Fauntlee Crest SW

This street was created in 1955 as 43rd Avenue SW in the plat of Fauntlee Hills Division № 5. It received its current name in 1959. “Faunt” is an obvious reference to the greater Fauntleroy neighborhood, and Fauntlee Hills was developed on the western slope of the hill that rose up from Fauntleroy Cove, but I’m not sure where “lee” comes from. (I was thinking, perhaps, from “leeward,” but prevailing winds in Seattle are from the southwest, meaning this is the windward, not leeward, side of the hill. Perhaps Arthur C. Webb, the developer, simply thought it sounded euphonious.)

Like its neighbor Vashon View SW (which was originally named Fauntlee Place SW!), this appears to be the only crest in the city. (The USPS abbreviates these as CRST, while its Seattle street sign abbreviation is Cr.)

Fauntlee Crest SW begins at SW Concord Street and California Avenue SW and goes ¼ mile north to a dead end.

Fauntlee Hills Ad in the November 1, 1953, Seattle Times
Advertisement for Fauntlee Hills in the November 1, 1953, issue of The Seattle Times

Seola Beach Drive SW

According to Seattle parks historian Don Sherwood’s sheet on Seola Park, this street began as a logging railroad. It was then replaced by the Charles Arey county road (“recently surveyed,” according to an article in the August 26, 1893, Seattle Post-Intelligencer), which was renamed Qualheim Road in 1914 by Carl Olsen Qualheim. It received its current name in 1956 when that portion of Arbor Heights was annexed to Seattle. “Seola” itself was the product of a naming contest:

In 1893, a family named Kakeldy built the first home on the beach.… Before long, children in the vicinity school referred to residents of Kakeldy Beach as the “Cackilty Chickens.”… In 1910 the beach residents sponsored a renaming contest which was won by Mel Miller, friend of the school’s teacher of Spanish, Agnes Quigley; his suggestion: “Se-ola = to know the wave.”

Seola Beach Drive SW begins at SW 106th Street between 28th Avenue SW and 31st Avenue SW and goes ⅞ of a mile south, then southwest, to a dead end at the beach, just past SW Seola Lane.

For its entire length, Seola Beach Drive SW forms the southern city limits of Seattle, separating it from Burien and unincorporated King County (White Center). (Unlike the northern city limits, formed by 145th Street, Seattle’s southern city limits are jagged. If they went due east from Seola Beach, Seattle would encompass large portions of Burien, Tukwila, and Renton; whereas if they followed a parallel set at the city limits’ northernmost point, everything south of Kenyon Street [approximately the north end of the South Park Bridge] would be lost to Seattle.)

Sign reading Privately Owned Beaches, No Public Access at Seola Beach
Seola Beach, April 8, 2011. Unfortunately, this is not a case where a street was platted into the water, creating a shoreline street end; the right-of-way explicitly ends at the fence, and this portion of the beach belongs to the property owners to the south. Photograph by Flickr user NabeWise, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

SW Niesz Court

This street was created as part of the 1889 plat of West Seattle Park and named after West Seattle developer and Seattle city councilman Uriah Roush Niesz (1849–1929). According to Images of America: West Seattle,

…In what is now the Admiral District, the now familiar moniker “West Seattle” was first used by Uriah Niesz when developing five-acre homesites in 1885.

Born in Canton, Ohio, Niesz arrived in Seattle in 1883, was elected to the city council in 1887, and was instrumental in the rebuilding of the city after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. According to Clarence Bagley in his History of Seattle from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time,

[He took] a prominent part in the replatting and upbuilding of the city. He with other members of the council had mapped out the whole plan some time previous to the fire, which made it possible to accomplish their purpose.… As a member of the council Mr. Niesz was made chairman of the judiciary, finance and harbor and wharves committees and the last named took up the whole burden of replatting the business and shipping section of the city.… Herculean as was the task of this committee in bringing order out of chaos in this part of the city; in opening the way for land and water traffic to meet at a minimum cost of transshipment; in providing facilities for a marvelous growth in the business of a future great city; in short in giving the city a new birth, yet this great task paled into insignificance compared with the responsibilities resting upon the finance committee, of which Mr. Niesz was also chairman.

I find that contemporary biographies of pioneers tend to read like hagiographies, but in this case I think Niesz’s entire biography is worth a read.

SW Niesz Court begins at 50th Avenue SW just south of the College Street Ravine and goes two blocks east to 48th Avenue SW.

Benton Place SW

This street was named by and for Miles P. Benton (1860-1913) and his wife, Ida Belle Rinker Benton (1860-1919), when they filed the plat of Benton’s “Shore Acres” Addition to Alki Point in 1906.

