Tuesday Trivia

Ever given a thought to street names in a housing subdivision?? There may be genealogy clues hiding there in plain sight.

Take this Oswald street sign. It’s my understanding that the developer can name the streets most anything he wants and he often picks name suitable to the history and goings-on in the community.

In 1912, Ethel and John Peter Oswald bought land west of Spokane and raised a family of five children there. A grandson still owns the original house….. which is one mile from where this sign was erected. Do the folks living along Oswald Street ever give a thought to where the name originates?

My daughter lived in Pullman on Itani Street. She was told that was the developer’s mother-in-law’s name.

3 comments on “Tuesday Trivia

  1. Charles Hansen says:

    That was correct in Spokane till 1910, you could name all the streets in your development any way you wanted. In 1910 the city decided that was not working out as a street could have 4 or 5 different names before it reached the city limits, so in 1910 they started standardizing street names and finished in 1911. Fun part was the changes were being made as the census was being collected, so you can find people living next door to each other with a different street name on the census

  2. Patty Olsen says:

    There’s an Olsen St in Pullman running parallel to the river. It was named by the Surveyor of the city between 1974- 1978.

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