Category Archives: Uncategorized

Street Names Are Interesting

When I compiled the list of Lansing streets and what they were named for a few years ago, I somehow missed this article. Note that some of the streets in this are gone now and others have been renamed. Also that now there are many more interesting street names after the city annexed most of Lansing Township in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Copied from The State Journal – Lansing, Michigan – Thursday, January 1, 1931

Street Names Are Interesting
Some Names for Trees; Spikes Alley Is One Official Designation

The counties run east and west; the trees north and south. This is a generalization concerning the names of streets in Lansing, as indicated by casual inspection of the listing in the 1930 city directory. While there is logic, reason, and considerable indication of a definite policy in the naming of the older streets of Lansing, there are evidences of diversity of thought in the matter of names for many other street names which have come into being at a more recent time.

Everyone familiar with Lansing realizes that starting with St. Joseph street on the south side, and proceeding north across parallel streets, names of Michigan counties were chosen for street names. We have in addition, Hillsdale, Lenawee, Kalamazoo, Washtenaw, Allegan, Ottawa, Ionia, Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer and Saginaw streets. Next come Madison and Jefferson, which are names of presidents, but there are no similar names in this vicinity, though other United States presidents’ names have been chosen for street names have been chosen for street names in other sections of the city.

Named for Trees

The “tree” streets, running north and south, are familiar, starting with Beech and Larch, then the five block jump to Walnut, followed by Chestnut, Pine, Sycamore, with Birch street a considerable distance beyond. There are other “tree” streets, but they are scattered, an example being Cypress street.

Names of presidents, besides those mentioned, used as street names in Lansing are: Adams, Cleveland, Coolidge, Harding, Garfield, Jackson. Monroe, Lincoln, Roosevelt avenue, Taft street, and, of course, Washington avenue. There are names historically important, too. Some of them are: Jay (remember the Jay treaty when you went to school?); Lee now part of South Grand avenue; Pingree was Cass street before and Tecumseh (famed Indian chief). There is an Edison avenue too.

There are more girls names than you can shake a stick at. Starting with Ada, the list stretches clear to Violet, with many “stops” in between. Alice, Ann, Annette, Betty’s court, Beulah, Catherine, Elizabeth, Ellen, Florence, Grace, Hazel, Helen, Loa, Polly avenue, Rose court, Sadie court, and Violet court are a few of them.

There are some queer names for Lansing streets too. Perhaps the most challenging is “Spikes alley,” the exact listing in the pink sheets of the 1930 city directory. There there is Nipp avenue, and Pico avenue. Lemrork court strikes the wandering eye as well. Alpha belongs in this paragraph, certainly.

Starting with Mechanic street, other street names have a flavor of tools and machines. We have Factory street, Motor street, Railroad court, and Depot street. There are a few “animal” streets: Beaver, Buffalo, and, presumably “Filly” street, is meant for an animal.

An Anomaly

Lansing harbors one anomaly in the matter of street names, which would be hard to equal anywhere: two streets of the same name intersect at right angles. West Grand River avenue is intersected by North Grand River avenue, which, until recently, was properly called Seymour avenue, the name used on the same thoroughfare south of West Grand River. The intersection of West Grand River avenue, with North Grand River avenue even goes Chicago’s old West South Water street one better.

Names of states come in for recognition here. Michigan is the most prominent; Pennsylvania comes easily to mind. Some of the others: Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, with Memphis, a city name. Water, Brook and River streets belong together. And very possible Bank street refers to a river, and not a depository of money.

While many a “Cottage” in this “Community” may afford its occupants considerable “Comfort”, the “Climax” in this respect would seem to be a residence on “Handy” street, which must be near everything. If this foregoing is too terrible, make your own sentences from such streets as Ash, Atlas, Banghart, Call, Inner court, Queen, Race and Wall, the later, however, now having been changed to East Maple street.

It might be nice to live on Bon Air road, especially if there are breezes in the summer time. Commonwealth and Congress are names with good sound. Sunnyside and Sunset avenues were named by poetic people, which is more than can be said for Middle street. The shortest street in Lansing, in name, if not in feet, is Short street. Island avenue is in a class by itself, as is Plummer’s court. Fern Hill court suggests the great outdoors, and sounds like one to try on a taxi driver, to see if he knows his Lansing.


Here are some random notable changes since this 1931 article was published. There is now a Schoolcraft Drive, a Lansing Community College access road between Lapeer and Saginaw streets and named after Schoolcraft County. Also Jefferson street is now Oakland avenue. Other scattered “tree” streets include: Cedar, Cherry, Elm, Hazel, Magnolia, Syringa and Willow.

There are others that are named for presidents, like McKinley street; Woodrow Wilson actually has two: Woodrow avenue and Wilson street. By the way, if you thought I forgot JFK, there was already a Kennedy drive in the Maple Grove part of town.

Newer historically important street names include: Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (changed from Logan st.), Malcolm X street (renamed from Main st.), and last year part of East Grand River Avenue was changed to Cesar E. Chavez avenue in Old Town. All named for civil rights leaders of the late 20th Century. 


Michigan and Washington street sign


East Lansing, MSU and Meridian Twp. – How their Streets Were Named

Copied from the East Lansing Towne Courier – July 8, 1995 – East Lansing, Michigan. 

What’s in a name? For this area, plenty, of local history, interesting stories

By Jennifer Mou, Staff Writer

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet – Shakesspeare, Romeo and Juliet.

Although some may think a name is just that and nothing more, many people tend to take names very seriously. Some expectant parents take the entire nine months to come up with a first and middle name combination for their new baby. And recently, Lansing voters went to the polls to decide what name they preferred for one of the city’s main roads.

In the East Lansing, Michigan State University and Meridian Township areas, the names of several of the streets, buildings and other landmarks have been carefully chosen.

Is Abbott Road and Abbot Hall on the MSU campus named for the same person? Who was Gaylord C. Smith for whom the Meridian Township service building access road was named? What’s the story behind East Lansing’s Division Street?

For the answers, read on.

From the top

In 1907, a committee was formed to develop a city charter for the residential area just north of the Michigan Agricultural College. Suggested names included College Grove, Montrose, Collegeville, Oakwood, Agricultural College, East Lansing and College Park.

Although “College Park” received the most votes, East Lansing was eventually chosen because the college authorities found the former unacceptable and the post office wanted the geographically descriptive name.

Meridian Township is also a geographic name. It was named so due to the fact that the principal meridian of the state serves as the eastern border of the township. The townships consists of the communities of Haslett and Okemos.

Many know that Okemos was named for Indian Chief John Okemos of the Ottawa tribe. (It is also reported that Okemos may have also been part Chippewa Indian.) Okemos had led the Indians in this area long before white man came to settle here. The area known as Okemos was said to be one of the chief’s favorite camping spots.

Haslett, originally Haslett Park, was named for Spiritualist James Haslett. He had acquired land on the north shore of Pine Lake (renamed Lake Lansing because there were “too many” Pine Lakes) and the annual meetings of the Michigan Spiritualists were held there. After his death, widow Sarah gave the land to the Haslett Park. The Spiritualists camp meetings dwindled after John Haslett’s death and eventually the camp was abandoned.

Michigan State University is the third name for the institution of higher learning has had. Its name went from Michigan Agricultural College to Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences in 1925 and then to MSU in 1955, the centennial of its founding.

The county in which all of the above, are situated, Ingham County, was named for Samuel D. Ingham who was the Secretary of the Treasury under President Andrew Jackson. Ingham, who resided in Pennsylvania much of his life, had never seen the area in Michigan to be named for him.

On the Road

With the population growing, roads and avenues to get from here to there became increasingly necessary. And, of course, each street needed a name.

In East Lansing, many of the street were named for prominent university professors.

One such street is Abbott Road. It is named for the third president of MAC from 1862-1884, Theophilus Capen Abbot. He was professor of English literature and an ordained Congregational minister. Abbot Hall on the MSU campus is also named for him. The second “t” was added to the name of the road in 1900.

From other university presidents, East Lansing got the names for Snyder Road (Jonathan L. Snyder), Kedzie Street (Frank S. Kedzie), Butterfield Street (Kenyon L. Butterfield) and Shaw Lane (Robert S. Shaw). Snyder was the first president to be a modern executive. Kedzie was the “father of the beet sugar industry in Michigan.” Butterfield was the “father of the Smith-Lever Act” which was a federal law that established the Cooperative Extension Service. On of Shaw’s projects was the Glencairn subdivision where he gave the streets Scottish names for his own heritage. All four have MSU buildings named after them.

The intersection of Charles and Elizabeth streets in East Lansing represents a union of more than just two roads. These streets are named for the husband and wife pair of Charles H. and Elizabeth Chase. Mr. Chase and partner Horace B. Angell owned landed for real estate development in the “College Grove” plat.

However, the partners had a falling out and it took the Michigan Supreme Court to decide who gets the land. After the Chase block on Abbott and East Grand River was auctioned off (and bought by Chase), the remaining unsold lots and lands were apportioned between the men, checkerboard style. Albert and Ann(a) streets, (named for Angell’s father and daughter, respectively) were extended to accomplish this, and Division Street was created.

A botanist, horticulturalist and world authority on palm species, Liberty Hyde Bailey had both Bailey Street and Bailey School named in his honor.

Collingwood Drive was named for postmaster of what was to be East Lansing, Charles B. Collingwood. He was a major figure in founding the city and advocated that East Lansing be organized as a city rather than a village.

John H. Cowley, was East Lansing’s first Justice of the Peace in 1907 and Cowley Avenue was named for him.

Stoddard Avenue was probably named for Howard J. Stoddard, who served as president for the Lansing National Bank and the Michigan National Bank.

Baldwin Court, the dead-end road that had made headlines this past year, got its name from Robert J. Baldwin, professor and first director of the Cooperative Extension Service at the college.

Mayor Thomas Gunson had a street named after him (Gunson Street). He had also served as superintendent of campus grounds and as city attorney.

Botany professor and sub-divider William James Beal helped to plat East Lansing’s first subdivision. Beal Street, which the botanist had originally named East Street, was renamed in his honor.

Bogue Street took its name from Ernest Everett Bogue, one of the street’s residents, the first head of the forestry department and a founder of People’s Church.

Developer of a subdivision east of Hagadorn Road, Lee E. Cahill, proprietor of Cahill Coal Co., named Cahill Drive for himself.

Harrison Road is named for local pioneers Almond and Eliza Harrison.

Elizabeth Loree, wife of subdivider Dr. Maurice Loree, took on the task of naming the four streets in the “Spartan Manor” subdivision. The south street became Loree Drive and the north Bessemaur (a combination of her nickname, Bess, and her husband’s name). Colorado Drive was named for her native state and Columbine Drive for her state’s flower.

In Meridian Township, Hamilton Road, the original road through the village of Okemos, is named for Alexander Hamilton who had worked with President George Washington. In fact, Okemos had originally been referred to as Hamilton.

Marsh Road, which meets Hamilton at its south end, has an interesting story behind how it was originally renamed.

Originally called Okemos-Haslett Road, a hearing to change the name of that thoroughfare came before the Ingham County Road Commission in 1969 because there was already an Okemos Road and a Haslett Road and the combination name proved to be confusing. The opening of the Meridian Mall provided a good time to visit the issue.

Suggested names included Ute Trail, Meri-Mall Road, Shoppers Lane and other historical and Indian names. But a 13-year-old boy David Jones had a better suggestion. So he rode his bicycle 10 miles to Mason for the meeting. He suggested the road be named Marsh Road to honor Sanford Marsh. Marsh, the first white settler in Okemos, came to Okemos in 1839 and built a log cabin just north of where Central School is located. He also gave Okemos its first name of Village of Hamilton. Marsh and his wife are buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Okemos. Apparently, the road commission liked Jones’ suggestion.

More recently in the township, the service center access road was named to honor the first public works director. In 1988, the board unanimously renamed the drive, “Gaylord C. Smith Court.” Smith was a justice of the peace, a long-time volunteer firefighter, a member of the township board (including holding the supervisor position) and a member of the city charter commission.

Several other Meridian and East Lansing street names were named for the families that lived along them, including Hagadorn, Cornell, Van Atta, Hatch, Raby, Tihart and Towner. The large brick house the George B. Van Atta family resided in still stands on the road today. Dobie Road was named for a family that actually lived in Alaeidon Township.

Upon the Wall

Many area buildings also bear the name of local prominent figures. For example, it seems almost all of the buildings on the MSU campus are named for people instrumental in some way with helping the university grow and thrive. These names appear on residence halls, classroom buildings, small libraries and theaters.

Outside the large multi-purpose meeting room on the second floor in the Meridian Public Safety Building, there is a plaque for police Lieutenant James Nelson, for whom the room is named. Nelson was the third full-time officer hired by the township and led the department in its growth, development and training though the vibrant and struggling growth years of the late 1960s and early 1970s, minutes from a township meeting read.

The Harris Center at the Meridian Riverfront Park is in memory of the popular head on development control Joseph E. Harris. He was employed by the township from 1970 until his death in 1986 at the age of 39.

Both Ingham County branch libraries within the township are housed in buildings honoring key local figures.

The Haslett Branch Library is in the Florence and Noel Miller Building. Florence was assistant librarin of the Ingham County library system and Noel retired as township treasurer and member of the Haslett School Board.

The Okemos Branch Library bears the name Hope Borbas upon it. Borbas was a longtime and popular librarian of the Okemos branch.

Several local schools have namesakes.

Vera Rayla Elementary in Haslettt was named for Vera Rayla who retired after 21 years with the Haslett School system. She had served as principal of the school and was the Elementary School Supervisor for 12 years.

The H. M. Murphy Elementary School is so named for H.M. “Pat” Murphy who was superintendent of schools who guided the district through the post-war suburban expansion years.

In East Lansing, the Hannah Middle School and C.E. McDonald Middle School are named for the MSU president who spurred the growth of the university, John A. Hannah, and for 15-year school superintendent C.E. McDonald.

Hannah, who resigned his presidency to head the Agency for International Development, also has the university’s administration building named in his honor.

Park It

And of course, several area parks have been named to honor those who have served the area well.

One of these is Patriarche Park in East Lansing for the city’s former city manager as well as longtime city employee, Jack Patriarche.

In 1991, the Meridian Township named a parl after park commissioner and park development leader Nancy Moore. She led the successful park millage and renewal campaigns to provide more than $2 million for park acquistion, development and maintenance. The resolution before the township board to name the Nancy Moore Park states Moore had a philosophy of “providing parks that contain something for everyone regardless of age, ability or interest.”

