Mount Adams Place S

Like Mount Rainier Drive S, Mount St. Helens Place S, and S Mount Baker Boulevard, this street was created in 1907 as part of the Mt. Baker Park addition, named for its view of Mount Baker in the North Cascades. Like the others, it was named after a prominent Cascade Range peak — in this case, Mount Adams.

At 12,281 feet, Adams is the second tallest mountain in Washington, behind Mount Rainier. Known by Native Americans as Pahto or Klickitat, it was named for President John Adams (1735–1826), in a rather roundabout way. Unlike Rainier or St. Helens, it was neither “discovered” by George Vancouver nor named by him; instead, the first non-Natives to spot it were Lewis and Clark, who at first thought they had spotted St. Helens. Then, as Wikipedia relates,

For several decades after Lewis and Clark sighted the mountain, people continued to get Adams confused with St. Helens, due in part to their somewhat similar appearance and similar latitude. In the 1830s, Hall J. Kelley led a campaign to rename the Cascade Range as the President’s Range and rename each major Cascade mountain after a former president of the United States. Mount Adams was not known to Kelley and was thus not in his plan. Mount Hood, in fact, was designated by Kelley to be renamed after President John Adams and St. Helens was to be renamed after George Washington. In a mistake or deliberate change by mapmaker and proponent of the Kelley plan Thomas J. Farnham, the names for Hood and St. Helens were interchanged. And, likely because of the confusion about which mountain was St. Helens, he placed the Mount Adams name north of Mount Hood and about 40 miles (64 km) east of Mount St. Helens. By what would seem sheer coincidence, there was in fact a large mountain there to receive the name. Since the mountain had no official name at the time, Kelley’s name stuck even though the rest of his plan failed. However, it was not official until 1853, when the Pacific Railroad Surveys, under the direction of Washington Territory governor Isaac I. Stevens, determined its location, described the surrounding countryside, and placed the name on the map.

Mount Adams Place S begins at Mount St. Helens Place S and goes ¼ mile southeast to S Ferris Place.

Mount St. Helens Place S

Like Mount Rainier Drive S and S Mount Baker Boulevard, this street was created in 1907 as part of the Mt. Baker Park addition, named for its view of Mount Baker in the North Cascades. The neighborhood featured a number of other streets named for mountains in the Cascade Range, including this one, named after Mount St. Helens.

St. Helens, of course, is best known for its volcanic eruption on May 18, 1980, “the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in U.S. history” according to Wikipedia. It was variously known by the Native Americans as Lawetlat’la (Cowlitz) and Loowit or Louwala-Clough (Klickitat), and, like Mount Rainier and Mount Baker, was given its official English-language name by George Vancouver on HMS Discovery in 1792. In this case, it honored his friend Alleyne FitzHerbert, 1st Baron St Helens (1753–1839), who at the time was British ambassador to Spain.

Mount St. Helens Place S begins at Cascadia Avenue S and goes just over ¼ mile south to Mount Rainier Drive S at 37th Avenue S.

Mount Rainier Drive S

This street was created in 1907 as part of the Mt. Baker Park addition, named for its view of Mount Baker in the North Cascades. In addition to S Mount Baker Boulevard, the neighborhood featured a number of other streets named for mountains in the Cascade Range, including this one, named after Mount Rainier.

According to Wikipedia, at 14,411 feet, Mount Rainier is “the highest mountain in… Washington and the Cascade Range, the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States, and the tallest in the Cascade Volcanic Arc.” It has been known by a number of other names, including Tacoma (after which, incidentally, Takoma Park, Maryland, was named), which derived from its Lushootseed-language name, təqʷubəʔ (‘permanently snow-covered mountain’). It was given its official English-language name by George Vancouver on HMS Discovery in 1792:

The weather was serene and pleasant, and the country continued to exhibit between us and the eastern snowy range the same luxuriant appearance. At is northern extremity, Mount Baker bore by compass N. 22 E.; the round snowy mountain, now forming its southern extremity, and which, after my friend, Rear Admiral [Peter] Rainier [17411808], I distinguish by the name of Mount Rainier, bore N. 42 E.

Mount Rainier Drive S begins at the intersection of S McClellan Street, Lake Park Drive S, and Mount Baker Drive S, and goes ¼ mile southeast to S Hanford Street and Hunter Boulevard S.

