Written by City Engineer H. E. French for the Sauk County Historical Society Aug. 16, 1917
The naming of the streets if very often associated with the commemoration in connection with certain individuals, however, streets are given the names of trees, or there are certain physical or natural characteristics of the community consistent with names of streets. Again, the locality and direction of the street offers a name, as for instance, East Street, named from the fact that it is located on the east line of “Formerly Adams” Addition. Nearly all of the names of streets for the city of Baraboo can be traced to some one of the above named classes.
In determining the origin of the names of streets, one naturally turns to the historical data, such as the different histories of Sauk county and the recorded plats in the Register of Deed’s office. There, we refresh our memories by reviewing the record of the “Village of Adams”, now called on our late maps of Baraboo, “Formerly Adams” Addition. This plat occupies the entire south east one quarter of Section 35 in Township 12 North of Range 6 East except a small portion lying south of the Baraboo river. The name Adams was suggested by a Mr. Brigham, one of the county commissioners, after the Adams family in Massachusetts, whom he greatly admired. The plat was recorded in April 1847 and about the same time, Mr. George Brown had his land south of the Baraboo river surveyed and platted, calling it Baraboo. On the 14th of January 1849, the county commissioners caused the two above named plats to be changed and known by the name of Brooklyn. The two respective villages, however, continued separate till the village charter was obtained in May 1856 which united them under the name of Baraboo. In the meantime, Mr. Canfield surveyed and platted the village of Lyons in 1846 and 1847, thinking this location was the logical one for the future metropolis of Sauk county. The name Lyons was given by Mr. Harvey Canfield for Lyons, New York, where he formerly resided.
On account of the water power site at the present location of the waterworks pumping station, a plat was made and recorded in 1850 called the village of Manchester, comprising the entire north east one quarter of Section 1. It was thought at that time that Manchester would at least hold its own with the village of Lyons, which, in turn, was competing with Baraboo, but Baraboo apparently out-distanced them all.
From 1850 to July 1855 there followed the records of the following plats. Mrs. Peck’s First, Walace’s, Mrs. Brown’s, Thomas’s. Camp’s, Brown’s, Langdon’s and Litchfield’s. The last was laid out in July 1855 by R. G. Camp who applied the name Litchfield after Litchfield, Conn. the birthplace of Mr. Camp.
In reviewing the names of streets in the “Formally Adams” addition, the county commissioners used the numerals from First to Eighth street for the streets running east and west. First street was originally named Bench street evidently from it prominent elevation and proximity to the Baraboo river, but was afterwards changed by the council to First street. When the matter of numbering the residences was presented, it was suggested by Mr. R. B. Griggs, through Alderman L. O. Holmes, that the east and west streets north of the Baraboo river be divided at Oak street and that west of Oak street be designated as Avenues and east of Oak street be designated as Streets. This arrangement was thought preferable to the usual method of naming them, as East, Eighth and West Eighth street, etc. and was effected by an Ordinance by the City Council. This arrangement was also carried out later on some of the streets south of the river. For the north and south streets, in the Adams Addition, East street was named from its location on the east line of Section 35 which is also the east line of the Adams Addition. Center street was similarly named from its location on the north and south center line of Section 35, as was also West street, being located in the west portion of the Adams Addition.
Broadway is named from the fact of its being one rod more in width than all other streets excepting Fourth Ave. As the successive plats were added to the north from Adams, the east and west streets naturally took their consecutive numbers from Eighth to Fourteenth street.
Summit, Ridge and Park streets consistently took their names from their physical characteristics in Moore and Brown’s Addition.
Mound Street, names from the location of the effigy mounds along the south side of the street.
South Street, by virtue of its location along the south side of the original plat of Baraboo.
Quarry Street, on account of the street leading to and past the quarries of Levi Crouch.
Ash Street was formerly called Bridge Street from the bridge to the property of D. K Noyes but was later changed to Ash Street the council in July 1855.
The above named streets comprises about all the streets which acquired their names from their physical location. For the streets named after trees we have the following: Ash, Oak, Birch, Maple, Elm, Vine, Pine, Walnut and Mulberry streets. The balance of the streets are nearly all named after certain individuals whose service and influence for the community has been of a prominent character. For the streets in this class we have the following:
Elizabeth street, from Mrs. Elizabeth Camp, wife of Arthur Camp. Mrs. Victoria Wheeler Hawley, daughter of Mrs. Rosaline Peck says that when W. H. Canfield made the survey of the plat east of Elizabeth, he asked Mrs. Peck what to name this street, as the other streets were named for the pioneer and her daughter. Mrs. Peck suggested the name which the street has since born.
