Etymologies of place names in San Francisco

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a list of place name etymologies in San Francisco, California.

Place Namesake Notes
Alemany Boulevard Joseph Sadoc Alemany
Alvarado Street Juan Bautista Alvarado
Ambrose Bierce Alley Ambrose Bierce Formerly Aldrich Alley, named for Mark Aldrich; renamed in 1988.
Anza Street Juan Bautista de Anza
Arguello Boulevard José Darío Argüello
Ashbury Street Munroe Ashbury Ashbury was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 1864 to 1870.[1]
Baker Street Edward Dickinson Baker
Balance Street Storeship called "The Balance" The Balance was captured during the war of 1812 and arrived in San Francisco in 1849 where she served as a storeship docked at the intersection of Front and Jackson. She was broken apart and buried at the end of Pacific Wharf which is now Balance Street[2]
Balboa Street Vasco Núñez de Balboa
Bartlett Street Washington Allon Bartlett Bartlett was the first alcalde (mayor) of San Francisco and is sometimes confused with Governor Washington Montgomery Bartlett, the city's twentieth mayor
Beale Street Edward Fitzgerald Beale
Bernal Heights José Cornelio Bernal In 1839, José Cornelio Bernal (1796–1842) was given a land grant to Rancho Rincon de las Salinas y Potrero Viejo, part of which comprised present-day Bernal Heights.
Bernal Heights Boulevard José Cornelio Bernal See Bernal Heights.
Bluxome Street Isaac Bluxome, Jr. Bluxome led troops against the Hounds in 1849; he served as Secretary of the Vigilante Committees of 1851 and 1856.
Bonifacio Street Andrés Bonifacio
Brannan Street Samuel Brannan
Brenham Place Charles James Brenham
Broderick Street David C. Broderick
Bryant Street Edwin Bryant
Buchanan Street John C. Buchanan It had been assumed that Buchanan Street was named after James Buchanan, the President of the United States who took office in March 1857. However, an 1856 map was found to have also included the street name. It is probable then that the street was actually named for the local pioneer John C. Buchanan.
Burnett Avenue Peter Burnett
Bush Street J.P. Bush May have been named after a cabin boy who was an assistant to city mapper, Jasper O'Farrell. Briefly became "Obama Street" by vandals on the day of the inauguration of President Barack Obama.[3]
Cabrillo Street Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo
California Street State of California
Capp Street C.S. Capp Capp was secretary of the San Francisco Homestead Union, the first homestead association in San Francisco. The street runs through the lands of the association.[4]
Castro Street José Castro A Californio leader of Mexican opposition to U.S. rule in California in the 19th century, and alcalde (mayor) of Alta California from 1835-1836.
Cesar Chavez Street César Chávez Until 1995, it was named "Army Street." (It was so named because it terminated at the Army Pier in the Bay. Twenty-Sixth Street was formerly called Navy Sreet because it terminated at the Navy Pier.)[5]
Clark Street William S. Clark
Cole Street Cornelius Cole
Coleman Street William T. Coleman
Colin P Kelly Junior Street Colin Kelly
Davidson Street George Davidson
Davis Street William Heath Davis
De Haro Street Francisco de Haro First alcalde (mayor) of Yerba Buena (now San Francisco)
Dirk Dirksen Place Dirk Dirksen Formerly Rowland Street (renamed in 2009)[6]
Divisadero Street From the Spanish In Spanish, divisadero means a point from which one can look far. The Spanish name for Lone Mountain was El Divisadero.[7]
Dolores Street Mission Dolores Also named after the creek that used to run through the Mission, Arroyo de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, or "Our Lady of Sorrows Creek."
Duncan Street Chapman Duncan Duncan was a Mormon acquaintance of John M. Horner, the founder of Noe Valley (as Horner's addition), who gave Duncan Street its name.
Eddy Street William M. Eddy Eddy was City Surveyor in 1850. He completed the survey of the city between Larkin and Ninth streets and the bay.[8]
Elizabeth Street Elizabeth Horner Wife of John Meirs Horner, owner of Horner's Addition, the original name of Noe Valley.
Fallon Place Thomas Fallon
Fell Street William Fell Fell was a Danish immigrant who came to San Francisco in 1849. He was a merchant and member of the Society of California Pioneers.[9]
Fillmore Street Millard Fillmore
Folsom Street Captain Joseph Folsom
Franklin Street Benjamin Franklin
Fremont Street John Charles Fremont
Fulton Street Robert Fulton
Funston Street Frederick Funston
Geary Boulevard John W. Geary
Glen Park Glen Canyon Park
Gough Street Charles H. Gough Gough, a milkman, was one of three aldermen appointed in 1855 to lay out and name the streets of the Western Addition.[10]
Grant Street Ulysses S. Grant Formerly called Dupont Street for Samuel Francis Du Pont.
Guerrero Street Francisco Guerrero Former alcalde (mayor) of Yerba Buena (now San Francisco)
Haight Street Henry Haight
Harrison Street Edward H. Harrison
Hayes Street Rutherford B. Hayes
Howard Street William Davis Merry Howard
Hyde Street George Hyde Hyde was the mayor of San Francisco in 1847-1848.
