Chris Curtis Way

In March 2019, the block of University Way NE between NE 50th Street and NE 52nd Street was given the honorary name of Chris Curtis Way. This block is home to the weekly, year-round University District Farmers Market. Founded in 1993 by Chris Curtis and others, it was the first of what are now seven farmers markets spread across the city. As the city council resolution states, Curtis received this honor for, among other things,

…Organiz[ing] the first neighborhood farmers markets in Seattle devoted exclusively to local, small-scale family farms, which focus on good land stewardship and biodiversity and are essential components of a healthy environment, thriving local economy, and safe food system; and… help[ing] to preserve farmers’ livelihoods, revitalize neighborhoods, and support and strengthen Washington’s small family farm industry.

Curtis retired as executive director of the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance in 2018.

Chris Curtis Way sign, University Way NE, Seattle
Chris Curtis Way sign, University Way NE at NE 50th Street, February 6, 2024. Photograph by Zev Handel, Copyright © 2024 Zev Handel. All rights reserved.

Seattle Storm Way

This pedestrianized stretch of 2nd Avenue N on the Seattle Center campus was renamed in 2018 after the Seattle Storm WNBA team, themselves so named “because of the weather here and what the team plans to do in the league.” Founded in 2000, their home court is Climate Pledge Arena, located between Seattle Storm Way and 1st Avenue N along Lenny Wilkens Way (formerly the 100 block of Thomas Street)

Before the 1962 Century 21 Exposition that brought Seattle the Space Needle and Monorail, 2nd Avenue N (earlier Poplar Avenue) continued north to Mercer Street and up Queen Anne Hill. The stretch between Thomas and Mercer Streets would remain a public right-of-way after its pedestrianization for nearly 30 years until it was vacated in 1991 at the request of Seattle Center “for the purpose of security and event control.”

Seattle Storm Way begins at Lenny Wilkens Way and goes a block north to the old Harrison Street right-of-way; the walkway between there and Mercer Street remains unnamed.

Seattle Storm logo
Seattle Storm logo

Rutan Place SW

This West Seattle street was created in 1919 as part of the plat of Kirkwood, an Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by Isabell A. Kirkwood, née Rutan (1833–1926), widow of William W. Kirkwood (1835–1915).

Rutan Place SW goes around 350 feet south from SW Edmunds Street between 44th Avenue SW and 45th Avenue SW to a dead end just short of 45th, though the undeveloped right-of-way does continue to that street.

Wetmore Avenue S

This street originates in the 1890 plat of the Byron Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by Byron Andrew Young (1845–1926) and his wife, Jane Wetmore Young (1850–1925). It would seem to be named after his wife’s maiden name, she being one of the children of Seymour Wetmore (1828–1897). Whether or not it was named after her or her father (a real possibility, as we’ll see) is unknown. (If her, that puts it in the same category as S Kenny Street, Sturgus Avenue S, Perkins Lane WThorndyke Avenue W, and Keen Way N.)

Wetmore “founded Seattle’s first tannery and shoe making business in 1855” with Milton Daniel Woodin (1800–1869), who was the father of his wife, Ann Woodin Wetmore (1829–1886). (Woodinville, located northeast of Seattle along the Sammamish River, was named after the Woodin family.) He homesteaded land in Rainier Valley, which later became the subject of a lawsuit against him by all his children except Jane. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on September 17, 1892,

Seymour Wetmore is an old settler in this section, who took up a government claim of 160 acres of land, which lies across the present line of the Rainier avenue electric railway. With the growth of Seattle Wetmore, by the increase of the values of property, found himself quite a wealthy man.… After the death of his wife her share was divided among the seven children, each of whom received $5,500. The amount that the father has kept for himself is now valued at about $25,000.… Last July a petition was filed… asking for the appointment of a guardian for Seymour Wetmore, on the ground that he was an habitual drunkard and incapable of taking care of himself.… The eldest son… swore to the petition, which set out that the father was addicted to dangerous excess in the use of intoxicating liquors, and was in the habit of going around in the company of lewd women and squandering his money.… [Wetmore] admitted that he drank. He had always been a drinking man and always would be. But he indignantly denied the charges that he associated with lewd women. By his answers he intimated that the… proceedings were due to a desire on the part of the children to tie up his property so that they would be sure of it in case of his death.

Finally, in February 1895, the matter was settled, as the Post-Intelligencer reported on the 28th under the headline ‘Seymour Wetmore Will Be Free to Squander His Wealth — He only yearns to spend it’. The article first recapped the origin of the lawsuit:

He felt as rich as any of the lords of creation, and worked himself up to the intoxication of enjoyment by spending money for the sole pleasure of seeing it go. He went about, his pockets lined with $20 pieces. This sort of thing grew tiresome to his prospective heirs, who became desperate on learning that Wetmore had entered into a deal with Byron Young, of Tacoma, whereby the latter received, in return for a bauble, $8,000 in money and 50 lots in Byron addition.