In History of Seattle from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Clarence Bagley writes that Benton, who was born in Iowa and came to Seattle in 1890 from Montana,

…spent many years with different railroad companies. For a time he was connected with the Great Northern and later he became general passenger and freight agent for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad at Seattle. The last few years of his life were spent in connection with the safe and lock trade. He was associated with the Norris Safe & Lock Company… Later Mr. Norris took over the safe and lock company and Mr. Benton the desk department of the business, after which he was joined by Edward Herald in a partnership that was continued under the name of the Benton-Herald Desk & Safe Company until [his death].

Miles P. Benton
Miles P. Benton, 1906. Artwork by Edwin Frederick Brotze.

SW Benton Place begins at Beach Drive SW across from Constellation Park and goes just shy of 300 feet north to a dead end next to one of King County’s combined sewer overflow treatment facilities.

SW Teig Place

According to Phillip H. Hoffman, director of the Alki History Project, in his paper “What’s in a Name?,” SW Teig Place was created in 1916 as part of the Olson Land Company’s 3rd Addition to Seattle. At the time, Jacob Larson Teig (1865–1945) was vice president of Olson Land. He was also the husband of Clara Isabelle Olson (1864–1944), daughter of Knud Olson (1830–1919), who had platted Alki Point in 1891.

SW Teig Place begins at 57th Avenue SW just north of SW Stevens Street and goes around 450 feet northeast to 56th Avenue SW just north of SW Lander Place.

SW Wilton Court

As Phillip H. Hoffman, director of the Alki History Project, tells us in his article “What’s in a Name?,” this street was named after Benjamin Wilton Baker (1860–1934), husband of Julia Curry Williams (1861–1950) and father of Marguerite Baker (1890–?), after whom SW Marguerite Court is named. The Bakers were proprietors of Rose Lodge, a summer resort which once stood where the eastern portion of SW Wilton Court is now.

Benjamin Wilton Baker, 1901
Benjamin Wilton Baker, from the November 30, 1901, issue of The Seattle Times
Rose Lodge circa 1913
Rose Lodge and tents from beach, 1913

SW Wilton Court begins at SW Hinds Street across the street from the Bar-S Playground, and goes just over 700 feet southeast to 63rd Avenue SW between Beach Drive SW and SW Marguerite Court. It is a private right-of-way between 64th Avenue SW and 63rd Avenue SW.

SW Marguerite Court

This street, which is part of the unrecorded plat of B.W. Baker’s Rose Lodge Addition, was named after Marguerite Baker (1890–?), eldest daughter of Benjamin Wilton Baker (1860–1934) and Julia Curry Williams (1861–1950). The Bakers were proprietors of Rose Lodge, a summer resort which once stood where the subdivision is now.

The public right-of-way is a footpath that runs just over 300 feet from 63rd Avenue SW in the southeast to 64th Avenue SW in the northwest. Vehicular access to the homes is from a public alley to the north and a private one to the south.

SW Campbell Place

This street was created in 1914 as part of the plat of Admiralty Heights, filed by William T. Campbell (1870–1951); his wife, Jennie Bennett Campbell (1874–1948); and Arthur L. Stewart. According to Phillip H. Hoffman, director of the Alki History Project, in his paper “What’s in a Name?,”

W.T. Campbell was a long-time West Seattle resident living on the hillside above Alki. He was an early advocate for Alki annexation to the City of West Seattle, a real estate developer, early West Seattle school principal, banker, and a member of the Seattle City Council beginning 1924. He would serve as a city councilmember until 1929.

W.T. Campbell
W.T. Campbell, from the October 11, 1933, issue of The Seattle Times

SW Campbell Place begins at SW Lander Street a block west of SW Admiral Way and goes just over 550 feet southwest to 56th Avenue SW at the north edge of Schmitz Park.

Frater Avenue SW

I first came across the Alki History Project while doing research for my article on SW Bronson Way. I’m not sure how I missed it before. The paper that mentioned Ira Bronson was “If at First You Don’t Succeed…,” a fascinating history of municipal governance and elections in West Seattle, and when I looked at their list of other papers I was thrilled to see among them “What’s in a Name?” — an investigation of Alki street names, both current and those changed long ago. Frater Avenue SW is the first of a number of posts in which I will be citing this paper, written by Phillip H. Hoffman, director of the project.

Frater Avenue SW originates in the 1955 plat of Anderson’s Soundview Terrace Addition № 2. Why Anderson, Caple, or Knowlton weren’t chosen instead for the honor (this being the only new street in the small subdivision, and those being the surnames of the three couples who filed the plat) isn’t clear. But, as Hoffman notes, SW Frater Street and SW Frater Place (both of which have since been vacated) were just to the west in the adjacent plat. In addition, an earlier Frater Avenue SW had existed, until it was vacated in 1942, just southeast of where today’s Frater Avenue begins at SW Spokane Street. The current Frater Avenue must have been named after one of these three streets.