The Wonch Park in Meridian was named after the Wonch family, namely Leslie Wonch who had bought the land in 1930 to use the water from the Red Cedar River for his factory. It was a joint venture of a gift from the family and a purchase by the township.

Another donation/purchase park is the Legg Park in honor of Joan and Louis (Ned) Legg, Jr. They were longtime township residents and active in civic and humanitarian service projects, as well as distinguished philanthropists.

The J.D. Towar Park in East Lansing in East Lansing is so named for James DeLoss Towar, who began the movement to establish the East Lansing School District. He also suggested the name for the city and donated the largest amount of money for the new school district’s legal fees in 1901.

This is but the tip of the iceberg of how streets and buildings and other fixtures around town got their names, but hopefully this has provided some insight on the history of the roads we drive and places we visit every day.

Oh, and how did this newspaper get its name. When Harry Stapler, founder of the Towne Courier, approached the task of selecting a name, he started with a magazine article entitled, “The Name’s the Thing: Today’s Hottest ‘Image’ Problem and How to Solve It.” This article said the three most important factors in picking a name were sight, sound and image.

So Stapler devised 114 possible names, and then reduced the field to 31. The Towne Courier, actually, was not on that list. The field was eventually reduced to The Courier, the Townsman and the Town Crier. The day before the letterhead paper was to be printed, no decision had been made.

Stapler’s wife, Kit, began fiddling with the names and eventually came up with Town Courier. The “e” had not appeared in Town yet – that was added by 11-year-old son Paul shortly before the first issue was to be printed.

Special thanks to Ron Springer from the city of East Lansing and Virginia White from Meridian Township for providing the necessary resources and to Meridian Township’s Elaine Davis for filling in some of the blanks.

Much of the information from this article can be found in “At the Campus Gate,” “A History of the Haslett-Lake Lansing Area,” and “Meridian History as Viewed Through Newspaper Headlines.”


If you want to see a list I did before on the how the streets in the nearby City of Lansing got their names, click on my other blog entry link here.


List of HSGL Summer Walking Tours – 2012 to 2017

List of HSGL Summer Walking Tours = 2012 to 2017

1. Behind the Facades (and Annual Meeting) = Saturday. June 16, 2012

2. (#1) = Lost Lansing = Saturday, June 15, 2013
3. (#2) = Church & State = Saturday, July 20, 2013
4. (#3) = Old Town (before JazzFest) = Saturday, August 3, 2013

5. (#4) = Behind the Facades = Saturday, August 17, 2013
6. (#5) = 2nd Old Town (before BluesFest) = Saturday, September 21, 2013

7. (#1) = Behind the Facades, North = Saturday, June 14, 2014
8. (#2) = Downtown Disasters = Thursday, June 26, 2014
9. (#3) = Behind the Facades, South = Saturday, June 28, 2014
10. (#4) = Reo Town = Saturday, July 12, 2014
11. (#5) = Downtown Alleyways = Thursday, July 24, 2014
12. (#6) = Lost Lansing = Saturday, July 26, 2014
13. (#7) = Ladies of Lansing = Saturday, August 9, 2014
14. (#8) = Church & State = Saturday, August 23, 2014
15. (#9) = Old Town (before BluesFest) = Saturday, September 20, 2014

16. (#1) = A History of Lansing Community College = Saturday, June 6, 2015
17. (#2) = Growing Eastward on Michigan Ave. = Thursday, June 18, 2015
18. (#3) = Historic Homes in the Heart of Downtown = Thursday, July 9, 2015
19. (#4) = Downtown Lansing’s Favorite Old Restaurants = Saturday, July 25, 2015
20. (#5) = Lansing’s African-American West Side = Thursday, August 6, 2015
21. (#6) = MSU’s Historic West Circle Drive = Saturday, August 22, 2015
22. (#7) = Historic Eaton County Courthouse = Thursday, September 3, 2015
23. (#8) = Historic Ingham County Courthouse = Thursday, September 17, 2015

24. (#1) = Historic Reo Town = Saturday, June 18, 2016
25. (#2) = North Washington Ave. = Thursday, July 14, 2016
26. (#3) = Lansing’s Oak Park Neighborhood = Saturday, July 23, 2016
27. (#4) = Moores River Drive Architectural = Thursday, August 4, 2016
28. (#5) = MSU Sports Complex’s = Saturday, August 20, 2016

29. (#1) = Photographers of Downtown Lansing = Thursday, June 15, 2017
30. (#2) = Lansing’s Westside Neighborhood = Thursday, June 22, 2017
31. (#3) = Cherry Hill Neighborhood – A Forgotten Neighborhood = Thursday, July 13, 2017
32. (#4) = Capitol Car City – Downtown Lansing = Saturday, July 29, 2017
33. (#5) = Old East Campus – MSU = Saturday, August 19, 2017
34. (#6) = Beal Botanical Garden – A Historical Perspective = Thursday, August 24, 2017


HSGL 2017 Summer Walking Tours Snapshots Collage

Lansing Once Had Four Islands

Copied from The State Journal – Lansing, Michigan – Sunday, February 26, 1956

Lansing Once Had Four Islands
But Piatt’s Dam and the Flood of ’75 Changed Things
By Theodore G. Foster

The Atlas of Ingham county published in 1874 locates four islands in the Grand river that would now be within the city limits of Lansing. With the raising of Piatt’s dam – now known as the City dam – and the flood of 1875, only one of these islands remains.

Coming downstream from the Waverly rd. bridge across the Grand river, the first island to be encountered was a small one just north of the present Francis park. The island was submerged, or partly so, after the old Piatt dam was washed out in the flood of 1904, and when the new dam was built the height was raised so that the island gradually was washed away, although in recent years the submerged land was considered a hazard to the outboard motor enthusiasts. It is doubtful if the island ever had a name although to the pilot of the old steamboat that plied the river it probably had some designation not known to the general public.

The second island coming downstream was located just west of the Logan st. bridge at what was at that time known as Earl st., or approximately south of a continuation of the present Birch st. if continued across the Grand Trunk tracks. This island was another that the early residents of the city who took the steamboat ride to Leadley’s park can remember.

The island is unnamed in the Atlas and it is doubtful if it ever had a name; it also disappeared with the raising of the dam after the flood of 1904.


It is true, however, that the boys who practiced their high diving 65 years ago from the old iron Logan st. bridge did give the island the name of Snake island. For a long distance swim the takeoff would be the bridge and up the river to Snake island and back. The island, being swampy and not much above the water level, was infested with snakes, and after a trip or two the island was definitely labeled and a place to stay away from.

The third island encountered in coming downstream, was located below the present City dam and just south of the present Island ave. bridge leading to the city power plant. This island – the only one remaining of Lansing’s original four – was called Glenn island for James L. Glenn, a representative to the state legislature in 1846-47 and speaker pro tem of the house in 1847. He was one of a committee of three to make a plan and survey of Lansing when it was selected as the capital, and he also had charge of building the old state house.

The fourth island, located in Section 5, west of the Seymour ave. bridge, was at one time known as Stambaugh island and was so called for a Mrs. Stambaugh who owned 125 acres in the section, north of the river, 85 of which fronted on the river.


On page 144 of Durant’s History of Ingham and Eaton Counties, published in 1880, an account of the flood of 1875 is given that took out all the bridges over the Grand river in Lansing except the Washington ave. bridge, which was too high for the flood waters to reach. In all, six bridges went out. Some of the spans of the iron bridges were caught at various points below the city and one was left by the flood nearly entire on Stambaugh island. With the growth of the city and the construction of storm drains discharging into the river below the Seymour ave. bridge, the river was deepened and straightened and Stambaugh’s island disappeared.

In the early 1900s, J. Tillotson owned 144 acres on the south side of the river opposite the holdings of Mrs. Stambaugh. He at the time operated a gravel pit and on the bend of the river was a swimming hole called by the small fry, “Tillotson’s gravel pit.” The island at that time was nothing more than a gravel bar during low water and the name had long been forgotten but was simply designated as “the sand bar.”

There are a number of the old “Wood Bees” still living in the north end of Lansing, who will recall Tillotson’s swimming hole and the sand bar.


original article

HSGL Summer Walking Tours 2017 – Photo Links

Here are links to the photos I took at all six of the Historical Society of Greater Lansing’s Summer Walking Tours of 2017. Looking forward to more in 2018.

Tour #1 – June 15, 2017 – Photographers in Downtown

Tour #2 – June 22, 2017 – Westside Neighborhood

Tour #3 – July 13, 2017 – Cherry Hill Neighborhood

Tour #4 – July 29, 2017 – Capital Car City

Tour #5 – August 19, 2017 – Old East Campus of MSU

Tour #6 – August 24, 2017 – Beal Botanical Garden at MSU


HSGL 2017 Tours Collage

History of Lansing Hotels

History of Lansing Hotels

Copied from The State Journal; Lansing, Michigan; Saturday, February 8, 1930.

See updates connected to parenthesis notes like this (1) at the end of this article.

= = =

History of Lansing Hotels Traced from Days of Coach

Many Famous Names – Benton House, Lansing House and Seymour House Dot Review Of Early Social Life of Capital City; Old Inns Played Part in Political Life Of State

The answer to the question: “What and where was Lansing’s first hotel?” is one of which none but the rash and imprudent can afford, at this late date, to be positive. There are three hotels for which this distinction is claimed by as many followers of local historians.

If you are guided in your beliefs of early Lansing by Albert E. Cowles’ “Ingham County, Past and Present,” then the Grand River house was the first. In the event your knowledge and impressions of pioneer Lansing are based on George N. Fuller’s “Historic Michigan,” then the Seymour House ranks first. But, again, if the records of the “Michigan Pioneer Collection” are your sign posts to historic accuracy, then the designation “first hotel in Lansing” would go to the Lansing house. However, it seems reasonably certain that the last two mentioned were erected in the same year: 1847. and that even if the building later known as the “Grand River House”, was erected previous to that year, it couldn’t have been used as a hotel before then. The reason is not far to seek: there was almost no people here to ask for even over-night accommodation. The handful of settlers lived in huts of their own, and one of those “huts”, a large one, was later the hotel referred to. And in addition to those three hotels, a fourth one. The Michigan house, was built in 1847, on the northwest corner of East Main and River streets, by John Thomas, who operated it for some years. It was virtually on the bank of the Grand river.

The preponderance of evidence available at this time, points most favorably to the belief that Lansing’s first hotel, in any sense of the word, was erected, as a residence, in June 1843, by John W. Burchard. It was he who built the first log house within the city limits of Lansing, as now defined. This story was told, in detail on Page 3, section 5, of the Anniversary edition. (1) Its location has been fixed as being slightly northwest of the present northwest corner of Center and Wall streets, in North Lansing.

First in City

Following Burchard’s death, and the re-purchase of the property by James Seymour, at the administrator’s sale, the site was leased to Joab Page, Whitney Smith and George Pease, as pointed out in the story referred to. The house in which Burchard and his family lived, however, is the one which is believed to have eventually become Lansing’s first hotel.

Fuller’s history, discussing the arrival of the three capitol commissioners at “Michigan”, May 20, 1847, to select a site for the capitol, says: “The principal building (the others being one or two houses and a saw mill), was the enlarged residence of the late John W. Burchard, who had built the dam. It was occupied by Joab Page, his son, Isaac C. Page, and his son-in-law, Whitney Smith, George D. Pease and Alvin Rolfe.” This would certainly indicate a continuity of living in the original house, with enlargements made necessary for the accommodation of these men, and very likely, their wives. Nothing is said in his history about a hotel, but Cowles history, discussing early hotels and referring to the place the Seymour house held, said “the Grand River house, quite a respectable building for those times, had already been built by Messrs. Page and Smith, at the northwest corner of Center and Wall streets.”

It was Cowles who located both Burchard’s house, and the Grand River house; it was Fuller who indicated that these buildings were one and the same. Their locations are within a few rods of each other; it is entirely possible that in addition to enlarging the original Burchard house, they might have moved it slightly to bring it out to face on a street, instead of languishing in the middle of a village “block.” The house of logs, which is believed to the be the “Grand River house,” was 20 feet wide, and 40 feet long, and two stories high. It is easy to see how a building this large would recommend itself to use as a “hotel,” as soon as the first rush of people followed the commissioners here, throwing up shanties and lean-to shacks in their haste to get established. Its name must have come about in a natural way, for every hotel must have a name. Little of the subsequent history of the “Grand River House,” is known.

As to the first hotel erected for the avowed and commercial intention of accommodating transients, the claim would seem to go, logically, to the Seymour house, erected in 1847 on the southwest corner of Center and Franklin streets, or Center and East Grand River avenue today. This would place it just one block north of the “Grand River House,” and on the same side of the street. The reasons for ascribing the distinction of “Lansing’s first hotel” in the commercial sense of the word, to the Seymour house, rather than to the Lansing house, near the state capitol, are these: James Seymour came here shortly after the capitol commissioners did. He was alive to every possibility of development, and finally, the first settlements of any kind were in this north section, and not in the south part of what is Lansing today. As to the “Michigan house,” no one is discovered to have claimed primacy for it. It was an early one, but not the earliest. In fairness to the records of the “Michigan Pioneer Collection,” it must be said that although the Lansing house is indexed “Lansing’s first hotel,” reference discloses no flatfooted contention; merely the recollections of one member on this point, are printed.

Other Pioneer Hotels

Besides the Grand River house, the Seymour house, the Lansing house, and the Michigan house, there were other pioneer hotels, whose known history is covered by mere recollections of their names. There was the Ohio house, directly in rear of the present Downey hotel, which would locate it on the south side of West Washtenaw street, perhaps 300 feet west of South Washington avenue. Then, in the extreme south end, east of Grand river, was Clapsaddle’s hotel, named after its builder, erected on the corner of East Main street and South Cedar. This was also known as the National hotel. It was directly across the river from the Michigan house, mentioned just previously. Clapsaddle’s hotel burned in later years.

