Tillicum Road SW

This street, which was created as part of the unrecorded plat of R.B. Wark’s 2nd Addition, is named for the Chinook Jargon word tillikum, meaning ‘people’.

Entry for 'tilikum' in A Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon, Or, Trade Language of Oregon by George Gibbs, 1863
Entry for ‘tilikum’ in A Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon, Or, Trade Language of Oregon, by George Gibbs (published 1863)

Tillicum Road SW begins at 46th Avenue SW just south of SW Thistle Street and goes ¼ mile southeast to SW Donovan Street, with a short interruption between house numbers 8470 and 8471 on the northwest and 8487 and 8488 on the southeast where the public right-of-way seems to be blocked by a private fence, effectively converting the road on either side into private driveways.

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 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.”

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.

NW Carkeek Park Road

This street was named for Carkeek Park, which encompasses 216 acres in the Broadview neighborhood, including Pipers Creek and nearly ½ a mile of Puget Sound waterfront (though the usable beach is much shorter, as the main line of the BNSF Railway cuts off public access to the rest). It was one of the “46 new street names to simplify street addresses” The Seattle Times reported on in its issue November 6, 1960, and was made up of “Sixth Avenue Northwest from West 110th to West 111th Streets, West 111th Street from Sixth to Seventh Avenues Northwest, Seventh Avenue NW from West 111th to West 114th Streets, and West 114th Street from Seventh Avenue NW to West 116th Street.” (Part of this route was once Puget Drive, part of the 1911 View-Lands Addition.)

The park itself opened in 1929 and was named for Morgan James Carkeek (1847–1931) and his wife, Emily Gaskill Carkeek (1852–1926). According to the Museum of History & Industry, “Morgan… was an accomplished stonemason and successful building contractor who built several of Seattle’s early stone buildings, such as the Dexter Horton Bank, and large office buildings, including the Burke and Haller buildings.” In 1918, he and Emily donated land to the city for the first Carkeek Park, located along Lake Washington where Magnuson Park is today, but soon thereafter plans were made to develop Naval Air Station Seattle on the land, and the park was taken over by the Navy in 1926. The Carkeeks donated $25,000 to the city to purchase land elsewhere, and with the addition of $100,000 in public funds the city was able to buy Piper’s Canyon.

Report in The Seattle Times, May 28, 1927, on the Carkeeks' contribution of funds to buy Piper's Canyon
Report in The Seattle Times, May 28, 1927, on the Carkeeks’ contribution of funds to buy Piper’s Canyon. The Seattle Historical Society, which they had a hand in founding, never did build a museum in Carkeek Park, but ended up building the Museum of History & Industry in Montlake’s McCurdy Park instead. MOHAI opened in 1952 and moved to Lake Union Park in 2012 after having to make way for the expansion of Washington State Route 520.

NW Carkeek Park Road begins at NW 110th Street and Puget Drive NW and winds ½ a mile northwest to the entrance to Carkeek Park at NW 114th Street. Within the park, it goes a further ½ mile west, ending at a parking lot, picnic area, and playground. (This portion appears to have once been known as Piper’s Canyon Road or Pipers Road.) From here, there is a bridge over the BNSF Railway tracks to a beach along Puget Sound and the mouth of Pipers Creek.

Aerial view of Carkeek Park, 1969
Aerial view of Carkeek Park, looking southeast, July 9, 1969. The valley and outlet of Pipers Creek are clearly visible, as is the main line of the BNSF Railway that separates the park’s wooded and grassy areas from Puget Sound. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, Identifier 77628.

S Upland Road

This street was created in 1926 as part of the plat of The Uplands, so named for its location on a hill overlooking Seward Park. Designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm, it was advertised as “a highly restricted residential park” (see below, The Seattle Times, September 27, 1925). A separate advertisement that ran on September 30 of the same year spoke of the “protective restrictions by which the home sites are safeguarded,” and another one on October 9 described The Uplands as “a residential district so carefully planned and highly restricted the home owner may look into the future with full knowledge and assurance that his property will, for all time, be safeguarded and protected.”

