San Francisco Street Names


Ever wonder where that street name came from (S - Z)

Here is the end of the list, for now!

Golden Gate Brige Sacramento Street was originally named Howard Street honoring William D. Howard. Reasons for the change are not recorded.

Golden Gate Brige Sanchez Street was named for Antonio Sanchez, a one-time commandante of the San Francisco Presido. An Indian fighter; his family once owned a 15,000 acre ranch running from today's South San Francisco to Burlingame. (My grandparents lived on Sanchez Street for 50 years.)

Golden Gate Brige Sansome Street was originally named Sloat Street honoring the Commodore. The name was changed in 1847 at the request of Philadelphians desiring to use Sansome, the name of a street in their home city.

Golden Gate Brige Scott Street was named for General Winfield Scott, a commander of the Union Army during the Civil War. (For many years the "F" streetcar line ended at Scott Street. This was when each car was managed by a conductor and a motorman. It was common, when the car was empty, for the motorman to yell up to the conductor, "Drive on until you come to Scott Street" to signify that there were no more passengers on the car.)

Golden Gate Brige Selby Street was named for Thomas H. Selby, a New York merchant who came to San Francisco in 1849 hoping to earn enough to pay his creditors after the Eastern firm had failed. Establishing the firm of Thomas H. Selby & Co., metal importers, he became successful and met all of his former obligations. In 1851 he was elected a member of the Board of Alderman, led an effort to reorganize the Police Department, and rendered various other civic services.

Golden Gate Brige Serra Boulevard was named for Fray Junipero Serra, the San Francisco padre who established the first Alta California Mission at San Diego. He served for years as Father-President in the region. He died in 1784. (Yes, he is the same one that the high school and freeway are named after. The large statue overlooking the Doran Rest Area on I-280 is someone’s impression of what he looked like during his lifetime.)

Golden Gate Brige Shafter Avenue was named for General William R. Shafter, commander of U.S. forces in Cuba.

Golden Gate Brige Sharon Street was named for William Sharon who was a banker an mining man who amassed a large fortune.

Golden Gate Brige Shotwell Street was named for J.M. Shotwell, cashier in Alsop & Co.'s bank and secretary of the Merchants Exchange.

Golden Gate Brige Sloat Boulevard was named for Commodore John S. Sloat who commanded the U.S. Navy Squadron in Pacific waters. After the war with Mexico was declared, he took Monterey on July 7, 1848; then ordered Montgomery to take Yerba Buena two days later.

Golden Gate Brige Spear Street was named for one of two people. One, Nathan was a merchant, the other, Willis Bradford, who was a soldier. I found books that credited both of them.

Golden Gate Brige Stanford Street was named for Leland Stanford who was one of The Big Four railroad barons. He also created Stanford University. For an interesting story about how the university came to be, click here.

Golden Gate Brige Stanley Street was named for Lee Stanley who was a 49'er.

Golden Gate Brige Starr King Way is named for the Reverend Thomas Starr King who was a Unitarian Minister in early San Francisco. He was instrumental in keeping California in The Union at the start of The Civil War.

Golden Gate Brige Steiner Street was presumably named for L. Steiner, who delivered water from house to house in pioneer days.

Golden Gate Brige Steuart Street was named for William M. Steruart who was Secretary to Commodore Thomas Casteby Pones on the U.S.S. Ohio. He arrived in San Francisco in 1848 and was a member of the Ayuntamiento from 1849 to 1850.

Golden Gate Brige Stevenson Street was named for Colonel Jonathan Stevenson who was a soldier, a lawmaker and the first Grand master of the Masonic Order in California. (There are some who claim that the street is named for Robert Louis Stevenson, the author, who did much of his writing in The City. I found several sources that say this is not the case.)

Golden Gate Brige Stockton Street was named for Commodore Robert F. Stockton, who was the military leader who claimed California for the United States.

Golden Gate Brige Sunset Boulevard is named for the District that it bisects, The Sunset. It is so named because the sun is said to come out just long enough to set. (I lived in the Sunset, until I was 10 years old!)

Golden Gate Brige Sutro Heights was named for Adolph Sutro, the twenty first mayor of San Francisco from 1895 to 1987. Starting as a cigar dealer, he educated himself, becoming a noted mining engineer, winning fame and fortune by driving a five-mile tunnel into the Comstock Lode in Nevada. The ruins of his "Bath house and Museum can still be seen today at Lands End, but you had better hurry. The National Park Service has a plan to remove them.)

Golden Gate Brige Sutter Street was named for John Augustus Sutter who owned the mill where gold was discovered in January of 1848.

Golden Gate Brige Taraval street was named for an Indian guide in the Anza expedition.

