Island Road History | Day RoadMay 22nd, 2013 by Tad Sooter
Street of the Week: Day Road
Location: Runs east/west between Manzanita Road and Sunrise Drive
History: This year marks Eugene Leonard Day’s 137th birthday on May 28. Born and raised in Michigan, Day was drawn to the water early; he and his brother would often take their sailboat out on Lake Michigan. Day was just 12 when he headed to eastern Washington where his family grew wheat near Coulee City.
Day arrived on Bainbrdige Island in 1904 and settled in the wilderness across from Wilkes School on the corner of what is now Day Road (hence the name) and Madison Avenue.
He married fellow islander Maybel Parker and together they had five children: Ernest, born in 1905; Alice, born in 1908; Doris, born 1911; Truman, born 1915; and Walter, born 1920.
To support his growing family, Day used all that Bainbridge Island had to offer. He grew strawberries, farmed a bit and operated a shingle mill. He cut cedar and hauled it to the Port Madison Mill. Later in life, he used masonry skills learned from his father to design and construct some of the area’s finest stonework structures.
In his spare time, Eugene built and maintained a conservatory on his family’s property. By the time of his death in 1969, he had more than 200 subtropical and tropical plants, many of which he’d grown himself. His groves included luscious pineapples and bananas — unlikely fare in deed for the Pacific Northwest!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.