Full-page ad for The Uplands in The Seattle Times, September 27, 1925
Full-page ad for The Uplands in The Seattle Times, September 27, 1925

Neither the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks nor the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project have found any evidence of racial restrictive covenants for The Uplands, though it’s marked in the latter’s database as “restrictions were advertised in newspapers and enforced by realtors, but deed records have not yet been found in partial search.” As the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks’ history of Seward Park notes,

…In 1960 a group of white neighbors, led by realtor John L. Scott, tried to prevent an African American physician and his family from moving in. The Civic Unity Committee (CUC) documented what happened. Dr. J.R. Henry ultimately moved his family in without disturbance that December, though Scott delivered a parting message saying Henry was “no gentleman” for refusing Scott’s offer (to buy him out).

You can learn more about the Henrys’ story in this article by KUOW’s Isolde Raftery.

Today, S Upload Road begins at Wilson Avenue S and goes 1,000 feet northeast to S Hawthorn Road.

Park Road NE

Like its twin, NE Park Road, this street originates in the 1923 Park Home Addition developed by William Wirt Beck. They are the home of Candy Cane Lane, which has been a local Christmas attraction since 1948.

Park Road NE begins as an extension of 21st Avenue NE at NE Ravenna Boulevard and goes around 100 feet north to NE Park Road at Park Home Circle.

NE Park Road

This street and its twin, Park Road NE, date to 1923, when William Wirt Beck developed the Park Home Addition between NE Ravenna Boulevard and Ravenna Park. They are best known for being the location of Candy Cane Lane, which has been a local Christmas attraction since the late 1940s. (The Park Road house of one Eugene Shostrom frequently appeared on The Seattle Times’ Christmas Tree Trail list before then, but it wasn’t until 1948 that the neighborhood as a whole participated — and won the award for best community display. [I wonder where that loving cup is today…])

Candy Cane Lane Season's Greetings sign, December 2013
Season’s Greetings from Candy Cane Lane sign, December 2013. Photograph by Flickr user Frank Fujimoto, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

NE Park Road begins at NE Ravenna Boulevard just west of Ravenna Avenue NE and goes around 350 feet first north, then west, to Park Road NE at Park Home Circle.

Park Home Addition Ad, The Seattle Times, April 30, 1923
Park Home Addition Ad, The Seattle Times, April 30, 1923

Sherman Road NW

This street was created in 1958 as part of Northshire, an Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by Sherman O. Jensen (1919–2002) and his wife, Dorothy (1920–2008), along with Jeannette D. Jackson and her husband, Paul J. Jackson.

Sherman Road NW begins at NW 137th Street and goes about 625 feet to the south, where it turns into Northshire Road NW.

Military Road S

In the late 1850s, the federal government began construction on a road connecting Fort Steilacoom in Pierce County to Fort Bellingham in Whatcom County. By the end of the decade, the military road had been finished (just in time for Fort Bellingham to close). The route it took through Seattle included what are now Beacon Avenue S, 1st Avenue, Dexter Avenue N, Westlake Avenue N, and Fremont Avenue N, among other streets. South of Seattle, much of the road still exists with its original name, but within the city limits, only a bit of Military Road S remains:

  • A 750-foot-long stretch between Beacon Avenue S at 27th Avenue S and Van Asselt Elementary School south of S Myrtle Street
  • A ½-mile-long stretch between S Othello Street just south of the school to the Union Pacific railroad tracks east of Airport Way S, just west of Interstate 5
Military Road on Beacon Hill, circa 1900, from https://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/digital/collection/imlsmohai/id/9883
Military Road passing through what may be the Comet Lodge Cemetery on Beacon Hill, circa 1900

Pend Oreille Road NE

Like most streets and walkways on the University of Washington campus, Pend Oreille Road NE is named after a Washington county — in this case, Pend Oreille County, which is located in the northeast corner of the state, bordering both Canada and Idaho.

It struck me as I was writing this post that I don’t know the history of how or when this decision was reached. I will look into this — if anyone has any insight, please let me know!

Pend Oreille Road NE is the east entrance to the university campus. It begins at 25th Avenue NE and NE 44th Street by University Village and goes ⅓ of a mile up the hill to E Stevens Way NE between Clark Hall, Communications Building, and Padelford Hall.

NE Windermere Road

This semicircular street in Seattle’s Windermere neighborhood runs just over a mile from Sand Point Way NE between NE 55th Street and NE 58th Street in the west to just north of NE 61st Street in the east, at the southern end of Magnuson Park. The street and neighborhood itself were named after Windermere, the largest lake in England.