Ingalls Street Rufus Ingalls
Islais Creek From a Salinan word, slay or islay, a type of wild cherry.
Irving Street
Jack Kerouac Alley Jack Kerouac Formerly Adler Place (renamed in 1988)
Jack Micheline Alley Jack Micheline Formerly Pardee Alley (renamed in 2003)
Jackson Street Andrew Jackson
Jefferson Street Thomas Jefferson
Jerrold Avenue Douglas William Jerrold
Jersey Street New Jersey Named for the state where John Meirs Horner, owner of Horner's Addition, the original name of Noe Valley, was born.
John F. Shelley Drive John Shelley
John Muir Drive John Muir
Jones Street Elbert P. Jones Jones was editor of the California Star and secretary of the town council.
Joost Avenue Behrend Joost Joost built the first electric railway going south from downtown San Francisco.
José Sarria Court José Sarria An honorary section of 16th Street in the Castro neighborhood, José Sarria was an early gay and transgender rights pioneer in San Francisco.
Juan Bautista Circle Juan Bautista de Anza
Judah Street Theodore Judah
Junipero Serra Boulevard Junipero Serra
Justin Herman Plaza Justin Herman Herman headed the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency from 1960 to 1971.
Kearny Street Stephen W. Kearny The street is not named for Denis Kearney.
Keyes Avenue Erasmus D. Keyes
Kezar Drive Mary Kezar Kezar donated $100,000 to the San Francisco Park Commission in 1922 and funded the construction of Kezar Stadium.
Kezar Stadium Mary Kezar See Kezar Drive.
King Street Thomas Starr King Thomas Starr King was a minister credited with preventing California from becoming a separate republic during the Civil War.
Kirkham Street General Ralph W. Kirkham Kirkham was a hero of the Mexican–American War.
Laguna Street Washerwoman’s Lagoon Named for a lagoon located at the intersection of Greenwich and Gough Streets.[11]
Laguna Honda Boulevard Laguna honda means "deep lagoon" in Spanish.
Laguna Honda Reservoir Laguna Honda Reservoir
Lane Street Levi Cooper Lane
Lapham Way Roger Lapham
Lapu Lapu Street Lapu-Lapu
Larkin Street Thomas Larkin
Laussat Street Pierre Clément de Laussat
Lawton Street Henry Ware Lawton
Leavenworth Street Thaddeus M. Leavenworth Leavenworth was mayor from October 1848 to August 1849.
Le Conte Avenue John Le Conte
Lech Walesa Street Lech Wałęsa Formerly part of Ivy Street; renamed in 1986.
Leese Street Jacob P. Leese
Leidesdorff Street William Leidesdorff
Lendrum Street John Lendrum Lendrum was commander of the Presidio in 1858 and Fort Point in 1861.
Liggett Avenue Hunter Liggett
Linares Avenue Ygnacio Antonio Linares Linares was a member of Juan Bautista de Anza's 1775–1776 expedition to Alta California.
Lincoln Boulevard Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln Court Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln Way Abraham Lincoln
Lombard Street Lombard Street in Philadelphia Also said to be named for Lombard banking.
Lyon Street Nathaniel Lyon
Mason Street Richard Barnes Mason
McAllister Street Matthew Hall McAllister
Montgomery Street John B. Montgomery
Moraga Street José Joaquín Moraga
Noe Street José de Jesús Noé The last Mexican alcalde (mayor) of Yerba Buena (now San Francisco)
Noriega Street José de la Guerra y Noriega Governor of Alta California under Mexican rule
Octavia Street Octavia Gough Sister of Charles H. Gough for whom Gough Street is named. See Gough Street.[12]
O'Farrell Street Jasper O'Farrell
Ortega Street José Francisco Ortega
O'Shaughnessy Boulevard Michael O'Shaughnessy
Otis Street James Otis
Pacheco Street Salvio Pacheco Owner of the Rancho Monte del Diablo in the East Bay.
Palou Avenue Francisco Palóu
Peter Yorke Way Peter Yorke
Phelan Avenue James D. Phelan
Pierce Street Franklin Pierce
Polk Street James K. Polk
Portola Avenue Gaspar de Portolà
Potrero Avenue From the Spanish potrero In Spanish, potrero means "pasture." The Potrero comprised grazing land for common use.[13]
Powell Street Dr. William J. Powell Powell was a surgeon of the U. S. sloop of war Warren, which was active during the conquest of California.[14]
Reservoir Street Named for a reservoir formerly located at Church and Market Streets, the location of Reservoir Street. Water for the reservoir came from a spring behind Sutro Reservoir, the headwaters of Laguna Honda.[15]
Rivera Street Fernando Rivera y Moncada Governor of Alta California under Mexican rule
Rizal Street José Rizal
Rolph Street James Rolph
Sanchez Street Francisco Sanchez
Sansome Street Sansom Street in Philadelphia[16]
Scott Street Winfield Scott
Selby Street Thomas Henry Selby
Shafter Avenue James McMillan Shafter
Sheridan Street General Philip Henry Sheridan
Shotwell Street J.M. Shotwell Shotwell was a cashier at Alsop & Co.’s Bank, secretary of the Merchant’s Exchange, and treasurer of the San Francisco Homestead Union.[17]
Shrader Street. A.J. Shrader Shrader was a city supervisor from 1865 to 1873.
