Origin of Douglass St in Noe Vally

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I live on Douglass St. in Noe Valley. Does anyone know the origin of the name?

-- Julie House (julie@dollarlink.com), June 05, 2001


You can get histories for almost all the San Francisco street names in Louis K. Loewenstein's book "The Streets of San Francisco." It's a skinny paperback you can find in the Local Interest section of most bookstores (I got mine at Stacey's on Market).

-- Rosa Debonneheure (rosadebon@yahoo.com), June 29, 2001.

You can also order it from Amazon.com here:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/089997192X/sanfrancisbaya0 c/

Scott Trimble
Northern California Movies website

-- Scott Trimble (stst@stst.net), July 10, 2001.

Looked in the Street of San Francisco book and it's not listed there. I am still looking for a source. THANKS!

-- Julie House (julie@dollarlink.com), August 02, 2001.

Please don't send people out to buy books on something when they aren't even going to find what they are looking for. Not every Street in San Francisco is in that book. And I don't even think 50 percent of the streets of San Francisco are in that book.

-- Harry Murphy (Harrymurphy@my-deja.com*), October 28, 2001.

In his book, Lowenstein asks anyone with corrections or additions to please contact Lexicos, the publisher, so that corrections can be made. If you have corrections, you should contact them.In 1984 their address was 1012 14th Street, SF CA 94114.

If you check the acknowlegments section, you will find an extensive list of individuals and historical collections that you, too, can consult.

But even if Douglass Street were not in the book, there's enough else in there to make it a useful reference.


-- Rosa Debonneheure (rosadebon@yahoo.com), October 29, 2001.

Although Douglas is a pretty common name, I don't remember off hand of any Douglases that were on the board of supervisors in early San Francisco history though there might have been. But I do remember someone else named Thomas Douglas and I'd like to take an educated guess that that street might have been named after him. Thomas Douglas was the first public schoolteacher in San Francisco in early 1848.

-- Harry Murphy (harrymurphy@my-deja.com*), November 01, 2001.

Actually, after I wrote that message about Thomas Douglas and as I was only thinking about San Franciscans, it occured to me later on that you don't have to be a San Franciscan to have a street named after you and so I then remembered Stephen Douglas as he was a Senator who helped admit California to the United States. He was also quite famous for a number of other reasons including his stand on the taking California from the Mexicans. He was also much praised and beat Lincoln in a Senate race but then later lost to Lincoln for President. Givin his reputation at the time, a San Francisco street named after Stephen Douglas would be appropriate. The first public school teacher was not well known enough nor did he stick around here long enough.

-- Harry Murphy (harrymurphy@my-deja.com*), November 02, 2001.

The only well-known 19th century figure that I can remember who spelled the last name with 2 s's is Frederick Douglass. An abolitionist leader and champion of human rights, he was an advisor to Lincoln and the was the most famous African- American leader in the 19th century. Although he was never on the SF board of supes he was famous enough to have a street named after him.

-- Don Martinich (dutchm@dcn.davis.ca.us), November 02, 2001.

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