But, of course, that leaves the question of who those three streets initially honored, and according to Hoffman,

Frater Avenue first appears in the plat Partition of Crawford Tract as ordered in King County Superior Court, Cause № 64110, June 17, 1915. [A.W.] Frater was the presiding judge.… The court commissioners assisting in the adjudication of a land title and ownership dispute before Judge Frater that resulted in the Crawford Tract plat probably named Frater Avenue in 1915, along with all the other streets appearing in the plat.

Archibald Wanless Frater (1856–1925), according to Cornelius Holgate in Seattle and Environs, was born in Ohio and came to Washington in 1888. Initially settling in Tacoma, he moved to Snohomish the next year and came to Seattle in 1898.

Archibald Wanless Frater
Judge Archibald Wanless Frater, from the front cover of The Seattle Mail & Herald, June 3, 1905

Today’s Frater Avenue SW begins at 57th Avenue SW just north of SW Hinds Street and goes ⅛ of a mile southeast to SW Spokane Street just west of 56th Avenue SW.

SW Bronson Way

This West Seattle street was created in 1900 as part of the Replat of the West Seattle Land & Improvement Co’s. Third Plat. Originally Beach Way, it was renamed Bronson Way in 1907, when Seattle annexed West Seattle. Given that Ira Hull Bronson (1868–1930) was attorney for and vice president of the WSL&IC, it seems a fair assumption that it was named for him.

Ira Bronson, from his June 17, 1930, obituary in The Seattle Times
Ira Bronson, from his June 17, 1930, obituary in The Seattle Times. He had died the day before.

Bronson, a former president of the American Bar Association, was described in the June 18, 1930, issue of The Seattle Times as a “pioneer Seattle attorney and leader in admiralty circles… [who] was one of the founders of the Inland Navigation Company, which later became the Puget Sound Navigation Company.” (The PSNC’s domestic ferry routes were bought by the state in 1951, forming Washington State Ferries, and most of its Canadian routes became part of the new BC Ferries system in 1961. The firm, now known as the Black Ball Ferry Line, now runs one boat, the MV Coho, between Port Angeles and Victoria. Through a series of mergers, Bronson’s law firm is now Stoel Rives.)

Though the right-of-way begins further inland, SW Bronson Way only physically exists between Harbor Avenue SW and Elliott Bay. About 180 feet long, it is nearly 90 feet wide (quite a length-to-width ratio!) and essentially serves as a public parking lot. It is a shoreline street end, platted into the water, and features an unobstructed view of the city across the bay.

Ferry Avenue SW

This street, created in 1888 as part of the First Plat of West Seattle by the West Seattle Land and Improvement Company, was originally named Grand Avenue. It was renamed, along with many other West Seattle streets, in 1907, when West Seattle was annexed by Seattle. The name was a reference to the WSL&IC ferry terminal at what is today Harbor Avenue SW at California Way SW. The West Seattle Water Taxi has been operating from the same location since 1997.

Today, Ferry Avenue SW begins at California Way SW and goes about ³⁄₇ of a mile southwest to just past California Avenue SW, at California Place park (built on the site of a former streetcar terminal; before that, a cable car ran up the Ferry Avenue right-of-way from Elliott Bay to this location). It resumes on the other side of the park at SW Hill Street and goes a further 600 feet southwest to SW Walker Street.

Marginal Place SW

This street, created in 1919 by Ordinance 39638, is named for W Marginal Way SW. It begins there and goes just under 800 feet northwest to a dead end underneath the West Seattle Bridge. The Duwamish Trail continues on from there to the West Seattle Bridge Trail, while the 18th Avenue SW stairway heads south up the hill to SW Charlestown Street in Pigeon Point.

SW City View Street

This street was created in 1905 as part of the Steel Works Addition to West Seattle by Albert C. Phillips. Originally Cityview Street, it formed a trio with Grandview Street and Bayview Street, which are today SW Hinds Street and SW Spokane Street, and was named for its view of Seattle, to the northwest across Elliott Bay.

SW City View Street begins at 35th Avenue SW as a driveway and foot path which becomes a paved street just before 34th Avenue SW and extends just beyond, about 325 feet in all. The right-of-way continues through a greenbelt, and the road picks up at again at SW Admiral Way, where it goes 500 feet east to end at 30th Avenue SW.

SW Maryland Place

This short West Seattle street was created along with Elm Place SW as part of the 1888 First Plat of West Seattle by the West Seattle Land and Improvement Company. Originally Courtland Street, it became joined to Maryland Street when the latter was created as part of the 1895 Seattle Tide Lands plat. When West Seattle was annexed to Seattle in 1907, both were renamed Maryland Place.

