Madison Street Names

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?
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Madison Street Names

Postby surroundedbyreality » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:56 pm

I’m interested in finding out who or what streets are named for here in Madison.
Some are obvious like Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., John Nolen Dr. etc…
There are some areas where the street have a particular theme: Most of the streets in the Isthmus are named for the signers of the constitution, The area around Monroe street has the US Presidents, University heights has many UW Presidents, Stones/gems, Indian names, etc…

Any you can add?

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby fisticuffs » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:57 pm

Gannon Rd. Named after the dark ruler of Hyrule. Oh wait it's Gammon not Gannon. My bad.

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby gargantua » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:03 pm

Most of the streets in the Hill Farms neighborhood are named after counties.

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby roadkill bill » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:11 pm

As is common is many parts on post-WWII America, streets (or sometimes whole developments) are often named after the species or ecosystem that was displaced when the subdivision was built.

Hawks Landing comes to mind.

That's why you see so many areas and streets called Meadow, Woods, Ridge, Grove, etc.

Another common theme is the Native Americans that we threw out:
Sauk Creek

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby mrak » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:05 pm

Somewhat related, from Union Cab's jargon page, which is kind of a fun read.
Many of Madison neighborhoods are named by the similarity of street names. Here is a sample:

West side neighborhood where all of the streets are name after Wisconsin Counties. Its boundaries are (roughly) Segoe, Mineral Point, Whitney Way and University Avenue

The Mobile Home park off of W. Badger Rd. near the Sirloin Strip

East side neighborhood off of Milwaukee where the streets are named after precious stones

Located off of N Sherman Ave, these streets bear the names of US generals and formerly a notorious intersection of "Pleasure and Hooker"

The Parks
A West side neighborhood of of Yellowstone where the streets are named after national parks.

North side neighborhood off of Sherman and Northport.

Stadium area neighborhood . From North to South, the streets go in order (Monroe, Jefferson, Adams).

Located next to the parks, these streets tend to have nautical terms.

Songbirds (or the Birds)
Located off of Packers Ave across from the Poets. It is the Oak Park Trailer Court.

The States
Off N. Sherman Ave north of the poets, streets bear the names of the United States

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby Dust Mite Rodeo » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:47 pm

East Washington Avenue is named after Jebidiah East Washington, an early settler who "Kilt a bar whyle in congreffs wyth hif Wyfe."

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby massimo » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:08 pm

fisticuffs wrote:Gannon Rd. Named after the dark ruler of Hyrule. Oh wait it's Gammon not Gannon. My bad.

You're thinking of Gannon Ave. on the E. side...

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby oranger » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:09 pm

Cross streets off of East Washington starting northeast of the Yahara River on the east peninsula are named after whole numbers that ascend starting with 1st Street ending with 7th street. The subsequent cross street is named North after the direction north which runs at a 90 degree angle from another street that intersects East Washington at the same point named Milwaukee. This name probably come from the fact it goes toward Milwaukee and east would have been too logical of a name.

Also University avenue was named by some genius who thought that having a road change names 6 times (Packers, Pennsylvania, East Johnson, East Gorham, West Gorham) in 2 miles would be good idea.

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby snoqueen » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:37 pm

In some areas away from the downtown, streets were named after the owner of the farm that was platted and subdivided for houses. Walter Street (between Atwood and Milwaukee, just east of Olbrich Park) was named after Walterscheit, the guy who turned his farm into the Walterscheit plat for all the houses between Walter Street and Cottage Grove Road, just across from the lake along Atwood. The state historical society has an old photo of the corner of Atwood and Cottage Grove Roads when it was way out in the country, and the photo is labeled "Walterscheit Farm." There's a gas station at the corner, but not much else.

You can find many more examples of this if you find an map of the township or county when it was all farmland, each farm labeled with the owner's name. There will be a street somewhere nearby with the same name.

You can also find the original farmhouses among the ranch houses, if you look. Many are still extant, awkward two story relics sticking up here and there. Their barns are nearly all gone, though. They were usually located to the west or southwest of the house, because that way the wind blew barn smells away from the home. It's interesting to notice how the original settlers picked the prettiest hillsides for their houses.

You can see one of the old farmhouses in that little row of 40's homes along Atwood, facing across Olbrich Park looking at the lake. The old farmhouse (it's white, and has a double lot and a big tree by the driveway) is covered with the same cheap aftermarket siding as all the others, but it's the wrong size and shape and was clearly built a generation earlier. The settlers picked the choicest location, where they could see the sun set over the lake from their front windows.

Urban archeology.

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby lolagirl » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:34 am

There's an area off N Sherman where the streets are named after Civil War generals. It abuts to another area where the streets were given suburban-style names lauding their scenic location. This creates what is, IMHO, the greatest corner in Madison - the intersection of Hooker and Pleasure.

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:38 am

Second best -- intersection Margaret and Atwood.

If you have questions about specific streets, post 'em. I did a little research on this topic, I may know the answer.

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby Nick Berigan » Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:56 am

I live on Marconi. Next street over is Tesla. It's a virtual electronic battlefield.

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby Ducatista » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:06 pm

I used to live half a block from Jenifer/Paterson. Battle of the missing consonants.

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby Marvell » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:25 pm

There's a Debs Road out off of Northport; I've always assumed it was named after that ol' pinko Eugene Debs, but I don't know that for sure.

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Re: Madison Street Names

Postby fennel » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:26 pm

Ducatista wrote:I used to live half a block from Jenifer/Paterson. Battle of the missing consonants.
No kiding!

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