Starting as nearly as possible, with the hotels, in the order in which they were started, consideration of the others rests first with the Seymour house, which, with alterations, survives today as Franklin Terrace. It was known, for a time after 1891, as the Franklin house. This was a two and a half story frame building, extending on Center street, about half way to Wall street, to the south. The front and short side, faced on Franklin street. The hotel office and bar room were in the front, of course, with the parlor and sleeping rooms on the second rooms on the second floor, just above the office. There was a dance hall on the third floor, which, in the words of Albert E. Cowles, “was too high for a half story, too low for a full story.” There were store locations on the first floor, in back of the office. In later years, the place was owned by E. S. Porter, who remodeled it into 16 apartments, years after its glory as a famed hostelry had passed, carrying away the days and nights when candles illuminated scenes of revelry among those high in official and social circles of pioneer Lansing. (2)

The Seymour house was erected by two men, father and son, Oliver Bush was the original contractor for the building. He died “on the job,” October 20, 1847, however, and the work was carried on by his son, John N. Bush, who came to Lansing in September of that year, and secured the contract. The son enjoyed a long career as a building contractor in Lansing, later erecting the Packard house, finishing this in March 1848. The Lansing house was also one of John N. Bush’s works. There were several school houses in this city erected under his supervision. When the Central High school building was erected in 1874, Bush became insolvent, and practically retired after his misfortune.

Original Owners

The original owners of the first Lansing house were two brothers: Matthew P. and Jeremiah Marvin. Mathey P. Marvin, by the way, was the father-in-law of Dr. Frank Stewart Kedzie, present historian of Michigan State college. The most valuable contribution to the intimate history of this old hotel comes from the files of the State Republican, as is the case with so many phases of Lansing’s history. In this case, the history is contained in a brief story from the very first issue of the old parent paper, and as the pages of this edition were published in the Anniversary edition, many have already read it.

The first Lansing house, built in 1847, was of logs. It was on the southeast corner of South Washington and East Washtenaw street, or directly east across the street from the present Downey hotel.

The log hotel was moved “back,” or east, in 1848, and the second Lansing house, a large three-story frame structure, was built on the original site.

The original owners evidently leased the place to Henry Jipson, who eventually bought the property, evidence would indicate. Certain it is that he was the manager for the first eight years of its existence, and in 1855, he was its owner. In April of that year, according to the April 28, 1855 number of the State Republican. Mr. Jipson sold the hotel to Nelson J. Alport, who had recently been managing the Seymour house. Mr. Alport had, before this, been proprietor of the Clinton house, one of the first hotels at DeWitt.

In the desire to deal with the earliest of Lansing’s hotels, in the order of their beginnings, it has been necessary to leave, until now, discussion of what, without any serious contention to the contrary, was certainly the most famed and best remembered of the pioneer hotels of this city – the Benton house, which was opened slightly later than any of the hotels heretofore mentioned.

This hotel, Lansing’s first brick building building, was located on the northwest corner of South Washington avenue and West Main street, where R. E. Olds’ residence stands today. It was started in 1847 and completed the year following, under the direction of Bush, Thomas and Lee, southside merchants prominent in the settlement. It was a four-story building, with a sort of attic above this, and its reputation was shortly well established as a genuinely first class hotel. It acted as a lodestone to prominent state officials, as did its rival, the Seymour house, at the other end of the city. The State Republican files contain a story of a banquet given there, in 1857, by Zachariah Chandler, shortly after his election, by the legislature of that year, as United States senator. The banquet room was on one of the upper floors, probably the second.

To those politically minded, the association of the names Chandler and Benton, is a queer combination; that leading republicans should patronize a hotel named for a nationally famous democrat, is a fact which attests to the merit of the place. The original owners of the Benton house were staunch democrats.

Benton House

The man for whom the Benton house was named by its loyal democratic builders, was Thomas Hart Benton, statesman, born at Hillsborough, N. C., in 1782. His fame as a statesman and a lawyer was enhanced to national degree, when, as a soldier under Gen. Andrew (not “Stonewall”) Jackson, he duelled with his vastly superior officer and wounded the general. In 1820, Benton was elected United States senator from Missouri, which office he held for 31 years. During Andrew Jackson’s terms as president, Senator Benton supported him, regardless of their earlier unpleasantries. From 1852, until his death in Washington in 1858, Benton was a member of the house of representatives. He is best remembered nationally today by his book, “A Thirty Year’s View,” a voluminous and valuable tome concerned with contemporary politics. But in Lansing, few people have known the connection between the senator and the hotel. Like Chancellor John Lansing, for whom the township and city of Lansing are named, and like Samuel D. Ingham, for whom the county was named, Senator Benton, of course never laid eyes on his namesake, the Benton house.

Charles T. Bush, one of the owners, was its first manager, but he shortly gave the reins to his son-in-law, William Hinman, and the finest memories of the old Benton house are associated with the man’s name. A son, William C. Hinman, lives at 119 East Main street today.

In November 1858 [or 1853-?], Mr. Hinman retired from management of the hotel, and his place was taken by E. W. Peck. This is shown by this paragraph from the November 13, 1855, edition of the State Republican, which said:

BENTON HOUSE – This popular hotel has changed hands, Mr. E. H. Peck of Detroit assuming the duties so welcome to a traveling public. We are sorry to lose the presence of mine host HINMAN, and miss his smiling face, but if a change must come, the mantle could fall on no better shoulders than those of the present proprietor. And he wears it gracefully and easily. Travelers will find at this house the comforts of home and the luxuries of a first-class hotel. Long may it be before it ‘waves’.”

It was shortly after this that Bush, Thomas and Lee demonstrated to the village of Lansing that they were aggressive business men. The story of how they donated a strip of their land for the southern extension of South Washington avenue, and assisted in building the first bridge over Grand river at this point, so as to tap the Jackson and Eaton Rapids stage coach line for trade, was told in the history of bridges of this city, in the Anniversary edition.

Maintains Prestige

Peck continued as manager of the Benton house for about two years, and that he maintained its prestige as a social center, is evidenced from the flowery notices of its parties and dances, which appeared from time to time in the State Republican. One of them in the edition of January 27, 1857, read:

BALL at the BENTON HOUSE” – It will be seen, by notice in our special advertising column, that the gentlemanly proprietor of the Benton house, opens his rooms tomorrow evening, 28th inst., for the delectation of the devotees of terpsichore. Good music, good supper, and a good time generally, are guaranteed.”

The advertisement announced that the “bill” would be $3, and the notice was signed by E. H. Peck.

But the hotel seems to have closed for a short time at least, in the last months of that same year, for an advertisement in the issue for December 22, pointed out that the hotel had been “re-opened” on December 21, by J. W. Holmes. An editorial jot concerning this fact was in the same issue. It said:

THE BENTON HOUSE – This well known house has been recently re-opened and refitted, by Dr. Holmes; and we speak what we know when we say it is an ‘A No. 1’ house. It is fast filling with company, and we fear the Dr. will make confirmed epicures of the whole of us.”

In June 1861, Martin Hudson, long connected with Lansing hotels, became the manager of the Benton house. He stayed in this position for only two years, despite the general impression among Lansing pioneers that Hudson was at the Benton house for a much longer period. Again, the filed of the State Republican bear witness to this, for in the issue of April 29, 1863, there was a notice that Martin Hudson had newly become the proprietor of the American house (formerly the Eagle hotel) “directly opposite the capitol.” This was at 215 South Washington avenue, at about where the Strand theater now stands.

In June, 1861, however, Martin Hudson became manager of the third hotel to bear the name “Lansing.” the present Downey hotel, he stayed in this capacity for the next 10 years. The withdrawal of Hudson from the Benton house seems to have marked the beginning of the end of the prominence of this old place. The business life of Lansing was beginning to draw away from the south end: Main street had long since ceased to merit its name, and the business settlement just across the river, on South Cedar street, had disintegrated by then, after its first flourish, like roots in shallow earth. Thus, when the then magnificent Lansing house was opened, in 1867, the Benton house was forced, shortly to close its doors.

The property was acquired in about 1868, by Dr. C. C. Olds, who used it for a boys’ academy, according to the recollections of J. P. Edmonds, who further states that two years later, it was purchased by Cyrus B. Paddock, who changed the name to the “Everett House,” when it was again opened as a hotel. Revival of its old position as a leader was impossible, however, and degeneration into a boarding house followed. The late Judge Edward Cahill eventually acquired it, and sold it to R. E. Olds, who had the building removed in 1902, to make way for his present residence, which was built in the year following. (3)

On Coach Line

To go back, however, to pick up the threads of hotel history from the year 1848, when the three-story frame hotel, the second Lansing house, was erected, we find that this corner in a few years, had become one of considerable activity for stage coach traffic between Lansing and Jackson, as the Seymour house in the north end, or “Lower Town,” was for Lansing-Detroit traffic. For a description of this corner in 1857, one must turn to the Michigan pioneer and historical collections, and cite a paper read before a meeting of this organization, by O. A. Jenison, Lansing pioneer, February 5, 1879.

Mr. Jenison was explaining the features of a picture of the old hotel, taken in 1857, which picture or “ambrotype” he was presenting to the historical association. He said: In front of the main entrance on Washington avenue can be seen the old, time honored sign posts; as we cast our eyes to the right, a small building with a wooden awning in front can be seen, which at the time was used and occupied as the great stage office between Lansing and Jackson; the next building to the right was used in part as the Lansing post office; and still further to the right is the Edgar house as it appeared in those days; at the left of the Lansing house, the barns and sheds can be plainly seen.”

James M. Shearer was manager of the Lansing house shortly after Nelson J. Alport bought it, and he so continued, eventually becoming its proprietor, or at least the lessee. The State Republican records his going, in the issue for June 23, 1857. in this paragraph:

LANSING HOUSE – This popular hotel has recently changed hands, Mr. Shearer having accepted the appointment of steward of the Agricultural college. The new lessees are Messrs, B. & H. Baker, gentlemen who possess the tact, energy and determination to maintain the enviable reputation acquired for this house.”

Shearer, first steward of the state agricultural college, tried, at first, to run his hotel and hold his job at the school at the same time. Dr. Kedzie, college historian relates, but after trying it from May 13, when the college opened, until the middle of June, he found he had to relinquish one of his places. The Bakers, in the meantime, had turned their lease over to Martin Hudson, in 1859, when he began management of his first hotel in this city.

It was also in 1857, that Lansing acquired its famous “Octagon hotel,” memories of which have survived to a relatively modern period. The structure still stands, fairly well preserved, in the rear of the F. N. Arbaugh company store. The hotel was built on the present site of the store, southeast corner of South Washington avenue and East Kalamazoo street, to be displaced by the department store. Col. Whitney Jones, one time postmaster in Lansing, and prominent real estate operator here in the pre-Civil war period, erected the place as a residence for himself, having a flair for the unusual. The State Republican for May 12, 1857, published a paragraph about a dancing party scheduled in the hotel for that evening. As usual, the affair was referred to as “toe tripping,” it being thought probably that the bald reference to “dancing” would be commonplace. Anyway, here’s what the jot said:

PARTY AT THE ‘OCTAGON’ – Our worthy neighbor, Thomas Treat, Esq., informs us that the ‘Octagon’ will be open this evening for the use of those who trip the light fantastic toe. This is probably the last hop of the season, and the delegation from our city should be commensurate with the extent of the recognition of this solemn fact. Improve the fleeting hours. Music extra.” (4)

The end of the second Lansing house came at 11:30 o’clock on the night of Sunday, June 2, 1861, and the files of the State Republican contain in full the story of the devastating fire which razed the historic old hotel. For five years, there was no hotel of that name in Lansing. Martin Hudson managed the Benton house for the next two years, when he left to take charge of the Eagle house, as indicated previously. Inasmuch as the Eagle house had been converted from the Columbus house and in view of the fact this was one of the very early hotels in this city, consideration thus turns naturally to the hotels which have been on this side, 215 South Washington avenue, for many years in the past.

Columbus House

The Columbus house, a three-story frame building, was erected in 1847 and 1848, by Christoper Columbus Darling, who came early to Lansing from Eaton Rapids in 1843 to help John W. Burchard to build his dam at what is now North Lansing. He also helped in construction of a second dam at this point, for James Seymour. Thus Darling was one of the earliest men to come to Lansing, several years before the city had even acquired that name.

Because of his prominent place in Lansing activities, the name of C. C. Darling was well known for reasons other than his hotel to which he gave his second name. One of his close associates was Myron Green, who died in Lansing, only seven or eight years ago, at an advanced age.

The connection of the Columbus, and the Eagle and the Hudson house, named for Martin Hudson, has always been indicated: the latter hotel was built on the same site as its predecessors, in 1875, when Hudson reached his peak in the hotel business.

Before this development, however, the third Lansing house, a four-story brick, was erected on the site of the present Downey hotel, in 1866, to replace the structure which had burned down in 1861, leaving the city without a really first class hotel. The first two Lansing hotels were directly east across the street from the third, which was erected partly by community subscription, but largely by Gen. Lafayette C. Baker, who used his reward money granted him for the capture of John Wilkes Booth, slayed of Pres. Abraham Lincoln, as detailed in full in a separate story in the Anniversary edition. The hotel was ready for occupancy in May 1867, and Martin Hudson was its first host. It was in 1875 that Hudson sold his interest to N. G. Isabella [Isbell], and built his own hotel, the Hudson house. (5)

The Lansing house was later managed by T. J. Lyon who sold out in 1882, to Jacob Aberle of Owosso. Henry J. Downey purchased the property in 1887, greatly enlarging and improving it. The hotel was damaged by fire in 1876, and again in 1912, but each time the damage was repaired and the hotel made better that ever before. In 1910 two more stories were added to give the hotel its present dimensions. The entire building, inside and out, was rebuilt, save for the walls themselves, after the fire in 1912. (6)

The fortunes of the old Hudson house are carried further in the complete biography of Martin Hudson, also published in the Anniversary edition.

Prominent in the minds of oldsters today, however, is that the old Hudson house, for years political headquarters, was made famous by the residence of Gov. Hazen S. Pingree, during his term in office from 1897 to 1901. Great was the concern and excitement when Governor Pingree, a physical giant had an over-sized bath tub installed in his living quarters of the Hudson house.

Another chapter was added to the long history of early Lansing hotels a generation ago, in the once well known Eichele house, conducted by Jacob Eichele, at 206 North Washington avenue. Coming to Lansing in 1867, Mr. Eichele went into the boarding house business, and later built a three story brick structure on North Washington avenue where his hotel was established in 1873. For 18 years, Jacob Eichele was the proprietor of this hotel which was famed in its day, when good and full meals were served for 25 cents. In May 1891, the lease passed to William P. Graessle, son-in-law of Mr. Eichele, who with his wife, Anna M., as assistant manager, continued the business for six years, when John Herrmann bought the place, together with the two stores on either side of it, in the buildings originally erected by Mr. Eichele. The hotel went out of business in 1904. The sons of Mr. Herrmann now conduct their father’s tailoring business at 218 North Washington, in one of the buildings involved in the sale. Mr. Graessle died July 29, 1928. Mrs. Graessler lives at 216 1/2 South Pine street.