Dartmouth Avenue W

This street was created in 1907 as part of the plat of Magnolia Park, filed by the Magnolia Park Company. Insurance man Ferdinand Bosher Edgerly (1881–1966), president of the company, lived most of his life in Manchester, New Hampshire, but according to his obituary moved to Seattle after graduating from Dartmouth College in 1904, returning to Manchester in 1913. It would appear he named Dartmouth Avenue after his alma mater.

Dartmouth Avenue W begins at the end of W Howe Street, just east of Magnolia Way W, and goes just under 300 feet southwest to rejoin Magnolia Way W. Almost all of it, however, functions as private driveways for a number of houses with Magnolia Way addresses; the initial paved portion is less than 75 feet long and serves the only house with a Dartmouth Avenue address.

Bridge Way N

This street was created in 1930 as part of the ordinance establishing Aurora Avenue N and its approaches. Originally Wallingford Way, as it led from the north end of the Aurora Bridge to Stone Way N just south of N 40th Street, it was changed to Bridge Way in 1960. (A counterpart, Fremont Way, was also created, leading from the north end of the bridge to Fremont Avenue N at N 39th Street.)

Looking southwest down Bridge Way N from Stone Way N, January 1961. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, Identifier 66205

Utah Avenue S

Like Colorado Avenue S, this street was created in 1895 as part of the plat of Seattle’s tide lands. As I wrote in that post,

As Seattle expanded to the south, it became obvious that Commercial Street (1st Avenue S) would not be the westernmost street east of Elliott Bay. Fortunately, instead of using zero or negative numbers, they went with states: the first street west of 1st was named Utah, and the next, Colorado. (Some perpendicular streets were named Alaska, Vermont, Connecticut, Texas, Massachusetts, etc. There doesn’t appear to have been any particular order.)

Utah Avenue S begins at S Atlantic Street and goes 1⅐ miles south to S Hinds Street, the block between S Stacy Street and S Lander Street, in front of the Starbucks Center, being closed to motorized traffic. There is another short segment between Denver Avenue S and S Alaska Street, and a final one that stretches ⅓ of a mile from S Hudson Street to S Findlay Street.

Sears building, 1918
The most famous structure on Utah Avenue S was built between 1912 and 1915 as the West Coast catalog distribution center for Sears, Roebuck and Company. It was once the largest building west of the Mississippi River. This photograph was taken in May 1918.
Starbucks Center, 2016
A Sears retail store opened in the building in 1925. The distribution center closed in 1987; Starbucks made the building its world headquarters in 1997, and the retail store closed in 2014. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons user Coolceasar, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

High Point Drive SW

This street was named after High Point, originally developed by the Seattle Housing Authority in 1942 as defense housing and redeveloped in 2004 (see SW Bataan Street and Lanham Place SW for more history). I appear not to have mentioned in either of those posts why the development was so named — as one might guess, the city’s highest point (520 feet) is there, at the corner of 35th Avenue SW and SW Myrtle Street.

High Point Drive SW begins at 30th Avenue SW and SW Juneau Street and goes nearly ⅔ of a mile south to Sylvan Way SW and SW Holly Street.

High Point Community Center from 34th Avenue SW, April 2011. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons user Architectsea, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

Arboretum Drive E

This street in the Washington Park Arboretum was, like E Foster Island Road, originally unnamed. It received its current name in June 1957. The Arboretum itself was established in 1934 on the western half of a tract that had been logged by the Puget Mill Company; the eastern half became the gated Broadmoor neighborhood and golf course (see Broadmoor Drive E).

The street, which begins at Lake Washington Boulevard E opposite the Washington Park Playfield, goes nearly a mile north to E Foster Island Road just west of the north entrance to Broadmoor. All but the very northernmost portion, which leads to the Graham Visitors Center, has been closed to motorized traffic for over a decade.

Arboretum Drive E, October 2017. Photograph by Flickr user Steve Ginn (public domain).

