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Posts Tagged ‘island road history’

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 | 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 | 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 | McDonald Avenue

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Street of the Week: McDonald Avenue

Location: Runs north/south between Eagle Harbor Drive and Old Mill Road

History: Old McDonald had a farm, yes, but on Bainbridge Island he also owned two hotels and a popular community pavilion.

In the early twentieth century, Malcom “Mack” McDonald was one of the largest landowners in all of Kitsap County. As owner of the Port Blakely Hotel and Pleasant Beach Hotel, McDonald was a well-known leader in the island’s community.

McDonald’s Pleasant Beach Hotel featured more than 20 rooms, a bowling alley, a saloon, a swimming pool and a bathhouse.

The posh hotel was, as the name may suggest, adjacent to a rather pleasant beach. The hotel’s large pavilion and picnic grounds covered 30 acres, an expansive property which drew huge crowds throughout the year and particularly during sunny summer months.

Pleasant Beach’s beautiful location, delicious food and wide variety of fun activities contributed to its widespread reputation as the Coney Island of the Puget Sound.

Locals and tourists alike would arrive by boat at the hotel’s lengthy deck. Many traveled across the Sound to see the famed hotel and equally well-known grounds.

Visitors frequently shipped in from Seattle, Port Orchard and even as far south as Tacoma. Crowds of more than 2,000 were known to swing by during the course of a single day.

The Pleasant Beach Hotel’s pavilion was also popular among locals, and it became famous for hosting prize fights. One story about a world championship fight shares the adventure of several ambitious but shortsighted sailors who climbed to the very top of the pavilion. Hoping for a bird’s eye view of the excitement below, they tore shingles off the roof—and promptly fell into the crowd below.

McDonald’s personal home was nearly as impressive as his hotel holdings. The family ranch in Eagledale featured a large house, several barns and many acres under cultivation.

There was even room to spare. In the early 1900s, McDonald donated part of the land for the amptly named McDonald School. It was located on the corner of what are now McDonald Avenue and Eagle Harbor Drive.
The McDonald School was built in 1905 and enlarged a decade later. Generations of children from all over Bainbridge Island received an education at the school until it eventually closed in 1940.

Source: “Bifocals,” Elsie Frankland Marriot, Gateway Printing Col., Seattle, 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 | Grotle Road

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Street of the Week: Grotle Road

Location: Off County Park Road

History: Born in Norway, Rasmus and Kawlein Grotle spent more than 30 years on their 3-acre farm, which the family still owns after more than a century.

Source: Bertha, daughter of Rasmus and Kawlein

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 | Henderson Road

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Street of the Week: Henderson Road

Location: Runs north/south between Seabold Road and Hidden Cove Road; west of Highway 305

History: Scottish-born John Maurice Henderson wanted to be a doctor. But when his father died, 16-year-old Henderson put a pause on that dream and headed west from his family’s home in London. He was just 18 when he arrived in Oklahoma.

The year was 1884, and Henderson found himself in the midst of the Wild West. Over the years, he made his fortune in cattle and land, eventually sending for his family to come join him in America.

Three years after his arrival, Henderson gave his dream another shot. He entered medical school in New York and graduated four years later. He began practicing out east before moving to Washington State. Once here, he purchased land in the Seabold area.

During World War I, Henderson served at an army hospital in France. He kept working with the government after the war before opening his own practice in Seattle. Dr. Henderson continued to see patients on Bainbridge, braving land and sea when duty called.

More stories of the doctor can be found in his file at the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum.

This occasional Islander series explores the history of island street names, as compiled by Elinor Ringland and fellow Bainbridge Island Historical Society volunteers. More than 180 histories have been compiled so far. If you have an island road story to share, email Ringland at elinorjoe@msn.com.


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