Continuing the story we began in Hubbell Place, we take up W McLaren Street in Magnolia, which runs about 950 feet from Perkins Lane W in the west to 43rd Avenue W and W Ruffner Street in the east.
As was previously mentioned, the ordinance establishing Hubbell Place “accept[s] a deed of conveyance from George S. McLaren, et ux, and Helen Moore Hubbell” for the land. Who was this McLaren, and was he the namesake of W McLaren Street?
George S. McLaren appears to have been on the finance committee of the 1909 Alaska–Yukon–Pacific Exposition, and Clarence Bagley’s History of Seattle from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time notes that he was among the founders of Seattle’s Nile Shrine Temple in 1908. He is mentioned in the press as being an investment manager for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, a founder of the Lake Chelan Land Company, and a representative of the Milwaukee Road in purchasing tideland real estate. And in February 1906, he was apparently one of the local businessmen who proclaimed, in the words of The Seattle Star, that “Something Will Be Done to Lift From the Shoulders of This City the Burden Placed There by the Sunset Telephone Co.,” and managed to get 2,000 similarly minded “long-suffering contributors to the yawning coffers of the Sunset concern” to assemble at the Grand Opera House to determine how best to “[remedy] the existing evil.”
In short, he does appear to have been, as The Hood River Glacier described him on August 10, 1911, “one of the leading business men of Seattle,” whose death “of ptomaine poisoning caused by eating canned mushrooms at a dinner at Tacoma” must have come as a great shock to the community.
As for W McLaren Street? It’s part of the Magnolia Heights subdivision, which was platted in 1907.
I thought it possible that George S. McLaren and W McLaren Street were related, but couldn’t be certain — nothing appeared in historical newspapers to definitively link the two. Then I looked him up in AncestryLibrary.com, which Seattle Public Library cardholders can access for free. And there it was! His probate records from 1911 contained an inventory of his assets, and among them were a “note of Magnolia Heights Co. for $333.33, dated September 5, 1907” and a “note of Parry Investment Co., for $155.64, dated July 17, 1907.” (Incidentally, both were valued at nil, though his total assets amounted to $367,228.76, or about $9.5 million in today’s money.)
As you can see in the newspaper advertisement above, the Parry Investment Company marketed lots in Magnolia Heights, which was platted by the Magnolia Heights Company. I’m willing on that basis to say that George McLaren’s name lives on in W McLaren Street.
Born and raised in Seattle, Benjamin Donguk Lukoff had his interest in local history kindled at the age of six, when his father bought him settler granddaughter Sophie Frye Bass’s Pig-Tail Days in Old Seattle at the gift shop of the Museum of History and Industry. He studied English, Russian, and linguistics at the University of Washington, and went on to earn his master’s in English linguistics from University College London. His book of rephotography, Seattle Then and Now, was published in 2010. An updated version came out in 2015.