Duwamish Avenue S

This street was created in 1895 as part of the Seattle Tide Lands plat. As I wrote in S Spokane Street, “Streets in this plat that were not extensions of already existing ones, such as Commercial Street, were named after letters of the alphabet, American cities, American states, prominent local politicians, and places in Washington”; these last included Chelan, Duwamish, Kitsap, Klickitat, Queets, Quilcene, Quileute, Quinault, Spokane, Vashon, Wenatchee, and Whatcom, the ones in italics still existing today. It seems strange to me that the Duwamish name would have been applied to such a short street, it being the name of Seattle’s principal river (dxwdəw) and indigenous inhabitants, the Duwamish Tribe (dxʷdəwʔabš), but there you have it. At least it still exists.

In “Elliott Way” just a placeholder name, I quote an email I wrote to the Seattle City Council and the Waterfront Seattle Program in December 2020 which read, in part, “I urge you… to name [Elliott Way] something else. The Duwamish people, for example, have Duwamish Avenue S named for them (actually more likely for the river…), but it is an insignificant street 2/10 of a mile long hidden under the Spokane Street Viaduct and the Alaskan Freeway. Perhaps Duwamish Avenue would be a better choice, if the tribe approved?” I still think this would be a good idea (and it would give us another naming opportunity as well). They did respond favorably, said they had been thinking along the same lines, and as of January 2022 “continue to coordinate with the tribes and other partners on a proposed name.” I hope they come up with something soon, as what is still being referred to as Elliott Way is due to open by year’s end!

As I mentioned in my email, Duwamish Avenue S is 2/10 of a mile long, beginning at E Marginal Way S and ending at a Port of Seattle road just south of the West Seattle and Spokane Street Bridges.

Portion of 1895 plat of Seattle Tide Lands showing Duwamish Avenue, as platted from Spokane Avenue (now Street) in the northwest to Seattle Boulevard in the southeast. The visible portion of Seattle Boulevard is now Diagonal Avenue S, Whatcom Avenue is now E Marginal Way S, and Grant Street is now Airport Way S.

Lincoln Park Way SW

This street was named for Lincoln Park, which occupies Williams Point in West Seattle. Originally called Williams Point Park in the Olmsted Brothers’ 1908 report to the city, the 135-acre park was intended to be named Fauntleroy Park. However, when it opened in 1922, it was decided to name it after President Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) instead, according to Seattle parks historian Don Sherwood. This required that Lincoln Beach, just to the north, be renamed Lowman Beach, and that Lincoln Park Playfield on Capitol Hill (named for the adjacent Lincoln Reservoir) be renamed Broadway Playfield. (Today, the entire tract is known as Cal Anderson Park, which contains the reservoir and the once-again-renamed Bobby Morris Playfield. A Fauntleroy Park was finally established in the early 1970s.)

Lincoln Park Way SW begins at Beach Drive SW and 48th Avenue SW and goes ¼ of a mile southeast to 47th Avenue SW between SW Myrtle Street and SW Othello Street. The park begins 500 feet to the south, at the corner of 47th Avenue SW and SW Fontanelle Street.

Aerial view of Lincoln Park
Aerial view of Lincoln Park from the southwest, August 15, 2010. The heated saltwater Colman Pool, which opened in 1941, is visible at Williams Point. Photograph by Flickr user J Brew, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Coniston Road NE

This street in Seattle’s Windermere neighborhood runs around 350 feet on either side of NE Windermere Road (so 700 feet total) just southeast of the neighborhood’s main entrance off Sand Point Way NE. It appears to have been named either after the Lake District village of Coniston, in the county of Cumbria, England, or Coniston Water, England’s fifth largest natural lake. Coniston is about 4⅔ miles west of Windermere, England’s largest natural lake, after which the neighborhood was named.

NE Penrith Road

This street in Seattle’s Windermere neighborhood runs just over ⅕ of a mile from Kenilworth Place NE in the west to NE Ambleside Road in the east. It appears to have been named after the Lake District town of Penrith, in the county of Cumbria, England. Penrith is about 18¾ miles northeast of Windermere, England’s largest natural lake, after which the neighborhood was named.

NE Keswick Drive

This street in Seattle’s Windermere neighborhood runs just over ⅓ of a mile from NE Windermere Road and Elleray Lane NE in the southwest to 64th Avenue NE in the northeast. It appears to have been named after the Lake District town of Keswick, in the county of Cumbria, England. Just north of Derwentwater, Keswick is about 13¾ miles northwest of Windermere, England’s largest natural lake, after which the neighborhood was named.