Excerpt from Seattle Post-Intelligencer article on Seymour Wetmore's guardianship case
Excerpt from Seattle Post-Intelligencer article, from February 28, 1895, issue on Seymour Wetmore’s guardianship case, in which Wetmore argues for his right to do whatever he wants with his money, including destroying it

The case dragged on for a while, but, as it turns out,

Pending the decision of the supreme court the property involved had been transferred and retransferred again and again until an abstract of title would make a formidable document. In consequence the case of [Wetmore’s guardian] vs. Young was dismissed by stipulation in the equity department last Saturday. There is now nothing left to fight over, and the inevitable conclusion is that the aged ward will be found able to take care of himself.

Wetmore Avenue S begins at 30th Avenue S just south of S Hanford Street, crosses S Byron Street, and goes 800 feet southeast to S Walden Street. There is another short segment — around 150 feet long — south of S Estelle Street, which turns into a footpath of about equal length connecting to S Spokane Street.

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 Kenny Street

This street was created in 1903 as part of the plat of Hillman City Division № 5, filed by real estate developer Clarence Dayton Hillman (1870–1935) and his wife, Bessie Olive Kenny (1879–1947). Hillman also named the Renton neighborhood of Kennydale after his wife’s maiden name.

S Kenny Street begins on Beacon Hill at 21st Avenue S and goes two blocks east to 23rd Avenue S. It resumes in Hillman City at 42nd Avenue S and goes ¼ mile east to a dead end east of Rainier Avenue S. Its final segment, just under 400 feet long, lies west of 51st Avenue S and dead-ends at some private driveways.

C.D. Hillman, Bessie Kenny Hillman, and family
Bessie and C.D. Hillman and family, from a 1910 abstract of title for C.D. Hillman’s Birmingham Water Front Addition to the City of Everett
Bessie and C.D. Hillman
Bessie and C.D. Hillman and children, n.d., courtesy of his great-granddaughter

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 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.

S Corgiat Drive

This street was created in 1905 as part of the Corgiat Addition to Georgetown (then an independent town), filed by John Corgiat (1858–1936) and his wife, Caroline Genasci Corgiat (1866–1954).

Born Giovanni Domenicio Corgiat in Italy, John was a real estate investor who, according to his Seattle Times obituary, was also notable for “establish[ing] the Louvre Restaurant, the first French-Italian eating place in Seattle, in 1888.” (It was destroyed the next year in the Great Seattle Fire.) He was also apparently involved in a number of legal cases relating to the explusion of restaurateur John Cicoria from the Joseph Mazzini Society in 1907: not only the lawsuit demanding Cicoria’s reinstatement in the Italian-American fraternal organization, but one in which the society succeeded in making him pay its legal fees, and three libel suits — one which Cicoria won against Corgiat, and two which Corgiat filed against The Seattle Times and the Message-Vero-Italo-Americano with Cicoria as co-defendant in each. The suit against the Times was dismissed at Corgiat’s request; I haven’t been able to find any more information about the other.

John Corgiat, from his obituary in the Seattle Times, December 10, 1936
John Corgiat, from his obituary in the Seattle Times, December 10, 1936

Originally Corgiat Street, S Corgiat Drive begins at the railroad tracks just east of Airport Way S and goes 300 feet northeast to just past Ursula Place S, at which point it turns northwest and becomes S Corgiat Drive (not in the original plat). From there, it goes ⅖ of a mile to S Albro Place, just west of Interstate 5.

Sturgus Avenue S

This street was created in 1900 as part of the plat of the Orchard Hill Addition, filed by Martin Dean, Sarah J. Dean, Elizabeth H. Lewis, William H. Lewis, the W.C. Hill Brick Company, and the First National Bank of Seattle. According to Don Sherwood, it was named for John J. Sturgus, “realtor and agent of [the] W.C. Hill Estate” (Hill had died in 1890).

I do find mentions of a John J. Sturgus, associated with the Hill Company or the Hill Estate, in a number of Polk directories. However, it appears a Dr. John J. Sturgus (1859–1907) was also the brother of Hill’s wife, born Alice Bradley Sturgus (1847–1904).

Article in the (Washington, D.C.) Evening Star, September 9, 1890, on the death of W.C. Hill
Article in the (Washington, D.C.) Evening Star, September 9, 1890, on the death of W.C. Hill, mentioning Mrs. Hill’s mother (“Mrs. Sturgus”) and brother (Dr. John J. Sturgus).

Given the unlikelihood of two completely different John J. Sturguses being associated with the Hills, I’m going to assume that the physician and real estate man were one and the same, and that the street was given its name either because Dr. Sturgus was Hill’s brother-in-law or because Sturgus was his wife’s maiden name (or both). If the latter, that puts it in the same category as Perkins Lane W, Thorndyke Avenue W, and Keen Way N.