Sloat Boulevard Commodore John D. Sloat
Spear Street Nathan Spear
Stanyan Street Charles H. Stanyan Stanyan was a city supervisor from 1866 to 1869.
Steiner Street L. Steiner Steiner was a waterman (water deliverer).[18]
Steuart Street William Morris Stewart Born Stewart, changed his last name to Steuart upon arriving in San Francisco in 1850.
Stockton Street Robert F. Stockton
Sutter Street John Sutter
Taraval Street Sigismundo Taraval
Taylor Street Zachary Taylor
Terry A Francois Boulevard Terry Francois
Thomas Avenue General George H. Thomas General Thomas was stationed in the Presidio in 1869.
Tonquin Street The American merchant ship Tonquin
Townsend Street Dr. John Townsend Townsend was a physician in early San Francisco; he practiced in the city for 66 years.[19]
Treat Street George Treat Treat (1819–1907) was an early farmer in the Mission District, businessman, abolitionist, and horse racing enthusiast.[20]
Turk Street Frank Turk
Ulloa Street Antonio de Ulloa
Valencia Street Candelario Valencia Owner of the Rancho Acalanes which is now Lafayette, California.
Vallejo Street Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo
Van Ness Avenue James Van Ness
Via Ferlinghetti Lawrence Ferlinghetti Formerly Price Row. Renamed in 1994.
Vicente Street Vicente Yáñez Pinzón
Waller Street R.H. Waller Waller was the city recorder in 1851 and 1854.
Washington Street George Washington
Wawona Street Wawona, California
Webb Street Stephen Palfrey Webb
Yorba Street José Antonio Yorba
Zarick Street Daniel Zarick

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Loewenstein, Louis (1984), Streets of San Francisco: The Origins of Street & Place Names, San Francisco: Lexikos, p. 5, ISBN 0-938530-27-5 
  2. ^ Reminiscences, San Francisco: The Daily Alta California, 5 June 1882, p. 1 
  3. ^ Will Reisman (January 21, 2009). "Obama signs temporarily replace Bush signs". The San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  4. ^ Appendix B: Streets of San Francisco. San Francisco History. San Francisco Genealogy (web site). (Retrieved 4-7-13.)
  5. ^ Phillip Matier; Andrew Ross (23 January 1995). "San Francisco May Pay Dearly For Renaming Army Street". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  6. ^ Eskenazi, Joe (July 30, 2009) "White Smoke for Pope of Punk -- Dirk Dirksen Place Is a Reality." SF Weekly. (Retrieved 11-25-2012.)
  7. ^ Appendix B: Streets of San Francisco. San Francisco History. San Francisco Genealogy (web site). (Retrieved 4-7-13.)
  8. ^ Appendix B: Streets of San Francisco. San Francisco History. San Francisco Genealogy (web site). (Retrieved 4-7-13.)
  9. ^ Carlisle, Henry C. (1954) Early San Francisco History from Street Names: Street Names G-M. Virtual Museum of San Francisco. (Retrieved 4-25-13).
  10. ^ Carlisle, Henry C. (1954) Early San Francisco History from Street Names: Street Names G-M. Virtual Museum of San Francisco. (Retrieved 4-25-13).
  11. ^ Carlisle, Henry C. (1954) Early San Francisco History from Street Names: Miscellaneous Street Names. Virtual Museum of San Francisco. (Retrieved 4-25-13).
  12. ^ Carlisle, Henry C. (1954) Early San Francisco History from Street Names: Street Names N-Z. Virtual Museum of San Francisco. (Retrieved 4-25-13).
  13. ^ Sharpsteen, William C. (June 1941) "Appendix B: Notes on Mission Bay and the Marshes and Creeks of the Potreros and the Bernal Rancho." The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco. From the California Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. XXI, No. 2.
  14. ^ Carlisle, Henry C. (1954) Early San Francisco History from Street Names: Street Names N-Z. Virtual Museum of San Francisco. (Retrieved 4-25-13).
  15. ^ Kamiya, Gary (August 2014) "Hidden Waters." San Francisco Magazine. Page 78.
  16. ^ Carlisle, Henry C. (1954) Early San Francisco History from Street Names: Miscellaneous Street Names. Virtual Museum of San Francisco. (Retrieved 4-25-13).
  17. ^ Appendix B: Streets of San Francisco. San Francisco History. San Francisco Genealogy (web site). (Retrieved 4-7-13.)
  18. ^ Carlisle, Henry C. (1954) Early San Francisco History from Street Names: Street Names N-Z. Virtual Museum of San Francisco. (Retrieved 4-25-13).
  19. ^ San Francisco Street Names. (Retrieved 4-10-2013.)
  20. ^ Sharpsteen, William C. (June 1941) "Appendix B: Notes on Mission Bay and the Marshes and Creeks of the Potreros and the Bernal Rancho." The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco. From the California Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. XXI, No. 2.

References[edit]