Let it be known: Healdsburg Avenue is no more, but not, really. It is now Mendocino Avenue because Healdsburg Avenue was too confusing. But the residents of old Josiah Davis street are pissed because a few years ago they agreed to change their street name to Healdsburg Avenue and now they’re stuck with just a two-block stub that doesn’t even go to Healdsburg anymore but to Mendocino. Got all that? There WILL be a test.
The Santa Rosa City Council had lots on its plate in the months following the 1906 earthquake, so it’s a bit odd that they chose that moment to start renaming streets, but so they did. The changes did make sense, however. Before, a traveler heading north from downtown Fourth Street turned onto Mendocino Street. Six (or so) blocks later, there was the intersection of College Avenue; after that, the journey north jogged slightly to the right to join a street called Healdsburg Avenue (an 1877 map simply called it “the road to Healdsburg”). Wasn’t it better to name the whole route Mendocino-something or Healdsburg-something? They did, and chose the former, probably because the Mendocino Street end of it was best known in the downtown business district. Thus after October, 1906, the home that would be known as Comstock House was on Mendocino Avenue, not Healdsburg Avenue.
It’s also understandable that the people living on “Joe Davis” were upset. After the 1880 Josias Davis addition to the town (see map at right, courtesy City of Santa Rosa), the western side of the two-block triangle leading to College Ave. was mostly known as Josiah Davis Street (also referred to as “Jos.” or “Jo.” Davis on maps and documents). Sometime before 1900, residents petitioned the town to make their little street part of the great Healdsburg Avenue. It must have seemed a sensible idea at the time, but after the 1906 name changes they found their street was now an odd little historical archipelago, not part of an avenue but more of a dinky side road for an intersection. And so it remains today; identifying Healdsburg Ave. on a map of modern Santa Rosa should be worth bonus points in a game of Trivial Pursuit.
PROTEST AGAINST CHANGING NAME
Residents of what has been generally known for years as Joe Davis street, running in a direct line with Healdsburg avenue from Tenth street to Lincoln and College avenue, protest against the changing of the name of Healdsburg avenue to “Mendocino avenue.” A number of property owners on the short street asserted Wednesday that some years ago they petitioned the council to change the name of “Joe Davis” to [“]Healdsburg avenue,” and aver that they have since been receiving their mail addressed to “Healdsburg avenue,” and that the streets proclaim that thoroughfare to be “Healdsburg avenue.” They are displeased that Mendocino street should absorb the name of the continuation of their street, and point out that while mail addressed to Healdsburg avenue may have been missent to Healdsburg, when addressed to Mendocino avenue may be missent to Mendocino county. In the petition the name of “Joe Davis” street was still mentioned for the street between Tenth and College avenue, at one time known by that name.– Santa Rosa Republican, July 25, 1906
HEALDSBURG AVENUE A MATTER OF HISTORY
At the meeting of the council Tuesday evening the new ordinance passed changing the name of Mendocino street and Healdsburg avenue to Mendocino avenue, and the name “Healdsburg avenue” passed into history in the city of Santa Rosa. The matter has been before the council for several weeks and there have been petitions pro and con on the matter.– Santa Rosa Republican, October 3, 1906