Naming Streets

A Homestead Headlines Article by Chuck Oldenburg

May, 2011

In 1889, the Tamalpais Land & Water Co. (TL&WC) began surveying the northern part of Rancho Sausalito for development. Map No. 1 Eastland, Millwood (1889) included several named streets bordering what is today the community of Homestead Valley: Richardson St. (now part of Montford Ave.); Molino Ave. (now part of Montford Ave. and Janes St.); Janes St. (now part of Molino Ave.); Edgewood Ave.; and Ethel Ave. Map No. 3 (1892) identified an area of Rancho Sausalito as Homestead Valley.

Part of the land area of today’s Homestead Valley was surveyed by A.D. Avery on Map No. 6 (1902) and Map No. 7 (1903). We can only guess at how TL&WC chose the names of the nine streets on these two maps. One criterion must have been not to offend potential buyers of the subdivision lots and blocks of land.

The road off Edgewood on the west end of the valley lead to Sequoia Valley (now Muir Woods) so Sequoia Valley Road was a given. The long road which went from the county road next to the railroad up along the south ridge to Sequoia Valley Road was shown unnamed on Map No. 3 (1892) in Homestead Valley. Why not Homestead Boulevard for this important road that was used by Portuguese dairy ranchers to transport milk to the railroad?

Prior to 1902, TL&WC had failed to honor John Reed with a street name on its maps of the Mill Valley area, even where he had been the original land owner. The street off Miller that runs along Reed Creek was named Reed St. The other street off Miller parallels Reed Creek for a much greater distance. With the long row of trees along Reed Creek in an otherwise barren landscape, Evergreen Ave. was a good choice. A tributary joining the Reed Creek from the south was bordered by redwoods and ferns. The road winding up this side valley was understandably named Ferndale. The road west off Ferndale followed the ridge all the way around the head of the valley to Edgewood— thus Ridgewood Ave. The long street (now in Almonte) on the south-east side of the ridge east of Homestead Valley was named Morning Sun Ave. —it receives lots of sun in the morning. Montford Ave. might have been named after Simon de Montford, born in Normandy in 1208 and known as the hero of English freedom. Does anyone have a better explanation?

Three streets were left unnamed. They are now named Melrose Ave., Hawthorne Ave. and Linden Lane although they had other names in the past. Other streets in Homestead Valley were named by subsequent developers of the blocks of land they purchased from TL&WC.

La Verne Ave. deserves more attention and is the subject of next month’s article.


If you have comments or questions about this article or other topics
pertaining to the history of Homestead Valley,
please feel free to e-mail Chuck Oldenburg.