List of San Francisco placename etymologies

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

PlaceNamesakeNotes
Alemany BoulevardJoseph Sadoc Alemany
Alvarado StreetJuan Bautista Alvarado
Ambrose Bierce AlleyAmbrose BierceFormerly Aldrich Alley, named for Mark Aldrich; renamed in 1988.
Anza StreetJuan Bautista de Anza
Arguello BoulevardJosé Darío Argüello
Ashbury StreetMunroe AshburyAshbury was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 1864 to 1870.[1]
Baker StreetEdward Dickinson Baker
Balance StreetStoreship 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 StreetVasco Núñez de Balboa
Bartlett StreetWashington Allon BartlettBartlett was the first alcalde (mayor) of San Francisco and is sometimes confused with Governor Washington Montgomery Bartlett, the city's twentieth mayor
Beale StreetEdward Fitzgerald Beale
Bernal HeightsJosé Cornelio BernalIn 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 BoulevardJosé Cornelio BernalSee Bernal Heights.
Bluxome StreetIsaac Bluxome, Jr.Bluxome led troops against the Hounds in 1849; he served as Secretary of the Vigilante Committees of 1851 and 1856.
Bonifacio StreetAndrés Bonifacio
Brannan StreetSamuel Brannan
Brenham PlaceCharles James Brenham
Broderick StreetDavid C. Broderick
Bryant StreetEdwin Bryant
Buchanan StreetJohn C. BuchananIt 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 AvenuePeter Burnett
Bush StreetJ.P. BushMay 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 StreetJuan Rodriguez Cabrillo
California StreetState of California
Capp StreetC.S. CappCapp 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 StreetJosé CastroA 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 StreetCésar ChávezUntil 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 StreetWilliam S. Clark
Cole StreetCornelius Cole
Coleman StreetWilliam T. Coleman
Colin P Kelly Junior StreetColin Kelly
Davidson StreetGeorge Davidson
Davis StreetWilliam Heath Davis
De Haro StreetFrancisco de HaroFirst alcalde (mayor) of Yerba Buena (now San Francisco)
Dirk Dirksen PlaceDirk DirksenFormerly Rowland Street (renamed in 2009)[6]
Divisadero StreetFrom the SpanishIn Spanish, divisadero means a point from which one can look far. The Spanish name for Lone Mountain was El Divisadero.[7]
Dolores StreetMission DoloresAlso named after the creek that used to run through the Mission, Arroyo de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, or "Our Lady of Sorrows Creek."
Duboce ParkVictor Donglain DuboceDuboce (1856–1900) was a member of the Board of Supervisors and a colonel in the Spanish-American War.[8]
Duboce StreetVictor Donglain DuboceSee Duboce Park (called Ridley Street prior to 1900).
Duncan StreetChapman DuncanDuncan was a Mormon acquaintance of John M. Horner, the founder of Noe Valley (as Horner's addition), who gave Duncan Street its name.
Eddy StreetWilliam M. EddyEddy was City Surveyor in 1850. He completed the survey of the city between Larkin and Ninth streets and the bay.[9]
Elizabeth StreetElizabeth HornerWife of John Meirs Horner, owner of Horner's Addition, the original name of Noe Valley.
Fallon PlaceThomas Fallon
Farnsworth LanePhilo Farnsworth
Fell StreetWilliam FellFell was a Danish immigrant who came to San Francisco in 1849. He was a merchant and member of the Society of California Pioneers.[10]
Fillmore StreetMillard Fillmore
Folsom StreetCaptain Joseph Folsom
Franklin StreetBenjamin Franklin
Fremont StreetJohn Charles Fremont
Fulton StreetRobert Fulton
Funston StreetFrederick Funston
Geary BoulevardJohn W. Geary
Glen ParkGlen Canyon Park
Gough StreetCharles H. GoughGough, a milkman, was one of three aldermen appointed in 1855 to lay out and name the streets of the Western Addition.[11]
Grant StreetUlysses S. GrantFormerly called Dupont Street for Samuel Francis Du Pont.
Green StreetTalbot H. GreenGreen (real name Paul Geddes, an embezzler) was a pioneer, city councilman, treasurer of the Society of California Pioneers, and mayoral candidate.[12]
Guerrero StreetFrancisco GuerreroFormer alcalde (mayor) of Yerba Buena (now San Francisco)
Haight StreetHenry Haight
Harrison StreetEdward H. Harrison
Hayes StreetRutherford B. Hayes
Howard StreetWilliam Davis Merry Howard
Hyde StreetGeorge HydeHyde was the mayor of San Francisco in 1847-1848.
Ingalls StreetRufus Ingalls
Islais CreekFrom a Salinan word, slay or islay, a type of wild cherry.
Irving Street
Jack Kerouac AlleyJack KerouacFormerly Adler Place (renamed in 1988)
Jack Micheline AlleyJack MichelineFormerly Pardee Alley (renamed in 2003)
Jackson StreetAndrew Jackson
Jefferson StreetThomas Jefferson
Jerrold AvenueDouglas William Jerrold
Jersey StreetNew JerseyNamed for the state where John Meirs Horner, owner of Horner's Addition, the original name of Noe Valley, was born.
John F. Shelley DriveJohn Shelley
John Muir DriveJohn Muir
Jones StreetElbert P. JonesJones was editor of the California Star and secretary of the town council.
Joost AvenueBehrend JoostJoost built the first electric railway going south from downtown San Francisco.
José Sarria CourtJosé SarriaAn honorary section of 16th Street in the Castro neighborhood, José Sarria was an early gay and transgender rights pioneer in San Francisco.
Juan Bautista CircleJuan Bautista de Anza
