This is a working bibliography of useful primary and secondary sources on the origins of Seattle street names. In some cases I have scanned or transcribed the sources.
See also posts about sources.
Databases and Websites
Plat maps, available online via the King County Parcel Viewer.
Seattle Times Historical Archives, available online from The Seattle Public Library.
Council Bills/Ordinances – 1869-present, available online from Seattle Municipal Archives.
Particularly Useful Articles, Maps, and Documents
Anderson’s New Guide Map of the City of Seattle and Environs. [Seattle]: O. P. Anderson and Co., 1890. Available online from Seattle Municipal Archives. Shows plats and street names before they were rationalized in 1895.
An ordinance changing the names of certain streets and avenues in the City of Seattle. City of Seattle, Ordinance Number 4044, 1895. Available online from Seattle Municipal Archives. The great street renaming, which rationalized Seattle street names.
Other Primary Sources
“Labyrinth of Names.” Seattle Press-Times, December 16, 1891, p. 2. Transcription available here.
Bass, Sophie Frye, Pig-Tail Days in Old Seattle. Portland, OR: Binfords & Mort, 1937.
Brown, Jo. The Seattle Guidebook. Guilford, CT: The Globe Pequot Press, 1999. Street names section available online from King County Library System.
Cardle, Doug. About Those King County Place-names. Seattle, WA: Coastal Press, 1989.
The Seattle Public Library, The Northwest Index Card File. Citations to local historical newspaper articles and other sources, available in the Seattle Room at the Central Library. Scans of cards on street names available here.