Many Others

There have been a score of other hotels in Lansing, not mentioned in this outline, some better known than others. One of them, at random was the old Butler hotel, on the southwest corner of South Washington avenue and West Kalamazoo street. The Butler Block pharmacy now occupies this corner, but 25 years ago, the hotel here was one of the leaders of the city. (7)

While this sketch concerns itself primarily with the first hotels and the ones which closely followed them, mention of hotels best known in Lansing today, will prove interesting records in the future. The Kerns hotel, east side of the first block of North Grand avenue, was originally the Wentworth when it was built, in the early 1900’s, by Frank and Ellen Wentorth. In 1908 it was greatly increased in size after its lease to William George Kerns, son-in-law of the Wentworths. Mr. Kerns conducted the hotel in connection with the Kerns hotel which adjoins it and the two units are one, so far as the traveling public is concerned. Mr. Kerns retired from management in 1921. Mrs. Wentworth still leases her half of the joint hotel to the present management. The proprietor is Ernest E.Richardson, and the manager is Richard J. Murray, his son-in-law. (8)

The Roosevelt hotel, on the east side of the block of Seymour avenue, was opened late in 1923. It is owned by Frank Davey, Detroit, but its manager, well known in Lansing, is Charles T. Quinn. (9)


November 2017 notes and updates, compiled by me, Timothy Bowman:

(1) The Anniversary edition referred to, was published five weeks before this article on January 1, 1930. It commemorated 75 years of The State Journal newspaper from 1855, which originally was called The State Republican.

(2) The Seymour House hotel which became the Franklin Terrace apartments was torn down in May 1931. The Arctic Corner ice cream place and its parking lot are on the site today.

(3) The R. E. Olds residence “mansion”, which replaced the Benton house, later Everett house; was itself wrecked in October 1966 to make way for the I-496 freeway.

(4) The Octagon House hotel was eventually razed in August 1935.

(5) The Hudson House burned down on December 18, 1919. The Strand Theatre was built on the site of this hotel and opened in April 1921. It was renamed The Michigan Theatre in 1941. And showed its last movie on September 1, 1980.

(6) The Hotel Downey closed its doors on May 1, 1936. Was torn down to make way for a new Knapp’s Department store, which opened on December 7, 1937. This iconic store closed on October 11, 1980. This building still stands today, known as Knapp’s Centre, with some businesses; and apartments on the upper floors. The Lansing State Journal newspaper moved its headquarters to the third floor there in January 2016.

(7) The Hotel Butler building was torn down in 1950 to make way for a new J. C. Penney store, which would open on June 5, 1952. Penney’s, the last of the big downtown department stores, closed on July 16, 1981. Cooley Law School bought the building, remodeled it over several years, and opened their law library there on September 30, 1991. It is still used for this today.

(8) The Hotel Kerns burned downed on December 11, 1934; tragically killing 32 people. The Hotel Wentworth which survived the fire, would be demolished in September 1966. Wentworth Park is on the site of these two hotels today, which has a historical marker for the Hotel Kerns, a 9/11 Memorial, etc.

(9) The Hotel Roosevelt which faced the St. Mary’s Cathedral Church, would be bought by the State Legislature in 1977. It was remodeled for House members offices. The Roosevelt Building was used until 1999 and torn down in early 2000. The Roosevelt Parking Ramp is on the site today.

Yes, there have been several other hotels and motels in the downtown area not mentioned. Most note worthy, the Hotel Olds which opened on July 14, 1926 at the southeast corner of Michigan and Capitol avenues. Also the Radisson Hotel which opened on October 14, 1986 at 111 N. Grand Ave. on the site of the smaller Hotel Detroit and directly across the street from the old Kerns and Wentworth hotels. This might be a research project to do in the future, a list of Lansing area hotels histories.


Photos copied from CADL’s Local History Online.

Historic Lansing, MI Hotels

Naming of Lansing Streets

How the streets in Lansing, Michigan got their names.

– This compilation is mostly from a series of articles in The State Journal newspapers written by Theodore G. Foster (1888-1960), who was prominent in local real estate circles, having been a part in developing several subdivisions in the Lansing area. Most likely he interviewed his fellow real estate developers to get the reasoning behind the names. He was also a board member in the early days of the Historical Society of Greater Lansing.

– Also from other past newspaper articles, etc. that I’ve collected.

– I don’t completely understand everything Mr. Foster wrote, and some stories have more than one explanation.

– The dates after each entry are from when the appeared in the paper. The full names of the articles are at the end of this compilation.

– Some of the streets that were not obsolete at the time the articles were written, but now do not exist or are renamed.

– This does not include every single street in Lansing.

Compiled by Timothy Bowman.
Finished on July 16, 2017.

– You can read the original clippings at my Flickr page at this link.


Ada Street – was placed on the market by Charles Clark and was named by him for his wife, Ada Clark. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Adams Street – named for the President, John Adams (Foster-03-06-1938)

Albert Street – was so named by Judge Albert E. Cowles when he platted the land. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Alger Street – was named for Hal Alger, who at the time was vice president and general manager of the Durant Motor company. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Alice Street – from Willow street north, the third street west of Roosevelt street, was named by Allyn Robertson for his wife, Alice M. Robertson, whom many will remember as Dolly Humphrey. (Foster-04-06-1941)

– located in North Highland subdivision, was named by Hollis Robertson, one of the proprietors of the plat who gave the street its name in honor of his wife, Alice Humphrey. Her grandfather, Ira Seymour, came to Michigan in 1826. (Foster-03-02-1958)
– from 1961 and 1962 city directories, Alice Street changed to the 1300 to 1700 blocks of N. Logan Street. From Willow Street north to the Grand River. Logan Street is now Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Part of the 1300 block is still marked Alice Street. (Bowman-05-17-2017)

Allegan Street – was named for the county of Allegan which was laid out in 1831. Allegan county in turn was named for the Native American tribe of Allegans. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Allen Street – was named for Abram Allen of the firm of Allen and Hall. B.F. Hall, an early lumber mill operator and real estate developer opened the subdivision in which the street lies and it was only natural for him to select the name of his partner for a street name. Both men were active in all phases of the early development and affairs of the city. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Alpha Street – at the time of the opening of the subdivision by J. W. Bailey company, Angel Prigorris was among the first purchasers of lots and and Mr. Bailey offered the name of the streets Prigorris street. This offer was refused but a Mr. Prigorris’ suggestion, Mr. Bailey named the street Alpha and it used today. (Foster-03-16-1947)

– was so named when the street was established because it was adjacent to the Alpha Floral company. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Alsdorf Street – Cyrus Alsdorf was one of the early residents of Lansing having come to the city in 1856, at which time he was employed at the industrial school for boys. In 1870 he opened a drug store and in 1882 he took his son into partnership with him, the firm being known as Cyrus Alsdorf and Son. F.M. Alsdorf, the son, was active in both political and fraternal circles. The old Alsdorf home, located at the southeast corner of Shiawassee street and Capitol avenue was remodeled some years ago into apartments and is being utilized for that purpose at the present time. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Annetta Street [Road] – named by Grace M. Renker, who placed the subdivision on the market and conducted a street naming contest. The name, Annetta, was winner of the contest as well as being the name of the wife of the the former owner, Annetta Chills. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Ash Street – could have been named for the ash tree and that explanation is generally accepted today. However, in the early days James Turner built an ashery in the vicinity of the street on the banks of a small creek which at the time was called Olcott’s creek. This creek had cut a deep ravine and made an ideal place to dump the refuse from the ashery. Turner settled in Lansing in 1847 and Durant in his history of the county written in 1880 mentions the ashery that Mr. Turner built. Olcott’s creek was so called in honor of S. S. Olcott who was a land looker for the Seymours, Bushnells and Lees of Rochester and Utica, N.Y, who purchased land in Lansing township. Olcott built a cabin on the banks of the stream in 1836 or 1837. The stream was later called Pine’s Creek in honor of Captain John R. Price who settled in Jackson county in 1834 and moved to Lansing from Albion in 1847. Captain Price owned land along the banks of the stream and operated a brick yard near the present corner of Wall and Larch streets. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Atlas Street – a locative name for the Atlas Drop Forge company which was located in the immediate vicinity. (Foster-04-06-1941)

– was named from the fact that it was adjacent to the Atlas Forge company. The name has since been changed to Rundle ave. as before a continuation of that street. (Foster-03-02-1958)
– there is an Atlas Avenue in the same area today. (Bowman-05-14-2017)

Avis Street – was so named by Hiram Brown and his son, Elvin Brown, who were active real estate brokers in the city at the time with offices in the Oakland building which later burned. The street was named for Avis Brown Treadwell, daughter of Hiram Brown and sister of Elvin. (Foster-01-19-1958)

Avon Street – located in the plat of Torrance Farm addition, was probably named for some admirer of William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, or it could have been named Avon for Avon, New York. Both the above reasons have been advanced but definite proof for either one is lacking. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Ayers Street – named by Robert S. Holmes for his wife, Katherine Ayers Holmes. Mr. Holmes for years was in the piano organ and music business under the name of W. S. Holmes and Son, and as the city began to develop, they gradually became active in real estate brokerage and development operations. (Foster-03-24-1940)
– from 1922 and 1923 city directories, Ayers Street changed to the 200 block of Westmoreland Avenue. (Bowman-05-14-2017)

Bailey Street – was named for J. W. Bailey, who for years was Lansing’s leading real estate broker and later leader in its real estate development operations. There has probably been no one operator and broker in the city who has seen a greater volume of business transacted through his office. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Baker Street – was named for L. E. Baker, who was owner of adjoining land. He was active in one of the early organizations of the city, the Lansing Bible society. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Ballard Street – located in D. L. Case’s subdivision, was named in 1863 for Appletown Ballard, on of Lansing’s pioneers who came to the city in 1848. He was also owner of the land nearby which platted in 1873 as Ballard’s addition. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Bancroft Court – was so named by Charles Fratcher, who developed the street and named it for William F. Bancroft, a long-time resident of the city who traveled for the Chicago Manufacturing company. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Banghart Street – is an old name in North Lansing, the family having located in Lansing township about 1880 and at one time owned 117 acres located where the street now is. (Foster-01-19-1958)

Bank Street – is a short street from Coleman ave. to Washington ave. parallel to the right-of-way of the L. S. & M. S. R. R. It was named from the fact that there was a slight rise in the street. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Barnard Street – was named for the Barnard family. William A. Barnard was a charter member of the Grand River Boat club and at one time was in partnership with his father, Stephen Barnard in the ownership and operation of a sewing machine agency. Later he was an employee of the state land office and was so employed at the time the street was opened to the public. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Barnes Avenue – in J. H. Moores’ Park place addition, was named for the Barnes family who were so long vitally interested in Lansing’s early industrial growth. Very early phases of the city’s early development can be found in which they were not participants in some manner. The family was one of the early pioneers having come to Ingham county in 1836. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Bart Street – (now obsolete) – from Warner street south, one block west of North Logan street. First east of Becker, which is now in Becker’s addition. No facts found as to how this street received its name. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Bartlett Street – this street could have been named for H. P. Bartlett who in the early seventies was proprietor of Bartlett’s Business college located at 206 South Washington avenue. In 1888 he is listed in the directory under Bartlett and Emery, real estate and loans. The Emery of the firm was Wesley Emery, the father of the present A. M. Emery. Mr. Bartlett at one time was a member of the board of education of the city. (Foster-02-09-1941)

– got its name from S. M. Bartlett who came to Lansing from Monroe and was superintendent of construction of the first building erected at the Michigan Agricultural college, now Michigan State university. (Foster-01-19-1958)

Beal Avenue – in J. H. Moores’ park place addition, was named for E. S. Beal, who was one Mr. Moores’ associates and owner of part of the land that was platted. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Beaver Street – Turner, in his history of Ingham county, states that the old mill race of the North Lansing dam was formed by a natural bridge or mole of earth between Olcott’s (Price’s) creek and the river and the land back of the ridge was a beaver meadow. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that Beaver street in that vicinity was named for the animal that was homesteading there. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Beech Street – named for the tree (Foster-03-06-1938)

Bement Street – in the Lansing Improvement company was named for the Bement family, G. W. Bement, A. O. Bement and C. E. Bement, all of whom were engaged in the various manufacturing enterprises of the young and growing city. Edwin Bement came to Lansing in 1869 and in 1870 began the manufacturing of plows, stoves and bobsleds under the name of E. Bement and Sons. At the time Bement street was named, A. O. Bement was mayor of Lansing, Edward Sparrow was president and Ira Randell was secretary of the Business Men’s club, proprietors of the land, was the forerunner of our present Chamber of Commerce. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Benton Street – was named by Earl Covert, proprietor of the land, for his son, Benton Covert. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Berten Street – was named for Dr. Berten M. Davey, one of the proprietors of the plat. He was long a prominent physician of the city and was instrumental in the construction of the Hotel Roosevelt of which he was part owner. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Betty’s Court – (now obsolete) – it was named by Arthur Bradley, who owned and platted the land and named the street for his daughter, Betty Bradley. (Foster-04-06-1941)
– in the 1940 city directory, listed as running north from West Michigan Avenue, 1st west of the Belt Line Railroad, outside city limits. (Bowman-05-20-2017)