Golden Gate Brige Taylor Street was named for Zachary Taylor, the twelfth president of the United States.

Golden Gate Brige Thomas Avenue was named for General George H. Thomas who was known as "The Rock of Chickamauga".

Golden Gate Brige Tiffany Avenue was named for Robert J. Tiffany who was head of the People's Homestead, a property development.

Golden Gate Brige Toland Street was named for Doctor Hugh Toland, a noted surgeon who pioneered correction of club feet. He reached San Francisco in 1853. He was called "The Great Surgeon of the Pacific Coast:. He died in 1880.

Golden Gate Brige Townsend Street was named for Doctor John Townsend, who was a physician in early San Francisco. He was a practicing physician for 66 1/2 years.

Golden Gate Brige Treat Avenue was named for George Treat, an early settler who owned noted race horses.

Golden Gate Brige Turk Street was named for Frank Turk, an attorney. He came to San Francisco in 1849, first working for John W. Geary in the post office. He once served as second alcalde.

Golden Gate Brige Ulloa Street was named for Antonio de Ulloa who was the first Spanish governor of Louisiana. He served previously in the Spanish Navy and in administrative posts. In 1853 he accompanied a scientific expedition to South America. He wrote "A Voyage to South America". (I lived at 31 st and Ulloa for seven years in the early 1960's.)

And I often say that my visitors are the best. Here is another example.

Thanks for your web pages which give the derivation of San Francisco street names.  I've just finished reading a new book about the scientific mission that Antonio de Ulloa went on, wondered if he was the source of the street name, and your site confirmed it.

There is, however, an error in your date.  Ulloa was born in 1716, went to South America in 1735 as a precociously well-trained Spanish naval cadet, served there both on the geodetic survey and on naval duties until 1745, returned to Spain, then assumed various colonial tasks from 1758.  He was appointed governor of Spanish Louisiana in 1765, serving three years.  His Spanish fleet helped the Americans fight the British at sea during the American Revolutionary War, which is probably the most important thing in getting his name on an American street.  He died in Spain in 1795.

For more of his story, see _Measure of the Earth_ by Larrie D. Ferreiro, published by Basic Books in 2011, ISBN 978-0-465-01723-2.

-Neil Midkiff

Golden Gate Brige Underwood Avenue was named for General Franklin Underwood, U.S. Army.

Golden Gate Brige United Nations Plazza was named for the organization that signed their charter there. There is a picture of the site here.

Golden Gate Brige Valencia Street was named for Candelario Valencia, son of Jose Manuel Valencia, one of Anza's soldiers. Candelario owned Acalanes Rancho near Lafayette, Contra Costa County. He lived on property near Mission Dolores.

Golden Gate Brige Vallejo Street was named for Mariano de Guadalupe Vallejo who was the commander of the Yerba Buena Presido, Collector of Port and Alcalde, all at one time in 1835.

Golden Gate Brige Van Dyke Avenue was named for Walter Van Dyke a native of New York State and a lawyer who came overland to California soon after the gold discovery, served in both houses of the state legislature. He was elected as the first District Attorney of Trinity County. In 1873 he was appointed United States District Attorney with headquarters in San Francisco. He was elected to the Superior Court of Los Angeles in 1888, six years later he was elected to the State Supreme Court. He died in Oakland on December 25, 1905.

Golden Gate Brige Van Ness Avenue was named for James Van Ness who was the sixth mayor of San Francisco from 1855 to 1856. He was also the author of the Van Ness Ordinance which confirmed title of possessors of property West of Larkin on January 1, 1855.

Golden Gate Brige Wallace Avenue was named for William Thompson Wallace, a Kentuckian who came West in 1852, and first practiced law in San Jose and became District Attorney of Santa Clara County. In 1869 he was elected a justice of the State Supreme Court and later became Chief Justice. He also served as a regent of the University of California.

Golden Gate Brige Waller Street was named for R.H. Waller, city recorder in 1851 and 1854.

Golden Gate Brige Webster Street was named for Daniel Webster.

Golden Gate Brige Whipple Avenue was named for Major-General Emile W. Whipple who died of wounds at the battle of Chancellorville on May 4, 1863.

Golden Gate Brige Yorba Street was named for Antonio Yorba, a sergeant in the Catalan Volunteers with the Portola expedition in 1769. He also served as a sergeant of a San Francisco company in 1777.

Golden Gate Brige Yorke Street was named for Father Peter C. Yorke who was a key player in one of The City's bloodiest labor conflicts, the 1901 teamsters - waterfront strike. (My locator shows his name without the last "e", but all of my other references show it with the "e".

Street Names A - I

Street Names J - R

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