Judah StreetTheodore Judah
Junipero Serra BoulevardJunipero Serra
Justin Herman PlazaJustin HermanHerman headed the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency from 1960 to 1971.
Kearny StreetStephen W. KearnyThe street is not named for Denis Kearney.
Keyes AvenueErasmus D. Keyes
Kezar DriveMary KezarKezar donated $100,000 to the San Francisco Park Commission in 1922 and funded the construction of Kezar Stadium.
Kezar StadiumMary KezarSee Kezar Drive.
King StreetThomas Starr KingThomas Starr King was a minister credited with preventing California from becoming a separate republic during the Civil War.
Kirkham StreetGeneral Ralph W. KirkhamKirkham was a hero of the Mexican–American War.
Laguna StreetWasherwoman’s LagoonNamed for a lagoon located at the intersection of Greenwich and Gough Streets.[13]
Laguna Honda BoulevardLaguna honda means "deep lagoon" in Spanish.
Laguna Honda ReservoirLaguna Honda Reservoir
Lane StreetLevi Cooper Lane
Lapham WayRoger Lapham
Lapu Lapu StreetLapu-Lapu
Larkin StreetThomas Larkin
Laussat StreetPierre Clément de Laussat
Lawton StreetHenry Ware Lawton
Leavenworth StreetThaddeus M. LeavenworthLeavenworth was mayor from October 1848 to August 1849.
Le Conte AvenueJohn Le Conte
Lech Walesa StreetLech WałęsaFormerly part of Ivy Street; renamed in 1986.
Leese StreetJacob P. Leese
Leidesdorff StreetWilliam Leidesdorff(The part of the street between Pine and California was formerly called Pauper's Alley.)[14]
Lendrum StreetJohn LendrumLendrum was commander of the Presidio in 1858 and Fort Point in 1861.
Liggett AvenueHunter Liggett
Linares AvenueYgnacio Antonio LinaresLinares was a member of Juan Bautista de Anza's 1775–1776 expedition to Alta California.
Lincoln BoulevardAbraham Lincoln
Lincoln CourtAbraham Lincoln
Lincoln WayAbraham Lincoln
Lombard StreetLombard Street in PhiladelphiaAlso said to be named for Lombard banking.
Lyon StreetNathaniel Lyon
Mason StreetRichard Barnes Mason
McAllister StreetMatthew Hall McAllister
Montgomery StreetJohn B. Montgomery
Moraga StreetJosé Joaquín Moraga
Noe StreetJosé de Jesús NoéThe last Mexican alcalde (mayor) of Yerba Buena (now San Francisco)
Noriega StreetJosé de la Guerra y NoriegaGovernor of Alta California under Mexican rule
Octavia StreetOctavia GoughSister of Charles H. Gough for whom Gough Street is named. See Gough Street.[15]
O'Farrell StreetJasper O'Farrell
Ortega StreetJosé Francisco Ortega
O'Shaughnessy BoulevardMichael O'Shaughnessy
Otis StreetJames Otis
Pacheco StreetSalvio PachecoOwner of the Rancho Monte del Diablo in the East Bay.
Palou AvenueFrancisco Palóu
Peter Yorke WayPeter Yorke
Phelan AvenueJames D. Phelan
Pierce StreetFranklin Pierce
Polk StreetJames K. Polk
Portola AvenueGaspar de Portolà
Potrero AvenueFrom the Spanish potreroIn Spanish, potrero means "pasture." The Potrero comprised grazing land for common use.[16]
Powell StreetDr. William J. PowellPowell was a surgeon of the U. S. sloop of war Warren, which was active during the conquest of California.[17]
Reservoir StreetNamed 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.[18]
Rivera StreetFernando Rivera y MoncadaGovernor of Alta California under Mexican rule
Rizal StreetJosé Rizal
Rolph StreetJames Rolph
Sanchez StreetFrancisco Sanchez
Sansome StreetSansom Street in Philadelphia[19]
Scott StreetWinfield Scott
Selby StreetThomas Henry Selby
Shafter AvenueJames McMillan Shafter
Sheridan StreetGeneral Philip Henry Sheridan
Shotwell StreetJ.M. ShotwellShotwell was a cashier at Alsop & Co.’s Bank, secretary of the Merchant’s Exchange, and treasurer of the San Francisco Homestead Union.[20]
Shrader Street.A.J. ShraderShrader was a city supervisor from 1865 to 1873.
Sloat BoulevardCommodore John D. Sloat
Spear StreetNathan Spear
Stanyan StreetCharles H. StanyanStanyan was a city supervisor from 1866 to 1869.
Steiner StreetL. SteinerSteiner was a waterman (water deliverer).[21]
Steuart StreetWilliam Morris StewartBorn Stewart, changed his last name to Steuart upon arriving in San Francisco in 1850.
Stockton StreetRobert F. Stockton
Sutter StreetJohn Sutter
Taraval StreetSigismundo Taraval
Taylor StreetZachary Taylor
Terry A Francois BoulevardTerry Francois
Thomas AvenueGeneral George H. ThomasGeneral Thomas was stationed in the Presidio in 1869.
Tonquin StreetThe American merchant ship Tonquin
Townsend StreetDr. John TownsendTownsend was a physician in early San Francisco; he practiced in the city for 66 years.[22]
Treat AvenueGeorge TreatTreat (1819–1907) was an early farmer in the Mission District, businessman, abolitionist, and horse racing enthusiast.[23]
Turk StreetFrank Turk
Ulloa StreetAntonio de Ulloa
Valencia StreetCandelario ValenciaOwner of the Rancho Acalanes which is now Lafayette, California.
Vallejo StreetMariano Guadalupe Vallejo
Van Ness AvenueJames Van Ness
Via FerlinghettiLawrence FerlinghettiFormerly Price Row. Renamed in 1994.
Vicente StreetVicente Yáñez Pinzón
Waller StreetR.H. WallerWaller was the city recorder in 1851 and 1854.
Washington StreetGeorge Washington
Wawona StreetWawona, California
Webb StreetStephen Palfrey Webb
Woodward StreetRobert B. WoodwardWoodward was proprietor of Woodward's Gardens.[24]
Yorba StreetJosé Antonio Yorba
Zarick StreetDaniel Zarick