Bingham Street – the statement has been published that Bingham street was named for Ex-Governor Kingsly Bingham and not our local citizen, Stephen D. Bingham. As to whom it really was named for, we of this generation will probably never know. However, it seems more logical to suppose that the street was named for the local prominent man, Stephen D. Bingham. Green Oak subdivision was platted in 1872. Stephen D. Bingham was appointed postmaster in May 1871 and was postmaster at the time the subdivision in which Bingham street lies was platted. On three different occasions he had been editor of The Lansing Republican and at the time of the platting of the street he was political editor of the paper. Three previous editors had been honored by having streets named after them. It was only logical for the real estate developer or promoter to thus honor the editor, with the possibility of favorable comment of the project in the news item. Governor Bingham was governor in 1855-1859 and never maintained a residence here. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Bismark Street – (obsolete) – was a selected name for the street now known as Custer. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Black Court – was named by Wyllis O. Dodge for his uncle, Judge C. P. Black who previously had owned the land. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Blair Street – was named by W. K. Prudden, Colonel Rogers and others of the Lansing Home Building company. The street was named for Michigan’s war governor, [Austin] Blair. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Bluff Street – is a selected or descriptive name so called because in the early days the sharp drop of the hill to the old Wiemann creek was about as steep as any of the so-called hills in that part of Lansing. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Bon Air Road – a selected name given the street with the idea of its having sales appeal, the name meaning good air. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Bradley Avenue – in J. H. Moores Park place addition, was named by J. H. Moores for Nelson Bradley, who was one of Mr. Moores’ early bank associates. At the time the street was dedicated to the public Mr. Bradley was cashier of the Central Michigan Savings bank and vice president of The Building and Loan society. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Bridge Street – was laid out and developed at the time of the construction of the viaduct on the Charlotte road. Owing to the proximity of the the construction of the overhead bridge, the street was given a locative name. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Britten Avenue – was named for William T. Britten who was one of the co-owners and developers of the Park Heights sub-division. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Brook Street – was so named because of its proximity to the brook or creek than ran through the Englewood subdivision or that tract of land formerly known as the “40 acres.” The creek was the old Wienman creek. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Bullard Street – (obsolete) – changed to Corbett street. It was named for General Robert Lee Bullard of World War fame. The development was placed on the market after the war and as usual, after each war, towns, parks and streets received the name of outstanding military and patriotic persons. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Butler Street – now called boulevard, originally consisted of Butler street, Claypool street and Charlotte street; was named for Orange Butler, who came to Michigan in 1835 from Orleans county, New York. His son, Charles Butler arrived in the city in 1849. Both were active and respected citizens. Orange Butler was at one time part owner of the old Mineral Well hotel, located on River street just south of the River Street bridge. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Cadwell Street – (now obsolete) – was so named by Henry Cadwell who platted the land in 1887. He was a house mover, contractor and gravel pit operator. (Foster-01-21-1940)

– now part of Moores River Drive, 1100 to 1500 blocks. (State Journal-04-30-1918, Bowman-07-04-2017)

Cady Court – Jesse E. Narmore platted the land and named the street for Wilford E. Cady from whom he purchased the parcel of land to be subdivided. Curtis Tisdale Cady came to Lansing in 1854 with his son Wilford E. Cady who was 20 years of age. He was employed for a number of years by the old Lansing Iron and Engine Works that was located where the new city market has been established. Later he was actively engaged with Cady and Glassbrook, located at North Lansing, dealing in saw mill machinery. Eventually he was employed by the Hildreth Pump company which developed into the present Novo Engine company. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Call Street – located in Northlawn subdivision which was platted by Herbert Johnson and others, was so named by Johnson for Donald Call who was a Lansing newspaperman at the time and had just become a brother-in-law of Johnson’s. (Foster-01-19-1958)

Cambridge Road – a selected name given to the street developed as part of the River Side Country club. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Camp Street – was named for O. F. Camp, an old settler who at one time owned the land that was platted as well as all the land occupied by the present Groesbeck golf course. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Capitol Avenue – a descriptive name was so selected because of the fact that the new state capitol was to face the street. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Cary Street – Melanchon Cary was the owner of the land which was platted. (Foster-12-10-1939)

– I believe this is the same as Carey Street and at some point the spelling of the road was changed. (Bowman-07-04-2017)

Case Street – Daniel L. Case, who platted the land which included the street, was born in Canada and settled in Mason in 1843, where he opened a law office. In 1847 he moved to Lansing and was thereafter active in all civic affairs. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Catherine Avenue – so named by Grace M. Renker, the subdivider, as a result of a sales popularity contest. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Cavanaugh Road – see Emily Avenue.

Cawood Street – was named by Willard I. Bowerman for one of his salesmen, “Bill” Cawood. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Cedar Street – named for the tree (Foster-03-06-1938)

Center Street – at the time the town of Michigan was platted there already had been some plans for development at North Lansing as it is now called. The first dam had been built, stores were in operation and a hotel was operating near Wall and Center streets. Center street was in the midst of these activities and the plan was for the street to become the trading center of the community. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Cesar Chavez Avenue – (obsolete) – in 1994, Grand Avenue was changed by the city council to Cesar Chavez Avenue, in honor of the Hispanic leader of the United Farm Workers of America organization. Was changed back the next year in a public vote. (Lansing State Journal-03-15-1994, 09-16-1994, 06-15-1995)

Charles Street – in the plat of Urbandale, the old race track, was named for Charles W. Foster, one of the stockholders of the company that placed the subdivision on the market. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Charlotte Street – (obsolete) – probably named for the city of Charlotte. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Chelsea Avenue – was named by C. H. Kempf, a banker of Chelsea, Mich.. who platted the land and named it for his home town. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Cherry Street – named for the tree (Foster-03-06-1938)

Chestnut Street – named for the tree (Foster-03-06-1938)

Chicago Avenue – was a selected name given the street by the Simons brothers of Columbus, O., who platted Englewood Park additon. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Christiancy Street – was named by Judge Rollin Person when he dedicated the plat of land that was formerly the old Christiancy homesite. Judge Isaac P. Christiancy came to Michigan in 1836 and to Lansing in 1858 as one of the judges of the supreme court and served until 1875 when he resigned to become United State senator. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Christopher Street – was named and dedicated by Mary E. Christopher when she platted the land in 1910. She was the widow of John Christopher. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Chubby Drive – was named by Claude Culver who gave the street the nickname of his son, Rhuel Culver. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Clark Street – was named by Charles A. Clark who for a great many years resided on East Michigan avenue. He was an active builder, and real estate operator. (Foster-01-21-1940)
– for Charles Clark, the sub-divider, who named it for himself. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Claypool Street – (obsolete) – the street was originally in a subdivision that was platted in 1870 and was that part of the present Butler boulevard that lies between Michigan avenue and Saginaw street. It was named for Albert Claypool, who recorded the plat. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Clear Street – was named for John Clear who platted the parcel of land in which the street lays. He came to Lansing in 1866, an early dealer in coal, ice and oil business which he entered in 1886 in partnership with Mr. Wells. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Clemens Street – was named by the Ulrichs who lived in Mt. Clemens and platted a few parcels of land in the city and suburbs. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Cleveland Street – was named by Ned K. Farrand who platted Farrand’s addition and named the street for President Grover Cleveland. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Cliff Street – was an extension of the the present Kilbourne street. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Clifford Street – was originally called Dyer street and was re-named for Mark Clifford who came to Lansing as a house to house rug peddler. He afterwards drifted into the real estate business and accumulated considerable property in the city. Upon his death he left lands and funds to the city for park and playground purposes. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Clinton Street – the deduction can reasonably be made that as so many of the streets were named for counties this street was named for the county which adjoins Ingham county on the north. Clinton county received its name from Dewitt Clinton through which efforts the Erie canal was built. It was due to the construction of canals in New York state that greatly aided some diversion of migration from Ohio to Michigan in the early forties and fifties. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Clippert Street – is in the plat of Urbandale and was named for George C. Clippert, who with O. E. Spaulding operated the old brick yard located on East Michigan avenue. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Coleman Avenue – in J. H. Moores’ Park place addition, was named for Merritt L. Coleman who was one of Mr. Moores’ associates. He at one time was secretary and treasurer of the Lansing Wagon Works and was with Shepard and company who were in the hide and grain business with quarters located at the southeast corner of Michigan and Washington avenues. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Condit Street – the short one block street from Cedar street to the old Lake Shore depot was given a selected, descriptive name, indicating a conduit or passageway. (Foster-01-21-1940)

– now renamed Anderson street. The previous explanation of the naming of this street as meaning a passage way, although appropriate, was incorrect. George H. Pratt, long a resident of the city, calls attention to the fact that the street was named for a Mr. Condit who was prominent in the administrative affairs of the L. S. and M. S. railway. Search reveals in the 1870’s there was also a station on the railroad about five miles south of Albion. At the time the station was named the railroad did not extend beyond the village of Albion. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Cooper Avenue – was named for R. W. Cooper, who with others owned and developed considerable land in the south part of the city which was platted as Elmhurst. He was for many years reporter of the supreme court and secretary of the board of education. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Cowles Street – it was so named by Judge Albert E. Cowles who owned and platted the land. Judge Cowles was active in all affairs of the city and at one time was the judge of probate. He came to Lansing in 1848 from the town of Jefferson, one of Ingham county’s “ghost towns.” Judge Cowles in his later years wrote a history of the city and county entitled “The Past and Present of Ingham County.” (Foster-01-21-1940)

Creston Place – a selected name in the Greencroft subdivision by the subdivider, V. R. Pattengill. (Foster-04-06-1941)

– was changed in 1968 to Markley Place in honor of resident, Muriel Markley. She had moved to 2418 Creston Place with her late husband Henry 47 years before. The reason the name was changed was because of confusion with Creston Avenue, located in the north part of town. (State Journal-09-30-1968)

Cross Street – there have been at various times 3 or 4 Cross streets in Lansing and its suburbs. A typical selected name for any short service street, for convenience and usually with no lots facing on it. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Culver Avenue – was named by Claude C. Culver who owned and platted the land. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Custer Avenue – changed from Bismark Street in 1918 during anti-German sentiment of World War I. Probably for famous General George Armstrong Custer, a Michigan native. (State Journal-04-30-1918, Bowman-04-17-2017)

Dakin Street – was named for John Dakin, who owned the land and was active in real estate operations with the Bensch, Dakin Walsh company. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Davis Avenue – in J. H. Moores’ subdivision was named by him for the late Benjamin F. Davis who was one of Mr. Moores’ business and banking associates and one of Lansing’s earliest residents, the family having come to the city in 1853. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Detroit Street – a selected name in the plat of Urbandale. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Dinsmore Drive – in the plat of Westmoreland, was named by L. B. Ayres of the Standard Real Estate company who placed the land on the market. John Dinsmore was the surveyor who had charge of the platting and engineering of the plat. (Foster-04-06-1941)

– took its name from John Dinsmore, a civil engineer who surveyed a large number of subdivisions in the city, including the plat of Westmoreland in which the street is located. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Division Street – (obsolete) – was so named because it was the dividing line between Townsend’s Addition to the City of Lansing and the City of Lansing. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Dorrance Place – Albert G. Dorrance in 1838 resided on East Shiawassee street and owned the land which he sold by metes and bounds descriptions for homesite purposes. He was a carpenter by trade. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Downer Street – the subdivision in which Downer st. is located was platted by William Vetter, who named the streets. Downer was named for his wife’s family name, he having married Esther D. Downer. The subdivision was later taken over by the Hacker company and replatted. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Downey Street – (obsolete) – was originally platted by Charles P. Downey and L. S. Hutton in their plat of Beechenbrook. The plat was abandoned and replatted. Downey street, First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth avenues all were replatted. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Drury Lane – was named by E. E. Porter for his son Drury L. Porter in his Handy Home addition. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Dunlap Street – was named for Joseph Dunlap, owner of the land subdivided. He had for years been an employee of the post office department as a mail carrier. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Durant Street – in Durant sub-division, was offered to the public by the J. W. Bailey company and was named for William C. Durant, who was active in the automotive industry in the city and who had recently organized and built the plant of the Durant Motors which is now the main Lansing unit of the Fisher Body corporation. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Dwight Street – was named for Dwight Smith, who with James M. Turner was one of the owners and platters of the subdivision which was recorded in 1874. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Earl Street – (obsolete) – was the first street west of Logan street, south of St. Joseph; has now been re-named Birch street. (Foster-12-10-1939)

East Street – was another typically locative name, it having been the east city limits at the time it was named. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Eastlawn Drive – a selected name derived from the subdivision in Eastlawn which was offered to the public by the J. W. Bailey company. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Eaton Road – a selected name by the subdividers, the Pattengill-Foster company. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Edward Street – was named by W. O. Oxendale who dedicated the street to the public for his son, Edward Oxendale. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Eighth Street – originally named Kerr street and was changed at the requests of those who resided on the street who claimed that it was offensive when the conductor of the street car would call the street name of “Kerr” to have some joker call out “all dogs out.” The residents of South Kerr street wanted one name selected and those who resided north of Michigan avenue had a different selection, so at the suggestion of our present auditor general, Vernon J. Brown, who was a councilman at that time, the compromise name of Eighth street was selected. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Elaine Street – was a name selected by Grace M. Renker for the street in her Michigan Heights sub-division. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Elizabeth Street – (obsolete) – as there was no bridge crossing the Grand river at Washington avenue at this time, the street south of the Grand river at this point was called Elizabeth street. Biddle City as laid out by the Ford brothers had an Elizabeth street but it is reasonable to conclude that the name was selected by James Seymour for Elizabeth street of Rochester, N.Y. Upon the erection of the bridge at this point it was only natural for the name of Washington avenue to be adopted for the extension, then under a different name. (Foster-03-06-1938)

– was named by Benjamin Hall for his daughter Elizabeth Hall. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Elliot Street – a short one block street that ran from Center street west to the Grand river through land that is now occupied by the Lansing company. It was in land that was platted as Elliott’s subdivision by Richard Elliott who was a produce dealer living at the corner of Center and Clinton streets. (Foster-01-21-1940)

– was renamed Oakland Avenue when that street was extended. (State Journal-01-26-1965)

Elvin Court – was named by Hiram W. Brown for his son, Elvin D. Brown. Father and son were active in the real estate, building and insurance business under the name of the Brown Insurance agency. H. W. Brown at one time was secretary and manager of the Brown Machine and Engine company. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Elm Street – named for the tree (Foster-03-06-1938)

