Island Road History | Cosgrove Street

Street of the Week: Cosgrove Street

Location: Runs north-south between Wyatt Way and Shepard Drive.

History: John Cosgrove lived on the Sound for two decades until evenutally meeting his end thanks to a bunch of bananas. When he arrived in 1858, Cosgrove claimed a plot near Port Madison and began working at the local mill. Eventually, he sold the claim to the mill’s owner. His price: the steamer Mary Woodruff.

Now a captain, Cosgrove set sail. Known as “Humbolt Jack,” he lived with a Native American woman and their children.

One day Cosgrove visited a Port Blakely blacksmith shop carrying a bunch of bananas. He wanted to hang the fruit from the ceiling to ripen. While standing on a chair, Cosgrove lost his footing and fell to the floor.

The local paper later reported the captain shouted such things as “Get up steam” before murmering his last words: “I’m going.”

Sources: “Port Madison, Washington Territory, 1854-1889,” Fredi Perry. Perry Publishing, Bremerton, 1989.

This occasional Islander series explores the history of island street names, as compiled by Elinor Ringland and fellow Bainbridge Island Historical Society volunteers. If you have an island road story to share, email Ringland at elinorjoe@msn.com.