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Archive for the ‘Island Road History’ Category

Island Road History | Day Road

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Street of the WeekDay 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 elinorjoe@msn.com.


Island Road History | Ravine Lane

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Street of the Week: Ravine Lane 

Location: Runs north/south off Winslow Way, just west of Highway 305

History: Winslow was once a city divided but not because of any rift between its citizens. The city literally had a line running through it thanks to a deep gulch that split the town in two. 

On the west side stood the church, the school, the grocery store and steamer dock. On the east, the butcher, baker and barber.  Needless to say, running errands in early Winslow took a good deal of strategic planning.

Near the shipyard stood the Winslow Hotel. In 1904, two sisters, Margaret Bradley and Katherine Clements, became the new proprietors. 

The pair remodeled the hotel and added a washroom where the shipyard workers could clean up from work before sitting down to a hot meal. Most ate there whether or not they also called the hotel home.

Then in 1924 the hotel burned to the ground. It was never rebuilt. But if it had been, the hotel would stand directly across the street from the present day police station located at the intersection of Winslow Way and Highway 305.

As Winslow continued to grow and prosper, the residents realized something had to be done about their city’s physical divide so a wooden bridge was built across the gulch, offering at least temporary relief to the problem. 

Today, the ravine is hardly noticable alongside the wide streets of Winslow. Located to the east of Ericksen Avenue under Winslow Way, it no longer hinders the people of Bainbridge from enjoying their city.

Source: “A History of Bainbridge Island.” Katy Warner, 1968, page 41-43.

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.


Island Road History | Lytle Road

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Street of the Week:  Lytle Road

Location: Runs north/south from Pleasant Beach Drive, south of Baker Hill

History: There once was a beer-drinking monkey named Mike. The beloved pet and local celebrity lived at Lytle’s Saloon in Pleasant Beach where many a visitor bought him a round just to see a monkey enjoy a beer at the bar.

Saloon owner and monkey owner Billy Lytle was a character, too. Often smartly dressed in a fashionable derby hat and garters, Lytle was known as a friendly, witty businessman who understood the financial benefits of keeping a monkey on a chain in a bar.

Lytle and his wife Mamie also owned a parrot, a gift from a visiting seagoing captain. Though unlike his fellow animal counterpart, the parrot didn’t indulge in the saloon’s alchoholic beverages, his salty language always kept things lively at the Lytle’s establishment.

The animal Lytles weren’t the only ones with reputations. Mamie was a small woman known for abbreviating everyone’s names and for frequently prefacing most of what she said with “wait ’til I tell you.” Mamie’s favorite exclamation of all, however, was supposedly “Oh Jesus, Mary and Joseph.”

She had good reason to call upon the sacred trio one morning when she awoke to the maniac cackling of the chickens she kept outside her and Billy’s home near the saloon.

Upon looking out on the coop, Mamie saw chickens running around no, not with their heads cut off but almost as upset. It seemed Mike the Monkey had found his way to the Lytle home and taken an interest in the flock. He was now in the coop, chasing the frenzied fowls around and pulling off their feathers.

“Bill, come quick!” Mamie was said to have yelled upon seeing the monkey-chicken war being waged in her yard. “Wait ’til I tell you what Mike did to the chickens!”

Billy, upon seeing the commotion, likely laughed at the antics his furry barkeep had gotten up to that morning. The monkey always cheered him up with its foolish tricks.

And when Kitsap County went dry and Lytle’s Saloon closed, Bill could have used a laugh. The couple fell on to hard times with Bill taking work in the taxing business, meeting ferries at Port Blakely to find fares.

As for Mamie, she outlived her husband by many years. In the twilight of her life, she sold her home and moved to a small cottage not far from the site of their  once merry saloon. Let’s hope she still had Mike the monkey and that colorful parrot to keep her company.

Source: “A History of Bainbridge Island.” Katy Warner, 1968, page 83.

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.


Island Road History | Gideon Lane

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Street of the Week: Gideon Lane

Location: Runs east/west off Grow Avenue, just north of Wyatt Way

History: The Gideons come from pioneering stock. Hailing from Germany, the first offshoots of the family to push west landed in Minnesota before packing up again and heading for the Pacific.

Charlie was the first to land on the West Coast but was soon followed by his younger brother Josiah. The family relocated to Seattle in 1902 and eventually made a home on Bainbridge Island where Josiah worked at the shipyard until his death in 1920. His wife Margaret continued to live on Bainbridge; she was instrumental in the first island library, school and newspaper.

Josiah and Margaret’s son Kenneth also called Bainbridge home and constructed the cabin that still stands on the edge of Gideon Park.

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.


Island Road History | Kono Lane

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Street of the Week: Kono Lane

Location: Runs east/west off Tani Creek Road near Blakely Harbor

History: When a representative of the Japanese Consulate arrived in Port Blakely to oversee the local mill and its large base of Japanese workers, he was shocked at what he found.

Crammed together in bunkhouses, working 10-hour days with minimum pay and then gambling the night away, most of the employees were not, the consulate reported, “honest workers.”

It was up to mill boss Hanjiro Kono to set things straight. Kono stopped the rampant gambling and freeloading. By the time he was done, many workers had left to be replaced by Japanese farmers and their families. To encourage the new arrivals to put down roots, the mill set aside land for the families to live on rent-free in homes built from donated lumber.

