Preserve Park. Many of the streets on the map below were either never built (Northview Place, Alberta Street, Byers Place) or were only partially built (Fort Place, 35th Avenue W, 34th Avenue W, and Brygger Drive itself.)

Map of Lawton Heights Addition, Magnolia, 1912 Baist Atlas
Map of Lawton Heights Addition, Magnolia, 1912 Baist Atlas

NW Brygger Place

Have I mentioned my friend, local historian Rob Ketcherside? He is the vice president of the Capitol Hill Historical Society, author of Lost Seattle, and blogs about “New Seattle history, mostly,” at Ba-kground.com. I first made his acquaintance when I was a contributor to Crosscut.com and came across his article “Why light rail was predestined for Martin Luther King Jr. Way.”

One of his blog posts is on NW Brygger Place, which runs around 650 feet from 26th Avenue NW in the east to 28th Avenue NW in the west, just south of NW 60th Street and the Ballard Community Center and Playfield. Its namesake was Anna Sophia Brygger (1853–1940), an immigrant from Norway, who also named Brygger Drive W in Magnolia after herself. Do check it out, along with the rest of his posts.

Map of Brygger's 1st Home and 2nd Home Additions, Ballard, 1912 Baist Atlas
Map of Brygger’s 1st Home and 2nd Home Additions, Ballard, 1912 Baist’s Real Estate Atlas

N Clogston Way

N Clogston Way, which runs a mere 200 feet east from Green Lake Way N to a dead end, between N 54th and N 55th Streets, was named after a Union veteran of the Civil War, as Valarie Bunn of Wedgwood in Seattle History notified me tonight.

John D. Clogston served “with the 9th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry. On the 13th of December, 1862, Clogston was wounded in battle at Fredericksburg, Virginia, losing part of his right hand. His injury was so severe that he was discharged on February 6, 1863.” He and his bride, Lucinda, moved to Seattle in 1889, just a few months after the Great Seattle Fire; he died 20 years later at the age of 71.

Seattle Times article, January 27, 1903, on naming of what was then Clogston Place, now Clogston Way
Seattle Times article, January 27, 1903, on naming of what was then Clogston Place, now Clogston Way

Bunn also pointed me in the direction of this Seattle Times article that appeared January 27, 1903, which explains how the street got its name:

Someone, in platting land at the south end of Green Lake, near North Fifty-fifth street, omitted to name a street extending some blocks of a certain addition. The other day when J.D. Clogston called upon the building inspector for a permit to erect a house, he could neither give the name of the street nor the number of his premises. Such an obstacle had never been presented to the building inspector, and the only way to overcome it was to pass an ordinance of council giving a designation to the street. For want of a better name the street was called Clogston Place. Thus it has happened that an humble laborer in the city street department, waking from his dreams this morning, finds himself famous and his name perpetuated in municipal history. Only a few days ago Dewey, of Manila fame, was honored in a similar way by the Seattle City Council.