Today, Sturgus Avenue S begins at S Charles Street, just east of the Jose Rizal Bridge, and goes ½ a mile southeast, then south, to S State Street. The right-of-way continues a block further, to the S Grand Street right-of-way, but houses with addresses on that block are accessed by a private alley north of 16th Avenue S.

Keen Way N

This street originates in the 1924 plat of Winona Park, an Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by George Emerson Morford (1890–1946) and his wife, Gertrude Alice Keen Morford (1892–1954). According to Florence Helliesen of the Queen Anne Historical Society, George was president of the F.W. Keen Company, a real estate firm owned by his father-in-law, Frederick Walter Keen (1855–1929). The Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project writes:

Two real estate firms, F.W. Keen Company and J.L. Grandey, Inc., organized most of the racial restrictive covenants for Queen Anne from 1928 to 1931… specifying that “No person or persons of Asiatic, African or Negro blood, lineage, or extraction shall be permitted to occupy a portion of said property, or any building thereon; except domestic servants may actually and in good faith be employed by white occupants of such premises.”

In addition to being president of F.W. Keen, George Morford was vice president of J.L. Grandey.

Which Keen was honored by Keen Way N — Gertrude Alice Keen Morford, Frederick Walter Keen, or the F.W. Keen Company — isn’t clear; if it was for George Morford’s wife, that would put Keen Way in the same category as Perkins Lane W and Thorndyke Avenue W.

Keen Way N begins at Aurora Avenue N between W Green Lake Drive N and Winona Avenue N and goes ⅕ of a mile northeast to N 76th Street.

Frederick Walter Keen, from his Seattle Times obituary, August 14, 1929
Frederick Walter Keen, from his Seattle Times obituary, August 14, 1929. I was unable to locate a photograph of his daughter, Gertrude.

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.

S Delappe Place

This street originates in the 1908 plat of De Lappe’s Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by Emanuel Marcellus DeLappe (1854–1928) and his wife, Catherine E. McGeehan DeLappe (1856–1934). According to the North Rainier Valley Context Statement, “[he] was a saddler and harnessmaker who came to Seattle in about 1890”; in the September 1900 issue of The Leather Workers Journal, it was reported that he had recently been elected president of Branch № 66 of the United Brotherhood of Leatherworkers on Horse Goods.

S Delappe Place begins at the end of 27th Avenue S, south of S Horton Street, and goes around 175 feet west to a dead end at the Cheasty Boulevard greenspace.

Anthony Place S

This street originates in the 1907 plat of Cascade View Addition to the City of Seattle, King County, Washington. Originally Della Street, it appears to have been renamed for William Gordon Anthony and his wife, C. Nana Anthony, who filed the plat. William, who died June 8, 1925, at the age of 64, had been working in insurance and real estate since 1910, according to his obituary in the June 10 issue of The Seattle Times. In it, his wife’s name is given as Canana, not C. Nana, as the plat has it. (Curiously, her own death certificate [she died November 6 of the same year at the age of 57] gives her name as C. Nanny!)

Anthony Place S begins at 27th Avenue S just south of S Walden Street and S Della Street and goes less than 100 feet southwest before turning into a private driveway, which turns into an alley, which turns into another private driveway that connects to Cheasty Boulevard S. The undeveloped right-of-way continues southwest for another ⅐ of a mile.

Mayes Court S

This street was created in 1924 as part of Mayes’ Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by Wilbur Mayes (1871–1949); his wife, May H. Stutz Mayes (1870–1948); and George Moore. According to the reports of their deaths in The Seattle Times, on October 5, 1949, and October 14, 1948, respectively, the Mayeses were married in 1896 and lived in the Philippines, where Wilbur was a lumberman, from 1905 to 1912. They moved from the Philippines to Seattle, where he became an accountant. He apparently became a house repairman after retirement, and died after falling 15 feet from a University District neighbor’s roof.

Interestingly, it appears on the plat map as Mayes’ Court, with the apostrophe, but its official name lacks the punctuation, as do, I believe, all Seattle streets. (We have no streets named O’Brien, O’Reilly, O’Sullivan, or the like; I suppose an exception would have been made in such cases.)

Mayes Court S begins at S Carver Street and goes about 350 feet northwest to a cul-de-sac.

NW Culbertson Drive

This street was created in 1955 as part of the plat of Llandover-by-the-Sound, filed by (among others) Ralph Glossbrerer Culbertson (1886–1975), a developer, and his wife, Jane R. Effie Redding Culbertson (1884–1976). R.G., as he was known, appears to have earlier been in the storage and moving business, and had “an extensive acquaintance with eight [Canadian] provinces.”

NW Culbertson Drive begins at Hilltop Lane NW and goes ⅓ of a mile west to a dead end overlooking Puget Sound.