(The tideland streets in West Seattle were, with a few exceptions, named after states: Illinois, [New] Hampshire, Arkansas, [New] Jersey, Rhode Island, [New] Mexico, Maryland, Louisiana, Georgia, [North and South] Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Oregon, [North and South] Dakota, and Idaho. Of the ones confined to West Seattle, only Maryland remains [Florida, Oregon, Dakota, and Idaho also, or only, appear east of the West Duwamish Waterway].)

Today, SW Maryland Place begins at Elm Place SW and goes around 130 feet northeast to Harbor Avenue SW.

The West Seattle Stone Cottage, corner of SW Maryland Place and Harbor Avenue SW, December 31, 2020
The Stone Cottage, corner of SW Maryland Place and Harbor Avenue SW, December 31, 2020. The campaign to save the building succeeded, and it was moved into storage on August 18, 2021. Photograph by Flickr user Mark Ahlness, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Vashon View SW

This cul-de-sac, which goes just about 375 feet northwest from SW Donovan Street between 41st Avenue SW and 42nd Avenue SW, was created as part of the Robert E. Thomas Addition in 1959. Its original name was Fauntlee Place SW, but this was changed in 1963, presumably to avoid confusion with the nearby Fauntlee Crest SW. (No confusion was anticipated with the nearby Vashon Place SW, it seems.) Like Vashon Place, it is named after Vashon Island, located 4 miles to the southwest, across Puget Sound. The island itself was named for Royal Navy Admiral James Vashon by his friend, Royal Navy Captain George Vancouver, in 1792.

Unlike Vashon Place SW, Vashon View SW actually has a view of Vashon Island, though not the one you see below!

(While there are plenty of streets, avenues, and places, and not a few drives, roads, and boulevards in Seattle, this is the only view in the city. [You may be interested in seeing the United States Postal Service’s list of recognized street types and abbreviations, in which view is VW.])

Aerial view of Vashon Island from the northwest
Aerial view of Vashon and Maury Islands from the northwest. Photograph by Flickr user Travis, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic

Elm Place SW

This short West Seattle street was created as part of the 1888 First Plat of West Seattle by the West Seattle Land and Improvement Company. Originally Elm Street, it had companions in Oak, Maple, and Laurel Streets, none of which survive.

Elm Place SW begins at SW California Place and goes 300 feet southeast to SW Maryland Place, paralleling Harbor Avenue SW just over 100 feet to its northeast.

Wickstrom Place SW

This street is named for Peter Wickstrom (1837–1915), who immigrated to the United States from Sweden in the late 1860s. According to Thomas Ostenson Stine’s Scandinavians on the Pacific, Puget Sound, he lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Portland, Oregon, before coming to Seattle. His obituary, which ran in The Seattle Times on January 15, 1915, the day after his death, reads in part:

Peter Wickstrom, well-known pioneer of Seattle and an extensive realty holder, died unexpectedly yesterday afternoon after leaving the dinner table at his residence near Alki Point.… The deceased made his home at “The Old Homestead,” a tract of land not far from Alki Point.… Wickstrom came to this city in 1873 and conducted a hotel prior to the fire of 1889. Subsequent to that time he had not engaged actively in business.

Peter Wickstrom, from his Seattle Times obituary, January 15, 1915
Peter Wickstrom, from his Seattle Times obituary

Wickstrom Place SW begins at 54th Place SW just south of Alki Avenue SW and goes around 500 feet south to a dead end.

Boyd Place SW

This West Seattle street was created in 1920 as part of Sarah M. Boyd’s First Addition to the City of Seattle. I believe Sarah Maria Loudenback Boyd (1853–1932) to be the Sarah M. Boyd in question here.

Boyd Place SW begins at 59th Avenue SW and SW Charlestown Street and goes around 425 feet southeast to Chilberg Place SW and Aikins Avenue SW.

Chilberg Avenue SW

This West Seattle street was created in 1889 as part of Chilberg’s Addition to West Seattle, filed by Swedish immigrants Nelson Chilberg (1840–1928) and his wife, Matilda Charlotta Schanstrom Chilberg (1846–1927). The Chilbergs started out as farmers and grocers before developing real estate interests.

Chilberg Avenue SW begins at 59th Avenue SW and SW Carroll Street and goes ⅕ of a mile southeast to SW Genessee Street just east of Beach Drive SW at the Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook and Me-Kwa-Mooks Park.

Clarmar Place SW

This West Seattle street is really more of a footpath, being narrow, unpaved, and closed to motor vehicles. The public right-of-way runs about 450 feet northwest from Bonair Drive SW as it descends through the Duwamish Head Greenbelt from Sunset Avenue SW to Alki Avenue SW, and the path continues for some 1,150 feet more through property owned by the parks department.

Clarmar Place SW was created in 1941 as part of the plat of Clarmar Crags, which name appears to be a combination of Clara Coumbe (died 1975?), landowner, and mar, for its location above Elliott Bay and Puget Sound.