For the south side of the Baraboo River we have, first Moore street, named after Capt. Levi Moore, who came to Baraboo in 1840. He located his claim near the falls of Skillet Creek and is given the credit of naming the stream and falls from the worn out holes in the soft rock, giving them the appearance of iron vessels called ‘skillets.’ His early experience, in the Winnebago wilderness around Baraboo, is most interesting to read, and his connection with the water power development along the Baraboo river is characteristic of his services rendered.
Maxwell Street, named after James A. Maxwell, whose first visit to Baraboo was about 1840. The Maxwells were instrumental in developing the water power at the present pumping station of the city waterworks.
Potter street, named after H. H. Potter, who came to Baraboo in 1849, and later marrying the daughter, Miss Emma, of the above mentioned James A. Maxwell.
Withington street, named after A. H. Withington, who came from England directly to Baraboo in 1857, locating near Devil’s Lake and remaining on his claim till his death.
Blake street, named after Mr. Marvin Blake, who arrived in Baraboo in 1844 with his family. The are the first family to settle in Baraboo and assisted in building the first home in Baraboo.
Guppy street, named by Major Chas. Williams after his friend, Col. Guppy who he greatly admired. Col. Guppy resided in Portage and received his title for meritorious service in the Civil War.
Brier street, from B. L. Brier, who was associated in the development of the water power with the Maxwells at the lower rapids.
Clark street, named after Lyman Clark, who came to Baraboo in 1847 and pre-empted forty acres just south east of the original village of Baraboo. He made himself famous as a hotel keeper, never turning anyone away, money or no money.
Case street, named after Mr. H. J. Case, residing at the present time on the corner of Lynn avenue and Russell street.
Hitchcock street, named after Mrs. Leona Hitchcock, who, before her marriage to Mr. Hitchcock, was Miss Leona Case. Mr. Hitchcock was formerly a school teacher in the public schools.
Tyler street, named after Mr. M. J. Tyler, residing at the present time on the corner of Lynn avenue and Tyler street.
Florence Court, in Jacob’s addition, named after Miss Florence Jacobs, a daughter of W. H. Jacobs.
Sycamore street was named by Major Williams after Sycamore street in Milwaukee, where he formerly resided before coming to Baraboo.
Orchard street-Sycamore and Orchard streets are in Thomas addition. Orchard street was originally the home of the Case family and when their residence burned about sixty years ago, they planted an orchard covering this location, hence the name Orchard street.
Hill street, probably named after James and Ed. Hill, who owned considerable property in that vicinity.
Waldo street, supposed to be named after Mr. Ed. Alexander, but through an error of the street committee of the common council, they gave the name Waldo, thinking it was his real name.
Linn street, undoubtedly from the tree by that name. Later the common council changed the spelling from Linn to Lynn, the latter to be used for the numbering of all houses west of Vine street.
In the east part of the city we have Washington avenue and Lincoln avenue, which apparently need no further comment as to the origin.
Martin street, named after Mrs. Martin, the sister of the Browns who platted Brown’s addition in 1873.
Crawford street, running north and south in continuation of Center street from Tenth avenue. Was named after John B. Crawford, who came to Baraboo in 1844 with a corp of government surveyors. Mr. Canfield states in his history the Crawford family played a pleasant and profitable part in the early history of Baraboo.
Wood street, for the street running north and south, for one block only, just west of Eighth Ave. Named after J. W. Wood, moving to Baraboo from Walworth county in 1856. He was a business partner of the above mentioned John B. Crawford and constructed the residence that Mr. E. Paddock is now living in at the head of Wood Street on Ninth Ave. His father was a highly educated physician practicing in Baraboo in the early days.
Barker Street, from John Barker of the law firm of Barker and Remington of Baraboo. He came to Baraboo in 1865 and held various offices of trust such as town clerk, town treasurer, county judge and district attorney and was the first city attorney for Baraboo.
Roseline street, from Roseline Peck the first white women to cross the Baraboo bluffs and make her home in the valley north of them. She and her husband arrived in Baraboo in 1840 making their home in the village of Manchester, and after moving to Baraboo.
Wheeler and Victoria streets were each named after Mrs. Victoria Wheeler, the daughter of the above mentioned Roseline Peck. At present, she is living in Delton and historically is an important character.
Camp street, named from R. G. Camp, who laid out Litchfield Addition.
Mills street, named from Dr. B. F. Mills who came to Baraboo in 1850. He was engaged in the drug business at the corner of Oak and Third Streets for a number of years at the same time practicing his profession of medicine.
Remington street, named from C. C. Remington who practiced in law in Baraboo from 1847 until the time of his death in 1878. As a lawyer, C. C. Remington stood at the head of the bar of Sauk county for many years.
Warren court, named after T. M. Warren, who came to Baraboo about 1847 and became very successful in business. He remodeled the former Chas. Summer hotel in 1847, giving it the name of the Warren House which has been successfully run as such up to the present time.