By 1903, the area had hundreds of residents, as well as bathhouses, barbershops, churches, a restaurant and even a hotel owned by none other than mill boss Hanjiro Kono.

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.


Island Road History | Falk Road

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Street of the Week: Falk Road

Location: Runs north/south between Manitou Beach Road and Valley Road

History: Imagine traveling across the country with a seven-month-old. That’s just what Dona Falk and his wife did in 1876. The young family settled on a 155-acre claim in the Rolling Bay area along Murden Cove.

The Falk family were the first white settlers to call the Manitou Beach area home.

Like many early pioneers on Bainbridge Island, the Falks made their living as farmers. Come harvest, Dona would carry his produce into town using a neck yoke.

When Dona died he left each of his eight children a parcel of the family’s land: eight acres for each of the five boys and five acres for each of the three girls. Some Falks still live on that same land today.

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.


Island Road History | Shepard Way

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Location: Runs east/west between Weaver Road and John Adams Lane. A middle section of Shepard Way is now a walking path.

History: “The man who knows the most about the insides of Bainbridge Island.” That was how the Seattle Times referred to island doctor Frank L. Shepard in an article published in the early 1960s.

Educated at Northwester University and Seattle General Hospital, Dr. Shepard was originally from Fargo, North Dakota. He and wife Charlotte McEown moved to Bainbridge Island in November 1911.

A couple months after they arrived, Dr. Shepard, assisted by his wife, delivered his first baby on Bainbridge. By the time he retired from medicine more than four decades later, Dr. Shepard would deliver nearly 2,000 more bouncing baby Washingtonians. (more…)


Island Road History | Grow Avenue

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Street of the Week: Grow Avenue

Location: Runs north/south between Winslow Way and High School Road

History: Grasshoppers drove Ambrose Grow to Bainbridge Island. Grow, a Civil War veteran, left his home of Kansas after reading a New York newspaper article about “beautiful Bainbridge Island.” (The article was supposedly written by Riley Haskinson, an early settler of Eagle Harbor.) The Northwest locale, Grow hoped, would mean fewer bugs to contend with every year.

In 1881, Grow and his wife Amanda moved west with six of their children (older sons Frank and W.M. joined their parents later). The family started the long journey with a wagon train but ran into difficulties as their traveling money ran out. Eventually though the Grows made it safely to the shores of Bainbridge where they played a prominant role in the island’s early history.

Among other contributions, the Madrone School was built on land donated by Grow; his youngest daughter, Carrie, was the school’s first teacher.

The family patriarch died in 1909, at the ripe old age of 84 leaving behind a whole new crop of Grows.

Source: “Bainbridge Through Bifocals,” Elsie Frankland Marriott, 1941.

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.


Island Road History | Boulder Place

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Street of the Week: Boulder Place

Location: Runs east/west off Rockaway Bluff Road

History: Excavators met a rocky start when constructing roads in this part of Bainbridge Island back in 1996.

As the native woodlands were upturned, rocks of all shapes and sizes slowed down construction, but it was one particular boulder that required reinforcements be called in.

A mammoth bulldozer arrived on the scene to move the troublesome rock. For 600 feet, the machine pushed and it shoved, it revved and it rolled until finally that burden of a boulder came to a stop at the entrance of the street.

Now the rock rests like nature’s own gatekeeper, inspiring the street’s name and offering a handy landmark for all to navigate by.

Sources: Bill and Karen Meyer.

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.


Island Road History | Ericksen Avenue

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Street of the Week: Ericksen Avenue

Location: Runs north/south between Winslow Way and Wallace Way

History: At one point last century almost half of the crew at the Eagle Harbor shipyard had parents who hailed from or who were themselves born in Scandinavia.

Although each man had his own unique background, the group shared similar roots in the countries of Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Besides working together, several of the men were also neighbors living along Ericksen Avenue. It was a good move since the street was named for their boss, shipyard foreman Chirstian Ericksen.

Sources: “BIMH Museum News,” May 2012.

Guest Contributor John Quitslund, “Winslow in 1930: Insights from Census Data,” pages 6 and 7.

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.


Island Road History | Rodal Court

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013


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Street of the Week: Rodal Court

Location: A tiny residential street running west off Sunrise Drive, north of Valley Road

History: Lucas Rodal delievered groceries with a wheelbarrow. It was just one of the many services the native Norwegian did for his adopted home. In the decades to come, his large family would continue the tradition of community involvement. Rodels have been active with, among other organizations, Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church, which sits on land formerly owned by the family.

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.


Island Road History | Bjune Drive

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Streets of the Week: Brien Drive, Shannon Drive, Bjune Drive

Location: Winslow waterfront.

History: Developer Ed Stafford worked in the area just south of the bustling Winslow Way business district.

Nearby Eagle Harbor and the island yacht club kept the area busy while Waterfront Park ensured the developement’s natural beauty.

As Stafford’s work in the area drew to a close, he had to decide what to name the development’s streets. He looked to his three children for inspiration when christening the three parallel roads.

Brien got his own street. So did Shannon. But what about Betty June? It was from a light-hearted blending of Betty June’s names that Bjune Drive was born.

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.


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