Tag Archives: elinor ringland

Island Road History | Grotle Road

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 | Wacky Nut Way

Street of the Week: Wacky Nut Way

Location: A residential street running east off Rockaway Bluff Road

History: When submitting the required three suggestions for his new street, Jared Vogt added his daughter’s idea of “Wacky Nut,” never thinking it be used. But the county opted for the wackiest option. Vogt decided to keep the name, silly as it may be.

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 | Yankee Girl Lane

 

Street of the Week: Yankee Girl Lane

Location: East off Fort Ward Hill Road, just south of Blakely Harbor Park

History: Developer John Green’s deep love of Sparkman & Stephens sailboats led to this road’s name.

The company was founded 75 years ago when self-taught sailor Olin J. Stephens went into business with yacht broker Drake Sparkman. Twenty-one-year-old Stephens shared a passion for naval architecture with his brother Roderick. Rod worked at the legendary Nevina Yard in City Island, New York, and was key in helping Sparkman & Stephens survive the financial storm of the Great Depression.

Since its founding, Sparkman & Stephens has completed more than 2,600 designs, four of which are also Bainbridge street names: Bolero Lane, Charisma Lane, Intrepid Court and Yankee Girl Lane. All four designs are yacht cup winners.

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 | 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.

Agate Passage an artist’s legacy | Island Road History

Streets of the Week: Agate Street; Agate Beach Lane; Agate Pass Road; and Agate Point Road

History: In 1841 Captain Charles Wilkes found himself on the Puget Sound, leading the United States Exploring Expedition.

The expedition was the result of more than a decade of political debates and personal conflicts. Finally, with the support of Congress, six U.S. Navy ships left Norfolk, Virginia, on August 18, 1838. On board: 424 crew members and nine scientists set to explore the South Pacific.

After almost three years of sailing, the expedition reached what is now Bainbridge Island. There, Captain Wilkes dubbed the waterway separating the island from the peninsula the Agate Passage.

The name was in honor of artist, Alfred T. Agate. Only 26 when the expedition set sail, Agate traveled around Cape Horn, throughout the South Pacific, to the Antarctic, and, of course, along the Pacific Northwest.

Agate’s contributions to the expedition extended beyound detailed drawings and portraits for the crew. He also documented shipboard life and scientific discoveries with much of his work still celebrated today.

After four years at sea, Agate returned home in 1842. Shortly after he married Elizabeth Hill Kennedy. Unfortunately, only four months after their marriage, Agate died. His health had suffered from his various expeditions and he eventually succumbed to tuberculosis on January 5, 1846. He was 33.

Agate’s name, however, is remembered throughout the island he first helped document all those years ago.

Sources: “Picture Bainbridge,” Jack Swanson. Bainbridge Historical Society, 2002.
“Bainbridge Through Bifocals,” Elsie Frankland Marriott. Gateway Printing Co., 1941.
“A History of Bainbridge Island,” Katy Warner. 1968.

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.

Beans Bight Road | Island Road History

Street of the week: Beans Bight Road

Location: Runs off Upper Farms Road, just west of Restoration Point.

History: The farmer who first claimed the land above Blakely Harbor had a name reminiscent of two foods: Reuben Bean. It’s unknown whether either snack had anything to do with his move west from Maine; Bean was killed in 1859 before he could begin using his 148.5 acres.

Thirty-one years later, the newly formed Washington State Legislature authorized the purchase of Bean’s land. The resulting Fort Ward sits upon Bean Point. It protects the island’s curving south shoreline, geographically known as a “bight.”

Sources: “Picture Bainbridge,” Jack Swanson. Published by the Bainbridge Historical Society.
“The Story of the Little Fort at Bean Point,” Ivan W. Lee, Jr. & Lois B. Lee.

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 Elinor at elinorjoe@msn.com.

How island roads got their names

We recently debuted a new column in the Islander examining the history of island road names. The column is  made possible by the work of Elinor Ringland, a Bainbridge Historical Society volunteer on a mission to dig up the story behind every street on Bainbridge.

Elinor and fellow volunteers combed through local history books, Historical Museum archives, and interviewed islanders to compile these street name stories. Their work to date can be viewed at the museum. Many of the histories are based on family lore and are not necessarily definitive.

If you have a street name story (or myth/rumor/legend) to share, Elinor would love to hear from you. You can reach her at elinorjoe@msn.com.

We’ll post the column on this blog each week. Our first two road name columns involved the namesake of Redmond and a popular neighborhood fox:

McRedmond Lane

Location: Runs east-west between Wardwell Road and Summer Hill Lane, west of the Highway 305/Sportsman Club Road intersection.

History: Sea captain and carpenter Lucas McRedmond immigrated from Ireland in the 1840s to escape the most recent potato famine.

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