Plat of Windermere, an Addition to the City of Seattle, 1937
Plat of Windermere, an Addition to the City of Seattle, 1937. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, Identifier 1628.

Windermere was developed in the late 1920s by Laurence James Colman (1859–1935) and his son, Kenneth Burwell Colman (1896–1982). Their J.M. Colman Company, founded by Laurence and his brother, George Arnot Colman (1861–1933), was named for Laurence and George’s father, James Murray Colman (1832–1906), namesake of Colman Dock and the Colman Building. (Colman Pool was established by Kenneth and named after Laurence.)

Unfortunately, as with far too many Seattle subdivisions, Windermere deeds came with racial restrictive covenants. The relevant part of this deed reads as follows:

Said property shall not be conveyed, sold, rented, or otherwise disposed of, in whole or in part, to, or be occupied by, any person or persons except of a white and Gentile race, except, however, in the case of a servant actually employed by the lawful owner or occupant thereof.

Notably, although membership in the Windermere Corporation does come with access to the private Windermere Park and Beach Club, all streets in the neighborhood are public — it is a gated community only in spirit.

Bay Terrace Road

To reach their homes, residents of Bay Terrace — east of Lawtonwood and west of Land’s End at the northern tip of Magnolia — must drive through Discovery Park. Within the park, their street (the narrow neighborhood only has one) is known as Bay Terrace Road, but changes to 42nd Avenue W north of the park boundary. Similarly to Lawtonwood Road, it does not appear to have been officially so designated until 2007, when ordinance 122503 was passed. Also similarly to Lawtonwood Road, it carries no directional designation, since it is a park boulevard.

Bay Terrace Road runs ¼ mile north from Lawtonwood Road just west of 40th Avenue W, and then becomes 42nd Avenue W, which continues on for another ⅕ of a mile to a viewpoint overlooking Shilshole Bay.

Sign for Bay Terrace Road, Discovery Park, October 30, 2011
Sign for Bay Terrace Road, Discovery Park, October 30, 2011. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2011 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

Lawtonwood Road

Lawtonwood Road is one of the many Magnolia streets, like W Government Way, W Fort Street, and W Lawton Street, related to Fort Lawton, which was opened by the U.S. Army in 1900 and is now Discovery Park. (The fort itself was named for Major General Henry Ware Lawton [1843–1899]). It runs ⅓ of a mile northwest from 40th Avenue W to the intersection of 45th Avenue W and W Cramer Street.

Street sign at the corner of Lawtonwood Road, W Lawton Street, and 40th Avenue W, October 30, 2011
Street sign at the corner of Lawtonwood Road, W Lawton Street, and 40th Avenue W. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff, October 30, 2011. Copyright © 2011 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

The neighborhood of Lawtonwood, or Lawton Wood — both spellings have been in use over the years — is perched atop Discovery Park north of W Cramer Street. Lawtonwood Road, which goes through the park, is the only way in or out. It would have been a natural part of Fort Lawton, and it certainly would have made a great addition to the park, but as local historian Paul Dorpat explains in his introduction to the neighborhood

Steady white settlement started in 1875 when German immigrant Christian Scheuerman moved to the area, cleared the timber and married a native woman who had ten children before she died in 1884. In 1895 Seattle boosters organized to attract a military post to the area and gathered the acreage that is now Fort Lawton–Discovery Park. The part of it that is now Lawton Wood… is not part of the military holding because Scheuerman withheld it.

It should not be thought that Scheuerman cared nothing at all for the defense of Seattle — he and his family did donate 26.13 acres to the cause — though that made up less than 4% of the 704.21 acres given in total. (The single largest contributors of land were Thomas W. Prosch and his wife, Virginia, who gave 330.97 acres, a full 47%.)

Dorpat continues:

Soon after the military moved in next door, this protected enclave was improved with mansions of a few of Seattle’s elite. In 1952 these neighbors — about 30 houses sparingly distributed about a generous 30 acres – organized the Lawton Wood Improvement Club, waving the motto “To Beautify and Develop Lawton Wood.” By the time that the last of the Scheuermans, Ruby, moved out in the late 1970s, the beautifying had turned more to developing, and the lots got smaller.