Elvin Court – was so named by Hiram Brown, who, with his son, Elvin Brown, was in the real estate business in Lansing for years. Hiram Brown was one of the active organizers of the Lansing Real Estate Exchange which was the forerunner of the present Lansing Real Estate board. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Emily Street – [Avenue-?] – in the plat of Orchard Gardens, was named by William H. Newbrough, who was the holder of the land when platted. The land before being platted was the location of the Cavanaugh Poultry farms and the street was named for Mrs. Emily V. Cavanaugh. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Englewood Court – was named for the subdivision, Englewood Park, in which it is located. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Euclid Street – now called Euclid place, probably selected and named for one of the prominent streets of Cleveland. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Eugene Avenue – in the plat of Orchard Gardens, was so named by William H. Newbrough, in honor of his father, Eugene Newbrough. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Eureka Street – was probably a selected name with supposed sales appeal. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Evans Street – (obsolete) – was the first street north of Franklin, now Grand River avenue, that lies east of the Michigan Central railroad. It is now called North street. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Factory Street – so called for the anticipated manufacturing and milling development that was expected to take place along it, as the land on the west side of the street abutted the mill race. Durant’s history of Ingham county has a very good description of the early mills of the city and true to expectations the street did develop into a manufacturing center for the new community. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Fair Street – (obsolete) – the south end of the present Butler street. The 1873 city directory states that it was a continuation of Claypool street. It was so called because of the fact that it was the main thoroughfare to the old state fairgrounds which is now occupied by the Olds Motor Works. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Fairhurst Avenue – (obsolete) – a selected name. Changed to Rosemary. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Fairview Avenue – was a typically selected name although at the time the street was platted the view to the east and south was such that the name could have been described as descriptive. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Fenton Street – a selected name by the subdivider, T. B. Foster. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Fernwood Avenue – a selected name by the subdivider, F. B. McKibbin company. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Ferris Street – was named for the Rev. Mr. J. C. Ferris, who owned land facing the street and not for Alonzo Ferris, who was one of the committee appointed by the governor of the state to lay out the original plot of the Town of Michigan. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Fish Street – (obsolete) – on the original plat Fish street was the narrow street west of Turner street that ran along the east bank of the Grand river, north of Franklin avenue. This street was vacated and later was occupied by an auto body company. It was probably named by James Seymour for the Fish street of Rochester, N.Y. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Florence Street – was named by Patrick H. Healy for his daughter, Florence Healey. P. J. Healey and Frank J. Tisdale were owners of the subdivision. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Foster Avenue – in Foster Farm addition, was platted by Dr. Joseph and Nora Baird Foster and was part of the Foster Homestead farm. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Frances Street – the original Frances street was in J. M. Frenche subdivision, but is now part of Cary street. No reason for the selection of the name for the present street has as yet been ascertained. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Franklin Avenue – (obsolete) – no doubt was selected in honor of Benjamin Franklin. (Foster-03-06-1938)

– the street was re-named Grand River Avenue in 1925. The change in name of the thoroughfare was part of a scheme to have a Grand River avenue extending across the state as suggested by the state administrative board. (State Journal-12-29-1925)

Frazel Street – (obsolete) – a street in the Harris subdivision. Now part of the land occupied by the Reo Motor Car Company. Jake Frazel was owner of a meat market in the city at the time it was platted and was a neighbor of the platter of the land, J. S. Harris. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Fremont Street – named by James H. Lyman, a Civil war veteran, who as proprietor named the street for Gen. John C. Fremont of Civil war days. (Foster-02-09-1941)

– in Lyman’s subdivision, was named by James H. and Pliny Lyman, who as proprietors of the land, named it for Gen. John Fremont, the soldier and explorer. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Fulton Place – got its name from the wife of Dr. Samuel Osborn, whose maiden name was Gladys Fulton. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Garey Court – the city of Lansing changed the name in 1990 of Garey Court to Quaker Court after the low-income housing renovating company Quaker Management bought and upgraded all six houses on the street. Quaker Management was formed by a group of Eastern High School graduates, whose nickname is the Quakers. (Lansing State Journal-03-04-1990)

Garfield Street – another of Frank Tisdale’s selected patriotic names. (Foster-02-09-1941) [probably for President James A. Garfield]

Genesee Street – was named for the county which was laid out in 1835. The Genesee county of Michigan was named for the county of that name in New York state which derived its name from the Sebeca Indian language meaning beautiful valley. (Foster-03-06-1938)

George Street – was named by James Hammell, an ex-mayor of Lansing, for his son, George Hammell. Mr. Hammond was one of the owners of the parcel of land offered to the public under the subdivision name of Olds park. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Gier Street – derived its name from Burton S. Gier, who was active in industrial and civic affairs of the city, and who was one of the organizers of the Gier, Dail Pressed Steel company, which later became the Gier Steel Products and later became a unit of the Motor Wheel company. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Glen Street – was so named for Jacob Glen, who was one of the committee of three who represented the state in laying out the original Town of Michigan. It was the ninth street west of Washington avenue from Grand River north to St. Joseph street, and has since been renamed. The present Glenn street was so named by Joseph W. Bailey when the J. W. Bailey company platted the land. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Gold Street – (obsolete) – listed as running from Center street to Turner street and was one block long. First street north of Franklin. Land now occupied by the Auto Body company. No explanation. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Gordon Avenue – was named by R. J. Cooper, one of the proprietors of the subdivision, for his son Gordon Cooper, who was killed in the air service in the war of 1917. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Grace Street – in Grace Renker’s Michigan Heights subdivision, was named by and for herself. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Grand Avenue – was selected for the name of the street that parallels the Grand river through the main part of the Town of Michigan. The name can be considered as a borrowed name from the river but from the viewpoint of the promoters it had sales appeal which in later years proved true as at one time it was developed into the finest residential street of the city. (Foster-03-06-1938)
– was renamed Cesar Chavez Avenue for about a year., then changed back. (Lansing State Journal-03-15-1994, 09-16-1994, 06-15-1995)

Grant Street – one of Frank J. Tisdale’s patriotic selected names. (Foster-04-06-1941) [probably for General and President Ulysses S. Grant]

Greencroft Avenue – a selected name by the subdivider, Pattengill-Foster company. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Greenlawn Avenue – a selected name by the subdivider, V. R. Pattengill. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Grove Street – a selected or descriptive name for the land adjacent to it. The heavily wooded tract of land commonly known as the “40 acres.” (Foster-01-21-1940)

Haag Court – was named by W. L. Haag who, with his wife, dedicated the street to the public in 1912. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Hall Street – was named for a Mr. Hall who lived on Ferris street at the end of Larch street, but because of the jog the name of Hall was selected as for a new street. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Hammond Street – was named for J. M. Hammond and was in Cadwell’s addition, in land plated by Henry Cadwell which he purchased from Mr. Hammond. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Harley Street – (obsolete) – was a one block street from Michigan avenue through land platted by Harley Ingersoll who was an early real estate operator in the city and was listed as such in some of the early city directories. He at one time owned and operated a wholesale dry goods store located in this city. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Hayford Street – Fred and George Hayford were with F. J. Tisdale as salesmen when Mr. Tisdale platted the land here and operated under the name of the Boston Land company. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Haze Street – (obsolete) – it was the first street south of Spring street that was located east of Cedar river, a continuation of Isaac street or the present Olds avenue. It was named for Doctor Haze, who came to Ingham county in 1838. Doctor Haze is sometimes given credit for leading the fight in the state legislature that kept the present Michigan State college as a separate unit in its present location instead of combining with the University of Michigan, as was being advocated at that time. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Hazel Street – named for the tree (Foster-03-06-1938)

Hazeltine Place – (obsolete) – a street on the banks of the Grand river from South street, south to the railroad. Now occupied by Scott playgrounds. No explanation for the selection of the name has been found. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Heald Place – was named for C. M. Heald, who was at the time of the dedication of the street, president of the Pere Marquette railroad, along the property line of which the street is parallel. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Henry Street – was named by Henry R. Cadwell for himself. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Herbert Court – (obsolete) – now called Gilbert Court. The original name was given the street by Herbert Rogers who platted the land. He was in the real estate business and connected with the Lansing Business Institute. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Herbert Street – in Hall’s south side addition, was named by Horatio H. Larned, one of Lansing’s pioneer business men. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Hess Street – in the Park Heights Land company’s addition, was named for Otto Hess, who was the engineer in charge of the development. (Foster-02-09-1941)

High Street – was so named because of the fact that the street passed over a high bridge located northeast of the city on what is now called the Gunnisonville road. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Hill Street – a descriptive name. The original hill was very steep and at present time has been much cut down. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Hillsdale Street – was named for Hillsdale county which is descriptive of the hills and dales. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Holmes Street – named for Dr. James Holmes, who was prominent in Lansing business and fraternal circles and at one time was proprietor of the Benton House, one of Lansing’s first hotels. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Home Street – in E. S. Porter’s Handy Home addition. A selected name. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Homer Street – was named for Homer Fowler, one of the stockholders of the subdividers of the old race track, an Urbandale subdivision as it was later known. Mr. Fowler was at one time the county register of deeds. (Foster-02-09-1941)
– in the plat of Urbandale, was named for Homer Fowler who was one of the stockholders of the Ingham Land company who placed the parcel on the market. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Homewood Avenue – a selected name by the F. B. McKibbin company for a street in their Maple Hill subdivision. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Horner Street – (obsolete) – located in Cornell’s Addition, located west of the School for the Blind. No explanation for this name has been found. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Horton Street – in Horton Longyear’s subdivision. Was named by and for himself. In his younger days he was employed in the bank known as the “Longyear bank” and later was active in organizing a bank at Bellevue, Mich. After disposing of his interests there he returned to Lansing to take an active part in a retail furniture business. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Hosmer Street – was named for Rufus Hosmer, one of early Lansing’s most prominent citizens. He was born in 1819 and graduated from Harvard university in 1834. He settled in Michigan in 1838 and came to Lansing in 1857. He was active in most community affairs and was at one time editor and publisher of the old Lansing Republican. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Howard Street – in the plat of Urbandale on East Michigan avenue was named for Howard Krause. He was one of the stockholders of the Ingham Land company which platted the subdivision. The Howard avenue at North Lansing in Turner and Smith’s subdivision was probably named for Jacob M. Howard who was at one time United States senator from Michigan which he held until 1871. The fact that Mr. Turner was extremely active politically would lead to the above conclusion. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Huron Road – (obsolete) – a street in Cedar Acre subdivision from Cedar street west to the old Mason electric line right of way. Now a continuation of Rockford road. When the strip of land south of Mt. Hope avenue was annexed to the city the name was changed so as not to conflict with the present Huron street on the west side. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Howe Street – was named by W. S. Holmes and son, Robert S. Holmes, for Mrs. W. S. Holmes who before her marriage was Miss Adelia Howe. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Hungerford Street – was named for Mrs. Morgan B. Hungerford, owner of the land. She was the daughter of Dr. William H. Haze, who was one of Lansing’s early pioneers and at one time was mayor of the city. Dr. Haze owned considerable land on the west side of the city and Haze and Hungerford streets were thus named for his family. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Isaac Street – (obsolete) – in the original plat the name was in the honor of Isaac Townsend who was an extensive owner of land in the vicinity of the new town. Considerable of this land was later platted by his heirs. The name was changed to Olds avenue by an act of the common council on April 29, 1929. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Ionia Street – was named for Ionia county, named in turn for the ancient Greek settlement. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Isbell Street – was named for S. M. Isbell of Jackson, Mich., who was in the grain and seed business there and eventually established a bean elevator here in the city. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Jason Court – from S. Cedar st. east, the first north of Baker st., was named for Herman Jason, who for years, under the firm name of Jason & Turner, operated sawmills in the vicinity of Williamston and Perry. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Jay Street – the short street from Cedar street west to the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern railway tracks or to the entrance to the pumping plant of the city water works was in the subdivision placed on the market by Jones, Smith and Chapman. No definite explanation for the name has been found but Jones and J. C. Smith can lead to a conclusion for the selection. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Jefferson Street – named for the President, Thomas Jefferson. (Foster-03-06-1938)

– was renamed Oakland Avenue when that street was extended. (State Journal-01-26-1965)

Jerome Street – so named for George Jerome, who was at one time a silent partner in the ownership of the Lansing Republican. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Jessop Avenue – now called Cavanaugh road, was originally named by the subdivider of Jessop’s Home Gardens in honor of the family who owned the land that compromised the plat of Maple Hill on South Cedar street. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Jones Street – was named for Col. Whitney Jones, who was auditor general in 1854. He was at one time postmaster and was active in the civic as well as the real estate development of the city and lived at the corner of Pennsylvania and Michigan avenues. He came to Detroit in 1839 from Jamestown, N.Y., and then removed to Marshall, thence to Eaton Rapids, then to Grand River City or Ingersoll Mills and finally to Lansing. He was the builder and owner of one of Lansing’s most elaborate homes, the old “octagon house” located where Arbaugh’s store now is. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Josephine Drive – was named by W. O. Dodge for his sister, Josephine Dodge. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Kalamazoo Street – was named for Kalamazoo county, named for the Kalamazoo river, the Indian name meaning bright or boiling water. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Kensington Road – was a selected name, for the street in Greencroft subdivision by V. R. Pattengill. Most of the selected names in Greencroft were selected by Mr. Pattengill as being representative names of streets in the high class subdivisions of Ottawa Hills, Toledo and Shaker Heights of Cleveland. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Kerr Street – (obsolete) – now renamed Eighth street, the name having been changed by the common council. It was originally named for John A. Kerr, who was mayor of the city in 1860 and another one of the Lansing Republican’s early editors for whom a street was named. (Foster-12-10-1939)
– named for Mayor, years ago Lansing had a Kerr street, which was named for John Kerr, who was one Lansing’s prominent and really influential early citizens. He was at one time owner and editor of the Lansing Republican, which was a forerunner of the present State Journal. John Kerr probably took a lot good-natured ribbing and kidding because of his name, but the residents of the street at later date apparently were more thin-skinned and could not take the kidding. A petition was circulated to change the name and this the council did. (Foster-01-19-1958)

Kingsley Court – was originally named Foster court by the subdivider, Foster M. Chaffee, but renamed Kingsley court because of the confliction with Foster avenue in Foster Farm addition. Phineas Kingsley was the owner of the land facing Logan street through which the entrance to the court was made. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Kirby Drive – on N. Logan st., was so named after W. B. Kirby, who at the time of the naming of the street was secretary of the city water and electric light commissioner; when they created the street to establish a pumping station. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Kudner Street – (obsolete) – now Maple street. Originally platted and named by and for Charles Kudner who owned the land platted. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Lafayette Street – a purely selected name by Earl Covert, who was the sub-divider of the land in which the street lay. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Lahoma Street – no definite explanation but suggested that it was a manufactured name to mean “the home” street. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Lapeer Street – was named for Lapeer county, named for the principle river in that county. In naming the county the French term La Pierre was used instead of the Indian term. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Larch Street – named for the tree (Foster-03-06-1938)