See Also[edit]

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. ^ Alexander, Jeanne [ http://friendsofdubocepark.org/about-us/history-of-duboce-park/ “History of Duboce Park.”] Friends of Duboce Park. (Retrieved 11-7-2014.)
  9. ^ Appendix B: Streets of San Francisco. San Francisco History. San Francisco Genealogy (web site). (Retrieved 4-7-13.)
  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: Street Names G-M. Virtual Museum of San Francisco. (Retrieved 4-25-13).
  12. ^ Rathmell, George (October 2009) “Green Street Excursion.” Nob Hill Gazette. (Retrieved 11-7-2014.)
  13. ^ Carlisle, Henry C. (1954) Early San Francisco History from Street Names: Miscellaneous Street Names. Virtual Museum of San Francisco. (Retrieved 4-25-13).
  14. ^ Kamaya, Gary (August 1, 2014) "1856 vigilantes changed corrupt political system." San Francisco Chronicle. (Retrieved 8-3-2014.)
  15. ^ Carlisle, Henry C. (1954) Early San Francisco History from Street Names: Street Names N-Z. Virtual Museum of San Francisco. (Retrieved 4-25-13).
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Carlisle, Henry C. (1954) Early San Francisco History from Street Names: Street Names N-Z. Virtual Museum of San Francisco. (Retrieved 4-25-13).
  18. ^ Kamiya, Gary (August 2014) "Hidden Waters." San Francisco Magazine. Page 78.
  19. ^ Carlisle, Henry C. (1954) Early San Francisco History from Street Names: Miscellaneous Street Names. Virtual Museum of San Francisco. (Retrieved 4-25-13).
  20. ^ Appendix B: Streets of San Francisco. San Francisco History. San Francisco Genealogy (web site). (Retrieved 4-7-13.)
  21. ^ Carlisle, Henry C. (1954) Early San Francisco History from Street Names: Street Names N-Z. Virtual Museum of San Francisco. (Retrieved 4-25-13).
  22. ^ San Francisco Street Names. (Retrieved 4-10-2013.)
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ Hartlaub, Peter (October 30, 2012) “Woodward's Gardens comes to life in book.” SFGate. (Retrieved 11-7-2014.)

References[edit]