NE Ambleside Road

This street in Seattle’s Windermere neighborhood runs just under 900 feet from the private Windermere Park in the southwest to NE Windermere Road in the northeast. It appears to have been named after the town of Ambleside, in the county of Cumbria, England. As Wikipedia notes, Ambleside “marks the head (and sits on the east side of the northern headwater) of Windermere, England’s largest natural lake.”

Arapahoe Place W

This street was created in 1890 as part of the plat of the Bluff Park Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by Avery Parker of Arapahoe County, Colorado. Originally Arapahoe Avenue, it appears to have been named after that county, whose seat at the time was Denver. (The city was split off from the rest of the county in 1902.) Arapahoe County was itself named in 1861 for the Arapaho, a Native American people whose territory once included the area, but were subsequently forced onto reservations in Wyoming and Oklahoma.

Today, Arapahoe Place W begins at W Dravus Street and goes 450 feet north to just beyond W Prosper Street. It then resumes half a block north at W Bertona Street and goes ¼ mile north to W Emerson Street, along the south edge of Discovery Park.

Padilla Place S

This street was created in 1889 as part of the Commercial Street Steam Motor Addition to the City of Seattle. It appears to have been named for Padilla Bay, which lies between Guemes and Fidalgo Islands and the mainland and is about 60 miles northwest of Seattle, as S Orcas Street appears to honor Orcas Island and S Fidalgo Street, Fidalgo Island. Like Orcas Island, it was named after Juan Vicente de Güemes Padilla Horcasitas y Aguayo, 2nd Count of Revillagigedo, Viceroy of New Spain, who sent an expedition to explore the area in the early 1790s.

Padilla Place S begins at S Homer Street and goes two blocks southwest to S Fidalgo Street, crossing S Orcas Street on the way.

S Fidalgo Street

This street was created in 1889 as part of the Commercial Street Steam Motor Addition to the City of Seattle. It appears to have been named for Fidalgo Island in Skagit County, which is about 60 miles to the northwest, as S Orcas Street appears to honor Orcas Island and Padilla Place S, Padilla Bay. The island itself was named after Salvador Fidalgo y Lopegarcía, who explored the area for the Spanish in the early 1790s.

S Fidalgo Street begins at a shoreline street end on the Duwamish Waterway just west of Ohio Avenue S and goes 700 feet east to E Marginal Way S. It picks up again at 1st Avenue S and goes half a mile east, then southeast, to a dead end just east of Padilla Place S.

S Orcas Street

This street was created in 1889 as part of the Commercial Street Steam Motor Addition to the City of Seattle. It appears to have been named for Orcas Island, largest of the San Juan Islands, which is about 75 miles to the northwest, as S Fidalgo Street appears to honor Fidalgo Island and Padilla Place S, Padilla Bay. The island’s name, per Wikipedia, derives from that of “Juan Vicente de Güemes Padilla Horcasitas y Aguayo, 2nd Count of Revillagigedo, the Viceroy of New Spain who sent an exploration expedition under Francisco de Eliza to the Pacific Northwest in 1791.” Eliza named the surrounding area Horcasitas, but in 1847 the British, who maintained their claim on the San Juans until 1871, assigned a shortened version — Orcas — specifically to the island. (It is a coincidence that Orcas Island is an excellent location for watching orca whales; the two names are completely unrelated.)

S Orcas Street begins at E Marginal Way S and goes ¾ of a mile east, then southeast, to Corson Avenue S, where it becomes S Doris Street. It picks up again east of Interstate 5 at 15th Avenue S and goes three blocks east to 18th Avenue S. Its longest and final stretch begins just west of 20th Avenue S and goes 2¼ miles east to Lake Washington Boulevard S just west of Seward Park.

Intersection of S Orcas Street and Rainier Avenue S
Intersection of S Orcas Street and Rainier Avenue S, Columbia City, September 2008. Photograph by Flickr user Matthew Rutledge, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic

Seward Park Road

This road is named after Seward Park, which occupies all of Bailey Peninsula’s 300 acres, as envisioned by the Olmsted Brothers. The park itself was bought by the city in 1911 and named after William Henry Seward (1801–1872), who was governor of New York from 1839–1842, senator from New York from 1849–1861, and secretary of state under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson from 1861–1869. His negotiation of the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867 proved to be a major boon for Seattle, which nearly doubled its population between 1890 and 1900 due in no small part to the Klondike Gold Rush, and remains a gateway to Alaska to this day.