Larned Street – in the Lansing Improvements company’s addition, was named for H. H. Larned, a prominent merchant of the city who for years was one of the leaders in the Lansing Business Men’s club, which was the forerunner of the present Chamber of Commerce. He was active in the banking and manufacturing enterprises of the city and served for years as a member of the Board of the Industrial School for Boys. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Lathrop Street – was named for George E. Lathrop who at one time operated a meat market here. His wife Rossita Shepard owned the land which was platted. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Lee Street – was named by Daniel Lee of the real estate firm of Bush, Thomas & Lee, who in 1847 acquired their real estate holdings in the city. He came from Brighton, Mich., to this city. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Leitram Avenue – was named by William Foster, a pioneer farmer who resided on West Saginaw street. He named the street for Leitram in Ireland his home, before coming to Michigan. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Lenawee Street – was named for Lenawee county which derived its name from the Delaware Indian language meaning “man” or the Shawnee Indian form “lenawi”, meaning “Indian.” (Foster-03-06-1938)

Lenore Street – was named by William S. Oxendale for his wife, Lenore Oxendale. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Lesher Place – was named for C. P. Lesher who resided in the five hundred block North Pennsylvania avenue and for a great many years was engaged in the manufacture of the famous C. P. L. cigar, one of the old time best selling cigars in this vicinity. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Leslie Avenue – was named by Leslie Ulrich of Mt. Clemens who was one of the proprietors of the plat of Leslie Park. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Lewis Street – (obsolete) – was originally the first street east of Cary street and was named for Lewis D. Preston, who was the surveyor of the plat and also acted as surveyor for most of the early plats of the city. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Liberty Street – probably named for Liberty street of Rochester, N.Y. by James Seymour. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Lincoln Avenue – a selected patriotic name by Frank J. Tisdale. (Foster-04-06-1941) [probably for President Abraham Lincoln]

Lincoln Court – (obsolete) – changed to John street. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Lincoln Street – (obsolete) – a selected name for President Lincoln in Cornell’s Addition. A plat that was later vacated. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Lindbergh Drive – was named by Col. Fred E. Shubel, owner of the plat, for Colonel Lindbergh who at the time was the world hero. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Linden Street [Avenue] – a selected name for that street which was the south city limits but is now known as Mt. Hope avenue. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Linval Street – named after Linval A. Torrance who had previously owned the land from which the Torrance Farm addition subdivision was created. Previous to that the land had been owned and a farmhouse was built in 1853 by William F. Davis, father of banker and prominent citizen Benjamin F. Davis. (Bowman-03-21-2017)

Logan Street – (obsolete) – was probably a selected patriotic name in honor of General Logan of Civil War fame. Part of the street was originally West street. (Foster-12-10-1939)
– was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard after the Civil Rights Movement leader. (Lansing State Journal-04-25-1989, 08-22-1989, 03-29-1994)

Lowcroft Street – named by the sub-divider, T. G. Foster when the plat of Lowcroft, a low hill was offered to the public. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Lyman Street – was named by P. M. Lyman for his father, James H. Lyman, the co-owner’s of Lyman’s addition to the city. (Foster-02-09-1941)
– platted and named in 1910 by James H. and Pliny Lyman. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Madison Street – named for the President, James Madison (Foster-03-06-1938)

Mahlon Street – in 1917 Burton Mansfield purchased the land in which the street lay from Mahlon Slade and placed it on the market and giving the street its name for the man from whom he purchased the land. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Main Street – (obsolete) – was so named because of the fact that there was a business and mill development near the confluence of the Grand and Red Cedar rivers. In 1847 there were three hotels located on the street and to the pioneers it certainly must have appeared to be the “coming” street of the new community. (Foster-03-06-1938)
– was renamed Malcolm X Street. (Lansing State Journal-09-14-2010)

Malcolm X Street – in 2010, Main Street was renamed Malcolm X Street, in honor of the civil rights leader who had lived part of his youth in Lansing and Mason. Then known as Malcolm Little. (Lansing State Journal-09-14-2010)

Maple Street – named for the tree (Foster-03-06-1938)

Maple Hill Avenue – was also the name of the subdivision platted on South Cedar street by the F. B. McKibbin company. The name is descriptive and was selected by a subdivision naming contest. The land compromising the subdivision was owned by Alice Jessup and William Hunter. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Marion Street – named by Patrick H. Healey of Tisdale and Healey for Marion Caniff. This street now called Woodrow street as it conflicted with the Marion street in Elmhurst, the development of the South Lansing Land company. The present Marion street was named for Marion Cooper, daughter of R. J. Cooper and sister of Herbert J. Cooper, who is now active in real estate circles. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Markley Place – the name of this street in the Washington Park area was changed from Creston Place in 1968 to Markley Place in honor of resident, Muriel Markley. She had moved to 2418 Creston Place with her late husband Henry 47 years before. The reason the name was changed was because of confusion with Creston Avenue, located in the north part of town. (State Journal-09-30-1968)

Marshall Street – was named by and for Marshall E. Rumsey who placed the subdivision on the market. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Martin Street – in the Orchard Home addition platted in 1907 by Frank W. Martin and wife, Jennie G. Martin. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard – in 1989, Logan Street was renamed Martin Luther King Jr., in honor of the civil rights leader. At first the two street names were shared as Logan Street-Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. But in 1994, the city council dropped the Logan street name. (Lansing State Journal-04-25-1989, 08-22-1989, 03-29-1994)

Mason Street – located off South Cedar street in Lansing township and was named by the sub-divider, T. G. Foster, for the city of Mason, located eight miles south of the sub-division in which the street is located. A locative name. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Max Avenue – was named by the Young brothers for former Mayor Max Templeton, who at the time the plat was offered to the public, was an employee of the Young Brothers Realty company. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Maxon Court – a short street from S. Sycamore st., one-half block east between William and Isaac st., was developed by Ira Maxon, a local builder of homes. (Foster-03-02-1958)

McKim Street [Avenue] – derived its name from the owner of the land, Robert McKim. (Foster-03-02-1958)

McKinley Street – was formerly Smith street and was renamed by the street committee of the common council for ex-President William McKinley. (Foster-03-24-1940)

McPherson Street – was named for Hugh A. McPherson, president of the Standard Real Estate company who developed in subdivision of Westmoreland. (Foster-03-16-1947)

McVeigh Street – (obsolete) – On December 10, 1939, the street was named for the surveyor who was the the engineer at the time the plat was dedicated. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Michigan Avenue – was named in honor of the state. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Michigan Court – a selected name, now obsolete in Weldon’s addition. The street is now part of Barnes avenue. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Middle Street – a selected descriptive name, it being the street that ran from St. Joseph to the river; named so because it was laid out on the middle line of Section 20. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Mifflin Street – was named by Prof. Jonathan Snyder of the Michigan Agricultural College for his wife, Clara Mifflin Snyder. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Mill Street – named because of the fact that the low land along the east bank of the Grand river and south of Michigan avenue would be a logical site for a saw mill. This mill development took place later and the site at the present time is occupied by one of Lansing’s largest mills and lumber yards. There is also a street of that name in Rochester, N.Y., so that the original proprietors might have had a duel purpose in the selection of the name. (Foster-03-06-1938)

– named changed to Museum Drive in Dec. 1981 by the City Council because that street now boasts the R.E. Olds Museum and the Impression 5 Museum. (State Journal-03-19-1982-The Onlooker column)

Miller Street – (obsolete) – from Michigan avenue north to Saginaw street, the ninth street of Washington avenue. No explanation. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Monroe Street – named for the President, James Monroe (Foster-03-06-1938)

Morris Street – (obsolete) – was named for S. S. Morris who owned and operated the National Steam Sausage factory which was located just north of West Franklin, now Grand River avenue. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Mosher Street – was named by A. O. Bement who platted the land and named it for his wife, Vina L. Mosher Bement. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Mount Hope Avenue [Mt. Hope] – name was changed from Linden Avenue. (State Republican-07-06-1886)

Mulliken Street – (obsolete) – was a street from Jerome street north, the sixth street east of Washington avenue. It was so called for George F. Mulliken who at the time was local agent for the Michigan Central railroad. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Museum Drive – named changed from Mill street in Dec. 1981 by the City Council because that street now boasts the R.E. Olds Museum and the Impression 5 Museum. (State Journal-03-19-1982-The Onlooker column)

Neller Street – was named by Louis Neller who platted the sub-division in which the street lays. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Nipp Avenue – from West Main south to Olds avenue. The first street west of West Street in Taylor’s Riverview Heights subdivision. Fred Webb bought the land in 1926 and agreed to name the street after Louis Nipp who married May Taylor, the owner of the land. The old Taylor home that stood on Main street was moved to 1717 William by Mr. Webb. The Taylor home was built in 1891 by Henry Johnson, a local contractor and was one of the few homes in Lansing of the old New England colonial pillared type. The house is one of the few homes ever built in Lansing using the old English style of construction where bricks were laid between all studs. The school board purchased a block of the platted subdivision and erected what is now known as West Main Street school. (Foster-04-06-1941)

North Street – a typically selected descriptive name for the most northerly street of the new town. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Oak Street – (original street obsolete) – renamed River street, of which it was the continuation south of the Grand river; also named for the tree (Foster-03-06-1938)

Olds Avenue – this street was originally named Isaac street for Isaac Townsend, one of the proprietors of the original town, site of Michigan, but was changed to Olds avenue by the common council for the Olds Motor works which occupies a frontage of over six blocks of the street. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Orchard Street – a selected name given the street by Jones and Porter in their Fairview Addition. The land which they platted was adjacent to an old apple orchard and so Orchard street was the logical selection for a name. A bird’s eye view of Lansing published in 1866 shows the orchard as occupying all of the land north of the main building of the present vocational school. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Osband Avenue – was named by J. H. Moores for Charles H. Osband, who at the time of the naming of the street was cashier of the Peoples State Savings bank. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Ottawa Street – was named for Ottawa county and the county was named for the Indian tribe, the name meaning the “people of the forest.” (Foster-03-06-1938)

Owen Street – was named by Henry W. Bassett, who purchased the land through the agency of the Owens Brothers, Charles Owen and Edward Owen. Satisfied with the deal he platted the land and named the street in their honor. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Park Street – was probably another borrowed name as there was a Park street in Rochester, N.Y. The original Park street was located in North Lansing but has been abandoned. The present Park street which is located south of Moores River drive and west of Logan street is purely a selected name. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Pattengill Avenue – was named by W. K. Prudden, Colonel Rogers and others for the Pattengill family who were prominent in the city, state and national political and educational affairs. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Pearl Street – whether this name was an originally selected name has not been determined. It may be just a coincidence that Biddle City also had a Pearl street, and the name was borrowed from that plat. The theory has been advanced that since the ashery produced what was known as pearl ash, the two streets Pearl and Ash were named for the pearl ashery. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Pennsylvania Avenue – could be named for the state of Pennsylvania, or what is more probable, it was named for Pennsylvania avenue of Washington D.C., the street over which the Union troops passed in review at the close of the Civil war. The latter explanation seems more reasonable, as it was in the early seventies that the city was expanding and the “old soldiers” were beginning to play an active part in the affairs of the city. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Perry Street – in Addmore Park subdivision. A selected patriotic name by F. J. Tisdale, the sub-divider. (Foster-04-06-1941)

– is now an obsolete street name. The street which extended from Cedar st. to the old M. U. R. electric railroad has been renamed Greenlawn, of which it was an extension. It was originally so named for Milt Perry, who was a contractor, builder and real estate operator. (Foster-03-02-1958)

Pershing Drive – a patriotic selected name given the drive in honor of Gen. John Pershing by Fred E. Shubel, the owner of the land which he subdivided and placed on the market through Clifford W. McKibbin as Sycamore Park. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Person’s Court – was so named by Senator Seymour H. Person who developed the court and gave it his family name. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Pete’s Lane – Claude Culver placed the subdivision on the market and gave the street the nickname of his son, Donald Culver. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Pine Street – named for the tree (Foster-03-06-1938)

Pingree Street – named for Governor Hazen S. Pingree who was governor of the state from 1897 to 1900. (He was well known as “Potato” Pingree because after the depression of 1896 he advocated planting all vacant lots in Detroit to that vegetable.) The street name was later changed to Mason st. (Foster-01-19-1958) [there is a Pingree street boarding Quentin Park in 2017]

Platt Street – could have derived its name from Zephaniah Platt who was attorney general of Michigan in 1841-43, but it is much more reasonable to suppose that the street is also a borrowed name from the Platt street of Rochester, N.Y. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Porter Street – was named for E. S. Porter who throughout his active business career was one of Lansing’s industrialists and a leader in all phases of the city’s early growth. He was the builder and owner of the Porter apartments. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Potter Hill – was named by T. E. Potter, who platted the land and the fact that the street was up and over one of the largest hills in the south-end gave the full meaning of the name. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Poxson Avenue – was named for Elijah Poxson, who was one of the stockholders of the South Lansing Land company who platted the subdivision of Elmhurst. Mr. Poxson was at one time sales manager of the Reo Motor Car company and a member of the park board of this city. (Foster-03-16-1947) [name was spelled Poxon in the 1947 article]

Preston Street – (obsolete) – was originally named for Lewis D. Preston, who was an early surveyor in the county. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Prospect Street – apparently named for sales appeal. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Quaker Court – the city of Lansing changed the name in 1990 of Quaker Court from Garey Court after a low-income housing renovating company Quaker Management bought and upgraded all six houses on the street. Quaker Management was formed by a group of Eastern High School graduates, whose nickname is the Quakers. (Lansing State Journal-03-04-1990)

Race Street – a descriptive selected name for the mill race which was adjacent to it. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Railroad Court – (obsolete) – so called because of the fact that it was adjacent to the railroad. Now called Handy court for the street from which it was developed. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Railroad Street – from Franklin avenue north to Evans street, the fifth east of Grand River on land now occupied by the railroads. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Reo Avenue – named by E. S. Beal and others who dedicated the plat and named the street for the young and growing institution that was located adjacent to it. (Foster-02-09-1941)