The first reference to Lawtonwood Road I was able to find in The Seattle Times or the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is from 1935, but it does not appear to have been officially so designated until 2007. According to ordinance 122503, park roads “are considered ‘private’” — technically residents of Lawtonwood and Bay Terrace had no legal right to transit the park to reach their homes, though of course they had never been prevented from doing so. To rectify this and other issues, and in anticipation of the privatization of the residences on Officers’ Row and Montana Circle, the ordinance made Lawtonwood Road, Bay Terrace Road, Utah Street, Washington Avenue, California Avenue, Iowa Street, Illinois Avenue, Texas Way, Idaho Avenue, and 45th Avenue W “public park boulevards.”

Note, by the way, that none of these streets except 45th Avenue W contain a directional designation. Ordinarily one would expect to see W Lawtonwood Road, or Lawtonwood Road W, but park roads in Seattle carry no directional designation. An exception seems to have been made for 45th Avenue W, presumably because a numbered avenue with no directional designation “belongs” in Madrona or Leschi, seven miles to the southeast.

Scheuerman Creek just east of 45th Avenue W in the Lawtonwood neighborhood. 45th Avenue W is part of Discovery Park, but the creek is on private property. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff, January 31, 2021. Copyright © 2021 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.
Scheuerman Creek just east of 45th Avenue W in the Lawtonwood neighborhood. As noted above, 45th Avenue W is part of Discovery Park, but the creek is on private property. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff, January 31, 2021. Copyright © 2021 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

Holman Road NW

Holman Road NW runs 1³⁄₁₀ miles from 15th Avenue NW just north of NW 87th Street to the intersection of Greenwood Avenue N and N 105th Street. For its last couple of blocks, it is Holman Road N. Work began on the diagonal street, then known as Holman Road № 1, in 1926 and was completed in 1929. (Holman Road № 2 is today known as Westminster Way N in Shoreline.)

The road’s namesake was Axel Holman (1867–1962), who according to various obituaries was born in Sweden and arrived in Seattle in 1886. A real estate agent and builder in later life, he, according to the July 4, 1962, issue of the Ballard News-Tribune, “built the Sunset Highway [and] helped to build the Milwaukee railroad through the Cascades” as a construction engineer. The March 10, 1947, issue of The Seattle Times reports that “against considerable opposition, Holman was instrumental in obtaining construction of Holman Road No. 1 and No. 2, near the northwest edge of Seattle, and he still has the loving cup presented to him in 1929 by the Ballard Commercial Club in recognition of that service,” and the July 2, 1962, issue of the same paper adds that he “owned a mine in Dawson City during the Gold Rush and in 1897 assisted in plotting the town-site of Skagway. He also laid the first wagon roadbed from Skagway through White Pass to the goldfields.”

Axel Holman, from March 10, 1947, issue of The Seattle Times
Axel Holman, from March 10, 1947, issue of The Seattle Times

E Foster Island Road

This street, which runs about ¼ mile from Lake Washington Boulevard E to the beginning of the Foster Point Trail, all within the Washington Park Arboretum, was without a name until 1968, when it was named for the island in Union Bay to which it led. (It remained unsigned until a few decades later, however. There was no sign at the intersection until at least the 1990s, as I know since my parents’ house was at the south end of the Arboretum and I drove or biked by there weekly, if not more often, while I was growing up.)

Foster Island is known by the Duwamish tribe, who once used it as a burial ground, as Stitici, or ‘little island’. It was named by the settlers for Joel Wellington Foster, who came to Washington in the 1870s from St. Joseph, Missouri. He is said to have donated the island to the city in one HistoryLink article, but another says the city bought it in 1917.

Webster Point Road NE

This very short street in the Laurelhurst neighborhod — just over 200 feet long — was created in 1962 as part of the Webster Point plat. Why it’s a road rather than a place, lane, or court, I’m not sure — roads in Seattle (of which there aren’t many) are usually longer, such as Windermere Road NE, Holman Road NW, and Military Road S. It has the distinction of the lowest-numbered address on a north–south street north of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, as far as I am aware — 3000.

The plat and road are named for Webster Point, at the very southern tip of the Laurelhurst peninsula, which itself was named for Henry A. Webster, who once owned the land. This Webster appears to have been the Indian agent for the Makah tribe at Neah Bay on the Olympic Peninsula.