Seward Park Road begins at Lake Washington Boulevard S and S Juneau Street and winds for ⅓ of a mile into the park’s interior, where it becomes a ¾-mile-long loop. (It should not be confused with Shore Loop Road, which runs along the park’s perimeter on the Lake Washington shoreline and is not open to vehicle traffic. Like all park roads in Seattle, Seward Park Road carries no directional designation)

Article in June 11, 1911, Seattle Times on naming of Seward Park
Article in The Seattle Times on the naming of Seward Park, June 11, 1911. William Elder Bailey paid $26,000 to buy Bailey Peninsula in 1889 and the city began to consider it a potential park shortly thereafter. (It had previously been known as Graham Peninsula, after early settler David Graham, and Andrews Peninsula [though no one is sure who this Andrews might have been].) Bailey made it difficult for the city, finally offering to sell it for $430,000 in 1908, but the city ended up acquiring it for a more reasonable $322,000 in early 1911. Read more at HistoryLink.org and Friends of Seward Park.
Aerial view of Seward Park from the south
Aerial view of Seward Park from the south, circa 1965–1966. The Martha Washington School for Girls, (closed 1971, now Martha Washington Park) is in the foreground. Mercer Island and Lake Washington are in the background. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, Identifier 192974.
Sign at corner of Lake Washington Boulevard S, S Juneau Street, and Seward Park Road, January 7, 2012
Sign at corner of Lake Washington Boulevard S, S Juneau Street, and Seward Park Road, January 7, 2012. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2012 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

Cowen Place NE

This street was created as part of the 1906 plat of Cowen’s University Park, filed by the Sylvester-Cowen Investment Company, of which Charles Cowen (1869–1926) was president. Originally Ravenna Place, it received its current name in 1918, according to an article in the January 29 issue of The Seattle Times. (This article also reported that the names of the individual streets that made up Queen Anne Boulevard would be restored and that Oriental Avenue [counterpart of the still-existing Occidental Avenue S] would become Third Avenue S). Whether it honors Cowen or the park named after him, which he donated to the city in 1906, is unclear.

Article in September 22, 1917, issue of The Seattle Times on Charles Cowen and his bounty on German leaders during World War I
Article in September 22, 1917, issue of The Seattle Times on Charles Cowen and his bounty on German leaders during World War I

Cowen was born in England, moved with his family to South Africa, and came to the United States in 1890, arriving in Seattle in 1900. Dotty DeCoster writes for HistoryLink.org:

Cowen was, by many accounts, a lively and active participant in developing the University District. According to architectural historian Shirley L. Courtois, he was British and had grown up in South Africa, where his family members were diamond miners and merchants. In 1890 he was sent to New York to purchase equipment for the mines. He never returned to South Africa. He apparently broke with his family, changed his name from Cohen to Cowen, and settled first in New York State, then in Florida, and finally in Seattle. Cowen reportedly retained a distinctively English style throughout his life.

The facts that his surname was originally Cohen and that his family was involved in diamond mining in South Africa led me to think he must have been Jewish, but I could find no definitive mention of his ethnicity online. However, in the March 19, 1926, issue of The Seattle Times, I found an article on the probate of his will, which mentioned that $2,000 of his $50,000 estate would go to the Hebrew Benevolent Society (today known as Jewish Family Service). That makes Cowen and Henry Fuhrman (1844–1907) (Fuhrman Avenue E) the only Jews I am aware of who have Seattle streets named after them.

Cowen Place NE begins at NE Ravenna Boulevard and University Way NE and goes just over 325 feet northeast to 15th Avenue NE, at the south end of the Cowen Park Bridge.

Detail of Charles Cowen memorial at entrance to Cowen Park
Detail of Charles Cowen memorial at entrance to Cowen Park, June 1, 2009. “In memory of Charles Cowen who in 1906 gave to the city of Seattle the twelve acres comprising this park. ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2009 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.
Signs at corner of NE Ravenna Boulevard, University Way NE, and Cowen Place NE, August 24, 2009
Signs at corner of NE Ravenna Boulevard, University Way NE, and Cowen Place NE, August 24, 2009. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2009 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.