River Street – was a very appropriate name for the angling street that paralleled the Grand river. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Riverview Street – derived its name from the subdivision in which was platted. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Robert Street – (obsolete) – no explanation for the selection of this name has been determined. The street has been vacated by the city and is now occupied by the Olds Motor Works. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Robertson Avenue – was named by Hollis Robertson, who as owner of the subdivision gave the street his family name. The subdivision was platted as North Highland. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Rockford Road – a selected name given the street by the sub-divider, V. R. Pattengill. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Rogers Street – (obsolete) – was that street that ran from Maple street north to Willow street at the west side of the School for the Blind land which was formerly owned by the Michigan Female Seminary. The school or seminary was owned and operated by the Rogers sisters, Abigail and Delia who were active in the early educational development of the young city. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Roosevelt Avenue – was named by the proprietor of the plat for President Theodore Roosevelt. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Rosemary Street – a name given to a street by Grace M. Renker in her Michigan Heights subdivision in honor of Frank B. Hall, jr.’s daughter. While ordering lumber for a new dwelling to be erected in the sub-division the fact was brought out that the lumber was to be delivered to a street with no name. Mr. Hall, the lumber dealer, suggested the name of his daughter, Rosemary, and Miss Renker consented provided Mr. Hall donate the street signs for the subdivision. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Rouse Street – in the plat of Jessop’s Home Gardens, was named for Evarts Rouse. The subdividers, the Foster-Fowler company, agreed to name a street for the first one of their salesmen in the organization who sold a lot in the proposed plat which was owned by Alice E. Jessop and to Mr. Rouse went the honor. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Rouser Street – was named for Chris J. Rouser, who for years was active in business and political circles of the city and was proprietor of the Rouser Drug company. His father, an early resident of North Lansing, is credited with turning the first wheel of the Thoman Milling company whose mill has recently been torn down. (Foster-01-19-1958)

Rulison Street – the street was named by Bert J. Baker, Oscar McKinley and Dr. John G. Rulison who were the street committee of the city council. In a joking manner the remark was made that Mr. Baker had a street named for him (Baker was named for Alonzo Baker) and Mr. McKinley had a street named for him (McKinley street was named for President McKinley) and so it must be Doctor Rulison’s turn to have a street in honor of his family name and Rulison the street became. It was formerly Smith street. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Rumsey Avenue – in Rumsey’s addition, was so named by Marshall E. Rumsey who owned and platted the land. He was a banker of Leslie who operated in real estate and timber lands throughout the state. He was a member of the legislature from Ingham county in the years 1885-7 and 1888 on the Republican ticket. (Foster-03-24-1940)

Rundle Street – named for Alfred Rundle, who was the first manager of the South Lansing Real Estate company. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Sadie Court – was named by Claude C. Culver who offered the subdivision for sale to the public and selected the name in honor of his wife. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Saginaw Street – was named for the county, bay, river or city of that name which was derived from the Chippewa meaning the “place of the Sac’s”, from the tradition that a tribe of Sacs lived near the mouth of the Saginaw river. (Foster-03-06-1938)

St. Joseph Street – was another of the streets that was named for one of the Michigan counties. St. Joseph was named for the river of the same name which was named for the patron saint of New France. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Samantha Avenue – in Orchard Garden subdivision, Lansing township was placed on the market by the Foster-Fowler company. When the plat was offered to the public, William H. Newbrough, as owner of the land, had the privilege of naming the streets and Mr. Newbrough named this street in honor of his mother, Samantha Monroe Newbrough. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Savoy Court – the land was developed and named by Harry J. Person who at the time was reading Alexander Dumas’ novel and admiring the character, the Duke of Savoy, and liking the name he so christened the street. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Schoolcraft Drive – a one-way drive through the north end of the Lansing Community College was named by the Traffic Board. The board members split 3-2 on the new name. Two members liked College Drive. But the board settled on Schoolcraft when it was pointed out that east-west streets in the central business district are named after counties. (State Journal-06-13-1968)

Seager Street – from North street to the city limits. In honor of Schuyler F. Seager, an early attorney in the city, who came to Lansing in 1858. (Foster-12-10-1939)

– was named for the Seager family who at one time were active in the affairs of the Olds Motor Works and later manufactured the Olds stationary gasoline engine. (Foster-01-19-1958)

Shady Oak Lane – residents Heidi Claeys and Viola Verhougstraete asked and was approved by the city council to change the 1600, 1700 and 1800 blocks of Marquette Street to Shady Oak Lane. They had said, the street often confuses people because the three blocks are not directly connected to a section of Marquette Street to the east. (State Journal-03-26-1985)

Shepard Street – C. H. Shepard was an extensive owner of property in the southern part of the city and an active real estate operator. In the city directory of 1878 he was listed as a “Speculator,” a classification that is seldom met with in the present day directories. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Sheridan Street – from North Larch street east to the city limits. In honor of General Phil Sheridan. (Foster-12-10-1939)

– most of the street was renamed Oakland Avenue when that street was extended. (State Journal-01-26-1965)
– there is still one short block left, and not to be confused with Sheridan Road at the northern city limits of Lansing. (Bowman-03-20-2017)

Sherman Street – another one the streets named for those men of affairs during the Civil war. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Shiawassee Street – derived its name from Shiawassee county which was taken from the Indian language and means “the river that twists.” (Foster-03-06-1938)

Shubel Avenue – in Sycamore Park subdivision, was named by Col. Fred Shubel who was the owner of the land and gave the avenue his own family name. His father, Fred Shubel, was the owner of one of the early shoe stores in Lansing. (Foster-01-19-1958)

Smith Street – as originally named was in Ballard’s addition in the north part of the city. It is now known as McKinley street. No explanation for having been so has as yet been found. The present Smith street was so named by J. H. Moores in his Park place addition. (Foster-01-21-1940)

Sparrow Avenue – named by J. H. Moores for E. W. Sparrow, one of Mr. Moores’ business associates who was active in Lansing business and manufacturing and banking circles. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Spikes Lane – the land from which this street was dedicated originally belonged to Mr. Cook who left the land to his best friend, Roy TenEyck whose nickname was “Spike”. TenEyck attempted to dedicate a 66 foot street but as the adjoining property owner would not contribute his 33 feet, TenEyck then dedicated a 33 foot street and named it for himself as Spike’s Alley. The question of the donation of land for the street has now been settled and Spikes Lane is a full size 66 foot street. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Spring Street – the early maps of Lansing and Ingham County indicate that where the street is located as being a district of many natural springs. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Stanley Street – in Westlawn subdivision, was developed by the J. W. Bailey company and was so named by Bert J. Baker, an officer of that organization in honor of his son, Stanley Baker. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Strathmore Road – a selected name as given to the street by V. R. Pattengill when Greencroft subdivision was offered to the public in 1916. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Sunnyside Avenue – a selected name by William Siegrist who at the time of the platting was salesman of the T. G. Foster company who offered the parcel to the public. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Sycamore Drive – named for Sycamore creek by Colonel Schubel, owner of the land, who platted the Sycamore park addition. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Teel Avenue – was named for and by Harry Teel who owned the parcel and lived on land adjacent to the street. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Theodore Street – was named by the J. W. Bailey company for Theodore G. Foster, who as a salesman of the J. W. Bailey company, sold most of the lots facing the street before it was dedicated to the public. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Thomas Street – was so named by Harris E. Thomas as owner of the land. Mr. Thomas was one of Lansing’s leading attorneys and was active in many civic and business enterprises. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Tisdale Avenue – named by Frank Tisdale who dedicated the subdivision as of Addmore Park in 1910. The name of the plat was Mr. Tisdale’s combination of “add” and “more” lots to the city. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Todd Avenue – in J. H. Moores Park place addition, was named by Mr. Moores for Marquis D. Todd, who was cashier of the Ingham County Savings bank at the time of the naming of the street. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Torrance Court – named for Linval A. Torrance who had previously owned the land from which the Torrance Farm addition subdivision was created. Previous to that the land had been owned and a farmhouse was built in 1853 by William F. Davis, father of banker and prominent citizen Benjamin F. Davis. (Bowman-03-21-2017)

Tower Street – (obsolete) – now called Pershing avenue. A tower of the Consumers Power company was located on this land and was so situated that in platting the land the tower was left in the middle of a boulevard entrance and therefore was called Tower street. The land was platted by the J. W. Bailey company for Doctor Martin of Portland, who was a prominent physician in that city for a great number of years. (Foster-02-09-1941)

Townsend Street – was named for William H. Townsend who was one of the original proprietors of the town. His original purchase of land in the county was in 1835. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Turner Street – was named in honor of James Turner who was one of the most active and influential men of the young community. He came to the Town of Michigan in the spring of 1847 from Mason where he had settled after coming to Michigan from Cayuga county, New York. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Turtle Street – (obsolete) – in the original plat from the Grand river north, the second west of Turner street, was early vacated and later occupied by the Auto Body company. The name selected by James Seymour when he laid out the original Town of Michigan which is now Lansing. There was a Turtle street and a Fish street in Rochester, N. Y., at that time and it is probable that Seymour selected street names from his old home town. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Tuxedo Avenue – a selected name in Adams addition which was platted and offered to the public by Joseph and Nora Baird Foster. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Verlinden Street – was named by Edward Verlinden, who at the time of the dedication of the street was president and general manager of the Durant Motor company of this city, which in 1921 built the buildings facing VerLinden avenue, now known as the Fisher Body plant. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Wall Street – (obsolete) – it is now named Maple street of which it is continuation on the east side of the Grand river. No satisfactory explanation for the selection of the name has been offered although it was probably named for Wall Street of New York city. (Foster-03-06-1938)

Walsh Street – was named for John H. Walsh who was one of the owners of the Excelsior Land company and the Half Acre Land company and was active for years in Lansing real estate circles. (Foster-01-19-1958)

Warner Street – (obsolete) – was named for Joseph E. Warner, who owned 80 acres facing the road which was named for him. He was one of the early mayors of the city. (Foster-12-10-1939)

– was renamed Willow street of which it was an extension after making a turn around the School for the Blind. This may make for more efficient traffic but it seems too bad to lose sight of Mr. Warner who was a prominent and influential citizen, and at one time mayor of the city. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Walnut Street – named for the tree (Foster-03-06-1938)

Washington Avenue – named for the President, George Washington (Foster-03-06-1938)
– of the original town plat of Michigan needs no explanation for the derivation of its name, but there is a story of its early days that was told by the late Edward Barnes. A men’s lecture organization arranged with Horace Greeley to appear before it. In his observations of Lansing written for his New York Tribune, Mr. Greeley said that Lansing had one street two miles long, eight rods wide and two feet “thick.” It was surmised that the hack that transported him from the depot to “Middle” town, as the central business district was then known. (Foster-01-19-1958)
– the seven blocks of Washington Avenue between Lenawee and Shiawassee streets was renamed Washington Square in 1970 for the newly built downtown pedestrian mall. (State Journal-10-27-1970)

Washtenaw Street – was named for the county. No satisfactory reason has been given as to why the name was applied to the county. The term originally came from the Chippewa form of “Was-te-nong”, meaning “the far country” or the “country beyond.” (Foster-03-06-1938)

Water Street – is another of the streets of the original Town of Michigan plat that used a name borrowed from the City of Rochester, N. Y., from whence James Seymour came. Seymour was one of the original proprietors of the town plat and Water st. in Lansing was a location similar to its namesake in Rochester. (Foster-01-19-1958)

Wayburn Road – the selected street name given to one of the streets in Greencroft subdivision which was platted by the Pattengill company. (Foster-02-09-1941)

– a selected name in Greencroft subdivision as selected by one of the proprietors, V. R. Pattengill. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Weldon Street – (obsolete) – platted and named by Lafayette Weldon for himself. The street has been renamed Park avenue. (Foster-03-24-1940)

West Street – (obsolete) – at the time of the naming of the street it was the west street of the city but is now part of Logan street. (Foster-12-10-1939)

Westmoreland Avenue – a typically selected name as given to the street by L. B. Ayres, manager of the Standard Real Estate company who were owners and sub-dividers of the land. (Foster-02-09-1941)

William Street – was named for William H. Townsend who was one of the original proprietors of the Town of Michigan, later renamed Lansing. Townsend st. also was named for him. Townsend also owned considerable acreage in the surrounding district. (Foster-01-19-1958)

Willow Street – named for the tree (Foster-03-06-1938)

Wilson Avenue – was named by Earl Covert in honor of ex-President Woodrow Wilson. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Woodbury Avenue – was named after C. D. Woodbury who for years was president of the Capital Savings and Loan association and was vice president of the New Way Motor company, one of the very few successful manufacturers of a stationary air-cooled gasoline engine. Previously he had engaged in the shoe business. (Foster-01-19-1958)

Woodlawn Avenue – in Johnson’s addition, was named by Frank Johnson, who with his wife, Mrs. Frae Johnson dedicated the street to the public. (Foster-03-24-1940)

– in the article on street names published in March 1940, it was stated that the street name was selected by Frank Johnson. The street was named by Charles T. Johnson and his wife, Mrs. Frae W. Johnson. (Foster-03-16-1947)

Woodrow Street – was formerly known as Marian street, was named for [President] Woodrow Wilson. The subdivision was placed on the market at about the time of the height of his popularity. The subdivision was offered to the public by Frank J. Tisdale and was called Woodrow park. (Foster-02-09-1941)

– formerly Marion street, was named for Woodrow Wilson. (Foster-04-06-1941)

Wyllis Street – was named by Wyllis O. Dodge for himself when he platted the land. (Foster-03-16-1947)


1. Foster-03-06-1938 = “How Lansing’s Streets Were Named” by Theodore Foster, Lansing real estate man; The State Journal newspaper of Sunday, March 6, 1938.
2. Foster-12-03-1939 = “Local Man Compiles Data On Lansing Street Names” by Theodore G. Foster; The State Journal; December 3, 1939.
3. Foster-01-21-1940 = “City Had 138 Streets in 1880; Here Is How They Were Named” by Theodore Foster; The State Journal; Sunday, January 21, 1940.
4. Foster-03-24-1940 = “Many New Streets Were Added Here Between 1888 and 1908” by Theodore G. Foster; The State Journal; March 24, 1940.

5. Foster-02-09-1941 = “Here Is How Lansing’s Streets Were Designated” by Theodore Foster, The State Journal; Sunday, February 9, 1941.
6. Foster-04-06-1941 = “How More Street Came To Bear Present Names” by Theodore Foster, The State Journal; Sunday, April 6, 1941.
7. Foster-03-16-1947 = “How Lansing Streets Were Named” by T. G. Foster; The State Journal, Lansing, Michigan; March 16, 1947.
8. Foster-01-19-1958 = “Some City Streets Were Give Names With Sales Appeal, But Lansing’s Early Planners Had Leaning Toward Historical Designations” by Theodore G. Foster; The State Journal, Lansing, Michigan; January 19, 1958.
9. Foster-03-02-1958 = “Lansing Street Signs, Wives’ Maiden Names Perpetuated” by Theodore G. Foster; The State Journal, Lansing, Michigan; March 2, 1958.
10. Bowman-various dates in 2017 = The compiler, me, Timothy Bowman’s own notes and speculations on how some streets got their names.
11. Also from various dates in Lansing newspapers.